ANGELA’S ANGEL 1
Grachan Moncur III and Jazz Composer’s Orchestra
Echoes of Prayer
JCOA : 1975
GM, trombone, voice; Carla Bley, piano; Leroy Jenkins, violin; Carlos Ward, sax, flute; Hannibal Marvin Peterson, trumpet; Stafford Osborne, trumpet; Janice Robinson, trombone; Jack Jeffers, trombone; Perry Robinson, clarinet; Mark Elf, guitar; Keith Marks, flute; Cecil McBee, bass; Charlie Haden, bass; Jeanne Lee, vocals; Mervine Grady, vocals; Titos Sompa, congas, talking drum; Coster Massamba, Frederick Simpson, Malonga Quasquelourd, Jakuba Abiona, percussion; Beaver Harris, drums.
Our recent silence probably speaks volumes. Imagine us enveloped in a weird bubble of our own devising. We’ve been hosting concerts in a new loft space and selling albums for Europe’s finest jazz label. We’ve been trying to master the delicate art of shilling-without-appearing-to-shill. We’ve been spinning too many plates at once. We’ve been struggling not to lose the plot.
Lately we’ve been waking up in the dead of night and wondering if we’re in danger of losing the music itself. We dream about it evaporating, like paint on unprimed canvas. Sometimes we look at the site and wonder what happened to all the entries simply dedicated to overlooked albums. Does everything these days have to be a sale or announcement?
The only way we know to combat these feelings is with more music. Our turntable is white-hot from nonstop use. Even a lingering touch will give you a blister. While one of us spins this every morning without fail, in better moods we’ve both been listening religiously to Echoes of Prayer by Grachan Moncur III and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra.
Our key track has been “Angel’s Angel 1.” While the entire album is a balm, weaving a rich tapestry of salty horn charts and percolating percussion, this piece is where everything coalesces into an effortless groove. It’s joyful without sounding corny. It’s transporting and rooted, earthy and spiritual. We picture the angel of the title high-stepping across the sky, weighed down with gifts.
It’s inspired us to revisit an old staple of the site – giveaways. Call it our karma solution. No doubt we’ll continue to struggle with finding a balance and we’re sure to wrong-foot it plenty. You know better than anyone: Life’s a bitch like that. But when we listen to “Angela’s Angel,” for as long as the speakers are moving the air, we also know that everybody gets their moment of grace.
The boys from D:O
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MAJOR GIVEAWAYS & CONTEST!
(HENRY THREADGILL EDITION)
Oh shit! Next week, we’re giving away several brand new releases by the great Henry Threadgill — including a copy of Mosaic’s mammoth box set The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill. That’s 8 discs (count ‘em!) chock full of out-of-print material by Threadgill and Air, spanning two decades of work, and including one previously unissued album! This essential set will set you back $148 and we’re giving one away FOR FREE.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll also be giving away two copies of Henry Threadgill’s brand new opus This Brings Us To, Volume II from Pi Records. It picks up where last year’s stellar volume left off, delivering the most exciting and developed music from his longstanding Zooid project.
Note that we’ll be giving away one copy exclusively via our new Facebook page – so come by and “like” us to be eligible for that.