Lester Bowie w/Joseph Bowie and Bobo Shaw + Malachi Thompson
December 28 1975 1st and 2nd set
master audience cassette > cdr (recorded and transferred transferred by orchiddoctor)
cdr > eac(secure mode) > peak pro 5.2(adjust volume, trim wave files) > flac(level 6) (tracked/edited by carville, no noise reduction)
total time 98:24
Lester Bowie - trumpet
Joseph Bowie - trombone
Charles "Bobo" Shaw - drums
Malachi Thompson - trumpet (2nd set)
notes from orchiddoctor:
I remember coming home to New York for Christmas in 1975 and reading an ad in the Village Voice for Lester Bowie at a place called LaMama. As excited as I was that Bowie would be holding court there for several days, I felt an equal amount of trepidation about the location--4th Street between Avenue A and B. This is an area of Manhattan known as Alphabet City that at the time was extremely crime ridden. Syringes on the sidewalk--that sort of thing. White boys didn't go to Alphabet City after dark--if they went at all. The Bowery--where the Tin Palace and, around the corner, Studio Rivbea were located (not to mention CBGB--right down from the Palace) was the edge of the "safety zone." Nonetheless, I had to hear Lester. So I headed downn on these five nights and had a blast. The only issue was getting out, as no one else was walking my way back to the subway. That's why I didn't stay for all of the sets (there were 2-3 per night). The audience was small--between 10 and 30 people.
LaMama was an oasis in a concrete jungle. It had new hardwood floors, great lighting, and was set up with a low stage for drama, dance, and music. While theater was its main focus, it also served as the unofficial headquarters for members of St. Louis' Black Artist's Group (B.A.G.). Bobo Shaw lived there at the time, and most of his colleagues played there at some point. Like most shows, these concerts were put on to raise money for the theater. The shows were purely improvisational, and the core consisted of the Bowie brothers and Shaw. Magical stuff. Wish I'd had the balls to stay for the late sets.
These shows were obviously off the cuff, show up and see what happens moments. They are not even listed in Lamama's archives.
The loose atmosphere was amazing. It was as if these guys just showed up with their instruments and a couple of people were there, so they played. You can hear Lester ask for ideas on a few sets, and Joseph Bowie announces the fact that these shows were to raise money for the children's workshop after each set. That they occurred at all was likely due to Executive Director Jacki Och's relationship with Bobo.
notes from carville:
the drums are somewhat distorted, but quite a historic document!