Off Minor

Musings of a Jazz geek

Pure Fire! – A Gilles Peterson Impulse! Collection

Posted October 3, 2006

Pure Fire!

Forgot that this was supposed to be out… I think this is a tie-in with all the House that Trane Built compilations that have been coming out recently to celebrate 45 years of Impulse records (or, at least, the fact that someone’s published a book about it). I thought that this would be cheaper than the full box set…

The Blessing Song Michael White
Never heard of Michael White before… Should I have? Pretty good, like something off Archie Shepp’s Attica Blues, only more Gilles Peterson-y.

Enchanted Lady Milt Jackson and Ray Brown
This is just so, so chilled… Have heard this before, but don’t know where. Probably on Gilles’ BBC Radio 1 show… Great highlight, almost worth the cover price alone…

Lonesone Lover Max Roach
A bit weird… Firstly, sounds like it’s a rehersal take, where they’re playing abnormally slow just so everyone can make sure they’re keeping up. Secondly, I’m not so sure about the choir sound, either, although Abbey Lincoln manages to drag it back up… Having said all that, this track is pretty funky… 3 stars.

Alamode Art Blakey
Art Blakey… ‘Nuff said.

I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good) Archie Shepp
This is absurdly brilliant. Chinalin Sharpe sounds pretty interesting, too…

Wise One John Coltrane
I think this can pass without too much comment… One of my all-time favourite Trane tunes.

Three Flowers McCoy Tyner
Sort of so-so. Don’t really know much about Tyner as a band-leader, so not sure how this would compare to what else he was doing at the time (1964, with a sextet). Perhaps it would be tighter as a quartet, or something?

See You Later Dave Mackay and Vicky Hamilton
Ye-esss……

Patterns Oliver Nelson
Fun up-tempo thing, that Gilles has probably played countless times on his radio show… Pretty well-swinging!

First Gymnopedie Yusef Lateef
As ever-so-slightly odd as everything else I’ve ever heard by Yusef Lateef, this is a pretty simple Eric Satie tune (one that I recognised as soon as I heard it, but one that I’d never be able to identify without the liner notes). Pretty reasonable!

Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum Allah Pharoah Sanders
Really must get round to getting hold of some Pharoah Sanders records. In the Penguin guide to jazz on CD, Cook/Morton describe Pharoah as someone who “never knows when an idea has run it’s course”. I think Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum Allah… is probably symptomatic of that… But, pretty well chilled.

All in all, a pretty decent compilation. It is, however, a shame that most of this stuff is actually available elsewhere on CD, particularly when there are still plenty of tapes lying in the Impulse (or, Universal) vaults that are still yet to see the transfer to compact disc. Blogcritics have a good discussion of this issue, along with a nice list of what Impulse should have put out, if they were serious. Perhaps they’re just waiting for their 50th?…

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