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Thread: Chris McGregor

  1. #16
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    well actually there is another unissued album...

    In 1969 Chris McGregor recorded two albums which didn't see the light of day before all energies were directed towards the Brotherhood of Breath project. Both were recorded at Sound Techniques Studio in London with Joe Boyd producing.

    The Septet set 'Up To Earth' is about to be manufactured for July release. If all goes well we hope to release a Trio set 'Our Prayer' later in the year. Barre Phillips and Louis Moholo appear on the Trio album.

    I'm unsure if the test pressings that have been mentioned were of either of these albums or a combination of tracks from both projects.

  2. #17
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    Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that. Of course it is Union Special - so it is merely a test pressing of 'Up to Earth'. However I would definitely dispute Fledg'ling's track timing for Moonlight Aloe which I stop-watched earlier this evening at only 10'40" (not 10'42")! Either I've got the shorter version or more likely my turntable's in a spin!

    Many thanks for your advice - it saves me turning the world upside down in search of another McGregor LP. The music itself is great, really envigorating and laced with all of McGregor's distinctive style and character. One side has just the trio of CMcG, LM and presumably BP with the other side featuring the full line up giving the tunes a right old blow. Joyous.

    Now we've cleared that up, who can tell me where to get my hands on the 3-LP BBC Transcription set of John Surman and Jack deJohnette (shared with Stan Getz)? Boy oh boy, is that impossible to find . . .

    David P

  3. #18
    vn, eg, eb RogerFarbey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Very Urgent!

    Just bought Very Urgent from HMV. What a brilliant album! This might, just might rank as CMs best. Hyperbole aside it really is excellent and Fledg'ling have once again done a superb job here the reissue complete with new sleevenotes by Richard Williams, once the doyen of British jazz sleevenotes and of course the Melody Maker, and now the Guardian's sports editor. I was really looking forward to this reissue for ages and my expectations were exceeded. Especially poignant since I remember buying and soon after selling this album in my youth when I didn't really understand what was happening (musically) with it. Thanks Fledg'ling and no, I don't work for them.

    Edit: I just realised this should really go in the recommendations and reviews section, but I'm sure you'll forgive me placing it here whilst we're discussing the CM/BNs/BoB discography.
    Roger F

    "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny." - Frank Zappa

    Ian Carr and Nucleus | Remembering Tubbs

  4. #19
    Not an accountant point_moot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledg'ling View Post
    In 1969 Chris McGregor recorded two albums which didn't see the light of day before all energies were directed towards the Brotherhood of Breath project. Both were recorded at Sound Techniques Studio in London with Joe Boyd producing.

    The Septet set 'Up To Earth' is about to be manufactured for July release. If all goes well we hope to release a Trio set 'Our Prayer' later in the year. Barre Phillips and Louis Moholo appear on the Trio album.

    I'm unsure if the test pressings that have been mentioned were of either of these albums or a combination of tracks from both projects.
    Agog...

    hyperventilating now.

  5. #20
    Registered User King Kennytone's Avatar
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    up to earth mystery

    Well cats, this is all very intriguing, innit.

    First: let me say WELL DONE & big thanks to the folks @ Fledgling records for doin' this, and for their previous Chris McGregor reissues.
    Second, let me pitch in with my bootleg tracks & timings (this boot is allegedly taken from the acetates which were in circulation):

    Chris McGregor Group: Up To Earth
    Polydor (UK) 583072 LP (unreleased)

    1. untitled 04:26
    2. untitled 07:27
    3. untitled 07:44
    4. untitled 10:47
    5. untitled 08:44

    Dudu Pukwana (4,5): alto saxophone
    Mongezi Feza (4,5): trumpet
    Evan Parker (4,5): tenor saxophone
    John Surman (4,5): soprano, baritone saxophones
    Chris McGregor: piano
    Barre Phillips: bass
    Louis Moholo: drums

    Recorded London
    August (?) 1968

    the first 3 (un)titles are piano/bass/drums & the final 2 are the full ensemble (track 5 incorporating Union Special after a bass transition at around 7'35").

    yep.

  6. #21
    Not an accountant point_moot's Avatar
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    Yep, that lines up with what Galata Bridge has been saying and it definitely sounds like the "test pressing" and bootleg are one side apiece from each of the two unreleased McGregor albums.

    I still can't believe there are TWO unreleased McGregor albums.

    And that would mean the other two sides (one from each unreleased album) haven't even been released as test pressings or boots, right?

    Too much!

  7. #22
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    up to earth / our prayer mystery

    Thanks all for your kind words. I'm proud to be able to release these wonderful, joyous recordings having been a fan of McGregor's music for forty years.

    A while back I suggested to Joe Boyd that the acetate produced by Polydor back in 1969 contained one side of each of the two unreleased albums. He thought it very likely but couldn't recall why they might have done that. Joe's recollections of the recording sessions and the master tapes are very clear that they were intended as two seperate projects.

    Here is the track list for the acetate / bootleg as I see it (I've never heard the acetate):

    1. Church Mouse 04:26
    2. Moonlight Aloe 07:27
    3. Spike Nard 07:44
    4. Moonlight Aloe 10:47
    5. Yickytickee / Union Special 08:44

    1-3 would be side A of the Our Prayer, Trio set and 4 & 5 would be side A of the Up To Earth set. A curious arrangement. As far as I've been able to research there was only one acetate - never a second with the two B sides.

    There's a version of Church Mouse on the White Bicycle's compilation performed by Dudu Pukwana's Spear so somebody might be able to confirm that it is the same tune.

  8. #23
    Not an accountant point_moot's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the info (and a million times more thanks for making the music available at long last!).

    Any odds on McGregor's '63 Castle Lager Big Band album (Jazz: The African Sound) and the three McGregor Group songs from the '62 Cold Castle Festival album (Cold Castle National Festival: Maroka-Jabavu Jazz 1962) also seeing reissue on fledg'ling? It'd be nice to see those collected together on a CD.

    Please Fledg'ling Wish Fairy, please!

    Cheers,
    Owen

  9. #24
    Doin' It For Art captain adventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fledg'ling View Post
    Thanks all for your kind words. I'm proud to be able to release these wonderful, joyous recordings having been a fan of McGregor's music for forty years.

    A while back I suggested to Joe Boyd that the acetate produced by Polydor back in 1969 contained one side of each of the two unreleased albums. He thought it very likely but couldn't recall why they might have done that. Joe's recollections of the recording sessions and the master tapes are very clear that they were intended as two seperate projects.

    Here is the track list for the acetate / bootleg as I see it (I've never heard the acetate):

    1. Church Mouse 04:26
    2. Moonlight Aloe 07:27
    3. Spike Nard 07:44
    4. Moonlight Aloe 10:47
    5. Yickytickee / Union Special 08:44

    1-3 would be side A of the Our Prayer, Trio set and 4 & 5 would be side A of the Up To Earth set. A curious arrangement. As far as I've been able to research there was only one acetate - never a second with the two B sides.

    There's a version of Church Mouse on the White Bicycle's compilation performed by Dudu Pukwana's Spear so somebody might be able to confirm that it is the same tune.
    Is Yickytickee the same tune as Yikiti which Chris recorded on the Ogun album 'In His Good Time'?
    The past, the present and the future are all one. I want to live in harmony with all three. (Hampton Hawes)

  10. #25
    Registered User King Kennytone's Avatar
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    moonlight aloe

    Quote Originally Posted by fledg'ling View Post
    Here is the track list for the acetate / bootleg as I see it (I've never heard the acetate):

    1. Church Mouse 04:26
    2. Moonlight Aloe 07:27
    3. Spike Nard 07:44
    4. Moonlight Aloe 10:47
    5. Yickytickee / Union Special 08:44

    1-3 would be side A of the Our Prayer, Trio set and 4 & 5 would be side A of the Up To Earth set. A curious arrangement. As far as I've been able to research there was only one acetate - never a second with the two B sides.
    Fledg'ling thanks for putting a name to these: I can confirm that on the acetate boot tracks 2 & 4 are indeed versions of the same piece.
    Lookin' forward to getting the shiny cleaned up releases.
    Thanks again,
    x KK

  11. #26
    Not an accountant point_moot's Avatar
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    I'd never seen the sleeve for this one before today. Presenting it here in case anyone else is interested...


  12. #27
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    Further complication . . .

    Can I add a further complication to the Up to Earth/test pressing revelations. I have a 'Progressive Jazz Discography' by W Bruyninckx (no idea how to pronounce that - sounds like it could be a Evan Parker riff!). He's generally quite reliable in his listings and he says in this reference book that the Polydor unreleased pressing (Pol 184137) was recorded in 1967 and the tracks he lists as follows (no track timings):

    Marie My Dear/Travelling Somewhere
    Heart's Vibrations
    The Sound begins again/White Lies
    Don't stir the beehive

    And his lineup includes Mike Osborne and then adds the word Witchseason afterwards as if it's a sub-label or even an overall title.

    I'm not sure if the Data Protection Act allows me to say this but then, intriguingly, Mr B says: "the above unissued, test pressing 4 titles in possession of Ron Brown - Corbins Lane - South Harrow" !!!!

    RON, GET IN TOUCH!!

    David P

    Apologies about the earlier reference to Surman and the BBC transcriptions. I am only just learning the etiquette of this blogging mullarkey.

  13. #28
    vn, eg, eb RogerFarbey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galata Bridge View Post
    Can I add a further complication to the Up to Earth/test pressing revelations. I have a 'Progressive Jazz Discography' by W Bruyninckx (no idea how to pronounce that - sounds like it could be a Evan Parker riff!). He's generally quite reliable in his listings and he says in this reference book that the Polydor unreleased pressing (Pol 184137) was recorded in 1967 and the tracks he lists as follows (no track timings):

    Marie My Dear/Travelling Somewhere
    Heart's Vibrations
    The Sound begins again/White Lies
    Don't stir the beehive

    And his lineup includes Mike Osborne and then adds the word Witchseason afterwards as if it's a sub-label or even an overall title.

    I'm not sure if the Data Protection Act allows me to say this but then, intriguingly, Mr B says: "the above unissued, test pressing 4 titles in possession of Ron Brown - Corbins Lane - South Harrow" !!!!

    RON, GET IN TOUCH!!

    David P

    Apologies about the earlier reference to Surman and the BBC transcriptions. I am only just learning the etiquette of this blogging mullarkey.
    The name Witcheason was Joe Boyd's production company and he produced 'Very Urgent'. (Incidentally, David, legitimate tracks from the elusive BBC sessions of Surman/Bruce and Hiseman have now appeared on the new 3-CD 'Spirit- Jack Bruce Live at the BBC' restrospective. But why they left half of these sessions off the album beats me!)
    Roger F

    "Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny." - Frank Zappa

    Ian Carr and Nucleus | Remembering Tubbs

  14. #29
    Not an accountant point_moot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galata Bridge View Post
    Can I add a further complication to the Up to Earth/test pressing revelations. I have a 'Progressive Jazz Discography' by W Bruyninckx (no idea how to pronounce that - sounds like it could be a Evan Parker riff!). He's generally quite reliable in his listings and he says in this reference book that the Polydor unreleased pressing (Pol 184137) was recorded in 1967 and the tracks he lists as follows (no track timings):

    Marie My Dear/Travelling Somewhere
    Heart's Vibrations
    The Sound begins again/White Lies
    Don't stir the beehive

    And his lineup includes Mike Osborne
    Um, that's the tracklist for Very Urgent, is it not? The Pol 184137 acetate might be an alternate mix or something... or possibly just an error on Bruyninckx's behalf.

    I'm guessing the Osborne reference is simply wrong, as Ronnie Beer was the second reedsman on Very Urgent.

  15. #30
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    second test pressing would appear to be 'Very Urgent'

    The latest test pressing is indeed a test for 'Very Urgent'; the track list and the matrix number matches the catalogue number of the Polydor released album - 184137. So very unlikely to be an alternate mix. During most of the late sixties it was common for major record labels to have 'reps' tour record shops soliciting sales for forthcoming titles. They quite often had a 'test pressing' for the shop owner to listen to. There are probably more copies of these out there than we might have imagined.

    Obviously there are a couple of errors in the discography quoted by Galata Bridge - Mike Osborne doesn't appear on 'Very Urgent', the test pressing has to be of a released not unreleased album.

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