Monday, January 2, 2017

Carlos Garnett - 1974 - Black Love

Carlos Garnett
Black Love

01. Black Love 5:31
02. Ebonesque 8:22
03. Banks Of The Nile 4:15
04. Mother Of The Future 7:40
05. Taurus Woman 12:37

Carlos Garnett: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, composer, arranger, producer, vocals
Charles Sullivan: trumpet
Mauricio Smith: flute
Onaje Allan Gumbs: piano
Jabali-Billy Hart: drums
Reggie Lucas: electric guitar
Alex Blake: bass
Buster Williams: bass
Norman Connors: drums
Mtume: congas
Guilherme Franco: percussion
Ayodele Jenkins: backing vocals, lead vocals
Dee Dee Bridgewater: lead vocals, backing vocals
Carlos Chambers: yodeling

Garnett was born on December 1, 1938, in Red Tank, Panama Canal Zone.He became interested in jazz after hearing the music of Louis Jordan and James Moody in film shorts.He taught himself to play saxophone as a teenager and played with soldiers from the nearby United States Army base.[5] In 1957 he started playing in calypso and Latin music groups.

After moving to New York in 1962, he played in a rock 'n' roll group led by Leo Price. Around this time he also started learning music theory, being self-taught and having always played by ear. Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard hired him in 1968 and introduced him to many New York musicians. Garnett's first recording was Hubbard's 1969 album A Soul Experiment, which contained two original compositions by him.

In the late 1960s and early 1970 Garnett also played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Charles Mingus and Miles Davis.He led his own group called the Universal Black Force. His group recorded five albums between 1974 and 1977.n 1982, Garnett, suffering from depression and drug abuse, experienced a spiritual awakening and stopped playing music for years.He began performing again in 1991 and released the albums Fuego en mi alma (1996), Under Nubian Skies (1999) and Moon Shadow (2001). In 2000 he moved back to Panama.

An album very similar in style and nature to Archie Shepp's Attica Blues but even more potent and impressive.The album has some impressive players namely Norman Conners,Mtume,Buster Williams and a young Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals.The sax playing of Garnett is hard and aggressive and there are echoes of Shepp and Sanders.The vocal cuts are amazing and Dee Dee Bridgewater really excels on the fantastic Banks Of The Nile.This is true life affirming music.

Like Mtume’s Rebirth Cycle and Alkebu-Lan, this is kind of a historic and educational document that explores the African roots of the musicians involved. After the tragic death of Malcolm X in ’65 more and more black American musicians explored the African history of their music and expressed this with a period of amazingly rich and deep soul-searching jazz and funk albums. Like Oneness Of Juju’s African Rhythms Carlos Garnet has used heavier funk elements to this album, so this isn’t really a jazz album as such, there’s a real psychedelic space groove running through some of the tunes, whilst others have amazing vocals with the vocalists bouncing off each other perfectly that gives a real layers of sound feel to the song. Carlos Garnett’s sax playing is wonderfully aggressive, but never crosses that line of avant-garde, like Pharoah Sanders he always stays within the boundaries of the tune. As has already been pointed out, this is real life affirming stuff, and certainly an album I’ll be revisiting.



  2. Great! Thanks so much!