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Tapscott, Horace / The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra / Great Vocie of UGMAA: Live At Lacma, 1998 [VIN (Dark Tree Records)

Formed in 1961 with the goal of preserving, developing and performing African-American music, pianist Horace Tapscott is heard in this well-recorded concert from 1998, his last public performance, at LACMA in Los Angeles with a 20 piece orchestra including sax, trombone, a 12 member chorus, three bassists, and 3 percussionists; a significant addition to Tapscott's catalog.

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product information:

UPC: 3473351001113

Label: Dark Tree Records
Catalog ID: DTRS11LP
Squidco Product Code: 29608

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: France
Packaging: LP
Recorded live at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in Los Angeles, California, on July 24th, 1998, by Wayne Peet.


Horace Tapscott-conductor, pianist

Michael Session-soprano saxophone

Phil Ranelin-trombone

Alan Hines-bass

Trevor Ware-bass

Louis Large-bass

Donald Dean-drums

Najite Agindotan-congas

Bill Madison-percussion

Dwight Trible-vocals

Afifa Amatullah-vocals

Amina Amatullah-vocals

Donte Chambers-vocals

Ndugu “Jingles” Chandler-vocals

Brenda Hearn-vocals

Chini Kopano-vocals

Torre Reese-vocals

Maria Rose-vocals

Tina Hitchens-vocals

Denise Tribble-vocals

Dwight Trible-director Carolyn Whitaker-vocals

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Artist Biographies:

"Horace Elva Tapscott (April 6, 1934 – February 27, 1999) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He formed the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (also known as P.A.P.A., or The Ark) in 1961 and led the ensemble through the 1990s.

Tapscott was born in Houston, Texas, and moved to Los Angeles, California, at the age of nine. By this time he had begun to study piano and trombone. He played with Frank Morgan, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins as a teenager.

After service in the Air Force in Wyoming, he returned to Los Angeles and played trombone with various bands, notably Lionel Hampton (1959–61). Soon after, though, he quit playing trombone and focused on piano.

In 1961 Tapscott formed the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, with the aim of preserving, developing and performing African-American music. As his vision grew, this became just one part of a larger organization in 1963, the Underground Musicians Association (UGMA), which later changed name to the Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA). Arthur Blythe, Stanley Crouch, Butch Morris, Wilber Morris, David Murray, Jimmy Woods, Nate Morgan and Guido Sinclair all performed in Tapscott's Arkestra at one time or another. Tapscott and his work are the subjects of the UCLA Horace Tapscott Jazz Collection.

Enthusiasts of his music formed two labels in the 1970s and 1980s, Interplay and Nimbus, for which he recorded."

-Wikipedia (

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Michael Session is a jazz saxophonist, known for the groups Horace Tapscott Quintet, The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, A Touch Of Jazz, Brüning V. Alten's Sunrise Orchestra, Dennis Gonzalez New Dallasangeles, Jazz Workshop Ensemble, Silvan Koopmann Bigband, and The Gathering.

-Discogs (

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"Dwight Trible is an American jazz singer, living in Los Angeles. He has made albums in collaboration with Carlos Gabriel Niño, John Beasley, and Matthew Halsall, releasing them on Ninja Tune and Gondwana Records. He was an original member of Pure Essence.

Mike Hobart, wrote in the Financial Times that "Trible has been forging his particular slant on spiritual-modal jazz for decades, delivering his love-is-the-answer message with clear diction, rich tones and a beautifully controlled vibrato. Trible's sonic range adds a dash of Isaac Hayes gravel to the imperious sonorities of Barry White, and, like them, he steeps his voice in the inflections of gospel-soul and the blues. But, having worked with the likes of Pharaoh Sanders and Charles Lloyd, he is equally in control of the nuances and demands of jazz."

Andrew Gilbert wrote in JazzTimes that "few musicians have done more to cultivate the L.A. [jazz] scene over the past four decades" than Trible. "

-Wikipedia (

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"Tina Hitchens is a improviser, flautist and composer / sound artist who works largely in the fields of free improvisation, sound art, and contemporary classical music, playing and writing in a variety of musical groups as well as working with artists from other disciplines.

Recent projects include as a recipient of an 'Interpreting Isolation' grant from the British Music Collection and Sound & Music: Tina collaborated with artist Sam Francis to produce a new work, High Tide. In 2019-21 she was a commissioned artist for CANOPY, an arts network in the Forest of Dean, working towards creating a sound art piece focusing on a Phone Box using sounds and stories from the Forest area. Tina was composer for Freya Gabie's Grafted Chorus - a project for the 'Future Perfect' public arts programme; a Halftone collaboration with artist Benjamin A Owen at Supernormal Festival; and Amalgams, produced by the ONOMATO collective. She was a composer / improviser for artist Benjamin A Owen's Goldfinch film events, collaborated with Field Sports / Fold Music, was a flautist for Song 5 of Welsh National Opera's Occupation - Five songs that shook the world, and performed orchestral piccolo for the world premiere of Andrew Wilson-Dickson's Karuna - an oratorio for compassion.

Tina currently writes / improvises / performs in a range of settings - see the Projects / Groups page for details.

Tina has worked with the Welsh National Opera, National Dance Company Wales, PM Music Ensemble, National Theatre Wales, The Sherman Theatre, and multiple smaller groups. She co-founded Cardiff New Music Collective, a group dedicated to performing rarely-heard repertoire, as well as commissioning new works. Tina was a composer / performer for Dots.filmband, who composed and improvised live soundscapes for contemporary short films, and composed, played synth and sang with Whitebelt, a post-punk / wonky pop 3-piece. She has been a session musician for various pop / TV / radio / film / theatre / dance projects.

Tina initially studied classical flute performance (with Roger Armstrong and Christine Messiter) at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she was fortunate to attend Keith Tippett's educational sessions on free improvisation. These sessions contributed to the broadening of Tina's musical world and she became increasingly involved in contemporary music during her time at the College, gaining the MMus and BMus (hons) degrees. She was awarded an EMI Music Sound Foundation scholarship, an Ashley Family Foundation scholarship, and the Daniel Emlyn Davies Award."

-Tina Hitchens Website (

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track listing:


1. Fela Fela 14:08


1. Why Don't You Listen? 14:23
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In every decade since the 1960s, dedicated listeners have called for the world to get hip to the music of Horace Tapscott. In 1963 he formed the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra in Los Angeles. Like Chicago's Association For The Advancement Of Creative Musicians (AACM) and St. Louis' Black Artists Group (BAG), Tapscott's collective was formed to serve his local scene. Also, and this is probably more significant, his efforts were focused on community organizing and the empowerment of his people. His music could be heard through the turbulence of the Civil Rights Movement, the deaths of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the economic crisis of the 1970s, the L.A. riots of the 1980s, and the continual wars of the 1990s.

There have been sporadic attempts by the music mainstream to draw attention to his music. HatOLOGY released the five star 1989 sessions The Dark Tree 1 & 2 (1999) and there were two Arabesque discs Aiee! The Phantom (1996) and Thoughts Of Dar Es Salaam (1997). Nonetheless, his music (and Tapscott himself) remained a Southern Californian phenomenon and only the small label Nimbus West Records championed his music.

Twenty years after his passing, Bertrand Gastaut's Dark Tree label issued the last date Tapscott performed on before succumbing to cancer. This live recording from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in July 1998 expands his Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra with a twelve-person choir, The Great Voice Of UGMAA (Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension) under the direction of Dwight Trible.

To call this recording monumental is to do it a disservice of understatement. Tapscott's Arkestra with Michael Session (saxophones) and Phil Renelin (trombone) is reinforced by three double bassists and three percussionists. Opening with the instrumental "aiee! The Phantom," the pianist lays a soulful foundation of Gospel and blues-related swing, followed by Tapscott's reinterpretation of Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington's "Caravan." Cloaked inside a percussive barrage and Trible's vocalese, the familiar tune reveals itself at its own leisurely pace, before detonating with Session's solo.

The true marrow of the evening's performance are the three vocal tracks with The Great Voice of UGMAA choir. "Little Africa" ends with a snippet of "Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing"; "Fela Fela" was written for the Nigerian musician and human right activist Fela Kuti, and the title track asks us why didn't you listen (with a capitol 'L') to "Bird and Trane" (Charlie Parker and John Coltrane), "Lady Day" (Billie Holiday), Max Roach, "Moody's Mood and Dizzy Groove" (James Moody and Dizzy Gillespie)-and on and on the roll call continues, reminding us "it's the sound of freedom." "-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Large Ensembles
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
New in Improvised Music

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