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The Supplicants + Prince Lasha

by The Supplicants

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sonicsplendor It's like they're playing for nothing but the fun of it. Loose as could be, easy and confident. They flow, they eddy, they diverge and rejoin. The whole piece is terrific, but my favorite moment comes ten minutes in when the horns flutter to silence leaving the bassist and drummer solo torchbearers, their flame just a flicker. They fan it gently, seeing how small they can let it get before wind and reeds return and the performance flares up again, joyous and earnest.
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In anticipation for the Nov 1st new studio album release 'Formless', we are excited to reveal an newly unearthed gem from the 20 year old vault of minidisc recordings. It is a privilege to share what could be the crown jewel of that collection.

There was a brief moment in time when the multi-instrumentalist and master free-jazz improviser Prince Lasha joined The Supplicants in the Bay Area, California at the early turn of the century. The exact date of this recording is unknown.

Below is some powerful thoughts from Prince Lasha himself on how music and spirituality are connected.

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Excerpt from ‘Prince Lasha's Inside-Outside Story’
By Clifford Allen
December 5, 2005
Published by AllAboutJazz

All About Jazz: How does spirituality factor into your music? I know it's a very important part of your work, and I'd like to hear your take on it.

Prince Lasha: Right now I've been preparing to work on some things with "His Holiness [saxophonist] Odean Pope, and my thing is that I think, speaking of his Holiness with the reeds, many reeds unite to create a harmony. In some manners concerned with the divine human relationship, I think about the saxophone choir. In listening to a piece of music, at first we do not hear the deep, fundamental tones, the surest stride of the melody on which everything else is built. After we have accustomed our ear, we find the order, as if one magic stroke a single unifying musical world emerges from this. We realize that with delight and amazement that the fundamental tone was always resounding. The melody, order and unity [are ongoing], and this is called the eternal harmony. The human existence needs music, because of all the arts music may be the most spiritual and meaningful. Music is absolutely necessary... as a means of communication and consolation, and it is interesting that it defines the highest mathematical study of arts and the relationship of other art forms, and it is the closest connection—not with drama or with painting, but music. I find it easier to compare music because of the feeling that goes to some deeper level of communication, which emphasizes equally the role of performer and the listener.

AAJ: Right, because though it's harder with the written word, with music you can have several emotions going on at once, and you don't have to parse them — you can have a synthesis in real time. You can hear it and say "this is a model for how I feel, the complete range of my emotions. It encodes everything you feel over the course of your life, and how do you express that? Music.

PL: Music proves the existence of the soul, that humans are made in the image of the creator. The soul of the universe is united by that musical concord, and we ourselves are united by music. My title is "Harmony That Is —the very song of the universe itself. Music is the human outlook; we're engaged in a process, we encounter the world and its undefined source of meaning. It's that subliminal action in our course of meaning for life, which is hidden from view of consciousness.

AAJ: It reaches you on another level.

PL: Those are some of the things I think about concerning the spiritual part of the music. There's a story that sticks with me very well, and it's the story of the sun, when it didn't go down for an extra day. It was during the days of Joshua when the walls came tumbling down, because all the voices and instruments were so powerful, and this is the only time during creation that the sun stayed up one extra day. It's in the canon, the Penitudes. Music crumbled the walls of Jericho; there was no army and no way to bring those people to defeat. They had something inimitable to mankind, and that is sound. Keep that in mind as long as you live—music is the only thing I've come across that will save your life.

AAJ: How would you say improvised music differs from written music in this context?

PL: My answer is this: we are guided by the unseen angelic force of the creator, and we're guided by our mental consciousness. There are special people that have this attribute; Nat King Cole was one, Trane was another. That's the way I define improvisation. There are certain DNAs that can deal with this thing, because this is what the Creator had set aside, and nothing would keep peace under the canopy any more than music. From what I understand, the only way that mankind would get together and grow groceries to feed the world would be if he was attacked by an extraterrestrial force.

AAJ: We have to have something completely foreign to our sensibilities before we'll come together.

PL: Right, so there's no way that we could have the high talk of our Creator, who we are created in the image of, because I would say that he has a name for every grain of sand. We are created in a manner that, when we are perfected, we would know the name of every man on earth. This is very deep, and that's the way the music takes me. We are created not to die, but to live for an infinity. Just look at the creation, man!

credits

released October 2, 2022
Prince Lasha - Bari Sax, Flute
David Boyce - Reeds,
Richard Howell - Reeds, Talking Drum
David Ewell - Bass
Sameer Gupta - Drumset
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Remastered by Sameer Gupta
Photos of The Supplicants by Stacy Bucks

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Sameer Gupta New York, New York

Sameer Gupta is known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drum set and Indian classical music on tabla. By combining traditional and modern improvisational styles drawing from his Indian heritage and American roots, Gupta has already established himself as an original musical voice in jazz, world, and fusion music. ... more

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