Saturday, November 27, 2010

Three of Joe Farrell's CTI gems will be reissued on CD for the very first time!

Miracles happen sometimes! Three longtime out-of-print Joe Farrell albums from his CTI heyday will be reissued on CD for the first time ever, on January 20, 2011, by the Wounded Bird label. "Penny Arcade," "Upon This Rock" and "Canned Funk" -- all featuring cover pics by genius Pete Turner and never before reissued not even in Japan! -- were licensed from Sony Music, which never had any interest in reissuing such titles in the US. However, all three albums became cult classics titles and were sampled a lot by DJs and rappers of the hip hop generation.

Btw, on May 22, 2008, Reuters reported:
"Rappers Kanye West, Method Man, Redman, Common and their record companies were sued on Thursday by late U.S. jazz musician Joe Farrell's daughter, who accused them of using her father's music without approval. The lawsuit, filed by Kathleen Firrantello in the U.S. District Court in New York, names the rappers along with various labels owned by Universal Music Group. The lawsuit said all the rappers used portions of Farrell's 1974 musical composition "Upon This Rock" in three separate songs -- West in "Gone," Common in "Chi-City" and Method Man and Redman in their song "Run 4 Cover."
Firrantello is seeking punitive damages of at least $1 million and asked that no further copies of the songs be made, sold or performed, according to the lawsuit.
For the complete original article, please check:
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2253482520080523

Despite such legal problems, Wounded Bird reissued, in June 2009, the two albums ("La Catedral Y El Toro" and "Night Dancing") recorded by Farrell for Warner, the company with which the late reedman signed a millionaire contract in 1977 after a series of seven great albums for CTI (not counting the unofficial releases nor the live dates with the CTI All Stars bands). However, Farrell was not able to reach the same momentum of his CTI years and, maybe due to the lack of good promotional efforts, his WB albums sold much less than the CTI ones. After having recorded his first three CTI albums -- "Joe Farrell Quartet," "Outback" and "Moon Germs" -- with such famous sidemen as Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Elvin Jones, Stanley Clarke, Jack DeJohnette and Airto Moreira, most of them suggested by producer Creed Taylor, Joe Farell (1937-1986) was finally allowed to take his touring band to the Van Gelder Studio in October 1973, when his fourth CTI album, "Penny Arcade," was cut.

With the extra help of Herbie Hancock, who had performed on the previous "Moon Germs" and would rejoin the reedman on WB's "Night Dancing," Farrell's group consisted of Herb Bushler (electric bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Don Alias (percussion) and Joe Beck (electric guitar). My late friend Beck wrote the frenetic title track, while Farrell himself contributed with "Hurricane Jane," "Cloud Cream" and "Geo Blue." However, my personal favorite track is a 13-minute jam version of Stevie Wonder's "Too High." Besides some unreleased alternate takes, the sessions also yielded a groovy Beck original, "I Won't Be Back," featuring Hancock on the Fender Rhodes, which Creed Taylor smartly saved for inclusion on Farrell's follow-up "Upon This Rock."

Five months later, in March 1974, Joe Farrell returned to Van Gelder Studio with his wild pianoless gang -- guitarist Joe Beck as the main "side-star" bringing all the fuzz box, wah-wah pedals and extra effects he could handle, Thiago de Mello's former bassist Herb Bushler and drummer Jim Madison replacing Gadd -- to cut three more tracks: "Upon This Rock," "Weathervane (both written by Farrell specially for the date), and Beck's "Seven Seas." The LP picked # 24 in the Billboard "Jazz Albums" chart.
Last but not least, "Canned Funk," Farrell's sixth CTI LP, was cut (once again at Rudy's) between November & December 1974, with percussionist Ray Mantilla (heard mostly on congas) added to the road band formed by Joe Beck, Herb Bushler and Jim Madison. All four songs were composed by the leader: "Canned Funk," "Spoken Silence," Animal" and "Suite Martinique." The album came out only in May 1975, peaking at #30 among the "Jazz Albums" chart of Billboard magazine. And, in January 1976, Farrell would start to record "Benson & Farrell," his best-selling album ever (having reached #3 in the Billboard "Jazz Albums" chart and #100 in the "Hot 200 Pop Albums", obviously due to George Benson's huge popularity at that time). His last studio meeting with Creed happened in 1980 for the sessions of the first "Fuse One" all-star project.

And now I hope to see, in a near future, Wounded Bird reissuing more CTI albums (by other tenor sax players) that remain unreleased on CD format, such as Stanley Turrentine's "The Sugar Man" (which includes the original mix of "Pieces of Dreams," destroyed when the track was unnecessarily remixed to be added as a bonus track in the CD reissue of "Don't Mess With Mr. T"), Yusef Lateef's "In A Temple Garden" (featuring the terrific dancefloor hit "Morocco") and Fats Theus' "Blackout," which includes a very interesting version of Jobim's "Stone Flower."

4 comments:

Eric said...

Dear Arnaldo, thanks for the news about Joe Farrell's upcoming CTI releases. Now another question for you - will Hubert Laws' "Carnegie Hall" Concert (CTI 1973) ever be issued in its' entirety? There must be more music from this concert than was released on the CTI vinyl original (I also have the King CD re-issue which is the same) - do you know the story? Thank you!

Arnaldo DeSouteiro said...

Dear Eric,
Thanks for reading!
As you certainly know, none of the Japanese CTI CDs reissued by King Records include previously unreleased material.
This happens because when King Records got control of the CTI catalog (ie, most of the titles released between 1970 and 1984), they only had in their vaults (located in Tokyo) the 2-track mixed tapes of each title. Each time that a new CTI album was released back in the 70s, CTI provided them with a copy of the original ¼-inch analog mix tape done at Van Gelder Studio.
On is turn, when Sony (then CBS) confiscated the CTI material in a NY warehouse, after a law suit, they got all they found, which means that they also became owners of the multi-track master tapes which contained a huge ammount of unreleased material (sometimes entire studio sessions and live concerts!)
This long intro helps to explain why, when PJL licensed Hubert Laws' "Carnegie Hall" from King Records, and reissued it on CD in 2002, in Japan, for the very first time, there were no bonus tracks.
However, if Sony someday decides to reissue "Carnegie Hall" on CD in the USA, they could use a lot of unreleased material, and release an "extended/enhanced" version like Didier Deutsch did when reissuing Laws' "The San Francisco Concert" with four fabulous bonus tracks.
Of course the multi-track tapes with the complete material of the "Carnegie Hall" concert remain intact in the Sony vaults in NY.
Besides "Fire and Rain," which fades on Side A of the original LP, the January 12, 1973 concert also included pieces like Gabriel Faure's "Pavane," Francis Lai's "Love Story" and Rodgers Grant's "Morning Star."
In case Sony decides to reissue "Carnegie Hall" on its entirety, I see only one "problem": Creed Taylor called Billy Cobham to overdub the drum parts (played in the concert by the late Freddie Waits) at Van Gelder Studio, but Billy did it only in the 2 songs selected by Creed for the original LP release. And Rudy only did the mixing of those 2 songs. All the other tracks that remain unreleased would need to be mixed (from the 8-track masters) and, anyway, would sound very different from the 2 songs mixed by RVG and overdubbed by Cobham.

Arnaldo DeSouteiro said...

Dear Eric,
Thanks for reading!
As you certainly know, none of the Japanese CTI CDs reissued by King Records include previously unreleased material.
This happens because when King Records got control of the CTI catalog (ie, most of the titles released between 1970 and 1984), they only had in their vaults (located in Tokyo) the 2-track mixed tapes of each title. Each time that a new CTI album was released back in the 70s, CTI provided them with a copy of the original ¼-inch analog mix tape done at Van Gelder Studio.
On is turn, when Sony (then CBS) confiscated the CTI material in a NY warehouse, after a law suit, they got all they found, which means that they also became owners of the multi-track master tapes which contained a huge ammount of unreleased material (sometimes entire studio sessions and live concerts!)
This long intro helps to explain why, when PJL licensed Hubert Laws' "Carnegie Hall" from King Records, and reissued it on CD in 2002, in Japan, for the very first time, there were no bonus tracks.
However, if Sony someday decides to reissue "Carnegie Hall" on CD in the USA, they could use a lot of unreleased material, and release an "extended/enhanced" version like Didier Deutsch did when reissuing Laws' "The San Francisco Concert" with four fabulous bonus tracks.
Of course the multi-track tapes with the complete material of the "Carnegie Hall" concert remain intact in the Sony vaults in NY.
Besides "Fire and Rain," which fades on Side A of the original LP, the January 12, 1973 concert also included pieces like Gabriel Faure's "Pavane," Francis Lai's "Love Story" and Rodgers Grant's "Morning Star."
In case Sony decides to reissue "Carnegie Hall" on its entirety, I see only one "problem": Creed Taylor called Billy Cobham to overdub the drum parts (played in the concert by the late Freddie Waits) at Van Gelder Studio, but Billy did it only in the 2 songs selected by Creed for the original LP release. And Rudy only did the mixing of those 2 songs. All the other tracks that remain unreleased would need to be mixed (from the 8-track masters) and, anyway, would sound very different from the 2 songs mixed by RVG and overdubbed by Cobham.

Arnaldo DeSouteiro said...

Dear Eric,
Thanks for reading!
As you certainly know, none of the Japanese CTI CDs reissued by King Records include previously unreleased material.
This happens because when King Records got control of the CTI catalog (ie, most of the titles released between 1970 and 1984), they only had in their vaults (located in Tokyo) the 2-track mixed tapes of each title. Each time that a new CTI album was released back in the 70s, CTI provided them with a copy of the original ¼-inch analog mix tape done at Van Gelder Studio.
On is turn, when Sony (then CBS) confiscated the CTI material in a NY warehouse, after a law suit, they got all they found, which means that they also became owners of the multi-track master tapes which contained a huge ammount of unreleased material (sometimes entire studio sessions and live concerts!)
This long intro helps to explain why, when PJL licensed Hubert Laws' "Carnegie Hall" from King Records, and reissued it on CD in 2002, in Japan, for the very first time, there were no bonus tracks.
However, if Sony someday decides to reissue "Carnegie Hall" on CD in the USA, they could use a lot of unreleased material, and release an "extended/enhanced" version like Didier Deutsch did when reissuing Laws' "The San Francisco Concert" with four fabulous bonus tracks.
Of course the multi-track tapes with the complete material of the "Carnegie Hall" concert remain intact in the Sony vaults in NY.
Besides "Fire and Rain," which fades on Side A of the original LP, the January 12, 1973 concert also included pieces like Gabriel Faure's "Pavane," Francis Lai's "Love Story" and Rodgers Grant's "Morning Star."
In case Sony decides to reissue "Carnegie Hall" on its entirety, I see only one "problem": Creed Taylor called Billy Cobham to overdub the drum parts (played in the concert by the late Freddie Waits) at Van Gelder Studio, but Billy did it only in the 2 songs selected by Creed for the original LP release. And Rudy only did the mixing of those 2 songs. All the other tracks that remain unreleased would need to be mixed (from the 8-track masters) and, anyway, would sound very different from the 2 songs mixed by RVG and overdubbed by Cobham.