Recorded April 21, 1976, Blue Rock Studio, NYC. This is a reissue of the rare album, ‘The Haunt’ (Otic 1005). Includes a nearly 7 minute bonus track not found on original LP. Featuring Bobby Naughton on vibes & compositions, (Wadada) Leo Smith on trumpet and Perry Robinson on clarinet. Recorded April 21, 1976, Blue Rock Studio, NYC. This is a reissue of the rare album, ‘The Haunt’ (Otic 1005).
After attending dozen of jazz gigs at places like the Village Vanguard, the Village Gate and the Five Spot, starting in fall of 1972, I went to hear music in loft spaces throughout the rest of the Seventies. Places like Studio Rivbea, Ladies Fort, Environ, the Brook & Studio We. There was a large influx of musicians moving to NY then and many of them played at and ran those loft spaces. I remember catching a group called Interface at Environ on several occasions, whose members included Perry Robinson on clarinet, Mark Whitecage on sax, John Fischer on piano & Phillip Wilson on drums. I also caught Perry Robinson with Gunter Hampel’s Dream Galaxie Band. Mr. Robinson was the first clarinetist I heard that played freely. I was also buying records and finding out about more and more creative musicians and scenes, locally and elsewhere. I recall finding albums by a vibes player named Bobby Naughton, who was collaborating with future heroes like Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith and James Emery. I bought a number of albums led by Bobby Naughton and Wadada Leo Smith during the seventies but never got a chance to hear him live until the last few years and the Vision Fest (with WL Smith) and once in the early days of Victo with Mr. Braxton. I bought a copy of Bobby Naughton’s ‘The Haunt’ way back when it came out but haven’t heard in more then thirty years. Until this reissue. What I find most interesting about this music is that it sounds more like chamber music, refined, most carefully arranged and exquisitely played. Mr. Naughton claims that he wrote the music mostly at the piano which he played before playing the vibes. The sound of his vibes are slowed down, dreamy and filled with soft drones. (Pre Wadada) Leo Smith’s trumpet and Perry Robinson’s clarinet also play with a dream-like haze, bending their notes together with the utmost restraint and care. Since most of this is slow spacious and calm, we must settle down and wait as thing s unfold. Is this music from another time (April 1976) and place (Blur Rock Studio, NYC)? Certainly, but it is also music that is timeless, ageless and special. Mr. Robinosn seems to have one foot in the past and the other in the present or future. He will start off by bending a note the way some one does on more ancient jazz records when swing was the thing in the forties and then play with a more modern tone as he and Smith become one sound/blend. The title of this disc, ‘The Haunt’ seems most appropriate since the music is most haunting. The final piece, which is also a bonus track and an alternate take of an earlier piece is perhaps the best one one s the trio take off and increase the level of intensity, spinning more quickly, the level of ingenuity, a marvel to behold. This will take some time to fully absorb since it appears to me a unique gem outside of its time. - Bruce Lee Gallanter