Byard Lancaster My Pure Joy [LP]
Catalogue No.: STRUT240LP
Release Date: 26th February 2021
Genre: Broken Beat/Nu Jazz
A1. Drummers From Ibadan
A2. Philadephia Savage
A3. Sweet Evil
A4. Lancaster Brand Notes
B1. Jazz Lady
B2. Newest African Cities
B3. My Pure Joy
B4. Afro Space
LP FORMAT DETAILS: 1LP in single sleeve W/ Inner 2PP 12” Sheet.
"From A Love Supreme to The Sex Machine!" The personal musical mantra of the late Philadelphia reedman Byard Lancaster informed an open-minded and varied lifetime in jazz. Strut presents one of Lancaster’s lesser known classics, ‘My Pure Joy’, recorded in 1992 for Black Fire. Lancaster had initially cut his musical teeth with the avant-garde on New York’s Lower East Side in the 1960s (famously on sessions with pianist Dave Burrell and drummer Sunny Murray) and in Paris during the ‘70s after an appearance at the Actuel festival but, throughout his career, his path was built around community engagement, positivity and “the Philly jazz sound, Germantown style.” He became an ambassador for the music of the City Of Brotherly Love, starting his own Dogtown label, helping launch the Philly Jazz imprint and campaigning tirelessly to improve the circumstances of the city’s street musicians.
Lancaster’s sessions for Black Fire were planned following a gig at Caverns Jazz Club in Washington DC. “Jimmy Gray of Black Fire and I originally met during the ‘riotous blisters’ of the late Sixties there,” explained Lancaster. “We became the best of friends.” Backed by a band of Philly musicians including percussionist Keno Speller and Baba Robert Crowder (drummer for Olatunji and Art Blakey), the album also featured the Drummers From Ibadan led by Tunde Kuboye, another influential figure dedicated to community jazz with whom Lancaster had bonded while teaching in Lagos. The result was a free-flowing set of spirituality and positivity, built around full band groove workouts, solo pieces and heavy African roots. “We had big fun documenting this music,” remembered Lancaster. The message of the album remains as relevant today as ever, “I dedicate this album to all African Americans in the USA. To the youth, I ask ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?’” Originally delayed by three years because of cashflow issues within Black Fire, ‘My Pure Joy’ eventually surfaced as one of the label’s final CD releases in 1995.
First ever reissue of lesser known Byard Lancaster album from 1995, first time on vinyl.
Backed by Philly band Sounds Of Newest Africa featuring Drummers From Ibadan led by Nigerian bassist Tunde Kuboye
Package features original artwork and sleeve notes by Byard Lancaster and Clifford Allen
Part of Strut’s ongoing work reissuing the complete Black Fire independent jazz and R&B catalogue
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