Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Shamek Farrah & Sonelius Smith - 1977 - The World Of The Children

Shamek Farrah & Sonelius Smith 
The World Of The Children

01. The World Of The Children 9:58
02. Conversation Piece 6:28
03. Milt: A Bass Solo 2:57
04. People Puttin People Through Changes 7:17
05. Juluis 5:22

Bass – Kiyoto Fuiwara, Milton Suggs (tracks: B1)
Drums – Freddie Wrenn
Percussion – Tony Waters
Piano – Sonelius Smith
Saxophone,s – Shamek Farrah
Trumpet – Joseph Gardner

Recorded at Sound Ideas, April 1976.

Shamek Farrah is an alto saxophone player, who was featured on many Strata-East Records albums, and released two albums on the label as leader.

Reviewing First Impressions, Allmusic said: "This is the standard spiritually intense new jazz one learns to expect from the label, soaked in some Eastern influences but always with its ear to the street.".

He was born Anthony Domacase in New York City, New York. He began studying the alto saxophone under Garvin Bushel at age 12. In the late 1960s he began performing with upcoming Latin and Latin-jazz groups around the New York area. In the mid 1970s and 80’s when live loft jazz was popular in New York City, He performed with his own groups and other prominent jazz musicians such as Sonelius Smith, Rashid Ali, John Stubblefield, Carlos Garnett, Walter Davis Jr..

In late 1972, at age 25, he signed with Strata-East Records and in 1974 his first jazz album "First Impressions" was released. In 1977 his second Strata-East Records album, Shamek Farrah/Sonelius Smith-The World Of The Children. In 1979, he signed with RA Records and the album Shamek Farrah And Folks-La De La La was released in 1980. Each of those recordings have since been re-released. First Impressions and The World Of The Children were re-released in 1996 on the Japanese record label, Bomba Records and Shamek Farrah And Folks-La De La La was re-released in 2002 on the Quadraphonic Sound Modules Records label. His legendary composition "First Impressions" performed on the album of the same name continues to fascinate listeners around the world many years after its inception. In 1992, Soul Jazz Records, a British record label, released the original recording of "First Impression" on a compilation CD "Soul Jazz Loves Strata-East" featuring other Strata-East Records artists as well. In 2006 the British record label Soul Brothers Records re-release "First Impressions" again on a compilation CD "Fusion With Attitude" featuring jazz greats Joe Henderson, Nat Adderley and Walter Bishop Jr. performing on their own selections.

Sonelius Smith (1942) had a classical piano education after moving with his family to Memphis (Tennessee) as a nine-year- old. After completing his highschool degree, he received a scholarship to study at Arkansas AM & N College (now University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ), where he studied piano and music theory with Josephus Robinson. After the graduation he toured with John Stubblefield in the formation The New Directions through Europe; Then moved to New York City. There he worked in the quartet of Rashied Ali for the music education project Jazzmobile ,

At the beginning of the 1970s he went on tour with Rahsaan Roland Kirk and played on his albums Blacknuss, Rahsaan Rahsaan and Black Inventions Strata 1 . In 1976, he played with Olu Dara , Byard Lancaster, and Don Moye in the Flight to Sanity , with which 1976 recordings were made at the New York Jazz Loft sessions . 1977 appeared with Strata-East Records his album Shamek Farrah The World of the Children . He also worked with Frank Foster , Archie Shepp , Lionel Hampton , Robin Kenyatta , David Murray , Noah Howard, and Andrew Cyrille, as well as the Piano Choir conducted by Stanley Cowell . Smith played 18 recordings between 1970 and 1997. His compositions were recorded by Ahmad Jamal ( The Need to Smile ) and Robin Kenyatta ( Mellow in the Park ). Smith taught at the Community Museum of Brooklyn for several years and was the founder / conductor of the New York Jazz Philharmonic . He is currently teaching at the Harlem School of the Arts and the Third Street Music School Settlement .

Another great session of spiritual soul jazz and one of the rarest albums on Strata-East from 1976. Shamek Farrah's soulful alto is matched with the free spiritual piano of Sonelius Smith, for a totally memorable session that virtually defines the essence of the Strata East sound. The music is free, but not too free; lyrical, but never indulgent; and always turning over with a fresh sense of imagination, and a strident groove that's very much in the classic Strata East mode.

The highlight of this lp is the latin romp of the 10 minute title tune "World Of The Children", a real banger of the first order. David Murray also cut a fantastic version of this with his big band on "South of the Border" which i will post some day.



  2. thank you for both of these!