By Jason Weiss
In 1964, Bernard Stollman introduced the self sufficient checklist label ESP-Disk’ in big apple urban to rfile the unfastened jazz move there. A bare-bones firm, ESP used to be within the correct position on the correct time, generating albums by means of artists like Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and solar Ra, in addition to folk-rock bands just like the Fugs and Pearls prior to Swine. however the label quick bumped into problems and, end result of the politically subversive nature of a few productions and sloppy company practices, it folded in 1974. Always in Trouble tells the tale of ESP-Disk’ via a large number of voices—first Stollman’s, as he recounts the inconceivable lifetime of the label, after which the voices of a few of the artists concerned.
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Extra info for Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk', the Most Outrageous Record Label in America
Who was that person? Granville Lee visited me. He had a ttended high school in Cle veland with another student who was enormously talented. They had formed a band and all through school they were performing professionally. He insisted that I hear his friend, who was going to play at the Baby Grand Cafe in Harlem on the follow20 ing Sunday afternoon, between Christmas and New Year’s. ” He had s aid enough to intrigue me. It was snowing when I trudged uptown from 90th Street to 125th Street. The Baby Grand was a popular piano bar.
I was told it was Karel Velebny. At my request, they found him for me, and he appeared within twenty minutes. He suggested that we step outside, to avoid prying eyes and ears. We walked out in t he da rkness, a nd I s aid, “ I he ar y ou’re t he most p rominent jazz a rtist in Czechoslovakia. ” He looked at me, stupefied. ” I said, “When you get to Germany, find a studio and ask them to call me in N ew York. ” He agreed. About a month later, the phone call came from the studio in Germany. I said, “Record him.
Elmo Hope quietly c losed his p iano, t he bass p layer pa rked his bass, t he dr ummer p ut his sticks down, and they all s at back to listen. He was p laying solo, and he k ept right on playing for twenty to thirty minutes, just a burst of music. It seemed like a second; it was no time at all! Then he stopped and jumped down from the platform, covered with sweat. I approached him and said, “Your music is beautiful. ” He reflected, and then he said, “I’d like that. But I have to do a session in March at Atlantic.