Drummer Jack DeJohnette's debut as a leader (which has been reissued on CD) has quite a bit of variety. The music ranges from advanced swinging to brief free improvisations and some avant-funk. DeJohnette(who doubles on melodica) is joined by Bennie Maupin (on tenor and flute), keyboardist Stanley Cowell, bassists Miroslav Vitous and Eddie Gomez, and drummer Roy Haynes. He uses six different combinations of musicians on the eight songs (five of his originals, John Coltrane's "Miles’ Mode,“ Cowell's "Equipoise” and Vitous' "Mirror Image"). Intriguing and generally successful music.
Strata-East, a jazz record label founded by Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell, released their first recording Music Inc in 1971.
The label released over 50 albums in the 1970s. Many of the label’s
releases are now hailed as prime examples of 1970s Post-Bop, Spiritual
Jazz, and Afro-Jazz.
Gil Scott-Heron recorded his 1974 album Winter in America with Brian Jackson for Strata-East. This album stands as one of the label’s most well-known recordings.
In all beginnings… a mystical, magic force, What course, what destiny… determined in time.
Another hard-to-find Bobby Hutcherson LP recorded in 1968 that languished on the Blue Note shelves until 1980. The playing here is hot and heavy, with some great flute work from James Spaulding, beautiful piano from Stanley Cowell–who wrote this cut–and sterling drum work from Joe Chambers, who contributed four compositions to the LP.
Mtume Umoja Ensemble - Alkebu-Lan: Land of the Blacks (Live at the East) (Full Album)
Invocation Baba Hengates Utamu Saud Alkebu-Lan No Words Separate Not Equal Sifa (The Prayer)
Recorded - August 29, 1971
Released - 1972
James Mtume - Conga, Tonette Horn Carlos Garnett - Tenor Sax, Flute Leroy Jenkins - Violin Ndugu - Drums Gary Bartz - Alto Sax, Soprano Sax Stanley Cowell - Piano Buster Williams - Bass Andy Bey - Vocals Joe Lee Wilson - Vocals Billy Hart - Drums Eddie Micheaux - Vocals Yusuf Iman & Weusi Kuumba - Poetry
Stanley Cowell Trio - Ibn Mukhtar Mustapha (from Illusion suite, ECM, 1974)
A great short spiritual tune recorded for ECM by the Stanley Cowell Trio at the beginning of the 70’s, with Stanley Cowell on piano, Stanley Clarke on bass and Jimmy Hops on drums. A tightened tune with three distinct parts in less than 5 minutes that leaves no time for long solos. After a ‘free’ dialogue between bass and piano the groove suddenly settles with a kind of west-indies feel as Stanley Cowell turns on electricity. Then the tempo changes again and it’s Africa.
Thoroughly sophisticated playing, a brilliant ensemble cast, strikingly original compositions, plenty of swing to burn. Even with all the above, this recording sat in the Blue Note vaults for 10 years before being released due to the popular rock & roll winds blowing at the time.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can see the error of this decision, as this is definitely one of Hutcherson’s finest moments from the late 60s.