Cool European stuff from the Sixties worth looking for

Apr.03, 2012

Cool European stuff from the Sixties worth looking for


Sometimes the rumours of rare records is way ahead of the quality of the music. Sometimes it’s the other way around. They are even better! These five belongs to the latter.




Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (N.C.)

(Italian RCA, 1965)


The first album from this great only-composer group started by Franco Evangelisti in Italy in the mid 60’s. Pure improvisations which sounds tremendously uptodate, especially if you compare to the low-dynamic improv of today. It’s all about sounds! Leaning more to contemporary music than jazz. In the group you find people like Ennio Morricone, Roland Kayn, Frederic Rzewski, Mario Bertoncini and more. The vinyl was also released in the States on RCA in 1967 under the name ”The Private Sea of Dreams”, but with a different, really psychedelic sleeve, and with the songs in another order.



Pierre Favre Trio


PIP 1 (1969)

Private release of this brilliant trio with suiss musicians Pierre Favre on drums and Irene Schweizer on piano. Peter Kowald, from Germany, plays the bass. Recorded in Zürich in 1968. Early explosive free jazz with no steady beat. Later on there was quite a lot of music like this – in 1968 that was surely not the case. The free jazz scene took shape from many different places – at the same time. In 1979 FMP reissued the album.



Alexander von Schlippenbach

The Living Music

Quasar Ho1/FMP 0100


Total music with one of the European groups lead by german pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach. Recorded by Conny Plank (!) in 1969 and first released on private label Quasar, then on an early reissue on FMP. An all-star team with Brötzmann on tenor and baritone, Michel Pilz on bass clarinett and baritone, Manfred Schoof on cornet and flugelhorn, Paul Rutherford on trombone, Schlippenbach on piano and percussion, JB Niebergall on bass and bass trombone and Han Bennink on drums. It’s hard and it swings! Like the record with Favre this is an example of how the musicians on the free jazz scene already in these early years was connecting over national borders.


Great Britain


The Crypt 12 June ’68

(Matchless MR5, 1982/1988)

Some early noise music! British AMM was really rough in the late sixties. Cornelius Cardew (piano and cello), Lou Gare (saxophone and violin), Christopher Hobbs (percussion), Eddie Prevost (percussion) and Keith Rowe (guitar and electronics) wrote a new chapter of what you could do with sounds. Cornelius wrote this on AMM: ”We are searching for sounds and for the responses that attach to them, rather then thinking them up, preparing them and producing them.” The album, consisting of two vinyls, came in a beautiful box. It was first released by british label Matchless in 1982, I think, and then reissued by the same label in 1988.



Gilbert Holmströms Kvintett

Utan Misstankar

Megafon MFLP6 (1965)

Swedish jazz that builds on great melodies as well as the beginning of free jazz. Gilbert Holmström, on tenor saxophone, was one of the wildest and most interesting Swedish jazz musicians during the 60’s and 70’s, in 1975 he participated on the brilliant free jazz classic ”Waves of Albert Ayler” with the group Mount Everest. But here on ”Utan Misstankar” (”Without suspicions”) it’s more of jazz with steady rhythms and solos that goes from musician to musician. Great music!


Magnus Nygren, Stockholm, April 2012