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Sounds of Liberation

Unreleased (Columbia University 1973)

Sounds of Liberation: Unreleased (Columbia University 1973) (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Originally formed by vibraphonist Khan Jamal in 1970 in the Germantown section of Philadelphia (the homefront of Sun Ra's Arkestra) and expanded to a septet when saxophonist Byard Lancaster joined, the band only released one official LP, this soulfully funky, upbeat and lyrical album extending their output with a well-recorded album captured at Columbia University in 1973.

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product information:


Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CD0057
Squidco Product Code: 27746

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Columbia University in New York City, New York, in 1973, by Kevin Przybylowski.


Byard Lancaster-alto saxophone

Billy Mills-bass

Rashid Salim-congas

Dwight James-drums

Monnette Sudler-guitar

Omar Hill-percussion

Khan Jamal-vibraphone

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Artist Biographies:

"Byard Lancaster (August 6, 1942 August 23, 2012) was an avant-garde jazz saxophonist and flutist.

He attended two colleges, one for music, before attending the Berklee College of Music. He moved to New York City and participated in jam sessions which included saxophonist Archie Shepp and drummer Elvin Jones.

In 1965, he recorded Sunny Murray Quintet with the album's eponymous musician in New York, performed in the Parisian Actuel festival with him in 1969, and continued to work in the drummer's groups throughout his career. By the 1970s, Lancaster had played with musicians such as McCoy Tyner, Khan Jamal, and Sun Ra, as well as some outside of jazz, such as blues pianist Memphis Slim and blues guitarist Johnny Copeland.

Near the end of his life he performed regularly with cellist David Eyges and recorded as a leader and sideman for the record label Creative Improvised Music Projects. He died of pancreatic cancer on August 23, 2012."

-Wikipedia (

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Billy Mills is a Philadelphia bassist known for the groups Sounds Of Liberation and The Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble.

-Discgos (

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"Rashid Salim, aka Rashid Salim IV, aka William Brister, was a percussionist with the Sun Ra Arkestra from 1969 until 1971."

-Discogs (

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"Dwight James is a Philadelphia-born and bred, drummer, percussionist and educator. He has devoted much of his life to the study of drums and has presented concerts and educational workshops all around the globe. He has shared the stage with many performers including, blues singer Jimmy Reed, R&B crooners The Flamingos and the Jazz-Blues ensemble, The Hylarks, as well as Jazz artists like, Ted Curson, Odean Pope, Grachan Moncur III, Oliver Lake and many others.

As a youngster, Dwight James was influenced by his neighbors, who were professional Philadelphia Jazz musicians. Artists like tenor saxophonist Odean Pope, percussionist Robert Kenyatta, and drummer Sherman Ferguson were his mentors. James, developed and became a member of Philadelphia's adventurous musical front during the 1970s and 80s and was also associated with artists like Byard Lancaster, The Visitors, Sounds Of Liberation, Khan Jamal and Monnette Sudler. He is featured on many of the classic recordings from this community including, Khan Jamal Creative Art Ensemble's 1972 recording, Drum Dance To The Motherland, Sounds Of Liberation's 1972, self-titled debut album, Most important however, is his own first album as a leader, the Cadence Jazz Records' 1983 release, "Inner Heat." "

-Philadelphia Jazz Project (

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"Monnette Sudler (born June 5, 1952) is an American jazz guitarist from Philadelphia.

Sudler was born Monnette Goldman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Lea Goldman, married Truman W. Sudler in 1957.

Her first exposure to jazz was listening to her great-uncle play piano. When she was fifteen, she took lessons on guitar at the Wharton Center in Philadelphia. She can play drums and piano, and she composes, arranges, sings, and writes poetry. Early in her career she worked with vibraphonist Khan Jamal in the Sounds of Liberation. In the 1970s she studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston and in the 1980s at Temple University.

During her career, she has worked with Kenny Barron, Hamiet Bluiett, Arthur Blythe, Dameronia, Sonny Fortune, Dave Holland, Freddie Hubbard, Joseph Jarman, Hugh Masekela, Cecil McBee, David Murray, Sunny Murray, Trudy Pitts, Odean Pope, Don Pullen, Sam Rivers, Shirley Scott, Archie Shepp, Leon Thomas, Steve Turre, Cedar Walton, Grover Washington Jr., and Reggie Workman."

-Wikipedia (

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Omar Hill is a Philadelphia-area percussionist, best known for the group Sounds Of Liberation, and his album with Art Webb

-Discogs (

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"Khan Jamal (born July 23, 1946, Jacksonville, Florida) is an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player. Ron Wynn describes Jamal as "a proficient soloist when playing free material, jazz-rock and fusion, hard bop, or bluesy fare."

Jamal began playing vibraphone during the mid-1960s. Later in the decade, he joined Cosmic Forces, then co-founded Sounds of Liberation with Byard Lancaster during the early 1970s. During the 1970s, Jamal studied at Combs College of Music and joined Sunny Murray's group Untouchable Factor. In addition to leading his own groups, Jamal has performed with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, Joe Bonner, Billy Bang, Charles Tyler and others."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Thoughts 4:03

2. Keno 3:51

3. Sweet Evil Mist 7:09

4. Badi 5:17

5. New Horizons 10:44
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Hailing from the Germantown section of Philadelphia, well known as the site of the Sun Ra Arkestra communal homestead, Sounds of Liberation were at the forefront of seventies black liberation music. After a series of gigs in elementary schools, prisons, and community centers, in 1973 the band travelled along with their manager George Gilmore (father of Linc Gilmore of Breakwater fame) to NYC for a recording session at Columbia University. This five-song session has never been heard until now. Had it ever been issued, it would have followed on the band's debut, New Horizons, released in an edition of 500 copies on Dogtown Records, now a highly prized item in creative music collector circles.

Sounds Of Liberation formed in early 1970, initially lead by vibraphonist Warren Robert Cheeseboro, aka Khan Jamal, but it wasn't until the eventual arrival of Byard Lancaster that the band's prospects started to take off. Lancaster was a master at making a deal (with or without the band's approval). This deal-making lead to more gigs and more recognition, especially from local newspapers.

Sounds Of Liberation was more of a community than a band at times and because of that spirit there was a strong desire by the entire group to work with schoolchildren as well as inmates. They did just that, and continued to do so throughout the early to mid-seventies. Released briefly last year as a special edition of 100 copies by Brewerytown Beats, who have forged positive working relationships with the living members of the band and the estates of those passed, the music on Sounds of Liberation has never been heard before, which is especially strange given how wonderful and accessible it is. Shoulder-deep in groove juice, it's a record with heavy ostinati and beautiful backbeats, including the mellowing influence of Jamal's vibes and the incisive guitar of Monette Sudler, the final track featuring an unidentified vocal group singing a stone-cold soul hit, also featuring some searing saxophone courtesy of Mr. Lancaster.

A treasure for fans of so-called spiritual jazz and free funk, Sounds of Liberation is a snapshot of its era and equally an inspiration in ours. The package comes with never seen photos of the band and a cover design by artist LeRoy Butler, who worked with the SOL in the era, at the same time he was designing records for Sun Ra. With music lovingly coaxed from long-unplayed original tapes, Sounds of Liberation is a new line item in the soul improvisation pantheon."-Corbett vs. Dempsey

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Septet recordings
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz

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