All of ESP's In-Print Jazz Vinyl
17 jazz LPs, $343.81 if purchased separately, just $260.00 (plus shipping) if purchased together. Four Albert Ayler albums, two by Sun Ra, other classics by Pharoah Sanders, Patty Waters, Paul Bley, and Peter Lemer, and more recent releases by Paul Dunmall & Chris Corsano, Last Exit, Talibam! , Tiger Hatchery, plus two trios featuring Thollem McDonas and Nels Cline.
ESP1002LP Albert Ayler: Spiritual Unity
This is where ESP’s championing of “The New Thing” started. An iconic album, Spiritual Unity, recorded on July 10, 1964, is the album that made Albert Ayler and ESP-Disk' famous. "If you haven't heard this record, you've missed out on one of the most profound artistic statements of the 20th century." - All About Jazz
ESP1003LP Pharoah Sanders Quintet: s/t
Also released under the title Pharoah’s First, because it’s his first album. Already the inside-outside approach of most of his discography is in place on this 1964 recording. For this edition of the LP we chose to use the far-out art of the second cover.
ESP1010EP Albert Ayler: Bells/Vibrations
Another iconic Ayler title. "Bells" so excited us after it was recorded in concert at Town Hall (NYC) on May 1, 1965, that it was released on one side of an LP without delaying to record additional music to fill the other side. Now for the first time we’ve added put the rare track “Vibrations” on the B side.
ESP1014LP Sun Ra: Heliocentric Worlds 1
The astonishing session that went light years beyond "free jazz" improvisation to create music of deeply felt, explosive and gentle gestures made from sound itself without reference to previous notions of melody or harmony. This set of tracks finds Sun Ra breaking ground by using synthesizers and having the Arkestra musicians double on percussion.
ESP1017LP Sun Ra: Heliocentric Worlds 2
The 1965 sessions that produced the original two volumes of Heliocentric Worlds came during the most extremely free-form period of Ra's career, contemporaneous with The Magic City (Saturn Records). Recorded in November with an octet, Volume 2 is much freer than Volume 1 and features the side-long "The Sun Myth" and the 15-minute "Cosmic Chaos." The horn players and bassist Ronnie Boykins have plenty of room to stretch out and take full advantage. "A House of Beauty" offers five minutes of relatively lyrical respite between the other tracks.
ESP1016LP Ayler/Cherry/etc.: New York Eye and Ear Control
With Don Cherry, John Tchicai, and Roswell Rudd joining Ayler’s trio, this may be his best group. "Of the records Ayler made during 1964, [this]…is probably the most important link between the epoch-making collective improvisation Free Jazz by the Ornette Coleman double quartet, and John Coltrane's Ascension. ...one of Ayler's very best recordings." – Free Jazz by Ekkehard Jost
ESP1021LP Paul Bley Trio: Closer
Closer features the distinctive pianism we've come to associate with Bley in one of its earliest recorded manifestations. The other players are fellow Jimmy Giuffre 3 member Steve Swallow and, in his recording debut, Altschul. "...a wonderful, poetic anomaly. In an era where velocity and raw story-telling were required currency, Closer had a lyrical, Haiku-like simplicity..." – Matt Fleeger, The New Thing, KMHD-FM
ESP1055LP Patty Waters: College Tour
Patty Waters is internationally recognized as one of the first major avant-garde vocalists, cited as an influence by Yoko Ono, Diamanda Galas, and Patti Smith. Backed in concert by Ran Blake, Burton Greene, Dave Burrell, Giuseppi Logan, and more, Ms. Waters expands upon the vocal acrobatics that were heard on her ESP-Disk' debut. "...one of the best fucking singers alive." – Nick Tosches in Rolling Stone
ESP1057LP Peter Lemer Quintet: Local Colour
Everyone in this quintet went on to notable achievements. British pianist Peter Lemer studied with Jaki Byard, Paul Bley, and Bill Dixon, so his roots in jazz are strong. As an avant-garde jazz pianist, he recorded with Spontaneous Music Ensemble; in the jazz fusion realm, he was a member of Gilgamesh and Paraphernalia; as a prog-rock keyboardist, he played with Gong, Baker Gurvitz Army, Mike Oldfield Group, Seventh Wave, and In Cahoots. This was sax great John Surman's recording debut; he’s now the premiere British jazz saxophonist. Chances to hear the also scintillating sax sound of Nisar Ahmad “George” Khan in a jazz context are rarer; prog-rock fans may remember his appearance on Robert Wyatt's Ruth Is Stranger than Richard and work with Cream lyricist Pete Brown and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Drummer Jon Hiseman co-founded the New Jazz Orchestra in 1964; later he started British jazz-rock band Colosseum, and collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the Cats. Bassist Tony Reeves had a hit single in 1965 with Sounds Orchestral ("Cast Your Fate to the Wind"); later with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Colosseum, Greenslade and Curved Air. Together, they make a sort of inside/outside jazz that doesn't abandon themes and harmony but is freewheeling when it wants to be.
ESP3030LP Albert Ayler: Prophecy
Three weeks before Ayler, Peacock, and Murray recorded ESP-Disk's first jazz album, the epochal Spiritual Unity, they were captured "live" by Canadian poet Paul Haines (who also recorded New York Eye and Ear Control). 4-1/2 stars – All Music Guide
ESP4058LP Paul Dunmall & Chris Corsano: Identical Sunsets
While on Björk's Volta tour, drummer Chris Corsano carved out time to play with saxophone giant Paul Dunmall (who has worked with jazz greats including Alice Coltrane and Evan Parker as well as funk and folk acts like Johnny Guitar Watson and Dando Shaft) at Slak Bar in Cheltenham, England. This wonderfully recorded live set begins with Dunmall swirling away on the border pipes (he may be the preeminent living improviser using bagpipes). What follows is an impulsive and lyrical improvisation, alternately sparse and impossibly textured.
ESP4075 Last Exit: Iron Path
All-star quartet Last Exit (Sonny Sharrock, guitar; Peter Brötzmann, saxophone; Bill Laswell, bass; Ronald Shannon Jackson, drums) garnered its reputation with a string of unrelentingly forceful concert recordings in which it pushed the energy style of free jazz to its limits. When the group went into the studio for the only time, though, a very different sort of album emerged. Iron Path was so far ahead of its time that only now, over a quarter of a century later, is there an audience prepared for this album's pioneering hybrid of abstract heavy metal, unsettling ambient music, and free improvisation.
ESP5003LP Tiger Hatchery: Sun Worship
"One of the best openings in music I’ve heard this year happens on ‘Chieftain,’ the first of three tracks on Sun Worship, a short and to-the-point CD by the young Chicago free-jazz band Tiger Hatchery. There’s no lead-in, no windup: It’s as if all members were running as hot as possible, frozen in time, and then unfrozen: Blam, drums and cymbals under attack, tenor saxophone gasping, electric bass on extreme low judder. … Andrew Scott Young, the bassist, uses the rugged tone you’d associate less with jazz than, say, the Jesus Lizard’s David Wm. Sims; the tenor player Mike Forbes and drummer Ben Billington have 50 years of free jazz from around the world, as well as nearly that much of improvised noise, to assimilate. They bring these three pieces home rather elegantly, and begin the other two much more softly.” – Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
ESP5013LP Tiger Hatchery: Breathing in the Walls
Chicago power-jazz trio Tiger Hatchery proudly comes out of the ESP-Disk' free jazz tradition, as saxophonist Mike Forbes's playing makes clear, but there's an added noise-rock edge, especially in Ben Billington's aggressive drumming, that keeps the sound modern.
ESP5015LP Talibam!/Matt Nelson/Ron Stabinsky: HARD
HARD VIBE transforms aspects of rhythm changes into a disciplined sequence of minor key modulations to create a rigorous Hard Vibe obstacle course for the soloists over a tight melodic/rhythmic grid. Inspired by Herbie Hancock's '70s cosmic music, long-form repetitive works such as Miles Davis's On the Corner, Charlie Parker's "Salt Peanuts," Tenor Sax endurance soloists, Albert Ayler's New Grass, the legendary organ brutality of Larry Young, and the NYC Avant-Garde Rock Minimalism of Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca, Hard Vibe maintains an infectious pulse with virtuosic structural jazz improvisation.
ESP5035LP Radical Empathy Trio: Reality and Other Imaginary Places
This album was recorded during a 2017 residency at Brooklyn-based multi-discipline mecca Pioneer Works. It's the second by Radical Empathy, which combines three uncategorizable improvisors. Thollem McDonas is a perpetually traveling pianist, keyboardist, composer, improviser, singer-songwriter, activist, author and teacher. His work is ever-changing, evolving and responding to the times and his experiences, both as a soloist and in collaboration with hundreds of artists across idioms and disciplines. Michael Wimberly has been astonishing folks since his days in Charles Gayle bands and Steve Coleman & Five Elements in the early '90s, and has gone on become a composer and educator of note. Nels Cline has spent decades changing people's ideas about the role of the electric guitar in multiple contexts, ranging from Wilco to Anthony Braxton (think about that!) as well as many projects as a leader
ESP5038LP Thollem/Parker/Cline: Gowanus Session II
Thollem, Nels Cline, and William Parker convened at Peter Karl Studios in Brooklyn on January 3rd, 2012 and recorded two complete albums. GS II was put aside to eventually complete the five-album palindromic cycle of trio albums Nels and Thollem ambitiously set out to realize.