Noah Howard was born in 1943 in New Orleans, the heartland of Jazz. Growing up in a city vibrating with Gospel and Dixieland he lived music in all its forms and played music from his childhood in his church. Noah first learned to play the trumpet and later moving on to alto, tenor and soprano saxophone. Noah’s music evolved as he worked with different people in different places, working with Dewey Johnson in Los Angeles and later on in San Francisco, and playing with Sun Ra after moving to New York. As an innovator influenced by John Coltrane and Albert Ayler he became a driver of the early Free Jazz movement and quickly developed into one of the world’s most celebrated alt saxophonists.
He recorded his first LP “Noah Howard Quartet” as a leader in 1965 and his second LP “Noah Howard at Judson Hall” in 1966 both for the groundbreaking ESP Records label. In 1969 he appeared on Frank Wright’s album “One For John” and on “Black Gipsy” with Archie Shepp. His third record, which he lead, working with Arthur Doyle was the internationally acclaimed “Black Ark”. With this, Noah entered the Jazz hall of fame as one of the most brilliant and innovative Free Jazz musicians.
In 1971 he created his own record label AltSax and published most of his music under that label. In the same year he recorded Patterns in the Netherlands with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. Having honed his style and explored many eclectic sounds, he became disenchanted by the lack of appreciation for musical avant-garde in the USA. He moved on to Europe and Africa, moving to Paris in 1972, Nairobi in 1982 and finally Brussels in late 1982, where he had a studio and ran a jazz club.
He recorded steadily through the 1970s and 1980s, mostly with AltSax and continued to expand his repertoire, exploring funk and world music in the latter decade. In the 1990s Noah returned to his free jazz origins, infusing the many new influences and genres he had come across throughout the years into his inceptive passion.
Noah Howard’s joy of life and insatiable curiosity was the driving force for his travels and collection of music, but also what made his sound so rich and remarkable. He gave concerts and worked with poets, visual artists, composers and musicians in places as diverse as India, the Arab world, Africa and Europe. This characteristic open-mindedness let Noah constantly re-innovate his style by embracing the cornucopia of the world’s cultures, people and music.
Noah Howard unexpectedly passed away September 3rd, 2010 while vacationing in Southern France. Just one day before finishing the first draft of his autobiography.
“Live In Europe Vol.1” is the second Altsax production. These live recordings capture a series of the artist and his quartet’s performances throughout Europe in 1975. These gigs reflect Howard’s peculiar musical identity on the Free Jazz scene of that era. An uncanny and heavy atmosphere unifies the different compositions which are constructed with improvisations on disturbing repetitions.
[Noah Howard(as),Takashi Kako (p), Kent Carter (b), Muhammad Ali (dr), Oliver Johnson (dr)]
released April 10, 2020
45 years after its original release, Sconsolato is proud to annonce an official reissue of “Live In Europe Vol.1” limited to 300 remastered vinyl copies. Out April 10th.
Noah Howard joue du sax. alto ; Takashi Kako du piano ; Kent Carter de la contrebasse ; Muhammad Ali de la batterie, sauf sur Olé où il est remplacé par Oliver Johnson.
Les arrangements, excepté New Arrival, sont de Nat Dove.
Muhammad Ali apparaît avec l'autorisation de Center Of The World Productions.
La photo est due à Thierry Trombert.
Le disque a été enregistré au cours de l'année 1975 sur différentes scènes européennes.
Sconsolato records 15, chemin de Feycler 74140 Yvoire,
distribue ce disque sous license Altsax Productions.
Fully licensed from Altsax Productions
Pressed at MPO France
Vinyl cut: Adi Flück at Centraldubs
Mastrered by Colin Young at SeeWhyAudio
Artwork by Alban Sommer
Produced by Thomas "truckthomas" Gauffroy-Naudin for Sconsolato
Originally released on Sun Records [SR 105]
1975 Altsax Productions / 2020 Sconsolato Records
Thank you to: Lieve Fransen for believing in this project, Les Disques Bongo Joe & everyone involved in the making of this record !
Dedicated to the memory of Noah Howard (April 6, 1943 – September 3, 2010)