Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sounds of Liberation - Self Titled (Porter Records, 1972, 2010)

Rhythm is the key on this very rare album of funky free jazz, recently reissued by Porter Records. Drums, hand percussion and vibes lay down a thicket of deep and powerful rhythm that is hypnotic and potent and makes an excellent setting for the wild and woolly saxophone of Byard Lancaster. Along with Lancaster on alto saxophone, the the group included Dwight James on drums, Khan Jamal on vibraphone, Rashid Salim on conga, Monnette Sudler on electric guitar, Omar Hill on percussion and Billy Mills on electric bass. This album was originally recorded in 1972 in Philadelphia, and still sounds very fresh today. "Happy Tuesday" opens the disc with hand percussion forming a deep and insistent groove. Lancaster's muscular saxophone, hinting at free playing while remaining deeply soulful is present as well as sparks of guitar chords and thumping bass. Over the course of twenty minutes the music develops a hypnotic groove and has excellent ensemble playing with the full band pulling together with a common goal. "We'll Tell You Later" also opens with a drum solo and some questing, probing saxophone. The music grows more abstract and features some of the freest improvising on the record before pulling together at the end of the improvisation for a funky rhythm onslaught. Philadelphia seemed to be a crossroads of funky yo free jazz in the 1970's from the likes of Sun Ra and many more. This was a very exciting album that should appeal to fans of open ended R&B and free jazz. Sounds Of Liberation -

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