Jewels Of Thought (1969)

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Jewels Of Thought (1969)

Message par Ayler le 15.04.08 17:36

Jewels Of Thought (1969)



1. Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah (Prince of Peace)
2. Sun in Aquarius


Pour ceux qui ont apprécié "Karma", "Jewels Of Thought" en est le prolongement naturel. Enregistré quelques mois plus tard, il reprend une formule assez proche, avec un succès comparable.

La présence de Leon Thomas contribue pour beaucoup à la similarité entre les deux albums. Il faudra attendre "Shukuru" (vous pouvez faire l'impasse) pour que les deux hommes réenregistrent ensemble. Il se retrouveront sur l'inégal mais intéressant "Oh Lord, Let Me Do No Wrong".

Le thème de "Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah" ne m'étais pas inconnu lorsque je me suis procuré l'album : on le retrouvait sous le nom de "Prince of Peace" sur l'album "Izipho Zam (My Gifts)", enregistré quelques mois plus tôt... mais qui ne sera publié qu'en 1973 par le label Strata East. Pour les amateurs du duo Pharoah Sanders/Leon Thomas, c'est un disque indispensable.

Pour en revenir à l'album lui-même, il est composé de deux longues plages fort différentes.

"Prince Of Peace" est une chanson, très simple dans la forme, assez typique du travail de Pharoah, avec juste quelques accords qu'il joue en boucle jusqu'à la transe musicale. Dans le style, c'est l'une de ses meilleures réussites.

"Sun In Aquarius" joue dans un tout autre registre : c'est finalement l'un des titres les plus free de sa période Impulse! (et il va sans dire par la suite...). Ame sensible s'abstenir.
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Re: Jewels Of Thought (1969)

Message par Electric Thing le 16.04.08 21:42

Ayler a dit : "Sun In Aquarius" joue dans un tout autre registre : c'est finalement l'un des titres les plus free de sa période Impulse! (et il va sans dire par la suite...). Ame sensible s'abstenir.
Les 11 premières minutes sont... imbuvables ! Après c'est somptueux et totalement dans la continuité du titre d'avant (et donc de Karma).
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Re: Jewels Of Thought (1969)

Message par keith49 le 22.09.08 20:50

Super morceau ce "Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah (Prince of Peace)" ; très agréable d'écoute. Par contre en ce qui concerne le second titre "Sun in Aquarius" je fais partie des ames sensibles car là j'avoue que je n'accroche pas du tout, j'ai énormément de mal meme.
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Re: Jewels Of Thought (1969)

Message par Ayler le 07.10.09 13:54

A new album by Pharoah Sanders is like a new Stones album; you never know quite what to expect, but you know it's going to be good. Jewels of Thought is as different from Karma and Tauhid as the earlier albums are different from each other.

"Sun in Aquarius," which takes up the greater part of the album, was originally titled "Explorations," aptly since the piece explores realms that are new even for Pharoah. "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and "Upper and Lower Egypt," the "long" pieces on the preceding albums, are perfect as they are because they were distilled from the experience of almost nightly playing. The playing time that elapsed between conception and recording was time enough for these pieces to achieve a fine focus of intensity and a "felt" structural unity arrived at through familiarity. "Sun in Aquarius," on the other hand, seems to be a new exploration, far into uncharted territory, allowing for as much freedom and spontaneity as possible. Much of it, especially the long accelerating section after the introduction, has no tone center at all; it's almost white noise. The instruments used to achieve this effect (there was no overdubbing or electronic manipulation) include the strings on the inside of Lonnie Smith's piano, a large group, cymbals and a battery of African percussion instruments. The introduction itself finds the entire band on percussion instruments except for Lonnie Smith, who switches from thumb piano to recorder to shakers and bells, and Pharoah, who plays two reed flutes of exotic origin, simultaneously.

The rest of the piece moves through a variety of moods and textures. There is a very Out contrabass clarinet solo by Pharoah that sounds like the noises of some extraterrestrial animal, and a tenor solo that straddles both the free section and the more lyrical, waltz-time section that follows it. The tenor Pharoah plays is a borrowed one—his own horn was lost the evening before and found after the session — so that some of the textures he arrives at are new and highly unusual, bundling up overtones like sticks. This is a random factor that need not have been so random, since Pharoah's horn is pretty much an extension of his body; after all, he's lost it three times in New York City and had it returned. His playing is still exciting and innovative of course, far ahead of the rest of the "energy players," but it lacks the cohesive, delicately crafted quality of his playing on Karma, especially in connective passages, where it usually signals and structures transitions like the wave of an aural baton.

Another thing that worries me (a little) about "Sun in Aquarius" is its premature end, which is the result of mechanical exigencies. The first take of the tune was much fuller and more complete in form, returning as it did, at the very end, to the roaring jet-exhaust sound of the opening passage. It ran some 40 minutes. The take used, the second, had to be shortened at the producer's request and, even so, its 29 minutes are scattered over both sides of the LP, which does nothing for the continuity. There are a couple of 30-minute sides on Bitches Brew, among other albums, so it seems a shame that ABC found it necessary to divide the work and shorten it as arbitrarily as they did.

"Hum - Allah - Hum - Allah - Hum - Allah" is the album's "short" tune (at 15:04), a memorable song that Pharoah has often used to close a set. The treatment here extends to include a solo by Lonnie L. Smith Jr., Pharoah's pianist and right-hand man, and some fine tenor by the leader. Vocalist Leon Thomas, who left Pharoah's group to go out on his own soon after this recording was made, has a more subsidiary role on Jewels Of Thought, but this is partially due to the recording balance, which favors Pharoah's horn over Leon's voice, turning duets into solo-and-accompaniment. Even so, their interaction is up to the high standards set by the Karma album.

Lonnie Smith's importance to the overall success of the music cannot be overestimated. He is always alert to the changes implied in Pharoah's playing, and he often cues the band from one groove into another in telepathic conjunction with Pharoah. He is also given co-composer credits on Jewels Of Thought, marking his involvement in the direction and sound of the music. The two bassists, Richard Davis and Cecil McBee, operate together as closely as Lonnie and Pharoah. Their duet section is simple, making a developing series of improvisations from a short original motive, and its simplicity, coupled with taste and communication, accounts for the extraordinary purity of the sound.

Reservations notwithstanding, this album, and Pharoah's previous efforts, are indispensable to listeners interested in contemporary musical developments. Pharoah wants to achieve unheard sound textures and new levels of musical consciousness with nothing but the natural sound of musical instruments, played by human beings whose bodies and minds are as one. Each of his recordings is a new trip, and Jewels Of Thought is particularly interesting for the chances it takes as well as the plateaus it reaches. (RS 65)

BOB PALMER
Source : Rolling Stone

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Re: Jewels Of Thought (1969)

Message par Chino le 23.10.12 12:00

Très bel album là encore, et je suis de ceux qui aiment les 11 premières minutes de Sun In Aquarius. Par contre, à ne pas mettre comme fond sonore à l'apéro!
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