Series in which James May explores the intricacies and engineering marvels of various objects by putting them back together again from a pile of hundreds of their component parts.
Days of FreeMan is a retrospective album that picks up where Divine Travels ended, further exploring the identity of saxophonist James Brandon Lewis. The album is a soundscape inspired by and channeling, but not duplicating, the fragmented sounds of his early childhood days in Buffalo, NY, on Freeman Street, where his ears were washed with early '90s hip-hop. Through sound, each track explores vital themes of earlier times and today - social, political, scientific and religious. On Days of FreeMan, Lewis is joined by electric bass legend Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Rudy Royston. James Brandon Lewis was raised in the church, which formed the core of the saxophonist's spiritual outlook. While many musicians are inspired by the church, Lewis says that it's most important impact was not musical but personal, laying the foundation for his creative approach.
This is another excellent effort by Chico Freeman, who is heard on tenor, flute and bass clarinet. The instrumentation varies on each selection during the LP, which also features trumpeter Wallace Roney, pianist Clyde Criner, bassist Cecil McBee, drummer Billy Hart, and Jack DeJohnette on drums and piano. Other than Thelonious Monk's "Jackie-ing" (Monk had recently passed away), the repertoire is comprised of originals by Freeman, McBee and Criner. Even if none of the songs individually caught on, they help set an exploratory yet fairly accessible mood, as Chico Freeman does his best to move the mainstream of jazz forward a bit.
For a man of such talent and influence, New Orleans piano legend James Booker is amazingly under-recorded. This disc and its partner (Spiders on the Keys) offer up some measure of what the folks of the Big Easy might have heard if they caught Booker on one of his "on" nights (he was a known drug user and inconsistent in his playing). He is at his best here (recorded at the Maple Leaf between 1972-1982), focused and intense in his playing, wildly passionate on both keyboards and vocals.
In 1966 two R & B bands local to Oldham (UK) merged to form a blues outfit THE BLUES KEEPERS. With sponsorship from a local businessman (also their manager) they rented an 18th century farmhouse where they practised extensively, gradually moving towards a progressive rock style then beginning to emerge…