Friday, July 21, 2017

Marvin Hannibal Peterson - 1981 - The Angels Of Atlanta

Marvin Hannibal Peterson 
The Angels Of Atlanta

01. The Angels Of Atlanta 12:34
02. The Story Teller 8:50
03. The Inner Voice 6:35
04. Mother's Land 5:04
05. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child 10:17

Bass – Cecil McBee
Cello – Diedre Murray
Piano – Kenny Barron
Tenor Saxophone – George Adams
Trumpet – Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson
Vocals – Pat Peterson

Choir – The Harlem Boys Choir
Directed By [Choir] – Walter Turnbull

Location: Sound Ideas, New York City and Church of Intercession
Date: February 15th, 1981 and February 19th, 1981

One of the most ambitious works ever by Marvin Hannibal Peterson – a larger work dedicated to the 20 African-American children murdered by a serial killer in Atlanta, performed here with a mix of choral voices and jazz instrumentation! The piece follows strongly in a legacy of that format started by Max Roach and continued by Billy Harper – and Peterson works here with players that include George Adams on tenor, Kenny Barron on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Dierde Murray on cello – plus the voices of The Harlem Boys Choir, and lead vocals by Pat Peterson. The whole thing's wonderful – soaring and spiritual without sounding hokey at all .

The obvious point of comparison here is A Love Supreme : both are post-bop albums with an avant-garde tinge That attempt is convey through intense spiritual catharsis instrumental suites. Technically, I'd say the musicians on each album are equally skilled Kenny Barron's muscular backing piano on the title track is every bit the match of McCoy Tyner, for example Hannibal himself and stands up surprisingly well next to Coltrane. If anything, makes playing Their Coltrane's quartet look a bit stiff! (I suppose that's what happened in the fifteen years between the two albums: Jazz absorbed the intensity of Coltrane and the looseness of Coleman into its own vocabulary.) 

The biggest difference, I guess, Is That this album's more communal and Grandly-scoped: f a Love Supreme was the musical equivalent of a prayer in your own home, this is like being at a crowded sermon on Sunday evening. The more Explicitly thematic touches (the children's choir on the opening title track, the two vocal jazz cuts on the B-side) make this one perhaps more emotionally explicit, but they can also make it feel suffocating, more hamhanded in its spirituality. Regardless, this is a very good jazz album That just so happened to be released too late to become canonized as a true classic.

An album made to acknowledge the tragic murder of 20 African-American school children to a serial killer in Atlanta. Taking into consideration the subject you would expect this to be either a very angry or very melancholic recording, but not at all, this album seems to be hopeful of a better life for Those children now they're out of the cruel one they had. The whole thing is totally beautiful and listen from start to finish, and due to the subject matter, really quite an emotional ride. Parts of this album come under the soaring vocal genre, matching the Sons & Daughters of Lite and Ensemble Al-Salaam for that powerful, yet beautiful vocal styles. Highlights Well, this album is magical from start to finish. Oh, and without a doubt the finest outing from Mr. Hannibal. Absolutely essential in my book.

Marvin Hannibal Peterson - 1975 - Hannibal

Marvin Hannibal Peterson

01. The Rabbit 2:36
02. Revelation 7:36
03. Misty 7:54
04. The Voyage 6:34
05. Soul Brother - In Dedication To Malcolm X 13:47

Bass - Stafford James
Bells, Percussion – Chris Hart
Cello – Diedre Murray
Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Whistle, Timpani – Thabo Michael Carvin
Piano – Michael Cochrane
Trumpet, Koto, Vocals, Liner Notes [Poem] – Hannibal Marvin Peterson

Recorded: July 1 and 2, Tonstudio Bauer Ludwigsburg/Germany

An exciting, serpentine solo maker in the mold of Don Cherry -- Peterson has chops but leaves precision to the wind in favor of spontaneous eruptions of melody. Peterson has a more well-rounded technique than Cherry, however, and plays with greater force. Unlike many contemporary free jazz players, Peterson is adept at older styles; he's played under such adventurous yet tradition-bound bandleaders as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Gil Evans, and Elvin Jones, and with such dyed-in-the-wool avant-gardists as Roswell Rudd, Ken McIntyre, and Deidre Murray.

Children of the Fire As a youth, Peterson learned drums and cornet. He attended North Texas State University from 1967-1969 before moving to New York in 1970. That year, he toured the East Coast with Kirk; the next, he joined Evans' orchestra, with which he would continue to play into the '80s. In the early '70s he performed and recorded with a variety of big-name leaders, including Pharoah Sanders, Roy Haynes, and the aforementioned Jones. He also led and played trumpet and koto with the Sunrise Orchestra, a group that included the cellist Murray. Tenor saxophonist George Adams was a frequent collaborator. Peterson has led recording sessions infrequently; his first album was called Children of the Fire, for the defunct Sunrise label (1974). He recorded subsequently for Enja, MPS, and Inner City. Though as a performer he's kept something of a low profile over the years, Peterson -- now known simply as Hannibal -- emerged in the mid-'90s having composed the monumental African Portraits, an orchestral piece that incorporated a jazz quartet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (conducted by the eminent composer/conductor Daniel Barenboim), the Morgan State University Choir, the Kennedy-King College Community Chorus, the Doris Ward Workshop Chorale, four operatic singers, various traditional African musicians, and a handful of African-American vocalists. The meticulously composed (and critically hailed) piece differed greatly form the small jazz ensemble contexts with which he had made his professional name. A recorded version was issued by the Teldec label.

The B-side's on a par with Children of the Fire. The A-side, um, isn't. Really isn't. I dunno who told Hannibal it'd be a good idea to pad out the album with a seven minute cover of Misty, but I hope they were fired.

Marvin Hannibal Peterson - 1974 - Children of the Fire

Marvin Hannibal Peterson 
Children of the Fire

01. Forest Sunrise 9:02
02. The Bombing 3:10
03. Prayer 4:50
04. Aftermath 17:30
05. Finale 1:50

Bass – Richard Davis
Cello – Diedre Murray
Congas – Lawrence Killian
Drums – Jabali
Flute – Art Webb
Percussion – Barbara Burton, Teule Hart (tracks: B1)
Piano – Barbara Burton (tracks: B1), Michael Cochran
Sitar – Marvin Tuten
Trumpet – Hannibal
Viola – Judith Graves, Julius Miller
Violin – John Blake, Myung Hi Kim, Rynae Rocha, Stanley Hunte
Vocals – Alpha Johnson, Waheeda Massey (tracks: A1)

Trumpet and koto player Marvin "Hannibal" Peterson has led a reclusive career in jazz since the early '70s, when he first started making albums. A free jazz player in the style of Don Cherry with the metallic tone of Freddie Hubbard, Peterson is widely unknown even to the most diehard jazz fans. His low profile is strange given that he played with popular artists like Pharoah Sanders and Elvin Jones and was a regular member of Gil Evans' big band from '72 to '81.
On his recently reissued first album, Children of the Fire (Sunrise, 1974), Peterson takes his Sunrise Orchestra deep into jazz-classical territory, making his music sound like the Third Stream of Charles Mingus and Gil Evans.

Children of the Fire is a suite in five movements, beginning with "Forest Sunrise," a magical segment of bird-sounding whistles and string arrangements in front of a percussion backdrop. The second part of the movement, "Rhythm Ritual," starts off with the orchestra but then breaks into a straight-ahead but funky rhythm by drummer Billy Hart, bassist Richard Davis and pianist Michael Cochrane. Peterson then enters with a fiery blues solo that recalls the big fusion band sound of electric Miles.

Peterson composed all of the music on Children of the Fire, including the poetry on the spiritual hymn "Song of Life," sung by Waheeda Massey. The music and poems on the album were dedicated to the children of Vietnam during the tail end of the war in Southeast Asia. The highlight of the album is the fourth movement, "The Aftermath," which has a rapid and colorful drum solo by Billy Hart and a long free bop solo by Peterson that is encouraged by the spontaneous trio of Hart, Davis, and Cochrane.

Children of the Fire is an excellent snapshot of where fusion was headed during the early '70s. Electric jazz-rock, injected with heavy doses of classicism, was made popular by the Mahavishnu Orchestra during this time. But the underground Sunrise Orchestra delivers the goods, mixing hard bop and abstract jazz with a Far Eastern spirituality.