An Avant Garde of Our Own: Disconnected Works 1980-2018

Saxophonist/guitarist/composer/music historian/ provocateur Allen Lowe spans the history of jazz in his music in a way that few besides Jaki Byard, Beaver Harris, Steven Bernstein, and Air have ever done, intertwining the blues, early jazz, bebop, and the avant-garde. A prolific composer who was incorporating American roots music into his jazz decades before it was hip, he has led project bands featuring a broad array of jazz greats ranging from Doc Cheatham, Randy Sandke, Joe Albany, Don Byron, Ken Peplowski, and Percy France to Matthew Shipp, Julius Hemphill, Marc Ribot, Roswell Rudd, David Murray, Gary Bartz, Nels Cline, Ray Anderson, DJ Logic, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, and Hamiet Bluiett. With two notable but out-of-print exceptions, most of his work has been released on his own Constant Sorrow label. ESP-Disk' has long admired his work and is happy to partner with him on this career-spanning release, which consists of four CDs (3-6) of previously unreleased material and four thematically arranged CDs (1-2, 7-8) collecting a wide variety of material that was mostly previously -- but not widely -- available.

Press Quotes:

"Through no fault of his own, Allen Lowe has become jazz's quintessential outsider artist." - Francis Davis

"I'm a big fan of Allen Lowe and I think as a musician and a scholar he is very important and I think he is deeply misunderstood because he doesn't hate himself." - Anthony Braxton

"Angular, sly and funky, Lowe's CD is a bona fide wake up call from the avant garde." - Jonathan Lethem

"This boxed set is Lowe's magnum opus and then some... It's far ranging, as might be expected, outside and decidedly in. ... 'March of the Vipers' captures Lowe and Hemphill funky and in sync at the Knitting Factory in 1991..." - Jim Motavalli, New York City Jazz Record


CD 1: Live at the Knitting Factory /Verna’s Garage/The Living Room Tapes (1)

1. March of the Vipers   11:48 (NT)

(Allen Lowe tenor sax;  Doc Cheatham trumpet; Julius Hemphill alto sax; John Rapson trombone; Jeff Fuller bass;  Ray Kaczynski drums; Paul Austerlitz clarinet, Robert Rumbolz trumpet  Rec. 1991)

2. Strollin’ with Helen  7:09

(from unissued session; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Percy France tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Joel Perry guitar; Skinny Burgan bass; Sir John Godfrey drums  Rec. circa 1980)

3. Dicky Dreamed 3:47

(from unissued session; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Percy France tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Joel Perry guitar; Skinny Burgan bass; Sir John Godfrey drums Rec. circa 1980)

4. Prelude  4:34 (NT)

(Doc Cheatham trumpet; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums; Rec. 1991)

5. The Second Assassin 6:12 (NT)

(Allen Lowe tenor sax;  Doc Cheatham trumpet; Julius Hemphill alto sax; John Rapson trombone; Jeff Fuller bass;  Ray Kaczynski drums; Paul Austerlitz clarinet, Robert Rumbolz trumpet  Rec. 1991)

6. No Sharps No Flats Blues 6:23 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Marc Ribot guitar; Jessie Hautala bass; Jake Millett electronic drums   Rec. January 2011)

7. Entrance No Exit  3:51 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Matthew Shipp Farfisa organ; Roswell Rudd trombone  Rec.  December 2009)

8. Rhythm Thing 4:36

(from unissued session; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Percy France tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Dickey Myers alto sax; Joel Perry guitar; Skinny Burgan bass; Sir John Godfrey drums  Rec. circa 1980)

9. Mental Strain at Dawn 8:36 (DWTN)

(Allen Lowe and The American Song Project; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Roswell Rudd trombone; Paul Austerlitz clarinet; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums; Robert Rumbolz trumpet; rec. 6/25/94)

10. Tea Party 6:11 (DWTN)

(Allen Lowe tenor saxophone; Roswell Rudd trombone; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums  Rec. 5/93)

11. Medillin  9:04 (ATMOI)

(Allen Lowe tenor sax; Don Byron clarinet; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums   rec.  12/9/89)

12. Blue Like Me 5:08 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Marc Ribot guitar; Jessie Hautala bass; Jake Millett electronic drums   Rec. January 2011)

 

CD 2 Live at the Knitting Factory/Verna’s Garage/The Living Room Tapes (2)

1. Chinatown My Chinatown 4:40 (MSD)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Doc Cheatham trumpet; David Murray tenor sax; Loren Schoenberg tenor sax; John Rapson trombone; Paul Austerlitz clarinet, Robert Rumbolz trumpet, Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums  Rec. 4/19/92)

2. I Alone (The Everlasting Beauty of Monotony) 3:45

(From I Alone: The Everlasting Beauty of Monotony: Matt Shipp plays the Music of Allen Lowe; Matthew Shipp, solo piano Rec. 3/1/15)

3. Riff Raff  5:10

(From the LP: Dickey’s Mood; Dickey Myers tenor sax; Joe Albany piano; Jeff Fuller bass; Frank Bennett drums Rec.  1979 )

4. For Poor B.B. 7:59

(from the unissued session; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Percy France tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Joel Perry guitar; Skinny Burgan bass; Sir John Godfrey drums  Rec. circa 1980)

5. The Trapeze Artist’s Anxiety at the First Notes the Jazz Band Plays 3:18 (BET)

(from Blues and the Empirical Truth. Allen Lowe alto sax; Jessie Hautala bass; Jake Millett electronic drums  Rec. January 2011)

6. Manhattan Moan 5:09 (BET)

(From Blues and the Empirical Truth; Allen Lowe guitar; Matthew Shipp Farfisa organ; Roswell Rudd trombone  Rec.  December 2009)

7. Woyzeck’s Death  5:29

(From Woyzeck’s Death: Allen Lowe tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Roswell Rudd trombone; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums; Ben Goldberg clarinet  Rec. 5/94)

8. Pete Brown 2:59 (BET)

(from Blues and the Empirical Truth; Allen Lowe alto sax; Jessie Hautala bass; Jake Millet electronic drums  Rec. January 2011)

9. Other Bodies, Other Souls 6:25 (DWTN)

(Allen Lowe tenor saxophone; Roswell Rudd trombone; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums. Rec. 5/93)

10. The Bear Dances 4:04

(From At the Moment of Impact; Allen Lowe tenor sax, Jeff Fuller bass, Ray Kaczynski drums, Jay Gitlin accordion.  Rec. 7/20/89)

11. Bebop Thing  6:28

(from unissued session; Allen Lowe tenor sax; Percy France tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Joel Perry guitar; Skinny Burgan bass; Sir John Godfrey drums Rec. circa 1980)

12. Blue Interlude 2 6:21 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Matthew Shipp Farfisa organ; Roswell Rudd trombone. Rec.  December 2009)

13. I Hate Blues 1:47 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Jessie Hautala bass; Jake Millet electronic drums   Rec. January 2011)

14. The Lost 2:35 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Matthew Shipp Farfisa organ; Roswell Rudd trombone   Rec.  December 2009)

15. Stars Fell 3:43

(from For Poor B.B: Allen Lowe tenor sax; Bob Neloms piano; Sean Smith bass; Nick Forte drums  Rec. 1985)

16. Ros Speaks 4:00 (BET)

(Allen Lowe alto sax, guitar; Matthew Shipp Farfisa organ; Roswell Rudd trombone. Rec.  December 2009)

 

CD 3: Poor Pilgrims of Sorrow Suite/I Am a Woman Again (Gladys Bentley Suite)

Poor Pilgrims of Sorrow Suite

1. Dark Skies  6:02

2. Hymn for Ives  5:28

3. Julius  4:07

4. Mezz Walk 9:00

5. Poor Pilgrims  8:30

6. Son House 3:51

Allen Lowe alto sax; James Brandon Lewis  tenor sax;  Ray Suhy, guitar; Darius Jones  alto sax; Chris Klaxton  trumpet; Hilliard Greene bass; Rob Landis drums

rec. June 2018 by Ben Rice, Degraw Sound

 

I Am a Woman Again (Gladys Bentley Suite)

7.  Opening Theme   0.38

8.  Upper East Side Blues  5:38 

9.  Less Than Blue  0.36

10.  Charlotte’s Dance #1  0.26

11.  Crosstown Moan  1:04

12.  Less than One   0.49

13.  Theme: I Am a Woman Again  5:01

14.  Charlotte’s Dance #2  5:48

15.  Charlotte’s Dance (Goodbye Charlotte)    0.28 

16.  Blue Interlude  0.34

17.  Cross-Dress-Cross/Theme 0.36

18. Gone West/ I Am a Woman Again/Theme/ Ballad  0.44

19.  I’m So Blue (Will You Marry Me?) 5:41

20.  Ebony and Blue  0.40

21.  Still Less Than One 4:32

22.  Lord Why Have I Sinned? 0.18

23.  Lord Why Have They Sinned? 8:51

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Lisa Parrott baritone sax; Nicole Glover, tenor sax;  Ray Suhy, guitar; Nicole Davis trumpet; Kevin Ray bass; Kelly Green piano; Carolyn Castellano drums. Rec. November 2016)

 

CD 4: Black Brown and Beige, Yellow, Trans and Queer: My Country ‘Tis of This

(Except as noted, Allen Lowe alto sax; Lisa Parrott baritone sax; Nicole Glover tenor sax; Lewis Porter piano; Brian Simontacchi trombone; Hilliard Greene bass; Rob Landis drums. Rec. March 2018 at Firehouse 12 in New Haven.)

1. Tea with Jaki   7:25

2. Mingus' Ghost (Overwrought on the Coast)  9:17

3. Fables of Fascism  7:41

4. Poem for D.A. Levy  2:35

5. Border Crossing 10:35

6. The Death of Florence Mills  1:48

(Allen Lowe, alto sax; Nicole Glover tenor sax; Brian Simontacchi trombone; Lewis Porter, piano; Hilliard Greene, bass; Chris Klaxton, trumpet; Rob Landis, drums. Rec. 6/10/18.)

7. Trombone Wheeze   9:04

8. Pigfoot Mary  13:11

9. Midnight at the Faggot's Ball  9:00

10. Bud's Ghost  2:12

(Allen Lowe, alto sax; Nicole Glover tenor sax; Brian Simontacchi trombone; Lewis Porter, piano; Hilliard Greene, bass; Chris Klaxton, trumpet; Rob Landis, drums. Rec. 6/11/18.)

 

CD 5: Brother Matthew's Revenge

1. Bb Stomp 10:43

2. Goodbye Julius  7:13

3. Dinah’s Day Off  5:24 (trio: Lowe/Sandke/Porter)

4. Monastery Bounce  6:55

5. Boyce In the Chapel  7:54

6, Julius’ Step  5:44

7. In Other Dreams  6:17 (trio: Lowe/Sandke/Porter)

8. Surrender  4:23

9. Condon’s Dream  4:57

10. Monastery Bounce (2)  7:00

11. Bb Stomp (2)  11:34

(Allen Lowe alto and tenor sax; Randy Sandke trumpet; Steve Swell trombone; Bobby Zankel alto sax; Don Slatoff bass clarinet; Jeremy Carlstedt drums; Ray Suhy, guitar; Lewis Porter piano; Kevin Ray bass. Rec. April 2017.)

 

CD 6: Hey Lady/Time/Times

1. Other Bodies, Other Souls  4:40

2. Just Who   6:05

3. Delighted  6:58

4. Ellison’s Idea (Not Mine) 10:23

5. Hey Lady  6:58

6. Dodd’s Blues  6:57

7. Time – 1 (with Ken Peplowski and Matthew Shipp)  6:39

8. Times – 1   5:39

9. Time – 2 (with Ken Peplowski and Matthew Shipp) 6:37

10. Times – 2  5:35

(Allen Lowe alto sax; Ken Peplowski clarinet and tenor sax; Aaron Johnson clarinet; Lou Grassi drums; Kelly Green, Matthew Shipp piano; Kevin Ray, bass. Rec. January 2017)

 

CD 7: The Other America (1)

1. Louis’ Pennies 5:49 (DWTN)

(Allen Lowe tenor sax; Roswell Rudd trombone; Paul Austerlitz clarinet; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums; Robert Rumbolz trumpet. Rec. 6/25/94.)

2. Blues Moon Parts 1 and 2 (to Elvis)  4:14 (DWTN)

(Allen Lowe tenor sax; Stacey Phillips National Tricone guitar; rec. 11/93)

3. Devil Got My Woman 4:05 (DWTN)

(Allen Lowe tenor saxophone; Roswell Rudd trombone; Jeff Fuller bass; Ray Kaczynski drums;  rec. 5/93)

4. Delta Mountain Breakup  7:22 (MWG)

(Allen Lowe tenor sax, Gary Bartz alto sax, Jake Millet electronics and electronic drums, Jeff Fuller bass; Lewis Porter piano; Christopher Meeder tuba; Brian Simontacchi trombone; Rec. 9/13)

5. The Hunger: Portrait of Jimi Hendrix  7:30 (HWAOV)

(Allen Lowe, alto sax; Nels Cline guitar; Ray Suhy guitar; Matthew Shipp piano; Carolyn Castellano drums; Kevin Ray bass; Larry Feldman mandolin  Rec. 3/16)

6. Hymn for the White Folks  5:57 (HWAOV)

(Allen Lowe, alto sax; Nels Cline steel guitar; Ray Suhy guitar; Matthew Shipp piano; Carolyn Castellano drums; Kevin Ray bass; Larry Feldman mandolin  Rec. 3/16)

7. Oi Death  -  1   3:07

(outtake from Jews in Hell: Radical Jewish Acculturation  Marc Ribot solo guitar; Rec 6/06)

8. Oi Death – 2   2:42 (JIH)

(Marc Ribot solo guitar; Rec 6/06)

Musicians: Allen Lowe

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  • Product Code: ESP5034
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