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28.11.10

It's almost Hanukkah, so, the best Challah ever:

Chalah
(Butter Braid)


1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 sticks (6 ozs.) unsalted butter, i.e., 1 stick (8 tablespoons) for dough, 1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) for oiling bowl and baking sheet, and 1/4 stick (2 tablespoons) for basting loaf

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast, e.g., Fleischmann’s (but not "Rapid Rise" or other "instant")
3 large eggs
About 3 3/4 cups white, all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
Poppy seeds for garnish—optional

1. Scald milk in a small saucepan over high heat. Move to a large mixing bowl or work bowl of a standing mixer (e.g., KitchenAid). Cut 1/2 stick of the butter into pats and add to bowl with the salt and the 1/3 cup sugar; mix well with a wooden spoon, or dough hook attachment to mixer, until butter, salt, sugar are all dissolved and mixture is lukewarm. Meanwhile: in a small bowl, stir next three ingredients together well to dissolve yeast; leave 5-10 minutes—until foamy. If it doesn’t foam, yeast is dead; replace yeast before proceeding. Separate one egg: put white aside for later; beat yolk and two whole eggs lightly in a small bowl.

2. Stir or machine-mix yeast into cooled milk mixture. Add eggs and 1/2 the flour; beat to smooth. Add remaining flour, the last 1/2 cup gradually. By hand: When spoon-stirring becomes too arduous, press flour into dough with your fist, turning dough over as needed. By hand or machine: Add just enough flour to make a fairly stiff, but not dry, dough that pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. If too sticky, add a little extra flour; if too dry, drizzle in a little warm water.

3. By hand: Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead about 10 minutes. By machine: knead with dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed, then finish by kneading briefly by hand. Finished dough should be satiny smooth and bouncy. Put in a buttered bowl, turn over so top surface is buttered too, and cover with a clean, non-terrycloth (i.e., low-lint) towel that has been dipped in hot water and wrung out well. Put in a warm place to rise to double in bulk—2-2 1/2 hours. An unheated oven with the light on works well.

4. When doubled in bulk, punch down thoroughly and turn out onto a clean, unfloured surface. Cut into three** pieces; roll each to a rope about 15 inches long. Seal the three together at one end, squeezing bonded part together very hard then turning under. Braid dough ropes together (like braiding hair) and seal second end like first. Use a little water if difficult to bond. (If you don’t wish to braid, shape all the dough into a log; it will taste the same.)** Place on buttered baking sheet and melt the extra 2 tablespoons of butter. Butter the braided loaf with a brush. Leave to rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees after bread has risen for 40 minutes.

5. Place risen bread on centered rack of preheated oven. Beat retained egg white with a tablespoon or two of water. After baking 10 minutes, brush loaf with egg-white mixture; rotate pan front to back for even baking. Repeat 10 minutes later. Five minutes later, brush with egg white a 3rd, final time and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if wished. Cook 5 minutes more, or 10, if needed—a total of 30-35 minutes—until loaf is golden brown (not dark brown), top creases don’t look or feel raw, and bottom gives off hollow sound if thumped. (Yes, it’s hard to turn on it’s side to thump.) If very top begins to brown too quickly, i.e., while sides, etc. are still quite pale, cover fast-browning part with a strip of aluminum foil. Remove to a rack and cool before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf a little under 2 lbs. in weight
*2 x recipe = 1 dramatically-long loaf; fits diagonally on standard baking sheet. For 2x recipe, use 4 eggs total and same 1 egg white for glazing. Increase butter by 1 stick: 1/2 stick is still enough for oiling bowl, pan, loaf.
**For a triple-braided loaf, best used for a double recipe, see instructions: “Bread, Chalah, To Triple Braid”.

Triple-Braided Chalah

(See recipe, "Bread, Chalah" for basic instructions, substituting below process for #'s 4. and 5. in that recipe. Triple-braided version works best using a double recipe of dough. If doubling recipe, )

4. When dough is doubled in bulk, punch down thoroughly and turn out onto a clean, unfloured surface. Cut in half. Divide one half into 3 pieces; roll each to a rope about 8 inches long, if doing a single recipe of dough, 17-18 inches long if doing a double recipe. Seal the 3 at one end, squeezing together hard to bond, then turning under and squeezing again to further bond the underside to the part that shows. Braid dough ropes together, exactly like braiding hair, and seal 2nd end like the 1st . Use a little water if difficult to bond. Place on buttered baking sheet—on the diagonal if doing a double recipe.

5. Cut 2/3 of the remaining dough into 3 pieces. Repeat above process, but making each strand about 2 inches longer; they will look skinny. The finished braid must also be 2 inches longer than the 1st braid, though dough may try to contract when braided. If this is the case, hold one end of finished braid in each hand and stretch gently. Leave on rolling surface and repeat the process with the remaining 1/3, again making a very skinny braid 2 inches longer than the 2nd braid.

6. Wet the side of your hand (the surface used for breaking stuff in karate) and make a deep, damp depression the length of the 1st, largest braid. Wet your hand more than once if necessary. Place the 2nd braid in this depression but with the direction of the braided pattern reversed. Press down hard to bond, pull ends of 2nd braid out and underneath the sealed ends of the 1st braid, and seal them to the underside of the 1st braid with a little water and quite a bit of pressure. Repeat process exactly with the remaining dough, remembering to reverse the direction of the braided pattern again (so that the 1st and 3rd braids are headed the same way and the one in between goes in the opposite direction). Press firmly at the ends, to seal the 3 braids together; also press down harder than you think you should several times across the entire top of the loaf to weld the 3 braids together. Even if they look ugly at the moment, rising and baking will transform them.

7. Melt the extra 2 tablespoons of butter. Butter the braided loaf with a brush. Leave to rise for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325 degrees after bread has risen for 40 minutes.

8. Place risen bread on centered rack of preheated oven. Beat retained egg white with 1-2 tablespoons of water. After baking 10 minutes, brush loaf with egg-white mixture; rotate pan front to back for even baking. Repeat 10 minutes later. 5 minutes later, brush with egg white a 3rd, final time and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if wished. Cook 5 minutes more, or 10, if needed—a total of 30-35 minutes for a single recipe, 5-10 minutes longer for a double recipe—until loaf is golden brown (not dark brown), top creases don’t look or feel raw, and bottom gives off hollow sound if thumped. (Yes, it’s hard to turn on it’s side to thump.) If very top begins to brown too quickly— while sides, etc. are still quite pale—cover fast-browning part with a strip of aluminum foil. Remove to a rack and cool before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf a little under 2 lbs. in weight or 1 double loaf of about 3 3/4 lbs.

18.2.10

Lebenese Chickpea and Potato Stew

Lebanese-Style Chickpea and Potato Stew

2 medium onions (3/4 lb. total weight)

2 medium potatoes (3/4 lb. total weight)

1/2 cup olive oil

6 large cloves garlic

42 ozs. good-quality canned tomatoes (e.g., Muir Glen brand), or substitute 18-20 ripe Romas

22 ozs. canned chick peas (or substitute home cooked)

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

2 1/4-3 teaspoons salt (to taste)

5 large scallions

Small bunch Italian parsley

15 ozs. clean baby spinach (or substitute cleaned and stemmed bunch spinach or chard)

1. Peel and chop onion medium-fine. Peel potato and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes; keep in mind that smaller pieces cook faster. Heat a heavy, wide saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat; add olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion and potato and cook, stirring as needed to prevent sticking, for 10 minutes or longer— just until some of the onion colors gold around the edges and potato pieces are trying to stick and brown onto bottom of the pan. Toward the end of the cooking time, turn/scrape with a wide metal spatula/pancake turner.

2. Peel garlic, trim off root nubs, and press or mince very finely. Drain tomatoes, but save the juice. Chop tomatoes finely and set aside. Using fresh tomatoes, save tomatoes and their juice together. Drain chickpeas; discard liquid, if canned. If freshly cooked, save cooking liquid to use for soup stock (can be frozen); or use in this dish in place of water if sauce needs thinning.

3. When onion/potato is ready, add tomatoes and 1/2 the saved tomato juice. Scrape pan well to deglaze, reduce heat to low, and cook together for about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, garlic, pepper, cayenne, most of the salt, and some of the remaining tomato juice, if too dry. Cover and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, trim off roots and chop scallions—white and green parts. Stem enough parsley leaves and chop medium-fine to make 2 large handfuls; set aside with scallion.

5. After stew has simmered 10 minutes, add spinach, tearing up any large leaves. If stew is too dry after spinach wilts and incorporates, add remaining tomato juice and/or a little water; use some chickpea liquid, if peas are fresh-cooked. Stir well, cover, and simmer 5 minute. Taste and correct seasonings. Stir in chopped scallions and parsley, cook together another 1-2 minutes, and serve. Good with pita or French bread, or over rice or quinoa.

6 servings

My Favorite Sun Ra Albums - Sun Ra - God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be

This is the first installment in my top-whatever list of favorite Sun Ra albums. They are listed in no particular order.



It is so rare to hear Sun Ra in a small ensemble setting, let alone a trio. Here we have Saturn LP 72579:

Side A:
Days of Happiness (Ra)
Magic City Blue (Ra)
Tenderness (Ra)

Side B:
Blithe Spirit Dance (Ra)
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be (Ra)

Ra-p; Richard Williams-b; Luqman Ali-d. Recorded 7/25/1979.

Luqman Ali, WOW. One sick drummer. He is remains a lifer in the Arkestra, continuing to perform under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who has been in the Arkestra since damn near the beginning.

This is a HOT album, straight up. High energy, it swings. Some might say it is a little straight forward for Sun Ra. I don't think so; I think that sans Arkestra anything could sound a little tame. What I can say is that hearing him with only bass and drums is nothing short of awesome. Mr. Ra tends to lay back in his larger ensembles; Arkestra recordings are more composition oriented; here you have Ra playing jazz piano, straight through.

I'm not too sure about the rarity/availability of this LP, but I'm not too familiar with it, which means it must be a little obscure.

download link in comments

11.2.10

Wu Fei

2.2.10

Fred Anderson and Hamid Drake - From the River to the Ocean

Photobucket

Hamid Drake is definitely one of the most exciting drummers in jazz music. His collaborations with William Parker are nothing short of amazing. Likewise his work with fellow native Chicagoan and elder statesman of jazz Fred Anderson. I've seen Anderson and Drake a handful of times in concert, together and separate, and every show has been wonderful. The thing I like about the two of them is that they work within a broader spectrum of jazz than most musicians do. There will be wild, free improvised solos that maintain a deep swing. There will be traditional jazz forms, passages in the music that could be labeled jazz in the strictest sense, yet don't sound like they are locked within the rules of the music.

Hamid Drake is an interesting fellow. I read somewhere he is a practicing Sufi. In his music he is all over the map. I saw him with a European free-form avante garde group whose music was more "art" than music; he took a 15 minute drum solo that was some form of abstract, off kilter, hip hop beat. He'll quote heavy Latin rhythms underneath wild, free form, noisy, ensemble improvisations. On more than one occasion I've seen him come out on stage alone and sit and play a large frame drum and sing in Arabic (something Hamid does on this record; the cover of the album is Hamid holding this frame drum) and literally "clap" the floor with his bare feet. And there is always a heavy presence of Reggae (he just release an album called "Reggaeology" with his group Bindu).

From the River to the Ocean is a beautiful record. I can't stop listening to it. And I think that it is a record that would appeal to just about everybody. From the hardcore free-jazz enthusiast, the more traditional jazz listener, and the music fan who may be a jazz noob.

Check it out. And if you like it, buy it. Purchase via Thrill Jockey Records. Musicians like these need our support.

25.1.10

Paul Murphy Jimmy Lyons Karen Borca Mary Anne Driscoll

This is a rare look into the rehearsal for the album Red Snapper CBS & RCA studios. Freely improvised sessions. This album was originally released privately with small distribution. The CD is now available from Cadence Jazz records. Jimmy Lyons-Alto Sax, Paul Murphy-Percussion, Mary Anne Driscoll-Piano & Vocals, Karen Borca-Bassoon and John Coltrane's world famous trumpet player (from his profoundly momentous 'Ascension' recording) Dewey Johnson.

2.1.10

stanley cowell - new world



01. 'Come Sunday' - 8:39 (Duke Ellington)
02. 'Ask Him' - 4:46 (Cowell-McBee)
03. 'Island Of Haitoo' - 4:14 (Cowell-Scott)
04. 'I'm Trying To Find A Way' - 7:27 (Cowell-McLaughlin)
05. 'El Space-O' - 8:20 (Cowell-McBee-Haynes)
06. 'Sienna: Welcome To This New World' - 2:43 (Stanley Cowell)

MUSICIANS

Piano, electric piano, prepared pianos, kalimba, hammond organ, orchestra chimes, occasional backing vocals - Stanley Cowell
Bass - Cecil McBee
Drums - Roy Haynes
Percussion - Kenneth Nash
Alto, Tenor and Bass Trombones - Julian Priester
Trumpet, Electric Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Eddie Henderson Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone - Pat Patrick
Cello - Terry Adams
Violin - Nate Rubin
Vocals - Judy Lacey , Linda Mandolph , Robert Mandolph

PRODUCTION DETAILS

Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, November 1978
Arranged and Conducted by Stanley Cowell
Producer - Ed Michel
Engineer - Baker Bigsby
Assistant - Wally Buck
Mastering - George Horn
Art Direction and Design - Phil Carroll
Photography - Phil Bray

stop by never enough rhodes to view original post and get the link to the album. remember to thank them for the info!