Thursday, August 28, 2008

michael smith - geomusic





1. qui s'excuse s'accuse
2. time II (geomusic 3.700)
3. a ballad for "k"
4. impressions on chinese prints
5. improvisations for traditionalist





michael smith - piano
laurence cook - drums
kent carter - bass, cello
claude canille bernard - drums
jacek bednarek - bass
zbigniew namyslowski - alto sax, cello

recorded in warsavia

(oct 1976, Poljazz 0614)

michael smith is a pianist of demoniac looks and an equally devilish approach to music. no wonder therefore that his
appearance at the festival jazz jamboree '76 was received with interest by some and with astonisment, even embarassment by others. there could at once be heard extreme views and heated discussions on his performance in the lobbies of the congress hall, the usual place for theoretical polemics at the festivals of jazz jamboree. the confusion was then increased by the
press notices. and although divergencies tend to disappear in time, even now, almost three years after that memorable night with michael smith, the still do persist in the evaluation of this output. smith's artistic conception was to a great extent a reaction to the views prevailing in his family which regarded art as something sinful. "I was brough up on the music of protestant churches, on blues and country, and nothing beside it has ever influenced me . . .", say smith himself.
very interesting are the attempts to classify the music, composed and performed by smith. jan "ptaszyn" wroblewski is of the opinion that it is jazz only when smith is playing jazz musicians. the pianist himself expresses interesting vies on the same subject. "when i am playing at the roujan festival in france my record are put in the section "contemporary composers", on another occasion the are sold in the jazz department. since i am participating in the warsaw jazz jamboree, people consider me a jazzmann. in new york they regard me as a composer of contemporary music, and in france i am known as an avant-garde musician."
we learn from one of michael smith's public pronouncements about the origin of his conception of making the most of piano tone possibilities. "I spent 8 year in a studio, my own studio, at the piano, exploring the possibilities of extracting from it harmonic tones, crotches, of makin use of the whole instrument, the whole piano. both of wood and metal, of all.
and these are not tones that have come from nowhere. they have been created, music has been written for them, as well as special notes. they (the tones) are a real part of the piano". and indded one can perceive it while listening to the record - the musicians observe no formal limitations in making use of the instruments.
smith's music is difficult in reception, being intendd for expert listeners. and the musician himself is aware of it. he says he highly thinks of everyone who is able to spend a few hours listening to his music. but any music of innovatory ambition is difficult in reception. is the music of john cage, gunther schuller, cecil taylor, morton feldman, of all those to whom michael smith has been referring, entertaining?
let us conclude by quoting one more thought of his: "I don't know in what direction music is going. it is going at the same time everywhere and nowhere..."

Download Relic

5 comments:

dipmong said...

ANY BODY CURIOUS ABOUT THIS SHOULD BE REASSURED THIS IS FANTASTIC,I OWN A COPY AND ITS WONDERFUL
DONT HESITATE.
GUYS THIS IS NOW ONE OF THE GREATEST BLOGS -TO MY TASTE
ONE LAST REQUEST DO YOU HAVE MUCH ITALIAN FREE STUFF, IM A BIG FAN OF EARLY GASLINI, AND PARTICULARLY TROMBONE PLAYER AND TUBIST GIANNCARLO SCHIAFFINI-I HAVE 4 OR 5
BUT ID LOVE TO HEAR MORE,AND MORE OF THE ITALIAN STUFF 1966 ON THATS ALWAYS BEEN HARD TO FIND IN THE ANGLOPHONE WORLD.
FANTASTIC JOB GUYS
THANKS

dipmong said...

PS
I WANTED TO MENTION I KNOW YOU LIKE AREA,IM A FAN
I FOUND A BLOG THAT HAS ABOUT 6 CONCERTS BY THEM,AS WELL AS 12 SKELETON CREW CONCERTS(THE HOSEI TOKYO 84 HAS THEM JAMMING WITH LOL COXHILL AND 15 MINUTES OF SOLO COXHILL AT THE END.)
HERES THE URL , THE AREA IS FROM THE DECEMBER ARCHIVE, THE SKELETON KREW (FRITH/CORA) IS IN THE MARCH ARCHIVE OF THIS YEAR
http://musictravellers.blogspot.com/
CHEERS

CtLxItIVA said...

hey man! thx for the tip. i love area, sure.

im in contact with area's guitarist paolo tofani. he's a nice guy, i hope i'll do some music with him sooner or later.

about gaslini.. a lot of his early recordings are been reissued by Soul Note.i think i have still 2 lp OOP to upload here.

so.. be tuned ;-)

and im grateful about your appreciation :)

about schiaffini i do not have much sadly.. just a couple of his late recordings and an ictus one, but i think its been remastered in the ictus anniversary boxset.

blogonmyblog said...

Yay, you're back :)

El Vox said...

Great record imo. I like the way that it's not too out there, but just enough looseness to create this weird abstract cohesion between the players. Hard to put into words, but worth hearing.