Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Brains On Fire presents, for the very first time on a 2 CD set, some of the innovative early works of pianist/composer Heiner Stadler. These works, written and conceived over 40 years ago, are examples of what are arguably some of the most creatively and unjustly neglected amalgamations of the jazz and contemporary classical traditions. The follow-up release to the critically acclaimed Tribute To Bird And Monk (LAB 7074), Brains On Fire features groundbreaking compositions recorded between 1966 and 1974 that still sound as fresh and stimulating today as when they were first performed. The eight original compositions comprising this remarkable set reveal the mindset of the vastly innovative Stadler in his utilization of the instrumental and improvisatory skills of some of the day's most accomplished players from both the United States and Europe. Noted author Howard Mandel contributes elucidating liner notes.
All About Jazz - Hrayr Attarian
One of the most exciting reissues of the first quarter of 2012 is composer and pianist Heiner Stadler's pioneering Brains on Fire, originally released in 1973. The two-CD reissue adds three lengthy, previously unreleased tracks and informative and well-researched liner notes by critic Howard Mandel.
Interestingly, Stadler occupies the piano chair only on five of the eight pieces, recorded over a seven-year span in a variety of settings varying from vocals and bass duet to big band. His bold style and versatility as a composer, arranger and instrumentalist is showcased throughout the album regardless of whether he is actually hitting the keys or not. ... read more...
Composer: Heiner Stadler.
Personnel: Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals); Tyrone Washington (flute, tenor saxophone); Joe Farrell (tenor saxophone); Jimmy Owens (trumpet); Garnett Brown (trombone); Don Friedman (piano); Joe Chambers, Lenny White (drums).
Recording information: Generation Sound Studios, NYC (02/1974); Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, NYC (02/1974); North German Radio Station (02/1974); O'Brien's Studio, Teaneck, NJ (02/1974); Generation Sound Studios, NYC (09/1971); Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, NYC (09/1971); North German Radio Station (09/1971); O'Brien's Studio, Teaneck, NJ (09/1971); Generation Sound Studios, NYC (10/1973/07/1973); Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, NYC (10/1973/07/1973); North German Radio Station (10/1973/07/1973); O'Brien's Studio, Teaneck, NJ (10/1973/07/1973); Generation Sound Studios, NYC (12/1966); Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, NYC (12/1966); North German Radio Station (12/1966); O'Brien's Studio, Teaneck, NJ (12/1966).
African themes and classical motifs filter through an excellent jazz ensemble under Stadler's direction. "The Fugue #2," "Heide," and "All Tones" are all extended pieces. With Joe Farrell, Don Friedman, Jimmy Owens, Tyrone Washington, Garnett Brown, Joe Chambers, and Barre Phillips. Sextet and quartet recordings, with Stadler on piano on quartet cuts only. For listeners willing to be challenged. ~ Michael G. Nastos