Monday, 11 August 2008

Roy Ayers Quartet-2 - All Blues

48.8 MB
256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Denon YX-7404-ND

I looked around for info on this earlier in the year and couldn't find any. A week or so ago, Never Enough Rhodes published an exhaustive post on a Reggie Workman LP and a comment left by the ever-insightful El Goog about how there is no real discog for Denon anywhere prompted me to pull out this rare 12" 45rpm and put it up for posterity.

Roy Ayers - Vibes
Sonny Sharrock - Guitar
Miroslav Vitous - Bass
Bruno Carr - Drums

A - If I were A Carpenter
B - All Blues

Forgive me for not going into the careers of these ultra-mega-giants of jazz, funk and improv music. If these names are a mystery to you then you're in for a treat on your journey of discovery. You can start with the bio links above. I'll be keeping this post brief like the offering on hand.

Researching this a little further, I saw it on eBay the first time going for a benjamin. Also I noticed that, buried a few pages back in on a Google search, it had been posted a few months ago by Dan Gr at No Value System, who has the best review of it on the whole wide interweb - and not just because it may be the only one. It's informative, has some nice sleuthing and it explains the goings-on better than I could. I'll post a snippet but you'll have to check the link you just glossed over if you want to read more...

I found that Herbie Mann (who "presents" this 12") recorded a version of "If I Were A Carpenter" for his 1968 album Windows Opened. Roy Ayers, Miroslav Vitous, Bruno Carr, and Sonny Sharrock—aka the Roy Ayers Quartet 2—are Herbie Mann's band. It's really interesting to compare the two versions.

Now the enigma was wrapped in a riddle. Windows Opened was on Atlantic in 1968 and Stoned Soul Picnic was also released the same year on Atlantic and also featured Vitous and Mann (the line up also appears on some tracks of 1970's Stone Flute on Embryo but are augmented by strings). In case you didn't check that eBay posting, that copy is a Japanese pressing but is on Nippon Columbia. The copies here on Soundological and over on No Value System are both on Denon. I've read previously that there is another Quartet-2 recording released on 12" 45 simultaneously with this one, also one track per side. Unfortunately I can't dig it up again, so if someone can confirm, please feel free to leave a comment. (NB: see bottom of post for link to the other one!)

So it appears we have outtakes from a 1968 session, likely from Windows Opened, that was issued in only Japan on both Nippon Columbia and its subsidiary Denon in 1976 - or were the Denons reissues of earlier Columbia releases? Or vice-versa? Why in Japan only? Did Mann bootleg the masters over there? Did he own the masters and sell them to Columbia overseas? Did Atlantic? According to a few sources, out of the dozens of records in Mann's prodigous 49-year career, only Latin Mann from 1965 and Big Boss Man from 1973 were on Columbia. Ayers himself didn't release any records on Columbia/CBS until '84. Perhaps the story is told on the sleeve notes but they're written entirely in Japanese which is all Greek to me. Anyone out there able to translate?

The chances of you running across this wax are slim so Soundological suggests you snap it up HERE or HERE until you do.

UPDATE: The eminent El Goog has benevolently blessed blogland with the ultra-rare other volume over here. Don't sleep!!!


E-mile said...

hi Cheeba,
found you due to a shout over at Simon666' place and was amazed by the great sounds you've gathered here at soundlogical inv....
I'd like to link you over at my little baby-blog, if that's OK by you, please let me know if so?
peace, E-mile

feel free to visit me over at:

cheeba said...

Thanks, E-Mile! You go right ahead and link away. I'll add a link to your spot too, you've got a lot of cool tracks over there!

thecorrector said...

Thanks for the lesson. Everybody I know (not many) that knows Japanese is in Japan so no help there. Lookin forward to checking this out - back to browse later. Peace.

cheeba said...

Well, that cat at No Value System gets most of the credit for the legwork so I hope you let him know, too. Also hope you find something you enjoy on your return.

Just had a poke at your blog...Zappa, Material, Ed OG and Sesame Street & Beatnigs on the same page? Hellz yeah. I'll be checking it out!


hi cheeba!
just found your amazing blog!
many thanks again m8 for another gem!

cheeba said...

You're welcome Alex and thanks for saying hi!

ish said...

Some Roy Ayers I never heard of? Sign me up!! Thanks.

dka said...

I took your advice. This is a really interesting find. The quartet of Ayers, Vitous, Sharrock and Carr were also on the Herbie Mann LP Live At The Whiskey A Go Go augmented by Steve Marcus on sax. Not sure of the recording date but my cd copy says originally released in 1969.

Julian said...

have not heard of this particular Roy Ayers off shoot. excited to check it out! thx as usual.

cheeba said...

Glad this one is being enjoyed!

Finally dug up the info for the other 12" in the Funky Groovy Music Reference Book here (pdf). In there it is listed as Comin' Home Baby with the cat# VX7403/ND. Considering the V is probably a typo, it's a perfect match.

I then ran found it for sale at DJ Friendly Records:

Roy Ayers Quartet - Herbie Mann Presents Comin' Home Baby Vol.1
Rare japanese only jazz set from the late sixties!

If anyone out there has a copy, we'd love to hear it - or at least see the cover!

cheeba said...

Thanks for the heads up, dka!

That observation only adds fuel to the fire for the argument that this may have been recorded in Japan while the group was touring. Especially after learning the first 12" was called Comin' Home Baby which was a staple of Mann's live act but hadn't seen a studio release since 65. There's a distinct possibility they could have been recorded during 1968-69 rehearsal sessions, too. If so, where?

Again, hoping someone can step up to translate the liner notes!

Dan Gr said...

Hey Dude, thanks for the linking. I'm really curious about this second 12" you write about. Is it the same line-up? I'm sure you saw on my blog, but I'm a huge Sonny Sharrock fan—that's why I bought this record in the first place. Nice Blog.

el goog said...

Hello cheeba

I have this one but had lent this to younger brother.
Therefore, I might not be able to give you the accurate information about this.
And I am not native speaker, Please forgive my poor English :)

Anyway here or here is COMIN' HOME BABY / ROY AYERS QUARTET.

And here is some info.

When reading from liner notes of this cover, this recording was planned for recording on "Direct-Cut" by Nippon Columbia. (Denon was Nippon Columbia's brand name for broadcasting station.)
And this was made while Herbie Mann's fourth tour in Japan.

That is an outline.
Did I help you?

el goog

cheeba said...

Did it help?

Let's just say you have just now provided the most information for this session that is available on the internet in English! I, and quite a few others, appreciate your assistance!

Simon666 said...

Months later here I am .. .great stuff Cheeba, thanks!

ThorZeen said...

Never heard or seen this one. Thanks for share.


-Otto- said...

Almost missed out on this Roy Ayers/Sonny Sharrock album with a bow to Herbie Mann's Memphis Underground. Thanks!

cheeba said...

You're welcome Otto!

In case you weren't aware, El Goog Ja has posted the first volume here:

-Otto- said...

Hey, that's how I actually found the Vol. 2.

Thank you so much for your excellent selection of music.

taro nombei said...

Me too, I arrived here via el goog, though certainly not the first time I've visited!
These are great and funky two tracks - a great post, with all that info.
thanks man!

cheeba said...

Always a pleasure to see you around here taro. Thanks for dropping by!

Anonymous said...

Great post and great writing from your side. Thank you so much.

Simon666 said...

Just came across a live recording of the same band here :

See Volume 12 :

Herbie Mann (8-30-69), Texas International Pop Festival

8. Tangier-> (7:47)
9. Improvisation (7:12)

Herbie Mann - flute
Sonny Sharrock - guitar
Miroslav Vitous - bass
Roy Ayers - vibraphone
Bruno Carr - drums

cheeba said...

Thanks Simon! I had included a link to that set in the super-extensive Herbie Mann discography I posted but did not think to add it here. Good lookin' out mate!

Simon666 said...

Well for anyone not up for the 1GB download of the entire Texas International Pop Festival, here are the two Herbie Mann tracks :