Monday, September 1, 2008

Stanley Cowell- Regeneration (1976)

"kora, piano, synthesizer, mbira, water drum, parade drum, wooden fife, wooden flute, snare drum, ride cymbal, gembhre, acoustic guitar, bass drum, Ibo chanting, mama-lekimbe, bass, harmonica, acoustic bass, zuna, alto flute, Madagascan harp, vocals, and more."
-from the back cover

"And never stop your quest for truth
and always stand for right,
for you have gifts aplenty
inside your tiny frame,
and if you use them wisely,
Oh, my wee children,
all men will know your name."

Stanley Cowell's album "Regeneration" was originally criticized for its "failure" to choose and stick with one genre, and it certainly does fail to do that. Something of a concept album, Cowell attempted to bring together members of the free jazz scene, traditional African musicians, and some more mainstream soul/jazz/pop artists to celebrate and regenerate the kind of musical miscegenation to which all of us as jazz fans are the happy beneficiaries. As a result it doesn't comfortably fit in any of these categories, and it was a bit too pop for the "out-there" scene's bearded weirdies, too out there for the mainstream, and too African for most everyone. Luckily times have changed, and if you don't feel this deep down in your soul I don't know what to say. It's a happy marriage, founded on love.


[Original Liner Notes]

("We dedicate 'REGENERATION' to Moriah Venable-Hicks and to you, with much love. We hope it is a reflection of those special moments of our Ancestral Stream, manifesting beauty and diversity, transcending all things, taking us higher and higher.")
Stanley Cowell, Jerry Venable, Viki-Maimoun-McLaughlin, Lois Johnson, Carole Byard

Side A
1. TRYING TO FIND A WAY (Cowell-McLaughlin)
Ed Blackwell, water drum; Stanley Cowell, synthesizer & piano; Billy Higgins, snare drum & ride cymbal; Aleke Kanonu, bass drum; Jerry Venable, acoustic guitar; Glenda Barnes, Charles Fowlkes, vocals.

2. THE GEMBHRE (Billy Higgins)
Billy Higgins, gembhre; Nadi Quamar, mama-lekimbe, percussion; Stanley Cowell, kora; Bill Lee, bass.

3. SHIMMY SHEWOBBLE (Marion Brown)
Marion Brown, wooden fife; Ed Blackwell, parade drum; Billy Higgins, snare drum; Aleke Kanonu, bass drum.

Side B
1. THANK YOU MY PEOPLE (Cowell-Kanonu)
Ed Blackwell, miscellaneous percussion; Stanley Cowell, kora; Charles Fowlkes, electric bass; Jimmy Heath, soprano sax; Billy Higgins, miscellaneous percussion; Kareema, vocals; Bill Lee, acoustic bass; Aleke Kanonu, Ibo chanting; John Stubblefield, zuna; Psyche Wanzandae, flute.

2. TRAVELIN' MAN (Cowell-Fowlkes)
Marion Brown, wooden flute; Stanley Cowell, mbira (thumb piano); Charles Fowlkes, vocals; Jimmy Heath, flute; Billy Higgins, miscellaneous percussion; Kareema, vocals; Bill Lee, acoustic bass; Nadi Quamar, mama-lekimbe.

3. LULLABYE (Cowell-Venable-McLaughlin)
Stanley Cowell, kora; Charles Fowlkes, vocals; Jimmy Heath, alto flute; Billy Higgins, gembhre; Kareema, vocals; Bill Lee, acoustic bass; Nadi Quamar, Madagascan harp.



Awesome post! Thanks :)!

Botched Surgery said...

Glad you enjoyed it, and I look forward to raiding the collection on your blog as well :).


The Irate Pirate said...

nice post. this looks very interesting. perhaps too pop for a bearded weirdo like me, though... ;-)

good work here, thanks