Saturday, March 20, 2010

Serge Ermoll's Free Kata - The New Language of Music, Vol. 1 (1976)

Following on from last week's Louis Burdett album, here's the first in a two-part set by Free Kata. I picked this up from somewhere or other ca. 1992 (might have been Bob Gould's shop in Pitt St near Ashwood's) for around $5.
The line-up here is Serge Ermoll, piano (centre in the picture); Eddie Bronson, saxophone (right), Louis Burdett, drums (left).
Recorded October 10, 1976. Released on the Free Kata label. Catalogue # KATA 002
[no, I don't know what KATA 001 was]

I had seen a newer incarnation of Free Kata around about the time I bought this record, featuring Serge Ermoll (who was the band leader), Louis Burdett or John Pochée (depending on who was available), Matthew Clare, the son of the jazz writer John Clare (aka Gail Brennan) and a bassist whose name escapes me (sorry). I think Sandy Evans might have been in the line-up occasionally too. Eddie Bronson, who seemed to be such an integral part of this early band, was at that time playing around with another band, Ear-Rational music, featuring a young Oren Ambarchi and Robbie Avenaim on drums (don't own any of Eddie's recordings I'm afraid). Apparently Bronson, Burdett and Ermoll reunited as Free Kata in 2003 with violinist Jon Rose. I was completely unaware of this till I googled it just now.

This recording has a flying by the seat of your pants feel that's quite thrilling, and captures something of the intensity of their live performances. Volume two features the same instrumentalists, with some improvised poetry by John Clare (gadzooks!). Will try to rip that one too when I get around to it.

A1: The First Movement (17:50)
B1: The Second Movement (19:30)

These albums with side-long tracks sure are easy to edit :)

320kbps mp3

[Links fixed 22/1/12]


  1. Just found your site yesterday and dled this on your recommendation. Wonderful!! Thank you so much for sharing what would be music lost to most people. I'll follow up some of your other posts.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. It's nice to know someone appreciates this stuff. I will try and find the time to post some more stuff soon.

  3. Hi, just found your site & have obtained Free Kata & Louis Burdett. Excellent. Thanks for putting these obscurities out there.
    paul kidney

  4. Thanks a lot for these!

  5. if you'll find some free time in future, please reup Free Kata's stuff! thanks anyway, best wishes!