Monday, January 2, 2017

Carlos Garnett - 1974 - Journey to Enlightenment

Carlos Garnett 
Journey to Enlightenment

01. Journey To Enlightenment 10:55
02. Love Flower 7:22
03. Chana 6:17
04. Caribbean Sun 6:18
05. Let Us Go (To Higher Heights) 6:15

Carlos Garnett - Ukulele, Vocals, Reeds (Multiple)
Charles Pulliam - Conga
Hubert Eaves III - Keyboards
Reggie Lucas - Guitar
Neil Clark - Percussion
Anthony Jackson - Bass
Ayodele Jenkins - Vocals
Howard King - Drums

Recorded at Minot Sound Studios, 9.20.1974

Saxophonist Carlos Garnett’s second album was recorded from the Muse label in 1974. ‘Journey To Enlightenment’ is a strong 10 min long Spiritual Jazz track, that begins with Chant like vocals and then progresses into an instrumental piece featuring a blistering Sax Solo from Carlos, and lovely melodic keyboard solo from Hubert Eaves, before returning to the vocal chants again towards the end. ‘Love Flower’ a very funky Spiritual Jazz song featuring Ayodele Jenkins mesmerising powerful vocals. ‘Chana’ is the album’s best known track, a highly rhythmic bustling instrumental Jazz Dancer, which has been a popular floor filler on the UK Jazz Scene for many years.

Heady title notwithstanding, this is a beautiful record of spiritual jazz from the underground New York label Muse, from 1974 (more on Muse Records later).  Carlos Garnett was a saxophonist, formerly of Miles Davis’ band, who had heavy leanings towards the post-Coltrane avant-garde, “energy” style of jazz.  He recorded this album a year after his more-famous breakthrough, “Black Love,” also on Muse Records, and it shows the same blending of world musics and themes with soaring, bitingly spiritual solos over Afro-centric and sometimes-funky grooves.  The cover is fantastic, with a painting of Garnett walking with his saxophone through a jungle paradise, approaching a Pyramid as a Pterodactyl wings by.  Truly unique.