Conjure | Cab Calloway stands in for the moon | American Clavé

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CONJURE is: ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano / DON PULLEN organ, vocal / LEO NOCENTELLI electric guitar / STEVE SWALLOW electric bass / ROBBIE AMEEN trap drums / OLU DARA trumpet, vocal, harmonica / EDDIE HARRIS tenor sax, vocal / DAVID MURRAY tenor sax, vocal with BOBBY WOMACK vocal / CLARE BATHE vocal / ROBERT JASON vocal / FERNANDO SAUNDERS vocal, electric bass / GRAYSON HUGH vocal / MILTON CARDONA congas / HAMIET BLUIETT baritone sax / MANENQUlTO GIOVANNI HIDALGO congas / FRISNER AUGUSTIN congas / IGNACIO BERROA trap drums / CARMAN MOORE guest conductor / ELYSEE PYRONNEAU electric guitar / JOHNNY WATKINS electric guitar / LENNY PICKETT tenor sax / DIAHNNE ABBOTT vocal / and as the Josephine Baker New Magic Chorus: TENNESSEE REED, SHAUNICE HARRIS, CARLA BLANK coach featuring: | ISHMAEL REED words, vocal

Produced by KIP HANRAHAN / SCOTT MARCUS executive producer / recorded and mixed September, October 1987; January, February, March 1988 / NEW YORK: Skyline Studios, Sorderer Sound, Sound Ideas; ROGER MOUTENOT principal engineer, JON FAUSTY engineer, EUGENE NASTASI, TOM DURACK, DARY SULICH, BRUCE CALDER assistant engineers / LOS ANGELES: Amigo Studios; CONLEY ABRAMS engineer / SAN FRANCISCO: Different Fur Studios, HOWARD JOHNSTON engineer / mastered at STERLING SOUND, GREG CALBI engineer / MANHATTAN DESIGN cover design / VIRGINIA LIBERATORE, CHARLES REILLY, NASA photographers / special thanks to MRS. BOBBY WOMACK, HAMIET BLUIETT, HOWARD JOHNSTON, MARY LEDBETTER and CARLA BLANK. Material on this album is published in “New And Collected Poems by Ishmael Reed” Atheneum 1988.

Tracklist: 1. The Author Reflects On His 35th Birthday [5:00] 2. Loup Garou Means Change Into [3:39] 3. ‘Sputin [5:03] 4. Nobody Was There [5:04] 5. Medley: General Science / Ish / Papa La Bas [5:12] 6. Running For The Office Of Love (Prelude) [1:38] 7. My Brothers [7:01] 8. Running For The Office Of Love [3:47] 9. Petit Kid Everett [2:10] 10. St. Louis Women (Excerpts) [2:43] 11. Bitter Chocklate [4:13] 12. Beware: Don’t Listen To This Song [5:27] 13. Minnie The Moocher [2:02]

Setting the absurd and mysfical

to a droll back-beat is Ishmael Reed’s idea of a riff, and one with an effect akin to the hollow echo between the flattened notes of a Thelonius Monk blues. Reed’s oddball stories disavow the linear for the circular and reverberate with the juxtaposition of incongruous images. It’s as if he’s conflating the future and the ancestral into one confused life-like moment, as if he’s marveling at a man who truly did “enter another man’s dreams and rearranged fhe scenes.” Like an itinerant bluesman, Reed spins fables that raise the demons of the isolation and alienation of the forlorn and frustrated only to banish them with a trickster’s cackle. But most important, Conjure sets Reed’s poetry to the alluring blue funk that haunts the bars and street corners where blue demons linger. – DON PALMER

See, at the heart of Conjure

is this rhythm section (yeah, it includes legends and horns) that swings so strongly and intelligently that you can hear the joy the players have working with and writing for each other and you can’t escape the living respect they have for the magic of the tradition. And at its sharp ({enter are the words and stories of Ishmael Reed (genuine American Magical Realism?) reintegrating themselves into the verbal, griot tradition from which they come. Most magic is vertical as well as horizontal, isn’t it? – KIP HANRAHAN

conjure | cab calloway stands in for the moon | american clavé


“…just your basic, everyday smoky-bluesy-swinging-funky-literate-jazzy-tight improvised-crafted-ensemble thing. In short, a model for intelligent, creative pop music.” – Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1992

“…’Cab Calloway…’ exudes pleasure. …Put a selection of talented black musicians into the studio with poet Ishmael Reed and producer Kip Hanrahan and the result is magic… This is an important record, which no one interested in any form of black music can ignore.” – Robert Lyng, Music and Media

“…as fresh and indibudually distinct, as fresh and open as [it is] familiar and funky. Essential.” – Jon Garelick, Boston Globe

“This is truly an original record… This is one of the best cases for music without boundaries.” – Cadence



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