Father of Origin
2011 release. Deep archeology into a long buried and previously undocumented chapter in the history of the early '70s loft era brings forth the revelatory Father of Origin, Eremite's box set retrospective of percussionist and bassist Juma Sultan's Aboriginal Music Society. Drawn from Sultan's mammoth private archive of recordings, this groundbreaking set includes two audiophile LPs and a CD, a 28-page 12" x 12" book featuring previously unpublished photographs and ephemera, and a detailed historical essay by jazz scholar Michael Heller, all manufactured to highest quality-freak standards. This old school multimedia extravaganza exposes some of the most extraordinary and explosive free jazz of the period to the light of day for the first time. Established by Sultan and percussionist Ali Abuwi in Woodstock in 1968, Aboriginal Music Society was both a radical arts organization and a killer band. For ten years, Sultan and the loose alliance of like-minded musicians in AMS produced independent concerts, owned and operated their own recording studio, and collaborated with legendary artist-run New York loft space Studio We on performances and educational programs. But during that whole time, they never released a record. Inspired by an emerging understanding of African cultures and the political ideas of the black power moment, AMS synthesized an African approach to percussion and collective performance with the revolutionary jazz of its day. In open-ended free improvisations they played an incendiary mix of massive trap kit, hand drum grooves, and heaven-storming free jazz. The first of the set's two LPs, a 1970 Boston studio date, features a New York-Woodstock sextet -- including Sultan, Abuwi, Gene Dinwiddie, Philip Wilson, Ralph Walsh, and Earl Cross -- engaged in a characteristically percussion-heavy improvisation. The other vinyl disc features a private jam session by Sultan, Abuwi, and saxophonist Frank Lowe at the Broadway headquarters of AMS. Recorded in April 1971, it predates by several months Lowe's recording debut on Alice Coltrane's World Galaxy. The CD features yet another historic meeting -- an undated concert with the Woodstock crew and a trio of midwesterners recently relocated to New York -- saxophonist Julius Hemphill, cellist Abdul Wadud, and drummer Charles "Bobo" Shaw, all members of the St. Louis music and arts collective, Black Artists Group. Father of Origin is presented in a heavyweight telescoping box in paper wraps screen-printed by Alan Sherry at Siwa, who also screen-printed the LP sleeves, CD jacket, and additional loose memorabilia.