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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Leo Jones Workshop, USA


The Leo Jones Workshop - Fire Engine and Crossover. 1974 Mirrorsonic (CS 7237)

And as promised from yesterday, here's a great discovery for all of you who love the early 70s dirty deep funk jazz psych rock of Miles Davis. I know I do, and I have to thank long time Gnosis mate Vdorje for that appreciation.

This album once again arrives from the vast resources of The AC. His perspective: "Leo Jones is a trumpet player who studied under free jazz heavyweight Bill Dixon in the late 60s. In the early 70s, he received a grant from the city of New York to run a program called the "Lower East Side Community Music Workshop", formed to foster musical creativity in the city's youth, and ultimately leading to the creation of this unique artifact, recorded with a bunch of Jr. High school students in Manhattan. The album consists of two sprawling side-long tracks, seemingly stitched together from a couple of live jam sessions. The style presented here is firmly in the mold of early 70s Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band, Eddie Henderson, and the like. A relentless groove is laid down, with Leo and the kids attempting to "run the voodoo down" on top of it, with electronically effected trumpet, electric guitar, electric piano, clavinet, etc. Due to the raw nature of the recording and the mostly amateur musicians involved, this can seem somewhat sloppy and aimless at times. But, when it all finally comes together it does get pretty intense and hypnotic. I suppose the term "kosmigroov" might come to mind, but this is actually quite a bit darker and freakier than that generally implies. This LP can be hard to track down, but it's certainly one that warrants investigation for fans of psychedelic electric jazz."

Now that's some story! An accomplished trumpet player laying down the deep groove with a bunch of 7th and 8th graders! When you hear this, you will not have any idea most of this is performed by kids in their young teens. It would seem task master Mr. Jones ran a tight ship. What an amazing artifact!

A must for fans of the genre.

Priority: 2

3 comments:

Reza said...

ignore that last comment from me Ive just read your faq and realise that youve already heard this album :)

Tom said...

:-) Thanks Reza! You're correct. I only add albums I've actually heard.

Anonymous said...

wow, this looks like a serious gem.
any chance you could u/l a rip ?