Jazzactuel

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Anyone got this? Is its reputation justified?

ArfArf, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Yes and Yes.

The three CD box set put together by Moore and Coley is superb value for money - great liner notes, as you wld expect, plus v. choice selections from most of the major Actuel acts - Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, the Art Ensemble, Sonny Sharrock, Sun Ra, Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton etc. - and even from some of the minor ones (eg Gong!). My only (minor) quibble is that they didn't include anything from Actuel's classical/experimental wing (ie the M'ev alb etc.) All told tho', Actuel was prob. a better and more consistent free label than ESP - the albs are generally better recorded, the packaging is nicer, they signed a wider range of musicians, and quite often managed to get the best ever studio performances from a lot of 'em...

So yeah, buy now!!

Andrew L, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

will buy.

Julio Desouza, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I have in my collection most of what's on the comp., but as an introduction it looks pretty decent. Unfortunately, the only two problems with the Actuel series were that a lot of the original pressings were not mastered or pressed very well (every copy of the AMAZING Alan Silva 3LP set Seasons has a serious flaw on side 5) and that, well, none of the artists got paid. The first problem has been solved since the reissues have been pressed nicely. Not really sure why Coley and Moore lent their names to the series since I've heard that the latter problem (i.e. lack of payment to artists) still exists, but I guess that's their problem (I sure wouldn't want to have to explain that to, say, Sunny Murray). Recommended albums in the Actuel series:

Acting Trio, s/t (BYG/Actuel, 529 314/14) LP Art Ensemble of Chicago, A Jackson in Your House/Message to Our Folks (BYG/Actuel, 529.204/204) 2LP Anthony Braxton, s/t (BYG/Actuel, GET 15/15) LP Don Cherry, "mu" - first part (BYG/Actuel, 529.301/1) LP Don Cherry, "mu" - second part (BYG/Actuel, 529.331/31) LP Jacques Coursil Unit, Way Head (BYG/Actuel, 529 319/19) LP Jacques Coursil, Black Suite (BYG/Actuel, 529.349/49) LP Steve Lacy, Moon (BYG/Actuel, 52) LP Jimmy Lyons, Other Afternoons (BYG/Actuel, 9) LP Sunny Murray, An Even Break (Never Give a Sucker) (BYG/Actuel, 529 332/32) LP Sunny Murray, Sunshine (BYG/Actuel, 529 348/48) LP Michael Puig, Stigmates (BYG/Actuel, 529.307/7) LP Archie Shepp, Yasmina, a Black Woman (BYG/Actuel, Actuel 4) LP Archie Shepp, Poem for Malcom (BYG/Actuel, Actuel 11) LP Archie Shepp, Blasé (BYG/Actuel, Actuel 18) LP Archie Shepp, Live at the Panafrican Festival (BYG/Actuel, Actuel 51) LP Alan Silva and His Celestial Communication Orchestra, Luna Surface (BYG/Actuel, 529.312/12) LP Alan Silva and the Celestial Communication Orchestra, Seasons (BYG/Actuel, 529.42-43-44/42-43-44) 3LP Clifford Thornton, Ketchaoua (BYG/Actuel, 529.323/23) LP Frank Wright, One for John (BYG/Actuel, 529.336/36) LP

Claude Delcloo's Africanasia, the two MEV albums, Sonny Sharrock's Monkey-Pockie-Boo and Sunny Murray's Homage to Africa are all great as well.

hstencil, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

yeah i wz gunna mention the actuel no-money thing, but i wz a bit unsure of the facts (memory loss courtesy enormous age)

mark s, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks to all - confirms what others have said. Sounds like a must- buy!

ArfArf, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Re: the no-money thing - no money 'cos they were crooks, or no money 'cos it's impossible to make a bean from flogging free jazz recs?

Heh, BC and TM sorta skirt round the issue in their liner notes: "The BYG/Actuel series is one of the foundations of the free jazz pyramid, along with the esp-disk catalogue and the Saturn recordings of Sun Ra. As with those labels, there are still some hard feelings about the way the sessions were structured financially, but as Mr. Ra once said about esp-disk's Bernard Stollman, "he's the only one who's recording the music.""

Andrew L, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

It continues. Evidence's Sun Ra reissues: Arkestra doesn't see the money. Sun Ra's family gets royalties. But this is the agreement Sun Ra made.

DeRayMi, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Plus -

At the same time as the box, Charly also brought out some complete albs on CD (inc. that terrific Art Ensemble 'A Jackson in Your House'/'Message to our Folks' twofer), but these seem to have dried up. The Italian company Abraxas/Get Back (who for a while were doing esp-disk reissues) are now bringing out vinyl only issues of some of the same/some different albs (inc. 'Monkey-Pockie-Boo' at last!) It's a bit of a mess...I suspect that the whole issue of ownership/copyright is really fucked...

And -

In the Wire this month I see someone or other is bringing out a CD of 'Paradise', the third Sonny and Linda alb from '75 - anybody ever heard this?

Andrew L, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Moreover -

I used to have a CD of 'Highlife', the last Sonny Sharrock Band alb from 1990 (just prior to 'Ask the Ages') but it stank so bad I had to get rid of it. I've heard 'Seize the Rainbow' from 1987, and that's pretty bland-o too. Late period SS sure can be dodgy, which is why I'm asking abt 'Paradise' - I WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN!

Sorry for banging on - when I try to play free jazz to Martin Skidmore he just goes "haha it sounds like donkeys being tickled"

Andrew L, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Haven't heard Paradise, but I haven't ever heard anyone say anything good about it, either. It seems like Black Woman and Monkey-Pockie-Boo are the two Sharrock essentials (the former being one of my favorite albs of all time).

As for the money thing, well, while yeah free jazz maybe doesn't sell so well, at the time most of the Actuel stuff was coming out, the audience for the music (esp. in Europe) was at its peak (i.e. 1969 and after) and I've read many a story about dodgy business dealings in the BYG camp (people hired to "rough up" musicians asking about royalties, etc.). Given the high quality of the re-issues, it seems like whomever's now in charge is mastering them off the original tapes, but I have no idea who that would be. Also, it seems like all of the re-ishes have sold pretty well, albeit in limited runs, so...

hstencil, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

have got monkey-pockie-boo but haven't got 'black woman'. Hopefully i'll find thid otherwise i might go crazy.

I'll eventually get all of these anyway. THESE records has a nice vinyl section.

Julio Desouza, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Found Black Woman still in the shrinkwrap a couple years ago for $15. It shouldn't be that hard to find the original. Plus, it's recently been reissued, both on LP and CD, so if you like you can pick that up.

hstencil, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

At the same time as the box, Charly also brought out some complete albs on CD (inc. that terrific Art Ensemble 'A Jackson in Your House'/'Message to our Folks' twofer), but these seem to have dried up. The Italian company Abraxas/Get Back (who for a while were doing esp-disk reissues) are now bringing out vinyl only issues of some of the same/some different albs (inc. 'Monkey-Pockie-Boo' at last!) It's a bit of a mess...I suspect that the whole issue of ownership/copyright is really fucked.

The Get Back! reissues are actually licensed from Charly records, as are most BYG reissues you see today. And I'm pretty sure the AEoC two-fer was recently reissued by Charly, cuz it popped up in stores shortly after A Jackson In Your House was reissued on vinyl last year. It also has a "proper" BYG/Actuel cover, something that I can't say for the Don Cherry Mu two-fer that they put out in the mid-1990s.

Although to make this confusing, a bunch of BYG LPs just got reissued at a cheaper price on 180 gm vinyl, with the original artwork (no mention of a reissue lable anywhere), at the same time, and sometimes a few weeks before, the Get Back ones, so the copyright situation is kinda screwy still.

Monkey Pockie Boo also just came out on CD on another Abraxas based Italian label called Sunspo ts. They appear to be the CD arm of the mainly vinyl-only Get Back.

As for the box set at hand, I bought the 6 LP box last Christmas, and have loved what I've heard that I hadn't before, but I haven't made it all the way through it. It's pretty sprawling.

Vic Funk, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

D'oh.

Vic Funk, Monday, 8 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I'd recomend the box as a good cost effective intro. I haven't got many other albums by the artists in question bar Sun Ra so I'm no expert.

I heard something about Thurston Moore getting pissed off as he found out the artists weren't getting payed after he'd already done a lot of the compiling. I also read something amusing about his interest in free jazz arising from an initial combined exposure to free jazz and the sexual practice of blumpies. But maybe thats all untrue - I hear that happens on the internet sometimes.

Winkelmann

Winkelmann, Wednesday, 10 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

fifteen years pass...

Just got this off Amazon from a U.K. third party. It was only $8.00, and it's an amazing, life affirming listen. My God, this Dave Burrell track "Echo" is a fucking monster!!

VyrnaKnowlIsAHeadbanger, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:09 (four months ago) Permalink

Just got this off Amazon from a U.K. third party. It was only $8.00, and it's an amazing, life affirming listen. My God, this Dave Burrell track "Echo" is a fucking monster!!

VyrnaKnowlIsAHeadbanger, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:09 (four months ago) Permalink

Oops

VyrnaKnowlIsAHeadbanger, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:09 (four months ago) Permalink

Dave Burrell is worth bigging up twice tbf!

calzino, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:12 (four months ago) Permalink

There were a number of titles related to this including the 3cd box going cheap in FOPP at Xmas. So, sorry I didn't find this thread. I think I did pass that information on elsewhere on thsi board.
I got the 3cd box and a 2cd of Art Ensemble of chicago. Wish I'd got more.

May still be some titles there possibly, worth a look. I think the 3cd was either £8 or £13 and the 2cd £5.

Stevolende, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:14 (four months ago) Permalink

"Blumpies"?? Wth is that? I'm loathe to do a Google searh. Any idea what it is?

VyrnaKnowlIsAHeadbanger, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:21 (four months ago) Permalink

Nevermind, i found out. And TM, you are one sick puppy.😬

VyrnaKnowlIsAHeadbanger, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:32 (four months ago) Permalink

appears to be a portmanteau word, guess I'll leave it at that.
Other than to add I just saw reference to a Princeton Blumpie involving a 3rd person.

But do wonder how accurate this portrayal of TM's tastes are. Seems like an odd detail to include, actually reminds me of Byron Coley's reviews for Forcedeposure.

Stevolende, Saturday, 12 May 2018 09:39 (four months ago) Permalink


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