Saturday, June 24, 2006

Conjure Bad Mouth

Conjure is the name of the band Kip Hanrahan put together for the texts of the Writer/Poet Ishmael Reed. This is the third record with Reed and Hanrahan remaining as the constants--oh wait--the other constant is the absolute genius on display!
I saw Ishmael speak at a library in Cambridge when his book "Japanese By Spring" (yes, read it!) was published. During the Q & A afterwards, I had the task of rescuing him from earnest white college students asking about how he could possibly understand the black perspective of--well you get the picture--so I asked when he was going to do another Conjure record.
It was great to see him smile, apparently he likes the project(s), but at that time there were no plans. Well, it has been a decade and it is here.
Smokin' funk/Latin/gospel/rock it hit the landscape and disappeared.
The iPod Generation apparently can't be bothered with modern adult music.
The topical tracks are killer...Literally. My Republican friends (I know, right?) will not be spinning this record more than once. Who would have guessed Bruce Springsteen and Ishmael Reed would have so much in common?
Regardless of political themes, the music here is absolutely the finest avant world jazz funk poetry being made today. That being said, if I hadn't been waiting for this record I would have missed it. The music world is insular, jazz music moreso, and that is a shame. Everyone has a soundtrack to their life--iPod, Muzak, streaming game themes and ringtones--and yet the music we here is like poetry--outside of our daily experience.
Nate (grad student) once said to me, "who reads poetry?" My reply? "academics, until they get a job".
Find this CD, it may change your life...

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