PMR-004 "Live" © 1975
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|"I have to thank you for "The John Coltrane Memorial Concert"
which has been inspiring me for a long, long, time!!!!"
"This was five strong individual artists giving exceptionally of themselves, bringing forth a record where the dynamics of the whole were equal to the sum of the parts, making for an exceptional and truly beautiful record."
Bob Rusch, Cadence
|"I just downloaded this and all I can say is WOW."
|Someone said about Elvin Jones, "The Drummer," that
his most distinguishing quality as a musician was that he knew how
to be in three places at once.
What may have been meant as a great compliment then seems to be an understatement now.
Jones' sense of dynamics puts him in many more places than just three, and this is beautifully demonstrated on his two latest releases.
The performance consists of two long tunes which wander freely
from the meditative peace to the fuming passion of a stampeding
herd. There is not a dull moment, and the audience feels on the
edge of their seats until they unleash their applause at the end.
|When one hasn't heard Elvin for a time, as I hadn't when these
records arrived for review, it is rather overwhelming to again be
confronted with this phenomenon, a cross between an octopus, a computer,
and the percussion section of the 5th Army Band. No one drummer
can do all that stuff simultaneously and swing. Elvin does it anyway.
Radio Free Jazz
|There's plenty of fine soloing on this album and the calibre of
the musicians make it a worthwhile artistic experience.
|This is a nice slice of music from a John Coltrane Memorial concert in 1971, that features a superstar band composed of Elvin Jones, Frank Foster, Chick Corea, Gene Perla and Joe Farrell. Each of the five gets some great licks in and the music is contemporary sounding. This record could gain a lot of recognition for this Gene Perla-owned label. It's well deserved judging from this album.|
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|Thorn of a White Rose||$1.01|
|On the Mountain||$.99|
|Smoke in the Sun||$.99|
By Jim Todd
This 1975 date for the brilliant drummer, with Jan Hammer on keyboards and bassist Gene Perla, is a minor, if somewhat overlooked, classic from the tail-end of the early '70s to the mid-70s' run of great jazz fusion releases. Both Perla and Hammer worked with Elvin Jones between 1971 and 1973, in bands featuring saxophonists Frank Foster, Joe Farrell, Steve Grossman and Dave Liebman. Here, the smaller format allows for a tight group sound with openings for strong solos and fluid interplay throughout. Jones is well up in the mix, giving fans a front-row opportunity to enjoy the drummer, both in all-over-the-kit, rolling-thunder mode and in the subtler moments of his peerless brushwork. The trio perform a half-dozen originals by Perla and Hammer. The impressive writing has a definite jazz sensibility, but Hammer's Moog and electric piano work, Perla's alternating between electric and acoustic basses, and Jones' own fierce eruptions provide a satisfying, rock wallop in several spots.
Much as I love the sax players that were with Elvin I think
"On The Mountain" one of his best!
It sounds every bit as good now as it did when I first heard
it, and confirmed it as one of my favourite sessions from the
On the Mountain has made me impatient for the Elvin Jones Live
album with Corea, Foster, Farrell and Perla.
|Who said Elvin Jones is a very loud drummer? Well, what’s
wrong with being loud, and correct?
Clinton Scott, Disc and Data
|Elvin Jones is On the Mountain, indeed, demonstrating his mastery
of subtlety in drumming, and he is in good company.
Nighthawk, The Gazette
|Both albums [Live and On the Mountain] are guaranteed brain benders
and mind massagers.
Graham Carlton, Illinois Entertainer
|These three develop good feelings throughout the album, one of
the most satisfying trio sessions in some time.
Radio Free Jazz
|The real pleasure, however, is the discovery of Jones’s
work as drummer/leader with Perla and keyboardist Jan Hammer on
“Elvin Jones Is on the Mountain”… Three compositions
by the pianist and three by the bassist go to make up the album
– but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Instead
of the potential for nothing but drum work that drummer albums often
impose, this outing is a chance to hear innovations contributed
equally by Jones, Perla and Hammer in a fast-paced series of interchanges.
Chris Colombi Jr., Disc-ussion
|All the cuts are very good – no waste on this LP –
the musicians are superb (as expected), the playing (both electronic
and acoustic) is excellent making On the Mountain a very fine album…
The musicians all work together really well and no egos are stepped
on, as all have a chance to show their playing. Very simply –
it’s an album of the highest quality.
Danny Kunsch, Community Radio
|The freshness of this studio gig is apparent, from the top of
the opener to the leave-you-breathless finish.
|Now here’s an album that combines three really great talents
in the jazz and jazz-rock industry. Elvin Jones, as a veteran of
the legendary John Coltrane group has always impressed me with his
fiery and explosive drumming. The multivariations in rhythm put
him in a class of his own. Hammer’s tenure with Jones and
later the Mahavishnu Orchestra gave him the ability to demonstrate
his acoustic and electric skills respectively. And Perla, his work
with artists like Jones, Dave Liebman, and Steve Grossman write
his own future. In any setting, he is able to maintain either a
smooth accompaniment, or his solos are beautifully melodic. All
of this comprises “On the Mountain.” The opener, “Thorn
of a White Rose,” shows the Mahavishnu shining through in
Hammer. Jones is a great drummer in an electric type situation.
Perla’s “Namuh” is a flowing acoustical ditty
that even impresses me more. Each musician seems to hold their own
abilities to the heights. Special mention is made to the bass lead
during the song. But the real winner is “On the Mountain,”
I can’t describe what is good about it, I guess the old cliché
holds where it is “too good for words.” Side two deals
with the same amount of beauty. Out of the two electric compositions
on Side two, “Destiny” seems to be the better one in
fact that the complexity impressed me, also the idea of the synthesizer-drums
dueting. “Smoke in the Sun” moves in a lilting manner,
with the chord structure supplying a nice icing for the melody.
The somberness of “London Air” adds to the variety of
the album in a most beautiful manner. This only proves that in the
final analysis, this album will impress the jazz listener of all
preferences, whether smooth melodic jazz or moving jazz-rock.
|Let the logic of the music heard remain secret – these unlimited
impressions of denseness, homogeneity of all sound occurrences here
are furnished with a unique richness of substance. Flexibility and
restraint are reconciled with the performers’ spontaneity
and infallibly they steer us to points of clarity in a wonderful
labyrinth which enables us to tell truth from falseness, sincerity
from deception… But let’s leave these two compositions
untouched. Listen for yourself!
Janusz Szprot, Jazz Forum
Elvin, Elvin, where’d you go…
fierce Black Warrior, your
on a tight leash…
‘Don’t even think of fucking
ELVIN, you made and ruined
Couldn’t touch your majesty
They wrote a song for these two…
There will NEVER be another
Shelly Rusten 4/6/07 NYC
By Bill Meredith
If there were a Mount Rushmore of jazz drummers, one of the faces on it would undoubtedly belong to Elvin Ray Jones, who succumbed to heart failure last May at age 76. Jones secured his place in jazz history by his tenure with John Coltrane (1960-1966), but the drummer also made other bold statements during his 55-year recording career. One such gem that fell between the cracks is Jones 1975 album On the Mountain, initially released on bassist Gene Perlas P.M. Records. The recording featuring Perla on acoustic and electric basses and Jan Hammer on piano and multiple electric keyboards became relegated to bootleg status until Perla reissued it recently on CD. The bassist remembers the one-day recording session fondly.
I picked Elvin up in New York, says Perla, 65, by cell phone near his home studio in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. Jan and I were both living at Red Gate Farm, and we had started Red Gate Studio [in Kent, New York] together. Jan played just the piano parts there were no overdubs during the initial piano-trio recording but we left holes for him to overdub the other keyboards.
After the Mahavishnu Orchestras 1975 demise, Hammer embarked on a solo career, thus he took full advantage of this opportunity. His opening Thorn of a White Rose features multiple layers of Moog synthesizer in its two main sections, which alternate after a thunderous Jones drum intro. The Czechoslovakian keyboardists other two compositions are the electric-piano-driven Smoke in the Sun and the pensive London Air. Hammers acoustic-piano intro and Perlas upright-bass accompaniment segue into a signature theme from Full Moon Boogie, a piece on one of Hammers later fusion albums. Here, Jones brushwork and accents drive one of the discs more straightahead jazz tunes.
Perla composed the CDs other three songs. The title track, like most of the disc, straddles the fence between acoustic jazz and electric fusion all triggered by Jones subtle-to-slamming playing. Perla chooses the acoustic bass for the lengthy, playful Namuh and switches to electric for the muscular closer, Destiny. Jones punctuates the trios final statement with dizzying, signature solos. He may not have been known as a fusion drummer, but this disc which is unlike the remainder of his catalog proved that Jones could play any style.
Elvin used to bring albums to the Blue Note to sell, says Jack Kreisberg. One of the reissues executive producers, Kreisberg had a long working association with the New York City club, which was among Jones favorite tour stops. So I got my vinyl copy there about eight years ago.
From what Elvin told me, Perla says, of all the albums he made as a leader, the ones that the fans asked him about the most were Live at the Lighthouse [Blue Note, 1972] and On the Mountain.
|Can't say exactly why, but "Namuh" has become a favorite. Touching, swinging tune, reaching for something... as every good endeavor should.|
| I just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan of your work and the
"On The Mountain" album you did with Elvin and Jan is
one of my top ten of all time...so much I that I borrowed the concept
for my first solo album (Acoustic Bass/Fender Rhodes/Acoustic Piano/Mini
Jason Harrison Smith