Kip Hanrahan | Conjure | Music for the texts of Ishmael Reed | American Clavé

american clavé 1006

COMPOSITIONS WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY TAJ MAHAL, ALLEN TOUSSAINT, DAVID MURRAY, STEVE SWALLOW, CARLA BLEY, LESTER BOWIE, KIP HANRAHAN, CARMAN MOORE, OLU DARA, JAMAALADEEN TACUMA, PUNTILLA, MILTON CARDONA, KENNY KIRKLAND, EJAYE TRACEY, DON JAY, JEAN-PAUL BOURELLY, BILLY HART, FRISNER AUGUSTIN, OLUFEMI CLAUDETTE MITCHELL, ROBERT JASON, MOLLY FARLEY, BRENDA NORTON, ELYSEE PYRONNEAU, ANDY GONZALEZ, PETER SCHERER, SAL CUEVAS, ARTO LINDSAY

Conceived, produced and directed by Kip Hanrahan. Executive Producer: Scott Marcus. Recorded August, September and October 1983 at Latin/Eurosound Studios, New York City. Recording engineers: Davis Rodriguez. Mixing engineers: David Rodriguz, John Fausty. Recording assistants: Horacio Malvicino Jr., Edwin Ayala. Mastering engineer: (RCA) Jack Adelman. Photographers: Spencer Richards, Ming Smith. Cover design by Capoeira Graphics. Special thanks to Nancy Weiss for presenting Conjure in concert at the Public Theater, New York (September 19, 1983, to Eugene Kalbacher for his enormous critical support, to Allen Toussaint for making the flight up from New Orleans just for the project, to Allen, David Rodriguez, Steve Swallow, Olu Dara, David Murray and Milton Cardona for contributing so much, and, of course, to Ishmael Reed.  Released March 1985. AMCL 1006

Tracklist:

JES’ GREW (David Murray/lshmael Reed) TAJ MAHAL voice, guitar; EJAYE TRACEY voice; DON JAY voice; OLU DARA trumpet; DAVID MURRAY tenor tax, conductor; JEAN-PAUL BOURELLY electric guitar; ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass; JAMAALADEEN TACUMA electric bass; BILLY HART trap drums; PUNTILLA ORLANDO RIOS percussion (4:03) Download

THE WARDROBE MASTER OF PARADISE (1) (Carla Bley/Ishmael Reed) CARLA BLEY conductor; TAJ MAHAL voice; DAVID MURRAY tenor six; OLU DARA trumpet; ELYSEE PYRONNEAU electric guitar; ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass; MILTON CARDONA quinto, congas; FRISNER AUGUSTIN congas; PUNTILLA ORLANDO RIOS congas, bell; OLUFEMI CLAUDETTE MITCHELL checkere; BILLY HART trap drums (5:37)

DUALISM (1) (Steve Swallow/lshmael Reed) OLU DARA trumpet: TAJ MAHAL voice, dobro; DAVID MURRAY tenor sax; ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano; ELYSEE PYRONNEAU electric guitar; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass; conductor; BILLY HART trap drums (2:47)

OAKLAND BLUES (Carman Moore/lshmael Reed) CARMAN MOORE conductor; ROBERT JASON voice; OLU DARA trumpet; KENNY KIRKLAND piano; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass; BILLY HART trap drums (4:27)

SKYDIVING (Allen Toussaint/lshmael Reed) TAJ MAHAL voice, dobro; ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano, organ, conductor; ELYSEE PYRONNEAU electric guitar; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass; MILTON CARDONA congas; BILLY HART trap drums (4:15)

JUDAS (Ishmael Reed) ISHMAEL REED voice; KIP HANRAHAN incidental music (2:10)

THE WARDROBE MASTER OF PARADISE (2) (3:57)

BETTY BALL’S BLUES (Taj Mahal/lshmael Reed) TAJ MAHAL voice, electric guitar, conductor; ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano; DAVID MURRAY tenor sax; OLU DARA trumpet; JAMAALADEEN TACUMA electric bass; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass; BILLY HART trap drums (3:47)

UNTITLED II (Steve Swallow/lshmael Reed) DAVID MURRAY tenor sax; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass, piano, conductor; TAJ MAHAL voice; BILLY HART trap drums (3:35)

FOOL-OLOGY (THE SONG) (Lester Bowie/Ishmael Reed) LESTER BOWIE voice, trumpet, conductor; MOLLY FARLEY voice; BRENDA NORTON voice; DAVID MURRAY tenor sax; ELYSEE PYRONNEAU electric guitar; JAMAALADEEN TACUMA electric bass; ANDY GONZALEZ bass; FRISNER AUGUSTIN congas, sticks; MILTON CARDONA congas; PUNTILLA ORLANDO RIOS congas, claves; BILLY HART trap drums (6:07)

FROM THE FILES OF AGENT 22 (Steve Swallow/lshmael Reed) TAJ MAHAL voice, guitar; DAVID MURRAY tenor sax; OLU DARA trumpet; ALLEN TOUSSAINT piano; ELYSEE PYRONNEAU electric guitar; STEVE SWALLOW electric bass, conductor; PUNTILLA ORLANDO RIOS quinto; MILTON CARDONA congas; BILLY HART trap drums (3:20)

DUALISM (2) (Kip Hanrahan/Ishmael Reed) DAVID MURRAY tenor sax, voice; FRISNER AUGUSTIN quinto, congas; KIP HANRAHAN congas, conductor; MILTON CARDONA com PUNTILLA ORLANDO RIOS congas, percussion; OLUFEMI CLAUDETTE MITCHELL checkere; PETER SCHERER piano; SAL CUEVAS electric bass; ARTO LINDSAY electric guitar (3:31)

RHYTHM IN PHILOSOPHY (Ishmael Reed) ISHMAEL REED voice (1:39)

kip hanrahan | conjure | music for the texts of ishmael reed | american clavé

Ishmael Reed is a writer, poet, and speaker

adept at the vernacular of black America, its sources, influences, imitators and condemnors. He’s a historian of sorts, and like the itinerant blues musician or the West African griot he’s a collector and chronicler of cultural icons that were stolen, spirited, and transplanted from Africa to the Carib and the U.S.

Like all effective history, Reed’s is more than a mere presentation of sequential events. It’s a selective offering of significant relationships for black America and, by miscegenation and assimilation, all of America.

Reed’s history is unabashedly mythical, strikingly imagistic, and disarmingly humorous while transfering the lyrical immediacy of oral literature to the written page.

It’s been over five years since Kip Hanrahan initiated a project to put Reed’s words to film and music. The film project is still an idea, but in your hands is one of the best collaborations of music and poetry I’ve ever heard. Hanrahan has accumulated some of this generation’s most resourceful musicians from the Carib, from neo-gutbucket, from free-bop and from innovative elasto-funk to produce an aural backdrop as perspicacious and lyrical as the poems are musical. Each player is skilled in a particular vernacular American form and several are strong, evocative soloists. Hanrahan ably facilitated the recording by requesting that David Murray, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Lester Bowie, Carman Moore, Taj Mahal. and Alien Toussaint provide compositions to poems or texts of their choice, which resulted in the melange of songs.

For Hanrahan’s daring conception, the collective efforts of the musicians, and the words of Ishmael Reed, I’d like to move, that the church say amen. — Don Palmer

kip hanrahan | conjure | music for the texts of ishmael reed | american clavé

“This is spooky, richly allusive and liberating… Conjure is a luminous and unified …” – Francis Davis, Philadelphia Inquirer

“One of the year’s best records (1985) … To hear Taj Mahal, David Murray, and Allen Toussaint playing not alongside, but with one another is really something… Hail Ishmael Reed, whose pan Afro-American modernism was the occasion for these miracles.” – Village Voice

“One of the year’s ten best records (1985) Conjure creates an exquisite tension between word and sound, accentuates the rhythms of both and intensifies the perceptions contained in each. It’s immediately enjoyable, yet rich and challenging … funky jazz, blues, R&B stewpot that bubbles, gurgles and steams…” – Derk Richardson, SF Bay Guardian

“music to conjure with… This is poetry that sings, music that makes you think… Reed says that the universe is ‘a spiraling big band in a pokl-dotted speakeasy / effusively generating new light every one-night stand’ Hanrahan and his friends embody that last line perfectly.” – Richard Harrington, Washington Post

“One of the years ten best records (1985) …a stunning collaborative effort…” – Blumenthal, Boston Phoenix

“an exceptionally rich album, one whose textures are as lush, brown and warm as ghostly lyric images of rural life.” – Fred Goodman, Musician

“a fine album… Funny, sad, rich in color and profound in spirit and thought…” – Planas, Novus

“One of the 10 best records of 1985 … one glorious gumbo… This is a damn fine record. –  Scott Becker, Option

“Ishmael Reed has long been one of the baddest wordsliners in the land!… Combine some motor booty lyrics with fine music from the likes of Allen Toussaint, Lester Bowie and Carla Bley and you have something special. Hanrahan’s Desire develops an Edge is still one of the most special international style records ever, and Conjure compares well to that classic set.” One of the top 10 albums of 1985 –  Bob Blumenthal, Francis Davis, Don Snowden, Boston Phoenix

“One of the best records of 1985 …a funky jazz, blues, R&B stewpot that bubbles, gurgles and steams. Just to hear those musicians collaborate on the same tracks is exciting. Reed roots the songs in real life culture.” –  Express

“Conjure is a cross-genre treasure to be savored.” – Don Snowden, Los Angeles

One of the Ten Best of The Decade (1980s) –  Jazziz

kip hanrahan | conjure | music for the texts of ishmael reed | american clavé

 

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