Colin Buttimer , BBC Jazz Review :
Let's not beat about the bush. "Love, Love" is a monster of an album. Despite its age (30+ years), it's a must for anybody interested in living, breathing, unexpected music. Julian Priester was an alumnus of Blue Note, Sun Ra and most importantly for this record, of Herbie Hancock's revolutionary Mwandishi group which recorded only three albums in its all too brief lifetime.
Each of those Mwandishi albums was a brilliant melding of the cosmic and earthy, extemporisation and groove.
"Love, Love" was recorded after Hancock dissolved his sextet in order to explore an avowedly populist angle with the hugely successful "Headhunters". Together with trumpeter Eddie Henderson's two post-Mwandishi albums, "Realization" and "Inside Out", "Love, Love" represents one of the late masterpieces of a style later christened "Kozmigroov".
Although comprising two lengthy slabs of music clearly intended to be heard as a suite, it's side one that grabs the listener by the lapels and proceeds to groove remorselessly for a full nineteen minutes. "Love, Love" however is no feelgood piece of happy-go-lucky frippery. Rather, its relentless bass vamp is likely to plough a deep furrow through your consciousness. Spine tingling shaken percussion presages the arrival of Nyimbo Henry Franklin and Ron McClure's basses which well up and sweep forward, singularly intent upon adhering like superglue to the groove.
For the next 18 minutes, a host of players appear and disappear like spacecraft attacking off world teflon-coated targets. synthesist Pat Gleeson, saxophonist Hadley Caliman, guitarist Bill Connors and drummers Eric Gravatt and Leon Chancler are among a host of star contributors.
Side two, "Images/Eternal Worlds/Epilogue" is an ambitious medley that sucks cataclysm, spookiness and melody into close orbit. Less single-mindedly cohesive, it's still a stunning piece of electric jazz, a thrashing, roiling beast that serves to remind how brilliant this shortlived period of hothouse innovation was.
Simon adds :
I'm busy with a few upcoming "extended research" posts, so for now I'll just note some more Julian Priester out there in the blogosphere : Priester headed two albums in 1960, "Keep Swingin" and "Spiritsville". There's a great live Julian Priester date from 1977 over at Elastic Rock which includes a version of "Love, Love".
Also from 1977, there's another ECM album called "Polarization", credited to "Julian Priester and Marine Intrusion". Finally, Call It Anything has "Hints Upon Light and Shadows" (1997) by Priester and Sam Rivers.
I hope you enjoy the spacefunk of "Love, Love", please leave a comment.
1. Prologue / Love, Love (19:22)
2. Images (7.56)
3. Eternal Worlds / Epilogue (10:34)
Julian Priester: trombones, baritone horn, post horn, whistle flute, cowbell, small percussion, ARP 2600 synthesizer, Proto-type ARP string synthesizer
Pat Gleeson: ARP 2600 synthesizer, ARP Odyssey synthesizer, Moog III, Oberheim digital sequencer
Hadley Caliman: flute, saxophones, bass clarinet
Bayete Umbra Zindinko: fender rhodes, piano, clavinet D-6
Nyimbo Henry Franklin: fender bass, acoustic bass on all except “Love, Love”
Ndugu Leon Chancler: drums on all except “Love, Love”
Mguanda David Johnson: flute, soprano saxophone on all except “Love, Love”
Kamau Eric Gravatt: drums, congas on “Love, Love”
Ron McClure: fender bass on “Love, Love”
Bill Connors: electric guitar on “Love, Love.”
Recorded June 28 and September 12, 1973 at Different Fur Music, San Francisco.
Released on ECM Records, 1974
Vinyl rip by Bacoso
Other album links in the post go to manepipoca's music house, My Jazz World, Dark Blue Notes, Call it Anything, Elastic Rock and why doncha.
Please thank these guys if you click through and download their files.