Frederic Rzewski - Attica / Coming Together / Les Moutons De Panurge (LP-1974)

Genre: Jazz / Experimental | Total Time: 42:07 | Size: 400.78 MB | FLAC
Side A
A1-Coming Together .... 19:15

bass – Richard Youngstein
piano, electric piano – Frederic Rzewski
alto saxophone – Jon Gibson
synthesizer – Alvin Curran
trombone – Garrett List
vibraphone – Karl Berger
viola – Joan Kalisch
voice [speaker] – Steve Ben Israel

Side B
B1-Attica .... 6:30

bass – Richard Youngstein
piano – Frederic Rzewski
alto saxophone – Jon Gibson
trombone – Garrett List
piccolo trumpet – Alvin Curran
vibraphone – Karl Berger
viola – Joan Kalisch
voice [Speaker] – Steve Ben Israel

B2-Les Moutons De Panurge .... 16:15
Blackearth Percussion Group:
percussion [almglocken] – Garry Kvistad
percussion [nabimba] – Richard Kvistad
vibraphone, glockenspiel – Christopher Braun
xylophone – Anne Otte

Label: Opus One – Number 20
Format: Vinyl, LP / Country: US / Released: 1974
Style: Experimental, Contemporary, Minimal
A and B1 composed in 1972 and recorded April 20, 1973 at Blue Rock Studio in NYC.
B2 composed in 1969 and recorded at the University of Northern Illinois DeKalb, Illinois,
May 10, 1973.
Engineers – Eddie Korvin (track A), Jan Rathbun (track B1), Steven Ovitsky (track B2)
Producer – Mike Sahl
Written-by [Text] – Sam Melville (track A), Richard X. Clark (track B1)
Composed By, Liner Notes – Frederic Rzewski
Design [Cover Design] – Herman Zaage
The inks of this cover are fluorescent.
Sponsored in part by the Ford Foundation and Anthony Keashey.
Matrix / Runout (A-Side Runout Etching): OPUS #20 RE <1> CF
Matrix / Runout (B-Side Runout Etching): OPUS No. 20 Side 2 JF

Cover has different typesetting for composer's name (stacked as opposed to on a single line) and lettering is in blue/violet instead of gold. This cover is fluorescent.
Labels on disc are reversed (A-label on B-side). Album has a piece of typewritten paper inserted stating the following:
"Please note: the labels on this record are reversed. We regret the inconvenience."

This brilliant early recording of Frederic Rzewski (unfortunately unavailable of 2002.) showcases the composer emerging from a period in which he was largely involved with free improvisation (with the group Musica Elettronica Viva) and beginning to investigate more structured writing.

The lineup on this recording is pretty amazing. Rzewski himself plays piano. Jon Gibson, who has worked with the big four minimalist composers (Young, Riley, Reich and Glass) as well as being an excellent composer himself, plays alto sax. Composer Alvin Curran, also of Rzewski's MEV group, plays synthesizer. Garrett List, whose beautiful LP "Your Own Self" already on this blog, plays trombone. Karl Berger play vibes, and has played on some classic ESP jazz recordings as well also working with Don Cherry. Violist Joan Kalisch has played on recordings by Don Cherry and Alice Coltrane, and Richard Youngstein has worked with Paul Bley. The reading is done by stage actor Steve Ben Israel, who was a member of New York's Living Theatre.

Here the burgeoning minimalist movement was a prime musical influence, although on two of the pieces what strikes the listener first and foremost is the political content. "Coming Together" melts a wonderfully undulating and propulsive score that just won't give up with the impassioned reading (by Steve ben Israel) of a text written by Sam Melville an inmate at Attica prison documenting both his woes and his impressive resolve not to knuckle under. The words are repeated with increasing ferocity as the music goes through several permutations, eventually matching the speaker in a roaring finish. When other prisoner Richard S. Clark was released from prison in 1972, he was asked by a reporter how it felt to leave Attica behind him. His response, "Attica is in front of me," provides the text for the powerful and haunting second work here. His words are spoken in additive fashion -- first just "Attica" then "Attica is" -- in a soft, almost ghostly fashion over a gently percolating score that combines sorrow and hope in a complex and rich fabric.

"Les Moutons de Panurge," a completely instrumental composition, uses the same basic structural idea. A 65-note melody is performed in the sequence 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, and so on, until the entire melody has been read with the understanding of the near-impossibility of the ensemble staying in unison for the duration. Here, as performed by the Blackearth Percussion Group, it takes on the character of a wild gamelan orchestra, perhaps slightly tipsy. It's utterly invigorating, as is the entire record. Very highly recommended.

This LP was recorded is on the excellent Opus One records - all the covers of LPs on the label were meant to respond to black light!.......

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