September-10th-2004, 05:24 PM
well nobody is objectively write or wrong about saxophone playing and what it does to thgem, but i happen to play tenor and have seen and heard on record all the "major players" around now and i always laugh when people lay that cliche criticism on assif as his choice of notes, placement of notes, timbres etc has always seemed to me a step ahead of ware,gayle, perelman for sure, vandemark, all of whom whip out many more free jazz sreaming cliches. everyone thinks assif has improved as well where i personally think his first three albums with susie and william on 2 are best, and 3 of best free jazz around.
plus who wouldnt be upset after breaking up with susie ibarra.
the only assif i find less than steller is the hopscotches after he switched to cardboard sleeves, i find the sound really crappy, especially in his horn and the drums. anyone else think that?
September-10th-2004, 06:37 PM
That you play sax tenor or not, doesn't proove nothing to me.
Originally Posted by saltwatersnow
I know enough musician (Know or unknow, good or bad) who have the more horrible taste about others similaires musicians.
Let's say that we totally disagree on who is great or who is less here.
Perelman (who, maybe, is not a monster of technique) and the Charles Gayle of the beginning of the nineties are far above Tsahar, too my taste.
For Vandermark, my feeling about him can change from one record to another. Sometimes I like the guy, sometimes I don't.
As Ware is concern, the guy has invented those clichés.
But I can feel this post with many more names of actuall tenor players that I find much more intersting than Tsahar will ever be, I'm afraid.
Starting with Brötzman, Parker, McPhee and ending with Gustafsson, Dunmall, Eskellin, Butcher, Malaby etc...
Just pure speculation from my part as the guy didn't start to tell me about his griefs and sorrows.
Originally Posted by saltwatersnow
September-10th-2004, 06:58 PM
With zero investment in aggrandizing or dismissing Mr. Tsahar-I caught Ibarra/Tsahar duets here around 2001, in the venerable ol' U. of Mn. coffeehouse. Carter/Mateen/& whoever else was in TEST were in the venue a month before, and aside from moments of nuanced playing from Carter/Mateen, that was a similarly high energy blow- fest that excited the youngish/college crowd with unrelieved screaming and left me high & dry.
Tsahar played largely in a similar vein-popping circa -1967 mode, and when he was quieter, as Ibarra went to her little instruments & Indonesian stuff, he was listless & suffered a paucity of ideas.
I didn't conclude that's all he's capable of, but admit to eyeing his releases since with little interest. A cat can grow a great deal in 3 years. Alternately, a cat can grow a little & lapse into cliches & high intensity/low volume of ideas.
I continue to suspect (with nothing to base it on, as I haven't toured with guys to hear if there is a geographical factor in chosen improvised material), that some have come to Mpls. and played in such a way, as they perceive audiences here as indiscriminate or receptive to what would be cliche in N.Y., etc.
I remarked on this contrast where Mateen was concerned, when praising his playing on the Nile Suite, to Dennis.
I am loathe to speculate on how their breaking up might manifest in their playing, as I then enter the realm of, oh, Entertainment Tonight.
September-10th-2004, 08:04 PM
i always hear tsahar as more like a better early david murray style style. the way he twists and turns and makes unusual harmonics leaps. i like to different degress the players lemo mentioned, some as much or more than assif, and no playing saxophone doesnt give me better taste i think i said as much. One thing it does do is recognize the notes and techniques used a million times, putting all 8 fingers closing all the keys and screaming through horn, coltrane runs, evan parker false fingering, all the things done to death i can both do on a horn and my ears recognize them in an instant.i think people who know less about saxophone read that stupid review of shekina in the penguin guide and that initial criticism has prejudiced some peoples ears. NOT SAYING is the case with anyone i particular in this discussion just something i have thought while reading reviews and discussions since then. i think an album which might be illuminating to people is rob brown/lougrassi scratching the surface on cimp, an album on which brown and tsahar play a more inside style, but twist and turn around each other in really amazing fashion.
Last edited by saltwatersnow; September-10th-2004 at 08:09 PM.
September-11th-2004, 02:27 AM
skirting the issue
There's also a documentary called "Chicago Improvisations" that followed Kowald in a series of musical settings with Vandermark, Drake, Fred Anderson, Gunther Sommer, some guy from Greece, etc. It was made by some French guys.
Originally Posted by Jason Bivins
September-11th-2004, 04:18 AM
Some French girl, my dear:
Originally Posted by mke
A documentary film by Laurence Petit-Jouvet
Peter Kowald at the 2000 Empty Bottle of Jazz & Improvised Music
featuring Floro Floridis & Günter "Baby" Sommer, Hamid Drake & Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark...
I have a seconde generation copy of the original VHS cassette.
The music is great, the interviews okay & the filming very basic.
September-11th-2004, 11:32 AM
JC's Top Member 2011®
Thanks for all the info, folks.
September-11th-2004, 06:43 PM
I was visiting New Orleans in 2000 and got to attend a Kowald solo concert and a trio concert with Kidd Jordan and Alvin Fielder. His solo performance was one of the most powerful performances I have witnessed. He could make that bass do whatever he wanted it to do. And his throat singing was amazing!!
The show with Jordan and Fielder was solid and I still haven't heard Kidd play live like he did that night with Kowald throwing some serious shit at him.
I bought a copy of Duets at that show and it's probably my favorite one. I threw down around $100 on the 3 lp set a few years ago. I think FMP has released almost everything now on cd. The Europa and America are my favorites but the Japan has some strong moments.
Last edited by shrugs; September-11th-2004 at 06:46 PM.
September-11th-2004, 06:51 PM
are there any other kowald solo performances available besides the classic was di ist?
September-11th-2004, 07:13 PM
the cantilena of speech
There are bits & pieces on various albums. A solo piece on the Bauer/Sommer/Kowald disc on Victo Three Wheels Four Directions. One on the EMIT series compilation. Each is about 10 minutes long if memory serves.
I saw Tshar/Parker/Ibarra once, circa Shekinah's release. It was sufficiently wretched that I've always avoided the guy's stuff since then (almost successfully, with the exception of his cut-rate David Murray/James Carter imitation on a recent Hugh Ragin disc).
September-11th-2004, 08:50 PM
Fpop, a friend of mine burned me a solo disc (FMP, from 1988) which is called "Open Secrets," I think. Really good, but not as righteous as "Was Da Ist." There may be others but that's the only one I know about.
Originally Posted by frankiepop
September-11th-2004, 09:27 PM
LeMo, I'm still in awe of Tsahar's early masterpiece, Ein Sof (Silkheart 148), which was recorded in Jan. 97. The purity of his conception, along with his inspired delivery on tenor, continues to impress on repeated hearings. The trio, which includes William Parker & Susie Ibarra, produces memorable & top notch collective improvization throughout this fine session. In fact, I've never heard Ibarra play better than her performance here. This early effort should appeal to Ware fans also, though Assif's tone isn't as full and his lines tend to be shorter and more fragmented. He's also more measured and economical than Gayle. But on Ein Sof Assif burns, especially on the awesome opener, with a momentum and urgency that is really something to behold. His fluent lines flow with a relaxed confidence that is indeed inspiring.
Other strong efforts by Tsahar include Deals, Ideas, & Ideals (incredible session), and the marvelous CIMP recording with Rob Brown and Lou Grassi, Scratching the Surface (which I spin at least once a month).
September-12th-2004, 06:01 AM
I never heard the record Fiend. So I can't say.
The association of Parker and Ibarra has always work perfectly (with Ware, on the W.Parker records), so it's not a surprise to me that they sound good, here, particularly Ibarra.
But, really, her best performance?
I'll try to catch the record and listen to.
I've always heard good things about this record, but I don't know it either.
Originally Posted by Jazzfiend
I remembered, aniway, than Bob Rush wasn't so please by it, it seems.
Find it to "straight" to his taste or something like that.
But this is one that I really would like to hear. I like Rob Brown and it's entirely possible than in duet with another sax Tsahar could be more convincing.
Well, seems than board members have a very definitive opinion on the man.
They like it a lot like you and Saltwatersnow or they dismiss him completely like Jesse, Nate Dorward or Myself.
My dear Jazzfiend, time for a poll?
Last edited by LeMo; September-12th-2004 at 06:02 AM.
September-12th-2004, 03:49 PM
His now legendary impromptu solo at Vision is on the Vision sampler that's also a DVD. Can't remember the name right now. It's $20. I didn't buy it because I can't watch the DVD and $20 is a lot of bread for a solo I heard live and remember very well.
September-12th-2004, 07:53 PM
This is an entirely inconsequential matter of taste, but for clarity's sake: I have not "dismissed him completely"; rather, as I stated above, on the basis of one live performance, I have not pursued Tsahar's recordings. This has as much to do with my limited CD budget and my decision some years ago to not own good music, only great music. Obviously that's a matter of taste and discernment on my part, and keeps my consumerism in check. In the 80's I sold off over 350 recordings, and have lived pretty comfortably without them (with a few pangs of regret). Tsahar occupies that pantheon of players (Brotzman/many Braxtons/et. al.) I've heard live or recorded, who are good, sometimes very good, but not essential to my collection.
Originally Posted by LeMo
The number of folks weighing in with remarks positive & negative characterizing his output as high energy blowing cements my disinterest a little.
If you review my WAYLTL entries, it should be clear I am not anti-energy/altissimo/vein-popping forays. Only those that sound contrived, cliched & unrelieved by an expanded vocabulary. For this reason, I never got on the Gayle/Ware beam. If Tsahar is up to more originality than these popular cats, more power to him!
September-13th-2004, 07:51 AM
I'm not huge on Tsahar (though I haven't found him to be anything but friendly and open, so far as the personality remarks above go) but the current duo CD with Cooper- Moore on his label Hopscotch, *America,* is very good, indeed, and not at all what I was expecting. I like it much better than the duo recording with Hamid Drake from a few years back.
September-14th-2004, 07:38 AM
Since I can't make it stateside, I'd be interested in this if only for the visuals and to have a sense of the proceedings there. Anyone have this? If so, could you tell me whether the DVD is code 0, i.e., can be played back here on non-region-free player.
Originally Posted by Gary Sisco
October-26th-2004, 11:12 AM
I just came to know about this:
A new solo CD (newly released, that is) by Peter Kowald hopefully will be issued this coming winter on Free Elephant, the label that "has set itself the goal of continuing and expanding the worldwide artistic network which came about through Peter Kowald" (label statement). No info on the label website yet, but as Free Elephant is distributed by NCD/Cadence in the US and Verge in Canada, this should be widely available, once it is out.
Last edited by Martin; October-26th-2004 at 11:13 AM.
November-7th-2004, 05:31 AM
Not yet out, but hopefully soon...