The vinyl pressing took a while to arrive, but here it is. From the label that brought us the essential Makaya McCraven and Angel Bat Dawid albums this past year comes another crucial document of the blossoming Chicago jazz underground in the shape of Damon Locks debut.
Locks appears to be something of a renaissance man, having been active as an musician in several bands since the 80s, as well as working as an educator, visual artist, & deejay. Indeed, this album originally began life as a sound collage piece worked on over four years that's subsequently developed into a whole different entity alongside a 15 piece ensemble of musicians, vocalists and dancers.
Like with Angel Bat Dawid's The Oracle (who also appears here on clarinet), there's an intriguing political context to Damon Locks work, pulling samples from Civil Rights era speeches and recordings, which work to frame the rich and expansive arrangements. It's an intriguing combination of gospel vocal influences, jazz collaboration and, as is inkeeping with the history of such things, social activism. Needless to say, another hot potato from International Anthem.
A1. Statement of Intent / Black Monument Theme
A2. Sounds Like Now
A3. Solar Power
A4. Rebuild A Nation
A5. Which I Believe It Will
B1. Which I Believe I Am
B2. The Colors That You Bring
B3. The Future?
B5. From A Spark To A Fire