Discography

1960-1980

1980-2000

after 2000


Dust Title: From Dust We Came…To Dust We Return
Release: June 2016
Label: Dirter Promotions and Static Caravan
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Justin Wiggan (sound artist), Chris Mapp (bass)
This album came about as a result of Justin Wiggan’s love of Howard’s music. Five years after Noah’s death in 2010, Justin was in touch with his wife, Lieve Fransen, and learnt that Noah had made a large number of private recordings playing solo on the alto saxophone.
Lieve kindly gave Justin access to these recordings and the freedom to develop an album in which he built electronic soundscapes around these solo passages. He then asked bass player Chris Mapp to add bass lines to the foundation. The resulting music has been composed and edited by Wiggan to form the two sides of this album

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First and Last Title: First and Last
Recording: NYC, 2010
Label: Altsax
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Eve Packer (poetry)
Compositions: NY Woman, what you think

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Voyage Title: Voyage
Recording: Belgium, 2010
Label: Alt Sax Records
Buy CD at cdbaby
Voyage a beautiful and truly diverse interplay of world music and free jazz, driven by Noah’s never-ending passion for innovation and love for the world’s music and its people.
Tracks:
1 - Spirit of the Night
2 - Noah’s Ark
3 - Light Horizon
4 - Noah’s House Music
5 - Brazilian Groove
6 - India
7 - Sweet Louisiana
8 - Long Way
9 - Jungle Tempo
10 – Living Room Suite
11 – Voodoo Queen (Remix)

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Transit Mission Title: Transit Mission
Recording: Paris and NYC, 2009
Label: Altsax
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Bobby Kapp (dr)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Transit Mission, Earth, Intel Transmit, Coming Thru, Codification, Middle Kingdom, Orbit, Roaming, Steller Info, Jungle Source, Elevation, Heaven

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Desert Harmony Title: Desert Harmony
Recording: Amman, 2007
Label: Altsax (634479615061)
Buy CD at cdbaby
Recorded with Omar al-Faqir (p), Bobby Few (p), Harry Swift (b), Calyer Duncan (dr)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Brazil, Evening in Amman, Prince Mansour, Ottata, You All, Wadi Rum, Desert Stars, Obayi, African Man, Dr L. Mambo, One for Few
Over the years one thing I have learned is to be open to all musical styles and to keep on learning and creating. This year, for the first time in my life, I travelled to the Middle East. It was a long journey from New Orleans but a continuation of the experience of composing and playing music all over the world. Desert Harmony is a representation of this magnificent brotherhood of musicians in our world. Noah Howard

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Convergence Title: Convergence – Chris Chalfant
Recording: New York City, 2007
Label: Chris Chalfant Music – 2306-7
Recorded with
Chris Chalfant – piano, vocals
Noah Howard – alto sax
Wilber Morris – bass
Calyer Duncan – drums
Tracks:
First meeting – 6:31
Chatelet – 10:01
Slow road – 11:39
Lovers – 4:35

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Oh! so is life – 12:27
Ritual – 12:08
African Harp – 9:13

Notes
CONVERGENCE defines this recording on many levels. The interactions and occurances of the people involved has shown a deeper level of harmony that allowed this recording to be so spontaneous. We decided to record this CD just days before it happened and just days after our first meeting in this incarnation, playing the New York Jazz Festival. Once we made the decision to record, I went flipping through my scores and found what was to become the music on this CD. For the most part my arrangements were created without paper, and without much verbal direction, as I felt this would keep the music fresher. There were many moments where we had no idea what would happen next, but somehow our intuition seemed to lead us to the right place. We went into the studio on the 23rd of June 1997, six years to the day after I had written ‘The Umbrella Man” for Bobby Few. It was Bobby who sent me to Noah to sub for him on the Festival gig. Thanks Bobby.

Chris Chalfant

1. First Meeting 6:31 – This playful rhythmic strut sets a fine tone for Chris’ daring new release. A pulsating surge of powerful energy is stated on this track.

2. Chatelet 10:0 I – Written in Paris in 1990, it is a picturesque ‘folk train” that journeys through the four seasons. Starting simply, Chatelet builds in rhythmic and tonal complexity, while maintaining a strong ostinato.

3. Slow Road 11:39 – Slow Road begins with a sensuous, almost intimidating line, like a walk down an alley after midnight. Rather than a bridge to contrast the line, Chris’ solo surprises us by delivering a brave departure into the unexpected. One wonders what corners she’ll turn next.

4. Lovers 4:35 – A welcome ballad sung by Chris, Lovers is reminiscent of the European chanteuse genre with it’s haunting melody. This tune fits well in the context of this recording.

5. Ah! So is life 12:27 – A sweet collaboration between lyric and music, this tune joyfully blends the two. A fine journey and a welcome return, there are many surprises on this track.

6. Ritual 12:08 – An unbroken rhythmic line sets the backdrop for this meditation into Chris’ familiar place-the unknown. Here, Noah’s alto is bright, remaining melodically closer to the tune, while Chris’ chordal contrasts often sound like a percussionist’s third hand. Calyer is well at ease with Chris’ playing.

7. African Harp 9:13 – This tune is fluid and it breathes easy, like the lyrical chanting sung by Chris. It is a smooth ending to this recording session. Chris Chalfant has a rare gift. In her music she uses tradition as a springboard for her journeys into those interesting, sometimes dark corners few musicians dare to explore. Simply put, her music is fearless.

Andrew Nielson

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Now Playing Title: Now Playing
Recording: NYC, 2004
Label: AltSax Records
Recorded with Eve Packer (vocals), Noah Howard (as)
Compositions by Noah Howard and poetry by Eve Packer: Little Black Dress, Atocha, Photo Op, Katrina, Wiber W and E, New Nails, Lady Vermeer, Donuts, Percy, Exhibit, Wakamba, Salon, Woman, Sopranos Sonnets, Bronx Girl, Talib, Street, Juts A Thought, When, Kim, Cheetahs, Blue Horn, Easter Sunday, Euclid On the Beach, Passion, Last Take

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Cruisin Title: Cruisin w/moxie
Recording: 2002-2003 in NYC, New Orleans, Brussels
Label: Alt Sax Records 90023
Recorded with
Cesare: drums / Tammy Hall: keyboards, synthesiser / l.c.: acoustic & electric bass / Marty Townsend: electric guitar / Danny Dhont: electronic percussion / Curt Hanson: el. bass / Jan Verheyen: el. guitar / Walter Metz: drums / Bobby Few: piano / Jan Verheyden: guitar / background vocals: Lisbeth
Tracks:
1 – Word (A) – 1:56
2 – Cruisin w/Moxie “The cheatin’ suite” (B) – 1:59
3 – Fri afternoon (B) – 2:08
4 – The advantage (B) – 0:35
5 – Daily news (B) – 2:54
6 – My heart (B) – 4:08
7 – Telling a woman (B) – 0:56
8 – Lie 21 (B) – 2:05
9 – Cuando (C) – 3:24
10 – Orula (D) – 3:03

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11 – Backstage (D) – 2:38
12 – What is love (E) – 5:11
13 – Why (B) – 0:55
14 – Twisting fingers – Window 9/11 – 1:15
15 – WTC 1 (F) – 4:09
16 – Amazing Grace (A) – 3:51
17 – Somewhere over the rainbow (G) – 1:05

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18 – Yes (B) – 1:26
19 – Oyster (B) – 1:02
20 – Lord Chance – 4:22

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Improviser Title: The Eye of the Improviser
Released: 2003
Label: Alt Sax Records 2030
Notes
This 2 cd set is a compilation of different compositions recorded over the last 30 years.
A lot of these compostions have never been heard in the USA, because most of this material was recorded in live concerts and studios in different countries in Europe. Although there are some recordings that have been made in the USA, the purpose of relaesing this material to the public is to give people a chance to hear the evolution of my art over the last 30 years and to dedicate this music to my beloved artistic companions who were all great master musicians, who loved improvised music and gave so much of their heart and soul and artistic talent to make this music happen.
I also dedicate this music to all the master musicians who have passed away and left a lasting impact on my life. Noah Howard
Tracks:
CD1
1 – Olé
2 – Lovers

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3 – Marie Laveau
4 – Lotus flower
5 – Domiabra

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6 – Paris dreams
7 – Over the rainbow
8 – Lift every voice and sing
9 – Orula

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CD2
1 – New arrival
2 – Back a’town blues
3 – Creole girl
4 – Ole negro
5 – Mars
6 – Schizophrenic blues

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7 – Tele transport
8 – This place called earth
9 – Traffic one

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Dreamtime Title: Dreamtime
Recording: 2002 in Brussels, New Orleans and Paris
Label: Alt Sax Records – Altsax 90022
Buy CD at cdbaby
Recorded with
Noah Howard, soprano, alt & tenor sax
Loed Gassen, trumpet solo on “Every Day”
Tracks:
1 – Brother Ju Ju

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2 – Voodoo Queen
3 – Mandela Song
4 – Sunday Afternoon

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5 – Every day
6 – Do what you wanna do
7 – Some like it hot
8 – Cousin Gerri

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9 – Carnival
10 – Catch-up
11 – Rising rays of the sun

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NY Woman Title: NY Woman
Recording: NYC, 2002
Label: Alt Sax Records – Altsax 90014
Recorded with
Eve Packer / words
Noah Howard / composer, arranger, alto sax
Wilber Morrise / bass
Calyer Duncan / drums
Notes
This special edition of NY WOMAN is in celebration of the lives and spirit of New York, 9/11/01, & in the nights and days to come!

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Window 9/11 Title: Window 9/11
Recording: 2002, Altsax Studios, Brussels, Top Studio Ghent and Ace Studio, Antwerp (2)
Label: Alt Sax Records – Altsax 90020
Recorded with
Noah Howard, soprano, alt & tenor sax
Cesare: drums
Tammy Hall: keyboards, synthesizer
LC: acoustic & electric bass
Marty Townend: elec guitar
Danny Dhont: elec percussions
Curt Hanson: elec bass
Jan Verheyden: elec guitar
Walter Metz: drums
Tracks:
1 – WTC1
2 – Amazing Grace
3 – Somewhere over the rainbow

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That Look Title: That Look
Recording: NYC, 2001
Label: Boxholder
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Eve Packer(voc), Wilber Morris (b), Bob Cunningham (p), Warren Smith (per), Leo Izzo (g)
Compositions by Noah Howard and poetry by Eve Packer: Pier, Entropy, My Shoe is Wrong, Habrosun – Now is Winter, Hungry, Blue Neon, Red Dress, Hotel, That Look, Floyd, Daybreak, Small, I’m beginning to like it, the Duke, T for Trash, Shango

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Middle Passage Title: Middle Passage
Recording: Belgium, 2001
Label: Alt Sax Records – ALT 90010
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), James Emmanuel (voc)
Tracks:
1 – Jazzanatomy – 01:00
2 – Jazzroads – 01:00
3 – Jazzactions – 01:25
4 – Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington – 00:25
5 – Miles Davies- 00:25
6 – Charlie “Bird” Parker – 00:25
7 – John Coltrane – 00:25
8 – Jelly Roll Morton – 00:25
9 – Sonny Rollins – 00:25
10 – Earl “Fatha” Hines – 00:25
11 – Count Basie – 00:25
12 – Coleman Hawkins – 00:25
13 – Johnny Hodges – 00:50
14 – Lester Young – 00:50
15 – Chet Baker – 00:25
16 – Eroll Garner – 00:25
17 – Thelonious Monk – 00:50
18 – Ella end Jo – 01:25
19 – Billie and Mahalia – 02:25
20 – Sax Man / Steppin’ Out on the Promise – 01:75
21 – Fats Waller – 00:25
22 – Michael Jackson – 00:25
23 – Fashion Show – 00:25
24 – Greens – 00:25
25 – Rehearsing the Jackrabbit Concert – 00:75
26 – When Satchel Page Broke into the Big Leagues – 00:25
27 – Seargeant Jazz Drills His Platoon – 00: 50
28 – Jam – 00:25
29 – Four-Letter Word – 00:25
30 – Clover Leaf – 00:25
31 – Tina Turner – 01:00
32 – One Woman, One Vote – 02:50
33 – Everybody’s Songbird – 02:25
34 – The Ballad of Safe Sex – 02:50
35 – Doctor’s Prescription – 02:50
36 – The Middle Passage Blues – 03:25
37 – Sittin’ – Log Blues – 02:25
38 – The Knockout Blues – 02:40
39 – The Downhill Blues – 02:00
40 – The Poor Man Blues – 01:75
41 – Trois Petits Blues – 00:58
42 – “Im a Jazz Singer,” She Replied – 01:00

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Live in Paris Title: Live in Paris
Recording: New Morning Jazz Club, Paris in 2001
Label: Alt Sax Records – Altsax 90017
Recorded with
Noah Howard: alto sax, soprano sax
Boulou Ferret: guitar
Joe Lee Wilson: vocals on one track
François Tusque: piano
Jack Greg: bass
Armando: percussion
Daniel Berchet: drums
Tracks:
1 – Music in my soul (Noah Howard)
2 – Kanpai (Noah Howard)
3 – Chasing the ark (Noah Howard)
4 – Domino (Noah Howard)

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5 – Soul Shadows (Bill Withers)

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Live at the Glenn Miller Cafe Title: Live at the Glenn Miller Cafe
Recording: Stockholm, 2000 by Per Ruthstrom and Jan Strom
Label: JaZt Tapes. CD-030
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), (ts), (vo), Bobby Few (p), Ulf Akerhjelm (b), Gilbert Matthews (dr)
All compositions by Noah Howard

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Between two eternities Title: Between Two Eternities
Recording: New York City, 1999
Label: Cadence Jazz Record 1114
Recorded with Bobby Kapp (dr)
Tracks:
1 – Between two eternities – 9:36
2 – For Al – 4:57
3 – The Rev – 5:27

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4 – The Other Side – 12:07
5 – B and N – 5:10
6 – In Flight – 11:22
7 – Space Probe – 9:58
8 – Tele Transport – 6:29

Notes
As this millenium is closing, and we head off into the 21st century, this recording is a statement of two musicians creating in harmony in the pursuit and shaping of the next century. For it is the inalienable right of man to discover and challenge oneself and to push the frontiers and boundaries into shaping new terrains; that’s what keeps the human race evolving.

After 30 years of separation, Bobby and I met again through t he internet.The technological advances of the last 10 years have made world citizens able to communicate instantly, openly, and more freely, which is also one of the underlying principels of this music since the ’60s. In this improvisational music, we have been striving to get to what I call “the core communication center of the human soul, direct and pure.”

After extensive e-mailing, we agreed to meet in Gotham City as soon as we would both be there.The fact that Bobby is currently living in a 465 year old artist colony, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, and I’m living in Brussels, the European Capitalof Europe, however, did not make this the easiest task. But we made it in October’99. When we both arrived and met in the City, it was one of those moments when I felt as if real time had stopped and we were in a spiritual time zone ready for creation. It’s like we say in New Orleans,”if you have all the ingredients and you know what you’re doing, the File Gumbo is: Si BON CHERIE.”

The music you will hear on the CD is a natural flow of ideas and exchanges of codified information that has been a guiding force in our lives for over 30 years.

During that time I worked with a lot of drummers, such as Kenny Clarke, Art Taylor, Oliver Johnson, Mohammed Ali, Rashied Ali, Sunny Murray, Steve Mc Call, to mention but a few of the greatest. Bobby is one of those master drummers who follows the creative improvisational tradition. As for me, I am a transmitter, conveying these 2 1 st century sounds on this CD to you. Sit back, listen, and be transported into the next century.

We would like to thank all the people in our lives, both past and present who have supported us in this music, to bring about a change and a better world.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Noah Howard Dec. 11, 1999

Being in the center of the creative process again with Noah was the way I wanted io end my century. I also have played with some great ones: Dexter Gordon, Marion Brown, Pharoah Sanders, and so I know how alive I feel when I’m around the legendary Noah Howard, who to me expresses in his life and music the words of the great masteryardbird Charlie Parker: “if you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.”

Bobby Kapp Dec. 11, 1999

For listeners interested in reading about the worldwide creative improvised music scene,Cadence Magazine (a division of CADNOR LTD.) is recommended reading.
Cadence Building, Redwood, NY, 13679 USA 315/287-2852 fax: 315/287-2860
e-mail: cadence@_cadencebuilding.com wwwcadencebuilding.com

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Comraderie Title: Comraderie
Recording: NYC, 1997
Label: Cadence Jazz records
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Kali Z. Fasteau (s), Joe Mc Phee (ts), Sonelius Smith (p), Warren Smith (b), Mike Wimberly (per), Bobby Few (p), Bobby Kapp (dr)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Blessings, Bayou Dream
Compositions by others: Joyful Blues, Hopes become Real, Whisperson, Tender Optimism, Ethiopia, DoutsVanish, Rhapsody With Few, Transpersonal, Moonlight in Motion, Evening on the Ganges, Ready Room, A Gift

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Quartet in Concert Title: Noah Howard Quartet – In Concert
Recording: Recorded live September 11, 1997 at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Label: Cadence Jazz Records – CJR 1084
Recorded with
Noah Howard – sax
Bobby Few – piano
James Lewis – bass
Calyer Duncan – drums
Tracks:
1 – The Blessing – 12:23
2 – Schizophrenic Blues – 09:32

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3 – Afro Blue – 07:32
4 – The Fugitive (part 1) – 07:06
5 – Transition Flight (solo) – 02:24
6 – The Fugitive (part 2) / Sunrise / Lovers- 05:58
7 – We Remember John – 11:24
8 – We come from the Mountain – 11:36

Notes
Noah Howard’s music gets under your skin; makes you want to dance, sweat, cry, pray. From the first keening notes of Quartet Live In Concert, it’s obvious that this is music rich with the contradictions of existence. Howard’s debut album was recorded in the first month of 1966, for the quintessential free-jazz label, ESP-Disk, its freak flag waving high with the sounds of artists like Sun Ra, Frank Wright, and Albert Ayler. Absolute freedom seemed possible then; in this absurd universe there were no divisions, no hierarchies. A jazz bar patron recently recalled for me a concert he attended where John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Gato Barbieri were calling youths up from the audience during the performance, letting them play their own horns, whether they knew how to or not – the sense of community allowed for everything. But alienation eventually set in; “the roar of cataclysmic Soul,” as Amiri Baraka put it recently, would prove too much for many in the audience, and for some of the musicians themselves. Howard, like many of those who did not want to give up the Ghosts that Ayler had raised, left for Europe.

The road that led to this often stunning performance at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam’s premier jazz club, is marked by Noah’s travels through, and stays in, Paris, Africa, Nairobi, Germany, Belgium… as he says in introducing himself, “I’m Noah Howard – of the World.” In the thirty-some years since he first hit the scene, his chattering, flying, slashing alto saxophone has retained its love of freedom, and has deepened in emotional resonance. The way he shapes and produces his notes, so close to the human voice, places him in the tradition of such great players as Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, and Marion Brown. These notes can be raised in joy and sadness simultaneously, and are sometimes set loose in a fusillade, and in phrases that push up and outward but refuse to resolve. He’s also well aware of the value of economy; listen to the way he floats into Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro-Blue,” subtly changing the tune’s emotional hue by the simple alteration of one note of the melody. East Village Other columnist Lionel H. Mitchell wrote on the back of Howard’s second ESP album, Live At Judson Hall, of “the ferocious superstition that the sacred and the sensual are antagonistic.” In Howard’s music there are no such divisions. It encompasses everything he’s lived, not in the sense of the easy cross-pollination of genres that characterizes so much of what passes for “innovative,” but in the way it suggests a universe of sensibilities.

This universe is considerably enriched by pianist Bobby Few, in whom Howard has the perfect accompanist for his music. Constantly embroidering his lines and chords with shifting emotional undercurrents, Few adds immeasurably to the leader’s vision; small wonder that Howard refers to him as “the Mozart of the jazz piano.” I’ll namecheck from a different era and say that Few also draws from one of the richest blues feels this side of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols. Calyer Duncan, whom Noah calls “my engine,” drives the band with a sometimes ferocious intensity on drums, with wonderful, voluble cymbal clatter. James Lewis subs here for the band’s usual bassist, Wilber Morris, and has worked with Howard and Few on a number of occasions. As Noah told me recently, Lewis “fitted into our band and the structures we’re playing like he had been playing with us all his life.” Together, the band breathes life into the music and, if our ears, minds, and pores allow passage, the music can breathe life into us. Let the ear of the behearer be open.

Larry Nai

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Eve Packer Title: West frm 42nd
Recording: Recorded in NYC, October 1997
Label: Altsax records 9008
Recorded with Eve Packer (lyris and vocals)
Tracks:
1 – I’m a NY woman I do what I want
2 – West from 42nd
3 – Fantasy booth
4 – One for bimbo
5 – (latino) couple
6 – #36
7 – Commando
8 – Swept away
9 – Spitting fiery nickels
10 – Playland
11 – All night
12 – Trapeze artist
13 – /paris
14 – Voice
15 – Eve
16 – Waffle
17 – Hale – Bopp
18 – Boat
19 – Sunday afternoon

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20 – 5:45

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Expatriate Title: Expatriate Kin
Recording: Recorded in Paramus, NJ, March 20, 1997
Label: Creative Improvised Projects
Recorded with
Zusaan Kali Fasteau – cello,soprano saxophone, voice
Bobby Few – piano
Tracks:
1. Sunrise – 05:43
2. One For Mo – 04:53
3. Confiding In Us – 06:05
4. Thick and Thin – 06:25
5. Truth Be Told – 13:34
6. Sea of Japan – 06:33
7. Expansive Thoughts – 06:31
8. Falasha – 05:11
9. Nightbirds In Paris – 8:11

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10. Cardinal Flight – 05:0.4

Notes
Producer’s Notes
The first day of any season is an occasion of private celebration for me and, in 1997, the first day of Spring held a special promise: the opportunity to document the artistry of 3 distinct musicians whose work I have long enjoyed. The anticipation of inspiration was enough that it motivated us to leave our beloved sonic heaven, The Spirit Room, to search out a space with a suitable piano. Pianist Joseph Scianni (CIMP 1 22, 1 30) had told us about the Tedesco Studio, where he had recently helped choose a Steinway suited to his very discriminating standards. So we booked the room and ventured forth. Kali Fasteau first came to my attention through her 1 974 collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Donald Rafael Garrett on ESP Records and then their later documentation on Red Records. After some 1 3 years of world travel and absence from the general scene, she re-emerged in the United States and began issuing recordings on Flying Note Records.
Noah Howard also first came to the attention of the public at large in recordings from 1966 on ESP. Noah was part of that vital and distinct New York Free Music scene of the I 960s. As with many of his contemporaries, he left the United States and followed a familiar journey to Europe where he found a more receptive environment for his art. From Europe came a number of interesting releases on Freedom, FMP, SAJ, Sun, Ame rica, and Frame Records, some of which include Bobby Few as his pianist.
Bobby Few was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1 935, but came to the attention of the world as an artist living in Europe. And though he recorded on a number of American labels (Blue Note, Impulse, etc.), with artists such as Booker Ervin and Albert Ayler, all of his self-led sessions are on European labels (Sun, Freebird, etc.). This session, I hope, will mark the beginning ofinterest, in America, of this native son.
It’s a bit ironic that these three artists, all of whom had to go outside the USA to find part .of their artistic center or base, have recorded together for the first time on bn American label. Sounds like a good idea to me. After the recording of ‘Expansive Thoughts, Kali remarked upon the changing volume of the sox. I commented that this was a natural dynamic of the group and their musical statement/conversation. It again reminded me how we have become accustomed to a homogenized (safe) world: predictable, bland, and settling. Definitive statements, unequivocal opinions are viewed as disruptive, out-of-step, and politically incorrect – that is not what art of its own time is about. It’s about bold statements, often provocative. It comes from this direction or that. It is not about waiting its turn or setting a volume level. It is about seizing the moment. Sounds good to me. So here are the statements of the Fasteau-Howard-Few Trio. This is what they had to say on the first day of Spring 1 997. And it is reproduced, not according to some sound engineer’s idea of what that dynamic should be (through a shuffling of dials and equalizers), but is accurately reproduced through the trio’s presented dynamic. Sounds good.
Robert D. Rusch

Artist’s Notes
The three musicians here shared the vivid experience of the Paris music scene of the I970′s and early ’80s. A comraderie of exile, a rejoicing in our special gifts” a conspiracy of good humor, nourished our spirits and our work.
We would like to dedicate Expatriate Kin to the memory of our dear departed colleagues reedman Reverend Frank Wright and multi-instrumentalist Donald Rafael Garrett. Zusaan Kali Fasteau

Recording Engineer’s Notes
Experienced CIMP listeners will note that this date has a very different sound from our Spirit Room. It can !tpbe emphasized enough how important the room is to the ‘sound’ of a group, or even a single instru ment. We made the best possible effort to get the sound of this Qroup. I can only tell you that the sound on this disc is the same sound I heard in the room where the performance took place. Some of the tracks are just plain loud and dense. We have not altered the density of this performance in any way. In a world of homogenized sounds we feel that it is important to capture the essence of the moment as best we can. It is in that spirit that we present you with this music.
This recording took place in a studio not designed for our type of recording. Consequently, we had a difficult time getting what I generally hope to achieve sonically. However, the,end result comes across fairly well. Due to misunderstandings about what we were doing, unforeseen time constraints, and unfamiliar circumstances, set-up time was truncated, but we used our various talents and made the session work.
Noah moves around a lot in the vertical plane when he plays and Kali sort of draws circles in the air with her horn. These movements can be heard as tonal shifts in their sound and should be viewed as a way to ‘see’ their energy
Kali is on the left, Noah is in the center, and Bobby is on the right.
Marc D. Rusch

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Quartet Unity Temple Title: Live at the Unity Temple
Recording: Concert at the Unity Temple, Chicago, September 9, 1997
Label: Ayler Records – aylCD-001
Recorded with
Bobby Few, piano
Wilber Morris, bass
Calyer Duncan, drums
Tracks:
1 – Introduction by Scott Black The Blessing – 12:13
2 – In Transition (4:39)
3 – Lovers/Schizophrenic blues (18:53)

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4 – Lightning Rod. Part 1 (22:52)
5 – Lightning Rod, Part 2 (7:02)

Notes
When the music organization “Annan Musik” in Norrköping, Sweden, booked Noah Howard and Bobby Few for a concert, we discovered that, this was going to be the very first visit to Sweden for Noah Howard. This CD was produced in order to prepare Sweden for Noah. The music is Noah’s and the song themes are well known like “The Blessing” and of course the rocky “Schizophrenic Blues” from other Noah Howard recordings.
Noah has a clear and recognizable sound on his altosaxophone and the tunes normally start with his singable themes and often reach high energy peaks where the Quartet sounds like a much bigger band. This is very much due to Bobby Few’s strong and pliable piano playing but the whole Quartet is very tight after playing together for a long time. The second set starts with a surprise; Noah on tenor (4).
Jan Ström I wish to thank the ayler team in Sweden for making this CD possible. I also thank the musicians in the group, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Black for all their assistance and our engineer Ken Christianson, Pro Musica, Chicago. This recording was born out of our first tour in the Mid West in many years and we were all very happy to be playing in Chicago.
The Unity Temple is a house of worship designed by one of America’s foremost architects, Frank Lloyd Wright and it is situated at OAk Park, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois
As we enter the 21 st century we send you all greetings for peace and love.
Noah Howard

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Documenta IX Title: Live at Documenta IX
Recording: Netherlands, July 1992
Label: 1st issue: Megadisc – Produced by P + C and Altsax Music – MDC 7874
2nd issue: Boxholder BXH025 2002
Recorded with
Michael Joseph Smith, piano & keyboards
Jack Gregg, contrebass
Chris Henderson, drums
Noah Howard, alto & tenor sax, vocals
Tracks:
1 – Phoenix
2 – Kentucky
3 – Karma
4 – Joy
5 – Night trip
6 – Masai
7 – Lovers

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8 – Bush Talk

Notes
Flow in psychology means oneness between you and your doing. Flow in Noah Howard’s music means high density: the experience of happily being absorbed in an improvisational flow exceeding all boundaries of categorization. Such was the feeling at a breathtaking live performance of altosaxman Noah Howard at the Documenta 9 in Kasel. A special reunion of the Noah Howard Quartet chilled a captive audience: virtuoso Michael Joseph on keyboards and piano, powerful Jack Gregg on bass, crisp Chris Henderson on drums. What unfolded was a complete magic circle cast by New Orleans-born Noah Howard who has travelled from his roots in Dixieland, Gospel and Free Jazz thru the wonderland of world music and funk back to a refined group approach in free-form.
Witness a heavy revolution of musical soul!
Listen to Noah Howard, Free-Jazz legend of the sixties, resuscitating his favourite musical terrain in the ’90s. Spirited, sensual, energetic.

Andrea Tapper

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Migration Title: Migration
Recording: Recorded 1988 at Top Studio in Ghent and Ace Studio in Antwerp, Belgium
Label: Altsax records – Altsax 9009
Recorded with
Cesare – drums
Tammy Hall: keyboards, synthesizer
L.C.: acoustic and electric bass
Marty Townsend: electric guitar
Danny Dhont: electronic percussions
Curt Hanson: electric bass
Jan Verheyen: electric guitar
Walter Metz: drums
Lode Gansen: 1st trumpet (on Music in my soul)
Tracks:
1 – Migration
2 – African man
3 – Cousin Gerri
4 – Catch up
5 – The lady
6 – Music in my soul
7 – Nairobi
8 – Nobody knows
9 – Amazing graze
10 – The way she walks
11 – Rising rays of the sun
Notes
Migration – The title song of the album was originally conceived in Kenya. The composition relies on a very hypnotic, repetitive African rhythm, which is part of what Noah Howard absorbed while living in Africa. There is a tightness and definite rhythmic interplay with the free and overflowing melodic structure on saxophone.

African Man – An African funk track and a celebration of meeting African men. On a political level it talks of great African men like Tutu, Mandela and Kuti, but it also speaks of the african men as a rhythm man, the roots of all modern music.

Cousin Gerri is dedicated to my cousin whom I grew up with and who was very much like a sister. The emphasis is on the saxophone with a very laid back reggae type feeling. Catch up – is more of a simple jazz hit, directed towards the climate of the late 80′s and the 90′s. Compositionally the song is based upon a subtle click, an interplay between sax and piano, always returning to the theme which is very melodic and rhytmic with a funk beat.

The lady – was inspired by Noah Howard’s deep respect, love and sensitivity towards women. It was written as a samba to reflect the hypnotic and sensual feeling of how he sees a woman, “the way she looks, the way she feels, the way she projects herself”, from an artist’s and a man’s point of view. The song has a feeling of oneness and wholeness about it; it’s very smooth and very flowing.

Music in my soul – is a song reaching out with saxophone and vocals to the feeling of the times. Orchestration and background vocals are with a soul reggae feeling. Nairobi – a hypnotic soprano saxophone line dancing on a romantic Nairobi feeling. Nobody knows – a blues featuring Noah Howard on vocals – straith ahead – we all groove on the blues.

Amazing grace – an old English, Protestant spiritual, but for Noah Howard, a sense of returning back, as he grew up in New Orleans, influenced by a Black American church, his grandfather being a minister. The way she walks – is a modern fun!( rhythm and a track for dancers and lovers.

Rising rays of the sun – is about the feeling a musician has many mornings coming out of a club, where it’s dark in the streets, all quiet and empty. It’s peaceful and there is a certain level of expectations, of positiveness of what the day is going to be about. The day is rising, the dynamics are slowly building. Musically there is an interplay between the rhythmic structure and the vocals and some typical Motown arrangements. Throughout there is an emphasis on the saxophone, a rock-pop beat, with the drum recorded in a live atmosphere.

Buy CD at cdbaby

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Traffic Title: Traffic
Recording: Paris, 1980
Label: L’orsa maggiore
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Bobby Few (p), Joe Maka (dr), Clint Jackson (b)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Traffic One, Lovers and Red Star
Compositions by Bobby Few: Two Lovers Hill, Donkey Dance, Never be the same again

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Ole Title: Ole
Recording: 1979 Re-release of Live in Europe – Volume 1 (1975)
Label: Chiaroscuro Records ‎– CR 2016
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Takashi Kako (p), Kent Carter (b), Muhammad Ali (dr), Oliver Johnson (dr)
Tracks:
1 – Creole Girl (11′) – (N.Howard – N. Dove)
2 – NewArrival (6′) – (N. Howa rd)
3 – Lift Every Voice And Sing (4′) – (J. R. Johnson)
4 – Ole’ (12′) – (J. Coltrane)
5 – Kanpai (9′) – (N.Howard – N. Dove)

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Patterns Title: Patterns – Message to South Africa
Recording: Patterns: recorded In Hilversum, Holland, October 1971
Message to South Africa: recorded in Paris, France, 1979
Label: Eremite – Eremite MTEO19
Buy at Eremite
Recorded with
Patterns:
Han Bennink – drums/percussion/Tibetan horn
Steve Boston – congas
Earl Freeman – bass
Misha Mengelberg – piano
Jaap Schoonhoven – guitar

Message to South Africa:
Johnny Dyani – bass/vocals
Kali Fasteau – sheng/vocals
Chris McGregor – piano
Noel McGee – drums

Tracks:
1 – Patterns – 36:24
2 – Message to South Africa – 18:26
Notes
Noah Howard remains one of the great, under-appreciated saxophonists of free America. The tension-fraught brilliance of his alto playing during the1960s &1970s has an edge of palpable liberation that is both unquestionable & unmatched. A student of Sonny Simmons & Dewey Johnson, Mr. Howard’s success in transmuting thejoy-wedge of his instrument’s post-Ornette identity is well documented on sessions issued by the ESP, Freedom, & America labels. Later efforts show evidence of the kind of programmatic structuring that supplanted fire music’s evolutionary explosions. But such artistic realignments were characteristic of a general shift in the ground underlying the improvisational avant-garde during the 1970s; Mr. Howard was, and remains, capable of producing massive and mighty flux, as the two lost sessions combined here ably demonstrate.

Originally issued on his own Alt Sax label in 1971, the “Patterns” session is one of the great mystery spots in the Noah Howard canon. Mr. Howard was in Europe, subsequent to the American jazz diaspora of the 1960s. His Parisian-based group with Frank Wright, Muhammad Ali & Bobby Few was in merge process with Alan Silva to form the Center of the World Collective. When a Dutch radio broadcast beckoned, Mr. Howard connected with fellow expatriates, bassist Earl ‘Goggles’ Freeman (who the following year would appear on Noah’s Live at the Village Vanguard), & conga player Steve Boston. Enlisted for the rhythm section were Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg, then in the heat of their duo functionality as ICP, along with the guitarist Jeep Schoonhoven (Wally Tax, etc), who is blinding here. The resultant music was a thirty-eight minute spasm of creative thunder.

Parsing the segments of “Patterns” is something best left to the timid. It is a piece into which one is best advised to dive, head-first, fully-clothed & rigidly attentive. The blasted opening sequence, which we seem to enter whilst already in-process, is a space duet for conga & electric guitar unprecedented in the annals of jazz & new music. When the rest of the musicians enter there is a heavy attempt to Africanize Dutch architecture, a proposition which Mr. Mengelberg seems reluctant to accept. What eventually occurs is a primitivist aerial slugfest that invokes a world of shared experience, then negates its substantiality with hammers of nihilist beauty. Emblematic of the end of Europe’s open arms policy towards America’s expatriate improvisers, “Patterns” remains a ferocious, confounding ghost.

The ‘Message to South Africa’ session is another kind of spirit flare. Written in Paris the week that Steve Biko was killed, the date came together around two of the great South African jazz exiles, pianist Chris McGregor & bassist Johnny Dyani. Drummer Noel McGhee (who had played on Noah’s Live at the Swing Club date) was enlisted to give the band Caribbean representation. In Paris as well was Kali Fasteau, who lends the proceedings some of the same vibrational magic she had used so notably on Archie Shepp’s Bijou.

Mr. Howard is careful to note the creative insertions made by his fellow players. Mr. McGregor spliced in the chords to what was then the South African National Anthem, & Mr. Dyani improvised vocals and invocations in Zulu throughout the suite. The combination of free-ranging throats & small, repeated melodic figures gives the piece a feel very congruent to that which flowed from the pipe of free Africa. It is truly a slab of riveting “world music’ in the purest sense – cartwheeling through the changes like a shaman & surging up from a place beyond the reach of the western civ shuck. The project was done with the idea that Mercury might release it, but the heavy political vibe was too much for the company. Consequently, the track has never been released until now. Especially in the wake of Dyani’s and McGregor’s deaths, “Message to South Africa,” is a valuable addition to all five musicians too-scant discographies. It is also one of Mr. Howard’s most blues-wailing performances yet.

Heard together on this disc, these sessions make it clear that Noah Howard holds an important place in the fire music trajectory of late 20th centuryjazz. The time to hear him is now.

Byron Coley, Deerfield MA 1999

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Schizophrenic Blues Title: Schizophrenic Blues
Recording: Berlin, 1977
Label: FMP
Buy CD at Destination Out
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Itaru Oki (tp), Jean Jacques Avenell (b), Oliver Johnson (dr)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Schizophrenic Blues, Fire March, Creole Girl, Solo Sax
Compositions by others: Left Every Voice and Sing by JR Johnson; Birds of Beauty by Stevie Wonder

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Red Star Title: Red Star
Recording: France, 1977
Featuring: Kenny Clarke
Label: FMP / reissued by Boxholder in 2001(BXHO14)
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Bobby Few (p), Guy Pederson (b), Richard Williams (tp), Kenny Clarke (dr)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Creole Girl, Lovers, Red Star

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Berlin Concert Title: Berlin Concert
Recording: Berlin, 1977
Label: FMP
Buy CD at Destination Out
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Takashi Kako (p), Kent Carter (b), Oliver Johnson (dr), Lamont Hampton (per)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Introduction by Noah Howard, Lotus Flower, New York Subway, Mardi Gras, Marie Laveau
Compositions by J. Coltrane: Ole

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Patterns Title: Patterns
Recording: 1976
Label: Sun Records

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The Bremen Concert Title: The Bremen Concert
Recording: Bremen, 1975
Label: JaZtTAPES.CD-027
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Takashi Kako (p), Kent Carter (b), Oliver Johnson (dr)
All compositions by Noah Howard

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Noah live Europe Title: Live in Europe – Vol.1
Recording: Recorded in 1975 across Europe
Label: Distributed by Sun Records under licence of Altsax
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Takashi Kako (p), Kent Carter (b), Muhammad Ali (dr), Oliver Johnson (dr)
Tracks:
1 – Creole Girl (11′) – (N.Howard – N. Dove)
2 – NewArrival (6′) – (N. Howa rd)
3 – Lift Every Voice And Sing (4′) – (J. R. Johnson)
4 – Ole’ (12′) – (J. Coltrane)
5 – Kanpai (9′) – (N.Howard – N. Dove)
Notes
Noah Howard joue du sax. alto; Takashi Kako du piano; Kent Carter de la contrebasse; Muhammad All de la batterie, sauf sur Olé, où ii est remplacé par Oliver Johnson. Les arrangements, excepté New Arrival, sont de Nat Dove. Muhammad Ali apparait avec I’autorisation de Center Of The World Productions.
Le disque a été enregistré au cours de I’année 1975 sur différentes scènes européennes.

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Tapestry - Ted Daniels Quintet Title: Tapestry – Ted Daniels Quintet
Recording: 1974
Label: Altsax Records
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Ted Daniels (flugal horn and tp), Tim Ingles (b), Jerome Cooper (dr), Kahn Jamal (vibes), Richard Daniel (el guitar)
Compositions by Richard Daniels: Tapestry
Compositions by Ted Daniels: Mozambique, Sweet Dreams

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Live at the Swing Club Title: Live at the Swing Club
Recording: Italy, 1974
Label: Calumet
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Michael Smith (p), Noel Mc Ghie (dr), Bob Reid (b)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Paris Dreams, Lecke, Mardi Gras

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Patterns Title: Patterns
Recording: Netherlands, 1971
Label: Altsax
Recorded with Noah Howard (as, bells and shakers), Han Bennink (dr), Steve Boston (congas), Earl Freeman (b), Misha Mengelberg (p), Jaap Schoonhoven (g)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Patterns

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Church Number Nine Title: Church Number Nine
Recording: France, 1973
Label: Calumet
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Frank Wright (ts), Bobby Few (p), Mohamed Ali (dr)
Compositions by others: Church Number Nine part one and two

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Live village van Title: Live at the Village Vanguard
Recording: Recorded Iive at the ViIlage Vanguard, New York City, 22nd August 1972 Recording Engineer: John Sadler
Label: A Freedom recording (FLP40127)
Recorded with
Frank Lowe, (tenor saxophone and bells)
Robert Bruno (piano)
Earl Freeman (electric bass)
Jumasutan (congo drums and timbali)
Rashied Ali (drums)
Tracks:
SIDE ONE
1.BACK A’TOWN BLUES – Howard (Time: 2.42)
2.CONVERSATION – Howard (Time: 8.33)

SIDE TWO
1.DEDICATION (TO ALBERT AYLER) – Howard (Time:14.34)

Notes
Noah Howard belongs to the first generation of post-Ornette Coleman saxophonists. That Means that although he is relatively young, he is an experienced artist by comparison many of the younger players in United States.

He comes to the music with all the right credentials. His birthplace was New Orleans, the city famed not only for its contribution to early jazz, but for the funky rhythms that sparked a whole era of rhythm-and-blues. Motown tried to pin down those unchainable rhythms but could never duplicate them; Noah Howard can draw on them at any time and that, combined with his extensive experience in the Black Church, makes him a exceptional musician. Whatever Noah does, and wherever his impulsive head may lead him, he always retains his technical skill and what the critics usually refer to as ‘taste’. That means that although he will yell lustily through his instrument, he never achieves the grainy coarseness of, say, Pharoah Sanders or Albert AyIer. His is more of a conventional purity and contrasts well with the hoarse “desperation” of Frank Lowe.

This remarkable tenor saxophonist, who joined the Howard unit for this and several Sunday concerts at the Village Vanguard, has sand-blasted most of the surface of his horn to increase its overtones. He is an energy man first and foremost. Born and raised in Memhis Tennessee, Frank Lowe had most of his playing experience in San Francisco whilst in New York he has played ith Sun Ra’s Arkestra, with Alice ColtrAne and Milford Graves.

Robert Bruno, a pianist since the age ‘of 12, comes from Silver Springs, Maryland. He has recorded with Louis Armstrong, and played for artists as diverse as the Platters, Fathead Newman and the late Jimi Hendrix. Playing conga drums and other percussion is Juma Sutan, another Hendrix alumnus from – the Band of Gypsies days. Originally from California, he has. lived in New York since the late I sixties where he is most famous as a manufacturer of the non-Western instruments which are played by the floating population of his Aborikinal Music Society. That Noah Howard takes care of business in all departments is obvious from his choice of bassist. The adept and propulsive Earl Freeman who appears here on Fender bass instead of his more usual acoustic model, was born in Oakland, California. He had played with Sun Ra in Chicago, but most of his professional experience was acquired in Europe with Sonny Murray, Kenneth Terroade, Burton Greene, Noah and Frank Wright. Rashied Ali, immortalised through his work with the late John Coltrane, is a king among percussion’s princes. He never falters for an instant wherever he plays; he is the modern drummerman for all seasons. His work here is absolutely superb, even though he was called in at the last minute to substitute for Noah’s regular drummer, Art Lewis.

Back A’ Town Blues (not related to the Louis Armstrong piece of similar name) is a reminiscence of one of the sections of New Orleans, and is his bowtothe sounds he heard there as a child. The next selection, Conversation, a solo composition for alto saxophone, has the leader’s most relaxed playing of the evening. Essentially melodic, it is lengthy but to the point, and revealing of the artist’s inner nature. Dedication, was written by Noah Howard in memory of the late great innovator Albert Ayler. Frank Lowe, propelled by Rashied Ali blows with almost frightening intensity, and is the ideal foil for Howard’s more thoughtful approach.

There are those who dislike ‘live’ recordings, preferring i’me more controlled conditions of the recording studio. But given that it is still difficult to really capture the energy and impact of the new music through any recording process, ‘live’ dates contain more of those elements than do their studio counterparts This is a strong session because Noah Howard picked his components with taste and skill. The same way he plays his saxophone, in fact.

Valerie Wilmer

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Frank Wright Quartet Title: Uhuru Na Umoja
Recording: France, 1970
Label: MUSIDISC-EUROPE
Recorded with
Frank Wright, tenor-sax
Noah Howard, alto-sax
Bobby Few, piano
Art Taylor, drums
Tracks:
I – ORIENTAL MOOD – 9’30 – (Noah Howard)
2 – AURORA BOREALIS – 7’50 – (Noah Howard)
3 – GROOVING – 7’15 – (Noah Howard)
4 – BEING – 6’1 5 – (Noah Howard)
5 – PLUTO – 4’05 – (Noah Howard)
Notes
Tenor saxophonists come in all shapes and sizes but the exuberant, struttirg Frank Wright Is pretty typical of the now brood of strong men playing the Instrument.

Frank stands alongside Shapp, Ayler and Pharaoh Sanders in the front rank of the post-Coltrane tenor-men. He has paid some heavy dues to get to the position of making records In order that everyone can hear his gruff and tortuous saxophone, and the toughness of his past existence Is reflected In his uncompromising approach to music.

For 13 years Wright held down a variety of day jobs, – just priming – himself for his day to come. And now It’s here.

Bom 9 July, 1935, in Granada, Mississippi, he grew up In Memphis Tennessee. His soulful Southern background stood him in good stead when he first started playing creative music after moving to the mid-Weatem town of Cleveland, Ohio. There he swapped ideas and blew regularly with his longtime friend and native of Cleveland, Albert Ayler. He studied extensively with orthodox teachers before making the inevitable move to Now York. There he worked with organist Larry Young and his front-line partner on this album, alto saxophonist Noah Howard. He also appeared with Sunny Murray, Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane and was accepted by them all as a man with something to say. Frank Wright was home free.

Noah Howard and pianist Bobby Few who came to Europe with Wright earlier this year are his long-time associates. Few, who was bom in Cleveland, Ohio on. 21 October, 1935, has appeared with the saxophonist off and on since 1956. In New York from 1958-64 he led his own trio while working with people as diverse as Brook Benon and Jackie McLean, and he has also recorded with saxophonists Booker Ervin and Albert Ayier.

Howard comes from the birthplace of jazz Itself. He was bom on 6 April, 1943, In New Orleans. La., and has studied with saxophonists Byron Allen and Sonny Simmons as well as working with Ra, Don and Albert Ayier, Sunny Wright and leading his own group.

The drummer on this album Is almost as surprised to find himself joining forces with the Nbw Music as listeners will be to see his name. Art Taylor, the New Yorker who has been living in Paris for the past few years, has always been associated with the tight hardbop style of jazz; here he makes’ his first foray Into the area of freedom. He reported that this was an enjoyable and challenging expefience for him, and his only quarrel came after the session when the rest of the musicians Insisted on referring to him as the Old Masterl (Taylor is only a couple of years older than Wright himself) As time and place erect no barriers to the creation of worthwhile musical forms, so these four musicians of varied backgrounds have come together a long way from home. Their music talks of today, of the straine and stresses in the atmosphere and the catharsis that creativity provides for the artlet. Listen to Frank Wright, the self-styled Superman of the Saxophone; his finger Is right there- on the pulse of NOW!

Valerie Wilmer

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Space Dimension Title: Space Dimension
Recording: 1970 in France
Label: Musidisc Europe / America 6104
Recorded with Noah Howard (as), Frank Wright (ts), Bobby Few (p), Art Taylor (dr)
Compositions by Noah Howard: Space Dimension, Viva Blacks, Song for Poets, Blues for Thelma
Compositions by others: Church Number Nine

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Pitchin Can Title: Archie Shepp – Pitchin Can
Recording: 1970 in France
Label: America 6106
Recorded with Archie Shepp, Bobby Few, Bob Reid, Clifford Thornton, Muhammed Ali, Al Shorter, Lester Bowie, Sunny Murray, Julio Finn, Noah Howard, Leroy Jenkins, Dave Burrell, Earl Freeman, Chicago Beauchamps
Compositions: Pitchin Can

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Black Gipsy Title: Black Gipsy
Recording: 1969 in France
Label: America, Prestige and Musidisc
Recorded with Archie Shepp, Earl Freeman, Sunny Murray, Clifford Thornton, Chicago Beauchamps, Dave Burrel, Julio Finn, Leroy Jenkins
Compositions, all by Noah Howard: Black Gypsy, Epitaph for a Small Winner, Rio de Janeiro, Casablanca, Chicago, Pitchin Can
Buy CD at amazon

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One for John Title: One for John
Recording: 1969 in France
Label: BYG/Actuel (529336)
Recorded with Frank Wright, Bobby Few, Muhammed Ali
Compositions, all by Noah Howard: One for John and China

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The Black Arc Title: The Black Ark
Recording: 1969
Label: Freedom Records. Reissue 2004 and 2010 by BoWeavil
Recorded with Arthur Doyle, Earl Cross, Muhammad Ali, Juma Sultan, Norris Jones [aka Sirone], Leslie Waldron, Earl Freeman
Compositions, all by Noah Howard: Queen Anne, Domiabra, Ole Negro, Mount Fuji
Buy re-release at BoWeavil Recordings

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Judson Hall Title: Noah Howard at Judson Hall
Recording: 1966
Label: ESP
Recorded with Dave Burrell, Rik Colbeck, Norris Jones [aka Sirone], Bobby Kapp, Catherine Norris
Compositions, all by Noah Howard: This place called earth, Homage to Coltrane
Notes
By Lionel H Mitchell
an award-winning Afro-American writer and a very close childhood friend from New Orleans. In 1981 Lionel H Mitchell won the American Literary award for his novel Traveling Light.

A few short years ago (when according to the prevalent academic dogma—”the Negro was the only group in America without a culture of its own”) black expression took place in an almost hopeless situation-white critics wrote out of a peculiar arrogance—they had the word, the media, the oracular vision as to what would or would not capture the fancy of the marketplace and when they came to perform their God-role on the work of an artist it was to marshall a closed cycle of profane functions against him. Because they were so over-entrenched criticism came to resemble a fait accompli. Argument, opposition was useless because the artist was lead to feel that the very tools he used could be given or taken away by a priesthood of commentators. In the late fifties when jazz criticism became the near private fief of blond jazz-bucks in search of a new male principle; the level of neurotic content in print on the subject became almost unbearable and the fountainhead of Black American creativity seemed to exist in a near feudal situation… but not quite, because there.was no-real nobility (or rather those who assigned themselves the role seemed like “draftees from a Conrad novel… adventurers smack out of Cape Colony days, goldrushers clothed now in liberalism and alienation.) The revolt came out into the open in due time but the counter-revolution has not been worsted as yet…witness the educational charm in the statement of a hippie who told this writer: “Spade music is monotonous.” Out of great humanism, this writer suggested by way of therapy that it is neurotic (may be even psychotic) to count one, two, three, four along with a James Brown or Otis Redding…Black music exploded in the face of its levi and leather lords and when the smoke cleared, the assault centered around esthetics. It became obvious that when the artist and his critic used the concept “beauty” they meant quite different and often contradictory things.

Existential situation, point-of-view figured along with basic experience in this war—a gap that can no longer be spanned by the usual tools of the critic (namely bad faith, bad poetry and cultural piracy!) Today the European critic, with a stronger tradition of good taste (not to mention a greater respect for its limits) manages to avoid some of the self-annihilation of his American novice by the fact that he does not share in the latter’s sense of cultural insecurity and feels more relaxed about what Janheinz Jahn has called “neo African culture.” Black musicians find, for instance, that abroad their music is dealt with in a fashion that is considerably more straightforward than the Americano variety. The European capacity for charm, however, must be kept in its historical context or, as Fanon has put it: “Europe now lives at such a mad, reckless pace that she is running headlong into the abyss; we would do well to keep away from it.” Any compilation of the primary ideas of that culture would suiFice to demonstrate this contention but for our purposes here the following list will suffice: the ferocious superstition that the sacred and the sensual are antagonistic; the notion common to both Europe and the United States that the whole of humanity must worship by default this new nuclear diety which is the image, graven and exclusinve,of human selfdestuction entailing as a logical sequence an esthete of dying,the imperialism of death !

Indirectly therefore, we have approached the thematic raison d’être of Noah Howard’s composition, THIS PLACE CALLED EARTH. Conceived and partly written in flight, it is a series of paradoxes, ironies and contradiction even, revealing themselves only through total listening because the music is no longer one music or a music. It is about total-like sound surging into many or all dimensions and introducing the listener to total freedom (which for some may serve to rudely reveal limitations−the detour signposts of being) so therefore strict historiography is an inadequacy of the tools and not necessarily a gap in the art. A ‘long meter’ or dirge or wail is stated early in the work and proceeds in the form of the sacred hymn of the Southern Negro Fundamentalist churches into the fury of the music and outlives that fury. This theme can be taken as a homage to the mainstream of black creativity in the United States because hymns as such as; “I love the Lord, he heard me cry!” are African Chorals to which Christian lyrics were attached much after the Middle Passage when it became legal to teach the slaves the religion of Christ. Mr. Howard, practically acting out the history and development of this music with his own instrument, stretches the theme until at times it becomes like the funeral marches of the Young Tuxedo Brass Bands of his native New Orleans, includes the triumphant jump back from the brother’s grave with the wine bottles glinting in the sun outside St. Louis Cemetery and at the highpoints of his ecstasy he reaches the blues. It must be recognized, however, that this dirge is in a sense incidental because the overall form of the work sets it in the jet age and is therefore designed within the symbolism of the steel bird−gunning the engines, taking off, soaring into the blue, rocketing beyond the speed of sound to a ringside seat of the universe. In the discussion, which takes place none of the instruments have what can, strictly speaking, be called, a supportive role−they are all individuals seemingly going their separate ways…

In other words, the quality of this music must be sought within what Leopold Sedar Senghor terms “…a mathematical formula founded on unity in diversity.” Not only does each instrument carry its own line of rhythm but also there no longer exists any rule requiring strict vertical relationships between these rhythmic lines (which are progressive, provocative, sometimes entwined criss-cross and mutually catalytic.) It is an easily recognizable feature of the post-jazz era that each composer constructs his work out of a battery of idioms taken from music in the totality of time, thus the concept of “new music” is banal. Also the solo medley is now interwoven with percussive responsibilities or, as the major composer-theoretician; Cecil Taylor has put it: “The paths of harmonic and melodic light, give architecture sound structures acts creating flight”
Possibility in music is once more introduced to the infinite characteristic of the universe−symbolized by the creative imagination pushing towards unity with the cosmos whether through what used to be called “by ear” among old-jazz musicians. In terms of history, the only comparable European music is the Baroque but there diversity was limited to one or two dimensions and the dynamics were inordinate and freedom unknown. Moreover, the present day notion that serious music cannot be danced-to is in for destruction, as witness Mr. Howard’s HOMAGE TO COLTRANE.

For the musician and the poet, silence and sound have equal importance−a two-backed beast of conception. Rhythm relates to silence rather as the hand does to a glove. When Billy Holliday sang, for instance, she implied an incidental infinity of songs. What has already been said with regards to THIS PLACE CALLED EARTH should become more obvious and clear in HOMAGE TO COLTRANE with the exception that the composer has introduced his idea to us in the first work, it may not be clear to us what he wants to do with that idea. On side B, however, he reveals his transcendental intentions (which seem to entail honesty to Western contributions in music while at the same time moving towards the East.) Thus, you have the continuum of the Progressive era with its propensity to experiment with “symphonic” instruments, demanding hitherto unknown versatility from them towards the aim of producing new sounds (note the raga production from bass and cello.) Moreover, any homage to Coltrane will henceforth be required to use the form of “preacher’s rhythm” because its restoration to music during a time when it was abandoned in literature (under the onslaught of anti-Baldwin criticism … i.e. Baldwin’s “preachiness”.) must be listened among greatest achievement of John Coltrane.

Naturally, any commentary upon the work of an artist must of necessity be skeletal in character, only the listener can complete with the aid of his “receiving” devices what began with the artist; hence, the main function of comment is to indicate…In addition to what has already been said, listeners familiar with Mr. Howard’s earlier work will notice a new level in tone quality from his alto and more vigorous individuality and self-expression on the part of all the instruments… It is such a pity Black artists in the United States do not develop (or at least that is the impression to be had from the magazine culture) they simply occur and it must be added that the cultural identity discussed here follows its age-old principle of remaining flexible and allowing fresh, free expression to all those who associate with it.

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Quartet Title: Noah Howard Quartet
Recording: Recorded in January, 1966 in New York City
Label: ESP 1031
Recorded with Ric Colbeck, Scotty Hol, Dave Grant
Compositions, all by Noah Howard:
Henry’s Street, Apotheosis, Apotheosis Extension 1, About Love

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