Conjure | Bad Mouth | American Clavé

It was after the ninth or tenth concert in Japan in August 2003 when Leo pointed out what was clear: that through playing and living the new materiel Paris, March of that year through that concert in Tokyo, the new materiel had assumed the form of the band, and the band of the new materiel. Pulling my shoulder, Leo nodded and said what was clear: “It’s TIME.” And although the money took a minute to snap to (hey, it’s this buisiness…), when it did, so did the band, immediately assuming the right form. So, during a week in a New Jersey studio in January 2005, Conjure recorded itself pretty much like a live set. There were a couple of punches on missed cues, but not many. The band breathed with the same music, ease and shared cadences and emotions as when on tour. Yeah, Conjure live in the studio. Just a better lit stage. Ish is fond of pointing out that Conjure may be the longest running music / poetry project around, but I’m not really when it really started. There was a period before the first Conjure recording (1983) when he and I worked together on a few film projects – was that when Conjure really started? Anyway, I’m not sure it matters. The band, the music, the poetry, breathe right now, just like Ish’s magic-realist world outlook contained in his words (fiction, poetry, essays, activism, attitude…) – you can hear it in every turn of this music. Right? — Kip Hanrahan Continue reading

Kip Hanrahan | At home in anger | American Clavé

Players, in order of appearance: Dick Kondas – sound | Dafnis Prieto – drums, voice | Steve Swallow – bass | Alfredo Triff – violin | Milton Cardona – congas, percussion | Kip Hanrahan – direction, percussion, voice | DD Jackson – piano | Pedrito Martinez – congas | Robby Ameen – drums, percussion | Yosvanni Terry – percussion, sax | Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez – drums, percussion | John Beasley – piano, keyboards | Brandon Ross – voice, guitar | Bryan Carrott – vibraphone | Andy Gonzalez – bass | John Kilgore – sound | Fernando Saunders – voice, bass | Anthony Cox – bass | Mike Cain – piano | Xiomara Laugart – voice | Don Byron – clarinet | Roberto Poveda – voice, guitar | Craig Handy – sax | Lysandro Arenas – piano | Lucy Penebaz – voice. Produced by Kip Hanrahan. Engineered by Rick Kondas and John Kilgore at John Kilgore Sound, New York City January 2008 through April 2010, with sections recorded in August 2004. Mixed by Dick Kondas and Kip Hanrahan in 2010. Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York City, April 2010. Packaging designed by Capoeira Graphics with additional work by East Works Graphics and Enja Graphics. Photograph on the cover taken by Alair O. Gomes. Continue reading

Kip Hanrahan | A thousand night and a night – (1- red nights | American Clavé

This disc (these nights?) are long and dense. It’s pretty much impossible to listen to the entire disc, intensely, in one’ pass, so a producer’s suggestion is to take a break (a nap?) at about the fifty something minute mark (after “Princess Dunya and Taj al-Muluk”) and resume listening with “Princess Dunya’s Nocturnal understanding.” The pieces and music on this disc needed to be here, in this night cycle, so as far as cutting is concerned, in this case, it doesn’t make sense to offer “less.” Anyway, nobody’s putting a knife to your neck and making you listen to everything. Listen to what you want of the offering. The stories on this disc were learned from the translations of the Arabian Nights by (the forty volume, unreadable) Burton (including Supplemental Nights). Dawood, Mardrus/Mathers, Pasolini, Borges, Zipes, and, (in ways the clearest) Haddawy and are told (sung) pretty much verbatim, as I understood them. There is no mercy, no justice, except in God, the Almighty, who created the Earth and all the Heavens, and all contained therein, including Evil, Pain and Suffering, with such exquisite Perfection.To the Pure, all Things are Pure. Continue reading

Horacio el Negro Hernandez & Robby Ameen | Robby and Negro at the Third World War | American Clavé

I guess we could start tracing this music to Negro in Cuba in the early nineteen-eighties, when, still a kid, he was arrested for playing Jack Bruce’s “Sunshine of Your Love” in Havana. Jack was thrilled, in fact, to find out about that music still being subversive somewhere in the world. But the deep subversive element of the story is also Negro defying rules and expectations and playing what he needed to play, in spite of the consequences. Given his intoxicatingly musical touch of subversive musical adventures (now, outside of Cuba, the adventure and chances, and their effect, are bigger and more fluid), and the defiance is just a small part of his musical genius. His musical ideas are spectacular. But, of course, there’s more. — Kip Hanrahan Continue reading

Kip Hanrahan | Tenderness | American Clavé

Song Cycle (at least sixteen folk songs from inside the city): 1. “… faith in the pants, not in the prick…” (Vallejo’s Folk Song) 2. “… when I lose myself in the darkness and pain of love, no, this love…” 3. “…she turned so that maybe a third of her face was in this fuckin’ beautiful half-light…” 4. “…at the same time, as the subway train was pulling out of the station…” 5. “…I told him ‘I don’t have to be beaten to be understood’…” 6.“…look, the moon…” (Diahnne’s) 7. “…half of sex is fear…” 8. Gillian’s Folk Song 9. History 10. “…there was something about his anger that was so…inaccessable to me…” 11. “…if I knew how to, if I knew what muscles to relax…” 12. “…you’re no pimp, and I’m certainly no whore…”[wp-audio mp3="http://theshop.free-jazz.net/files/Track137.mp3"] 13. Deep Summer 14. “…look, the moon…” (Carmen’s) 15. in place of an epilog: Lullabye for my Daughter 16. in place of a morale: Geography

All music and words written by Kip Hanrahan except “Gillian’s Folk Song” which was written by Kip Hanrahan and Leo Nocentelli Continue reading

Piri Thomas | Every Child Is Born A Poet | American Clavé

Every Child is Born a Poet: the Life and Work of Piri Thomas is a film that is at the very heart of Piri’s life, soul and vision. He yearns for all unheard broods in every dark part of this disconcerted world to experience refuge, love, joy, creativity, self-esteem and self-fulfillment… to be forever boundless and free. Spiritual emancipation is Piri Thomas’s rite of passage… to repent and rebel through the healing powers of poetry spoken in tongues. Punto! — Juan Sanchez, Visual artist, teacher and activist, June 2005, Brooklyn, New York Continue reading