STLJN Audio Archive: Charles "Bobo" Shaw and Lester Bowie - Bugle Boy Bop


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For this installment of the StLJN Audio Archive, we tune into Bugle Boy Bop, an album of duos recorded by drummer Charles “Bobo" Shaw and trumpeter Lester Bowie issued on the Muse label in 1983.

The original LP (pictured) was recorded live at saxophonist Sam Rivers' NYC loft venue Studio Rivbea on February 5, 1977, with famed producer Michael Cuscuna overseeing the eventual release. Although Bugle Boy Bop never has been reissued on CD, you can still hear it via a free download from the music-sharing blog Nothing Is V2.0, which had this to say about the session:
“This is a trumpet & drum duet that will please fans of AEC & Human Arts Ensemble. If you are someone who loved Don Cherry & Eddie Blackwell's album Mu, you'll probably like this one.

The title track gets things off to a high-energy start. The second track ("Go Bo") is where Shaw cuts loose & Bowie lays low (at least somewhat). A barnburner. “Cootie's Caravan Fan" slows things down, but just barely, with a pulsating rhythm giving the tune a very trance-like feel. The title “Latin Recovery" is fairly self-explanatory, with Shaw going bossa nova as Bowie freaks out on the trumpet. The flipside starts with what amounts to a free improv ballad “The Girth of the Cool"—slow-tempo late night feel to it, but by mid-song builds in intensity and eventually the duo picks up the pace and the ferocity. “Chop'n Rock" is characterized by a choppy, rockish beat through much of the tune, seemingly nodding to an old AEC tune, “Rock Out." “Finito, Benito" ends the album on an entropic note. Be aware, the mp3s on this one are a bit dodgy, and the last tune seems to cut off in the middle. As the saying goes, better dodgy mp3s than no music at all.

I don't know if there ever will be a proper digital reissue of this album. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime, these mp3 files help to document just a bit of what was going on during the late 1970s NY jazz loft scene."
To download a free copy of Charles “Bobo" Shaw and Lester Bowie's Bugle Boy Bop, go here, scroll down to the bottom of the post, and look for the link that says “Download Bugle Boy Bop," which will take you to a Rapidshare page. Look for the green button marked “Download," click it, and follow the instructions from there.

The StLJN Audio Archive links only to recordings that are out-of-print or that never have been commercially available. The purpose of the Audio Archive is encourage discussion, appreciation and knowledge of St. Louis jazz artists, and we encourage you to support them (or their estates) by purchasing authorized recordings and merchandise or, whenever possible, attending live performances.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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