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PMR-004 "Live" © 1975
John Coltrane Memorial Concert
Recorded September 12, 1971
at Town Hall, New York City


Elvin Jones

Drums
Joe Farrell

Tenor saxophone & Flute
Frank Foster
Tenor and soprano saxophones
Chick Corea
Piano
Gene Perla
Bass

Shinjitu (Keiko Jones) 22:00
Simone (Frank Foster) 23:53

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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!!!!"
Allan Johnston

"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."
David Langner

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.
Nighthawk, The Gazette


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.
Jazz Forum

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.

 

PMR-005 "On the Mountain" © 1977


Elvin Jones
Drums
Jan Hammer
Acoustic and electric pianos and moog synthesizer
Gene Perla
Acoustic and electric basses

Thorn of a White Rose (Jan Hammer) 5:07
Namuh (Gene Perla) 7:47
On the Mountain (Gene Perla) 4:37
Smoke in the Sun (Jan Hammer) 4:00
London Air (Jan Hammer) 5:29
Destiny (Gene Perla) 7:28

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Much as I love the sax players that were with Elvin I think "On The Mountain" one of his best!
Mike Migliore


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 period.
Gary Allan


On the Mountain has made me impatient for the Elvin Jones Live album with Corea, Foster, Farrell and Perla.
Michael Winston


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.
New Review

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.
Jeff Sion

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

LORD ELVIN…

Elvin, Elvin, where’d you go…
fierce Black Warrior, your
Dobermans straining
on a tight leash…

‘Don’t even think of fucking
with ME’ you glowered, but we
knew you sweet as chocolate
“Hey baby, what you know?”

ELVIN, you made and ruined
the dreams of Drummers old
and young, still to be, even
Tony was no match…

Couldn’t touch your majesty
no more than catch that Trane,
doomed to imitation not even
remotely close…

They wrote a song for these two…

There will NEVER be another
YOU…

      Shelly Rusten   4/6/07 NYC


Jonesin’
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 Perla’s 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 Orchestra’s 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 keyboardist’s other two compositions are the electric-piano-driven “Smoke in the Sun” and the pensive “London Air.” Hammer’s acoustic-piano intro and Perla’s upright-bass accompaniment segue into a signature theme from “Full Moon Boogie,” a piece on one of Hammer’s later fusion albums. Here, Jones’ brushwork and accents drive one of the disc’s more straightahead jazz tunes.

Perla composed the CD’s 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 trio’s 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 reissue’s 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 Moog/Drums-trio).
Jason Harrison Smith

 
 

PMR-030 "Bill's Waltz" © 2008

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