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Tome IV - Gil Mellé

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    This is the first album of electronic jam We have used five electronic instruments to expand the tone and dynamic spectrum of what could ordinarily be a standard jazz quartet instrumentation. By electronic instruments I refer to those that produce sounds strongly indigent to themselves as opposed to those that merely synthesize or modify already to existent sound sources. A good example of an electronic instrument is the effect! generator which is as unique as 3 tram bone. Conversely, amplified guitars, amplified saxophones with or without tho octave effect, and electric organs are prime examples of instruments that synthesize or modify. When one consider, that is possible in sound through electronics... the premise of an amplified saxophone is something like using a hydro, bomb to crack a walnut. The instruments used on this album wet (designed and constructed by me during the past seven years and each is much akin to those used in electronic classical music.

    Previously, all of the electronic instruments were played by the composer one stored on tape. Later the tape was uses for concert hall performance (picture yourself applauding a tape recorder) or for album release. In my group, the instruments are distributed among the players and no tape or overdubbing techniques are used. This is a major musical departure. The quartet sounds the same on this album as it does in concert.

    Further, I believe that jazz musicians are the most natural choice as performers on these instruments. Musical intuition is as essential to a jazz musician as to the electronic composer in such exploratory musical ventures. Improvisation is the common denominator.

    "Live" electronic jazz had its birth in the winter of 1966 at the Moonfire Inn, sort of jumping, off place for avant-garde ideas, nestled away in the heart of Topanga Canyon, California. Of course, there were years of experimentation be forehand. but it was there that the nucleus of this group emerged, as well as the basics of performance. The enthusiastic response there was beyond not fondest hopes. The single, most important. fact that emerged was that electronic music does communicate, and does cause people to respond emotionally. There is a need for this kind of communication. Too many things in our contemporary world defy aesthetic description through conventional means. A gifted friend of mine wrote, "The wind which inspired the first flute is inaudible above today's jet take-offs. sonic booms, and the tympani of pneumatic drills. The water which gurgled musically in ancient brooks is now the rush of traffic on our freeways, and the only salvation of today's 'realist' is to accept this near 'nature' into the fabric of his art."

    The eloquence of electronically generated tones on these matters has been proven time and again on subsequent occasions, the most notable of which was the recent Monterey Jazz Festival at which the group was featured and was received vigorously. This empathy more than justified the momentous amount of work on the part of Westbrook, Matthews, Stofflet, and myself to realize what in truth is ”new music." Leonard Feather, the noted jazz critic, labeled our music "Fourth Stream" in a recent article. Leonard's description seems to have remained with us. It is truly that._ a melding of three vital Musical forces to produce a fourth.

    This is only the beginning—of that there can be no doubt.

    FORREST WESTBROOK — studied piano since the age of seven, and attended Westlake College of Music. Prior to his association with the group, he was involved in electronic experimentation. Among other works, he composed 3 0300. phone quartet which MS performed at Eastman College of Music. He alto plays Elector.

    BENFARAL MATTHEWS—bass, cello, and Envelope has been .math Melte for the past three years. Also holds an M.A. in Mathematics, specializing in Cybernetics. He is an accomplished composer whose most recent work was a score for a tele• vision documentary.

    FRED C. STOFFLET --- is the outstanding percussionist making, his debut on this album. There is a catalytic quality about his playing that lends cohesiveness to the electronic/non-electronic interplay. He is the world's first Electronic Drumrner.

    GIL MELLE - plays soprano saxophone, Tome VI,. and Effects Generator, on all of the tracks. He composed and arranged the four selections.

    (1) ELECTAR:
    Theoretically, the operation of this to instrument approximates the fundamentals of string instrument playing on that conditions are employed by the player (through his controls) to determine pitch, decay and amplitude. Through a sort of electronic "plucking" the actual notes are heard. This device, like the Effects Generator, is capable of rapid arpeggioated forms, but because of its internal construction, retains a peculiar individuality.

    (2) ENVELOPE:
    The tones heard through this instrument are not electronically generated, but are conventionally produced mutations. It is used in conjunction with the bass or cello. Its overall effect is a rhythmic one.

    An instrument of mast ominous and sinister quality that at times can sound like total decimation. It is best described as a low register electronic "cymbal." Unlike the conventional cymbal however, it is capable of producing a myriad of acoustical phenomena.

    (4)TOME IV:
    Transistorized Oscillator/Modulator/Envelope - the sixth unit designed by Melte is a hybrid instrument consisting of a sub-miniature system of transistorized circuitry built into a conventional soprano sax. These are housed in 3 tubular perforated extension grafted to the horn. Through this arrangement, as many as five individual voices are possible and a range of up to 9000 cycles.

    A console device capable of playing arpeggiated passages of infinite variety and complexity. Polyrhythmic patterns ire also possible.

    GREEN SAFE I AND II are used to convert It electrical energy from the above sources to mechanical energy. Safe I employs a shortterm memory insertion device of an electrostatic design. Safe II produces only "dry" sound.
    Track Listings:
    Side A
    1 Blue Quasar 15:15
    2 Elgin Marble 4:15

    Side B
    1 Man With The Flashlight 11:40
    2 Jog Falls Spinning Song 6:15
    Artist Name(s):
    Benfaral Matthews - Bass, Cello, Electronics
    Fred C. Stofflet - Electronic Percussion
    Forrest Westbrook - Piano, Electronics, Electar
    Gil Melle - Soprano Saxophone, Electronics, Tome Vi, Effects Generator, Liner Notes, Composed, Arranged
    Peter Faith
    Release Year: 1968
    Classical, Progressive
    Album Type:
    Compact Disc, LP 33 1/3
    Studio Name:
    Recorded in NYC on February 8, 1968.
    Engineer(s): Tom Sheffrey
    BMI, Copyright
    Label / Publishing
    Label Name:
    Verve Records
    Catalog Number(s):
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Valley Meadow Music Corp.
    Editions / Reissues
    1. Tome VI ‎(LP, Album, Mono, Promo) Verve Records V6-8744 US 1968
    2. Tome VI ‎(LP, Album) Verve Records V6-8744 US 1968
    3. Tome VI ‎(LP, Album) Verve Records VS-8744 Germany 1968
    4. Tome VI ‎(CD, Album, RE) Verve Records, Verve Records PROA-53, V6-8744 US 2006
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