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Horace Tapscott | Live at Lobero

Horace Tapscott Trio |  Lobero Theatre  | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

HORACE TAPSCOTT — LIVE AT LOBERO

This concert was staged & produced & recorded by Tom Albach of Nimbus West Records and most of the music appeared on two vinyl LPs on Nimbus back in the 80s. Tom & Pat & their son Banks lived in Santa Barbara at the time of these recordings. Somewhere around 1991 they decamped and moved to Amsterdam. Tom was fed up with America. They now live in Albuquerque and Tom is busy re-issuing his LP catalog, as well as continuing to release material from his vaults. There is still something like 14 hours of unreleased Horace Tapscott solo piano that Nimbus recorded. All of the (so far) eleven volumes of solo Horace music was recorded at Lobero in midnight recording sessions.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

So, when November 12, 1981 rolled around Horace was no stranger to the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido Road in Santa Barbara, California. About a two hour drive north from his home in South-Central Los Angeles.

My concert notes say that 200 Santa Barbarans were in attendance.

The CD versions have added a lot more music from the evening. Volume One released in 2006 finally includes the legendary (Alex Cline has campaigned many years for this music to finally see the light) opening 29:10 called “Inception” with the trio on percussion. My field notes say that Horace was on thumb piano and then “all kinds of percussion.” Roberto had three conga drums (according to my notes, apparently “a first for Roberto in concert”). And you can see from my photographs that Sonship had no shortage of percussion available. Alex was in solidarity with his colleague Sonship and has always had a high opinion of this portion of the concert.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

The CD version of Volume Two is mastered and ready to go as of this writing but Tom has a couple other releases he wants to put out first. I did the tape transfers for a portion of Volume Two.

The first stage of the CD production was done by the late Quincy Adams who transferred the LPs into the digital realm. I’m not sure what medium the original masters are in. Nor do I remember who extracted “Inception” from the originals. I do know that I transferred here at Studio 725 the two additional tracks for Volume Two.

My notebooks also reveal, for what it’s worth, that Quincy made the LP transfers on January 23, 2006. (Quincy died of pancreatic cancer on the last day of 2007 — a great loss to Zerx Records and Nimbus West and all of Albuquerque — he was only 52.) Dennis Moody is still the chief engineer for Nimbus.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

My notes also say that Horace in the first set announced “Close To Freedom” as written by Carmen Crunk in 1959-1960. Horace was on a mission to record all of the Black composers of Los Angeles that had never had such opportunities.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

The two additonal tracks for Volume Two are “Akirfa” and “If You Could See Me Now.” Both of them derived from Radio Shack MPX-90 Type IV Metal cassette — Dolby was not employed at any stage.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Actually, I take that back. Reviewing my notebooks I see that this was possibly Horace’s first venture inside the Lobero Theater. The dozen-plus sessions that make up the solo piano albums that Horace cut there at Lobero began on September 22, 1982 and went onwards till March 5, 1985.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber

Woodrow Sonship Theus got away from us March 18, 2011 (kidney failure) age 58. Born June 22, 1952 a life-long resident of Los Angeles. His namesake comes from the John Coltrane album.

Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber


Mobile Recording Unit outside Lobero Theater | November 12, 1981 | Photo by Mark Weber

Many of these photographs were from the soundcheck. You can tell from their clothing which is the performance and which is the soundcheck. If  anybody knows who the recording engineer is in the van parked outside the Lobero, please let us know via Comments Box below. The guy is not Dennis Moody, who was chief engineer on this date. So, it’s either Andre Champagne or Mark Hattersley, who were on the engineering crew.

Mark Weber | April 14, 2012


Horace Tapscott Trio | Lobero Theatre | November 12, 1981 | Horace Tapscott, piano; Sonship, drums; Roberto Miranda, bass | Photo by Mark Weber