|IT IS REVEALED
PERSONS fortunate enough to have remained alive and conscious through the last twenty-five years, have been the witnesses of a subtle metamorphosis in the state of jazz music. We do not refer to the important stylistic impact of certain performers, but to an overall change in the public attitude. Jazz has been accepted as a legitimate art form
We do not deplore this fact, because it of course implies that many deserving musicians and composers are achieving recognition as true artists, and in a broader sense, that there has been a great breakthrough in our entire social awareness.
But, in our tremendous abundance of jazz performances, readily available on the radio, in clubs, concerts, and on records, and all carefully documented by the most painstaking of scholars and categorized by the acutest of critics, in all this, has something possibly been lost?
Jazz was at once a mystery, a quality or emotion, elusive and evasive, a dream almost remembered, a truth almost understood, a love never quite consummated, a strange moment of reality which vanished as soon as it was experienced. What was great about jazz was the very fact that it was not legitimate, that it had something to do with the private world of hopes and dreams that the official voice could never penetrate and destroy. It has something to do with what keeps us alive, the spark deep within.
Jazz still is this. But seldom does the public get a chance to appreciate this, so saturated is it with the various commercial contrivances and professional productions that assail the ears from all sides. The visionary aspect of jazz, so essential to its legend, has become more legendary than ever.
But there are still a few artists who have not sold out, the ones whose integrity of soul will not let them do other, than to keep striving, to make musical reality of their inner vision. Sometimes a bit of this vision gets through and is heard. Otherwise there would be no jazz of any kind anywhere, or possibly any life.
In the Spring of 1963, two young men arrived in New York after a lengthy trip which had brought them out of the deep South and the far West, through Canada, into the strange, hard, complex world of the greatest metropolis.
In New York there exists a musical underwold, a jazz limbo, a vibratory plane of celestial and demonic sounds which are never heard by the general public, but only by those who have paid the eternal, proverbial dues. These sounds may emerge much later, very much changed, having reverberated about the cranial cavities of lesser personages until the cutting edge of stark truth have been blunted.
But these two young men were ready, they were recognized by the gatekeepers as bearers of the message, and were permitted to enter. In the Inner Sanctum of Sound, IT WAS REVEALED, the music of Prince Lasha and Sonny Simmons.
In a secluded loft in Lower Manhattan, a jazz session took shape. People came and went. Some played, some listened, some only existed. There was no organization, there was only a feeling, a communication deeper than words. No one had planned it, yet everyone had planned it, for there they were.
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Recording sessions are usually difficult and frustrating; seldom is anyone present really pleased with the musical results, because of the tension, the pressure, the combination of suffocating material forces.
But his was not a recording session. There was equipment present, there were microphones, but the idea had been there first. The musical spirit was there in front and the fact of its being recorded was incidental.
This you will hear. These sounds are completely unlike anything that has been made available on records before, anywhere. We are not going to bother to explain why. You will hear it. You will feel the strenghth of an inner thing willing itself into life through sound.
There are numerous performers, and one may of course distinguish between them by reference to particular phrases. But this is really something else, something other than the usual sequence of personalities.
It is as if everybody present were the same, as if the whole thing were a Transcendent Being with aspirations and fulfillments on a plane higher than the human. This you will hear in the deep, insistent, throbbing of the rhythm and the incredible outpouring of melodic invention by the horns, in the totality of emotion which envelops the entire creation from beginning to end.
You are a witness to the first encounter of genius with the first state of conscious recognition. IT IS REVEALED.
Side One: "Lost Generation"
Side Two: "The Trane"
"Prelude to Bird"
Personnel: Prince Lasha, Flute
Sonny Simmons, Alto Saxophone
Clifford Jordan, Tenor Saxophone
Don Cherry, Trumpet
Fred Lyman, Fluegelhorn
Bill Wood, Bass
Orville Harrison, Bass
Charles Moffett, Drums
Recorded by Fred Lyman at Zounds Recording Studios, New York City, May, 1963.
For additional copies, further information, etc., write:
Fred Lyman Oregon 4-6996
Box 377, Cooper Station
New York 3, N. Y.