Pharoah Sanders, Floating Points & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises (2021, Luaka Bop)
Since I mentioned this on Day 5, it seems only natural and right that Day 6 should be this wonderful record from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The LSO. I’m not going to say much of anything about it; I know there were many reviews of this album and I am sure many of them are also wonderful. The album was conceived and recorded during the pandemic and somehow felt like the album we needed, even if we may not have deserved it. A proprietor of a local record shop where I live didn’t like it, he complained that it sounded “new age” — a characterization that I think is neither accurate nor fair – and that Pharoah barely plays on it, and is too subdued. But (as I mentioned yesterday) the mood here is very introspective, and feels like a musical meditation on the passing of time, on the luxury and strangeness of having lived to an old age. Any new worlds that Pharoah may seek to discover at this point are more subtle than the soaring heights of his youthful work, somewhere in between the planes, teetering suspended between the flesh and the disincarnate. I have this one on vinyl, but I’m still digesting it, so it’s not the version I’m sharing here.
Hermeto Pascoal E Grupo
Lagoa Da Canoa Município De Arapiraca
Original release 1984, Som da Gente
This issue, 1988 Happy Hour Music HH5005-2
Normally, during this time of year, I like to post some forró pé de serra and baião to commemorate the marvelous Festas Juninas I came to appreciate when I lived in the northeast of Brazil. It’s not as if I’ve run out of vintage forró records to post about on the blog, but I feel I could use a change of pace. I’ve been experiencing some pretty wicked job burnout and other related issues that have put me in an odd state of mind and, with unfortunate frequency, a rather foul mood. Hence, Hermeto Pascoal is kind of just what the proverbial doctor ordered: something to alleviate the foul mood by way of resonating with odd and the uncomfortable. Hermeto’s music can be disorienting in the most humanistic of ways. Continue reading
Horace Tapscott Quintet
The Giant Is Awakened
1969 original release, Flying Dutchman
2020, this reissue Real Gone Music RGM-1012
Juneteenth is now a federal holiday in the United States. I don’t wish to take away from the significance of that recognition, especially for those old enough to remember the days of Jim Crow. But you’ll have to indulge my skepticism about whether this represents a movement toward genuine reckoning and reparations, or whether its a gesture to make white folks feel better. But while you have your red drink of choice today, and reflect on history and which parts of the past are not past, maybe you can also enjoy this monumental album from the Horace Tapscott Quintet, featuring Arthur Blythe on saxophone. Tapscott was engaged with a variety of endeavors aligned with a radical black political vision, from the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and the UMGAA, to supplying music for an album by Elaine Brown of the Panthers.
1980 Interzone IZ 1001
Original UK release – 1978 Broadcast Records
May Day, 2020. Not long ago, the hashtag #notdying4WallStreet was trending on Twitter, as Vulture Capitalism quite literally proposed killing untold thousands to buoy their stock portfolios. And this week a conglomeration of far-right Christians praying for the next apocalypse to spew forth from their divine vehicle’s tanning bed puckered sphincter-larynx, in a suicidal love-tryst with armed angry white men posing on the steps of capitol buildings demanding that a phantasmagorical Deep State restore their God-given right to choose between Coke and Pepsi. After the revolution comes (the real one, not this bullshit), the first edition of the New Dictionary of the Year Zero will have an entry for “alienation” displaying photos of these people with their banners equating “Freedom” with the right to wage slavery. Continue reading