On November 8, 2015 Jesse Sharps, one of the great composers to emerge out of the Los Angeles progressive jazz scene and an early bandleader in Horace Tapscott’s Pan Afrikan Peoples Akrestra, brought together a select group of musicians at the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City, California for special concert to celebrate The Gathering, a historic recording summit that had occurred a decade earlier at Cal Arts in Valencia. This album is a select representation from that concert in 2015, and features several of the musicians present at the original summit from 2005. This release includes a bonus, full-length version of "Freedom's Sweet" and extended liner notes by Matthew Duersten.
Early in the program Dwight Trible brought forth a disarming version of Strange Fruit in a stunning duo with Theo Saunders on piano. Kamau Daáood performed Healing Suite, a transcendent incantation of poetry accompanied by cello, bass, piano, percussion, and drums. And with what was the pinnacle and closing piece in the concert that day, Freedom’s Sweet, conducted by bandleader Jesse Sharps, featured a powerful intro by Kamau Daáood, vocals by Maia, solos by Roberto Miranda, Phil Ranelin, Fritz Wise, and Mercedes Smith in an epic and moving masterpiece put together by Horace Tapscott.
Mother, sung by Dwight Trible, with music by Nate Morgan and lyrics by Kamau Daáood, was performed earlier in the program but serves as both an emotional and musical coda for the journey this album represents. A journey that reaches back “400 years” as Maia sings it in Freedom’s Sweet. And in Healing Suite, Kamau’s chants of “Come healers, come warriors to this place of chaos,” get their response in the next tune with Maia singing “Marcus, Medgar, Malcolm, Martin” and calling out ”Black Lives Matter” as she “scats new landscapes.” Here we have our own healers and warriors, straight from this deep community of artists and musicians. Amos Delone, Danny Cortez, Derf Reklaw, Dwight Trible, Fritz Wise, Fundi Legohn, Greg Ramsey, Jesse Sharps, Kamau Daáood, Maia, Mercedes Smith, Nick Rosen, Phil Ranelin, Roberto Miranda, and Theo Saunders all digging into this rich history. A Healing Suite for your hearts, minds, and ears!
1. Strange Fruit
2. Healing Suite
3. Freedom's Sweet Part 1
4. Freedom's Sweet Part 2
5. Freedom's Sweet Part 3
Jesse Sharps - Bandleader/Woodwinds
Dwight Trible - Vocals
Maia - Vocals/Flute
Kamau Daáood - Poetry
Mercedes Smith - Alto Saxophone
Amos Delone - Baritone Saxophone
Fundi Legohn - French Horn
Danny Cortez - Trumpet
Phil Ranelin - Trombone
Greg Ramsey - Tuba
Nick Rosen - Cello/Bass on "Mother"
Roberto Miranda - Bass
Theo Saunders - Piano
Derf Reklaw - Congas/Percussion
Fritz Wise - Drums
Recorded live by Wayne Peet November 8th, 2015 in Culver City, CA at the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum
Mixed and Mastered by Wayne Peet at New Zone Studios in Los Angeles, CA
Produced by Jesse Sharps, Thomas Paige
Cover Photos by Sam Lee
Album art by Sam Lee and Michael Hentz