Years before John McLaughlin began a deep investigation into the music of India that resonates to this day, there was Jazz Meets India. It wasn't the first time that Indian music had crept into popular western culture--The Beatles and John Coltrane, amongst others, had already seen to that--but this 1967 MPS date was an early experimental meshing of linear Eastern modality with free jazz improv. There have been plenty of failed cross-cultural experiments, but thanks to Promising Music's ongoing MPS reissue series, this conjoined septet of European improvising trio, traditional Indian classicists and a couple of additional horn players proves ...read more
Any album combining '60s hits like Ode to Billie Joe" and Respect" with Ornette Coleman's Lonely Woman" deserves more than a passing glance. The late French saxophonist Barney Wilen was already thirty-one when he recorded Dear Prof. Leary with His Amazing Free Rock Band in 1968 for the German MPS label. Best-known by then (and, likely, afterwards as well) as Miles Davis' saxophonist on the trumpeter's noir-esque soundtrack to director Louis Malle's Ascenseur pour L'échafaud (1958), Promising Music's reissue of Dear Prof. Leary presents another side to the largely forgotten Wilen.
Wilen recruited a sextet of ...read more