Emanative – The Light Years Of The Darkness - 2015 Spiritual Jazz 2LP
Emanative – The Light Years Of The Darkness
Brownswood Recordings – BWOOD0136LP, The Steve Reid Foundation – none
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition
16 Mar 2015
A1 Om Supreme
Featuring – Jessica LaurenWritten-By – Alice Coltrane
A2 Hum Allah Hum Allah Hum Allah
Featuring – The Pyramids (3)Written-By – Pharoah Sanders
Featuring – Kieran HebdenWritten-By – Don Cherry
Featuring – Collocutor, Finn PetersWritten-By – Joe Henderson
Featuring – Ahmed AbdullahMixed By [Additonal Drum Mixing] – Malcom CattoWritten-By – Sun Ra
C1 As Of Yet
Featuring – Kevin G. DavyMixed By [Additional Drum Mixing] – Malcom CattoWritten-By – Arthur Blythe
C2 Rocket Number Nine
Featuring – Rocketnumbernine, United VibrationsWritten-By – Sun Ra
D1 Love In Outer Space
Featuring – Ahmed AbdullahWritten-By – Sun Ra
D2 Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe
Featuring – Earl Zinger, Valerie EtienneWritten-By – Mary Maria Parks*
Mastered At – masterpiece
Design – Made In Earnest
Engineer – Mamiko Motto, Murray McHattie, Robert Strauss, Sam Shepherd, Toby Oliver
Illustration – Gene Pendon
Lacquer Cut By – Greg Moore (4)
Mastered By – Tony Dixon
Musician – Ahmad Dayes, Andre Espeut, Ben Hadwen, Ben Page, Gemma Williams, Idris Ackamoor,Jason Simpson, Kareem Dayes, Kenneth Nash, Liz Elensky, Mally Harpaz, Marco Piccioni, Maurizio Ravalico, Monique Ngozi Nri, Nick Haward, Ollie Brice*, Simon Finch, Suman Joshi, Tamar Osborn,Tello Morgado, Tom Page, Wayne Francis, Yussef Dayes
Producer, Mixed By – Nick Woodmansey
Ahmed Abdullah (courtesy of Mirahayama Music, BMI)
Idris Ackamoor (courtesy of Aomawa Music, BMI)
Kenneth Nash (courtesy of Kenade Music, BMI)
Created with love for the Steve Reid Foundation
Thanks to Gilles Peterson and all of the foundation Trustee's
( Bird Is The Worm) "
from Emanative (an alias for drummer percussionist and producer Nick Woodmansey). The Light Years of the Darkness is full-on spiritual jazz, giving modern spins of old tunes expressed in a way that honors both the original renditions and the artists who penned them. Woodmansey scoops up a nice assortment of musicians from the UK scene to help his vision along.
The album opens with a rendition of Alice Coltrane’s “Om Supreme.” The wavering serenity constructed by the ensemble is a wonderful lead in to their rendition of Pharoah Sanders’ “Hum-Allah,” which dials down on the original’s intensity but holds nothing back on the spiritual infusion. This, too, sets the table nicely for the easy-going groove of Don Cherry’s “Makondi.” Catchy as all hell, it features Four Tet on thumb piano.
Tamar Osborn’s Collocutor has been raved about previously on this site (and is a former Pick of the Week from my old Wondering Sound column). Here she guests on a rendition of Joe Henderson’s “Fire.” A joyful sing-song melody winds about the dense rolling hills of the rhythm unit. It’s a similar disposition expressed by the ensemble on their rendition of Arthur Blythe’s “As of Yet.”
Two takes on Sun Ra’s “Love In Outer Space” yield some enjoyable variations. The alternate take is a space-station jingle that digs into a thick groove. The other rendition bounces happily along, a buoyancy that is revealed by the way the ensemble jumps up to scratch at the surface of clouds as well as how it returns to earth by slamming its feet back down with authority. They also take a spin on Sun Ra’s “Rocket Number Nine,” which opens with random dispersal before suddenly coalescing into a focused stream of thought, growing increasingly determined and intense before a peaceful outro.
The album ends with “Music is the Healing Force of the Universe.” Emanative’s dance hall version diverges from Albert Ayler’s vision of the song, and yet, in some ways quite essential, the distance between the two is not as great a chasm as might seem at first blush. The same can be said about the song’s relationship to the rest of the album. It’s an intriguing way to close the show… a different way of expressing the joyful spirituality embodied by the album in its entirety.
Also, all proceeds of the album go to the Steve Reid Foundation. The Foundation has a dual purpose, helping with music education initiatives as well as providing aid to musicians who are in crisis."