Recorded October, 1980 at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, and 1750 Arch Street Studio, Berkeley, California, USA.
This CD is a reissue of two vinyl records: Volume 1: The Social Set and Volume 2: The Science Set, recorded in 1980, October 19 and 21, respectively. They were produced by The Beak Doctor/Metalanguage Records (originated by Greg Goodman, Henry Kaiser and Larry Ochs in 1978) during The Metalanguage Festival of Improvised Music: a scrummage of musicians who had previously recorded on the label.
Volume 1 consists of two extended whole-group pieces and was recorded at Arch Street Studios in Berkeley, California.
Volume 2 was recorded in performance at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, a grand hall with lots of age and rubbed-off gold. We got the feeling, gazing from the stage at the high ceilings above the wrap-around box seating, that it was The Roman Coliseum. If we squeezed into our Lion costumes, we could make a night of it. The contests were in duos, trios, quartets, and an occasional solo: someone battling himself.
This reissue is configured to fit the dubious prerogatives of compact disc technology. (Two records cannot be squeezed into a turnip nor can Cinderella's shoe fit into the CD player.) As Woody's Great Great Grandfather, Woodrow W. Woodman used to say, "You can't step into the same river twice and not get your feet wet, where am I?"
It is truly grand ensemble playing, and we are saying that by myself.