Sir Luther returns with a soulful blast from his crucial St. Louis era... an entire album previously unreleased!
Two master tapes from an unreleased session were discovered during the remastering of FUNKY DONKEY, the 1973 Human Arts Ensemble record reissued by Unheard Music Series (UMS/ALP215CD, 2001). These recordings had been mislabeled and looked almost identical to the FUNKY DONKEY tapes, but in fact they turned out to be a lost session from roughly the same time. The group‚s personnel was subsequently identified by Luther Thomas: Thomas- alto saxophone, piano, slide whistle, finger chimes; James Marshall- alto, tenor & soprano saxophones, flutes, small instruments; Abdullah Yakub- alto horn, small instruments; Carol Marshall- voice, accordion, small instruments; Charles Bobo Shaw- drums. Clearly intended for release as an LP, perhaps , the tapes included verbally slated track titles. The entire session is presented here, including an outtake of one track. Consequently, if you dug FUNKY DONKEY, you need BANANA..
From LUTHER THOMAS' liner notes: "In the early Œ70s, Bobo Shaw came up with the idea of Human Arts. BAG had lost some of its funding and some of the wind was coming out of it. It was the Black Artists Group, but now we had a lot of different ethnic groups working with us, white folks like James Marshall, his wonderful wife Carol, John Zorn, Marty Ehrlich. We had it all, St. Louis. Music is everything, it‚s all colors, it ain‚t no color, it‚s music. We came up with Human Arts Ensemble, made everybody feel more comfortable, and the music started to explode even more... Played, taught music, slept it, ate it. Mmm, we got so close. It was a communal situation... Oliver Lake had the BAG Ensemble then, living in Paris. We had the music on all sides of the globe. We did some things up in Oregon with the great musicians up there, Alice Coltrane, Sonny Simmons, Sonny King and his wife Nancy, Dave Friesen. It was a family thing!
When we came back from out West, we just turned the machines on. We had all the music."