Deep archeology into a long buried and previously undocumented chapter in the history of the early '70s loft era brings forth the revelatory Father of Origin, Eremite's box set retrospective of percussionist/bassist Juma Sultan's Aboriginal Music Society. Drawn from Sultan's mammoth private archive of recordings, this ground-breaking set includes two audiophile LPs and a CD, a 28 page 12x12' book featuring previously unpublished photographs and ephemera and a detailed historical essay by jazz scholar Michael Heller, all manufactured to highest quality-freak standards. This old-school multi-media extravaganza exposes some of the most extraordinary and explosive free jazz of the period to the light of day for the first time.
Established by Sultan and percussionist Ali Abuwi in Woodstock in 1968, Aboriginal Music Society was both a radical arts presenting organization and a killer band. Dedicated to musician self-sufficiency and stubbornly non-commercial, AMS waged guerrilla cultural warfare against mainstream America from strongholds in rural Woodstock and from lofts on New York's Lower East Side. For ten years, Sultan and the loose alliance of like-minded musicians in AMS produced independent concerts, owned and operated its own recording studio, and collaborated with legendary artist-run New York loft space Studio We on performances and educational programs. But during that whole time, they never released a record. Inspired by an emerging understanding of African cultures and the political ideas of the black power moment, AMS synthesized an African approach to percussion and collective performance with the revolutionary jazz of its day. In open-ended free improvisations they played an incendiary mix of massive trap kit and hand drum grooves and heaven-storming free jazz.
The music was a cry of freedom, a declaration of black cultural artistic and political independence; and until now it has not been heard since the day it was made. The first of the set's two LPs, a 1970 Boston studio date, features a New York-Woodstock sextet--including Sultan, Abuwi, Dinwiddie, Wilson, Walsh, and Cross--engaged in a characteristically percussion-heavy improvisation. The other vinyl disc features a private jam session by Sultan, Abuwi, and saxophonist Frank Lowe at the Broadway headquarters of AMS. Recorded in April 1971, it predates by several months Lowe's recording debut on Alice Coltrane's World Galaxy. The CD features yet another historic meeting--an undated concert with the Woodstock crew and a trio of Midwesterners recently relocated to New York--saxophonist Julius Hemphill, cellist Abdul Wadud, and drummer Charles 'Bobo' Shaw, all members of the St. Louis music and arts collective, Black Artists Group. Father of Origin is presented in a heavyweight telescoping box in paper wraps screen-printed by Alan Sherry at Siwa, who also screen-printed the LP sleeves, CD jacket & additional loose memorabilia."
Limited Edition, deluxe box, 2LPs, 1 CD, and 28 page 12x12" booklet, & 8x11" reproduction of a 1973 press release. All tracks are collective improvisations unless noted otherwise. Side B of MTE-55 is cut at 45RPM due to technical considerations.
MTE-54: 'The Aboriginal Family Sessions' recorded 11 September 1970, Intermedia Sound Studios, Boston, MA.
MTE-55: Private Session, recorded 2 April, 1971, AMS studio, NYC
MTE-56: Aboriginal Music Society performs with guest musicians from St. Louis' Black Artists Group (Julius Hemphill, Abdul Wadud, & Charles "Bobo" Shaw). Recorded post 1969, probable location Tinker Street Cinema, Woodstock, NY.
LPs are pressed by RTI. The CD is pressed by Groove House. All music & images made available under license from Juma Sultan. From Eremite.com: "First 100 copies purchased at eremite.com include a promo only 7" featuring two-track "dub" re-mixes by Joshua Abrams of 'Ode to a Gypsy Son' & MTE-55 'untitled'. The Box, LP sleeves, 7" sleeve, CD sleeve, and inserts are screen printed by Alan Sherry of SIWA