Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: Go Down the Rabbit Hole of Free Jazz with John Olson

Have Sun Ra and Abe Kaoru be the soundtrack to your weekend

Today’s playlist is from John Olson, of the experimental music group Wolf Eyes as well as many other side projects (see list), in celebration of Wolf Eyes’ latest record, Undertow, which comes out today on the band’s newly formed label, Lower Floor Music. This playlist, like free-jazz, is a break away from the norm of Talkhouse playlists, but in a good way! The collage of links below includes full albums of progressive rock to free jazz improvisations to skateboard videos. Enjoy the playlist and have a nice weekend!
-Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Marketing Manager

PIZZA Skateboards – “Left Overs” (Video)
First and best from this new (ish) squad featuring the amazing inventor Michael Pulizzi Jeremy Klein’s new company. Pure modern styles, killer vibe, amazing soundtrack. Super inspiration. New video dropped last month, still fire.

Jimmy Giuffre – “Free Fall” (Extra Tracks)
Extra tracks deemed “too weird” for the already “too weird” FREE FALL “Reign In Blood” of progressive jazz. Giuffre did it all: ghostly tone, strange tense vibe, clarinet master. The solo tracks here are hair-standers supreme. As American and advanced as diabetes. As inspirational as Pizza Skateboards.

Natas Kaupas – “skate demo 87′ part 1” (Video)
Kaupas solo in 87, moves still new, so much coast style it’s hard to stand still watching this. Lynchburg VA did a gaggle of these PROGRESSIVE demos in the indoor slippery roller rink and outside parking lot styles with Vallely- Jason Lee- Ed Templeton- the works nearly at their prime on $20 Home Depot ramps and PVC rails. An amazing window to a skate era where everyone could achieve style success. Part two is just as intense.

Jumbo – “ Vietato ai minori di 18 anni?” (Full Album)
Oh RPI I love you. Would NOT start here to dive into the Italian Progressive Rock scene but you will most definitely end here. Tough as nails, classical as Hills, emotional as your high school girlfriend, heavy as the IRS. Nothing like it, except the ENTIRE Italy Prog scene. Perf long drive afternoon jammers, takes a couple spins and digestion of first LP DNA, but this is the one by the gruff crew. Amazing.

Joe Weaver & Friends – “May”
A more intense private downer folk song/ LP DOES NOT EXIST. Phew, jammed this in the gray fall November with all the election depression and Weaver will be your FRIEND deep into the abyss. The whole LP was booted in Japan on CD, and is amazing but this fucking song…. will need a spotter to bench the weight on your frail heart. Could be…TOO INTENSE. Phew.

阿部薫 (Abe Kaoru) – “「パスタン」”
Abe Kaoru solo is like…. everything. “My father is Eric Dolphy and My mother is Billie Holiday,” okay, add being ALONE to the mix with incredible homemade tone and chops and you have one of the top five best altos ever. Here is a full piece rare to see: almost impossible to digest soul microwaving. No one like him, utter inspiration, aesthetic lifetime goals. See his movie. WHAT MUSIC SHOULD BE.

Shylock – “Gialorgues” (Full Album)
A French progressive masterpiece before they went to A&M and got confused. High ideas, low budget, super powered and memorable. One of those monsters that can turn the unbelievers opposite. An amazing back band photo. Start here.

Lennie Tristano – “Solo Piano”
The inventor of ‘Free Jazz’ master solo at “Tivoli Gardens Concert Hall” in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 31, 1965. It’s tangled, emotive, dark, everything. A vibe as thick as a Culver’s grease tank. It’s just pure confused soul music. I love everything about him and his squad Konitz and Marsh, wicked style and wild.

Johnny Hodges and His Orchestra – “Autumn in New York”
Number 1 Alto doing a tune about autumn is like getting a big fat check. All you got to do is sign off. This is romance. I believe this is Richie Powell on some of the beautiful piano of his short career. And Hodges, Oi Vey. Tone and heart-bending, the reason the blues are BLUE. This is taken from the beautiful “Used to be the Duke” LP.

Sun Ra – “Sunology, Pt. 1”
From my favorite LP by the troupe: Supersonic Jazz. This sounds like Duke just dropped ten hits and chilled the f out at 4am on an empty windy Chicago cold night. Utter beauty, Ra did it all, here are the results.

(Photo Credit: ALIVIA ZIVICH)