Red, Black and Green
2009 release. Originally produced and issued by Charles "Bobo" Shaw himself, Solidarity Unit, Inc.'s Red, Black and Green documents what happened at the Black Artists Group Room in St. Louis, MO, on September 18, 1970, the day Jimi Hendrix died. Captured in a gloriously blunt and low-res recording that is as stark as the black and white cover art, Shaw and the ten-piece group produce a raw, teeming, clattering sound that never relinquishes. Oliver Lake and Joseph Bowie were by this time already powerful soloists, and both declaim fervently and damn near relentlessly over Shaw's swaggering themes. Dead at age 34 and recorded just four times, guitarist Richard Martin's performance is a true revelation; as Martin leaps from blues idioms to screaming attacks to pure howling feedback, one wonders if even Sonny Sharrock reached these places with the instrument. Furious kit and hand drumming, violently rattling little instruments, jabbing, percussive Rhodes, thundering bass guitar -- these guys don't hold back! Easy to say "lost underground free jazz classic," but that's the real story here. Played by Shaw (percussions), Lake (alto sax, flute), Bowie (trombone), Martin (electric guitar), Clovis Bordeaux (piano), Kada Kayan (bass), Floyd Leflore (trumpet), Carl Richardson (bass), Danny Trice (conga drums), and Baikida Yaseen (trumpet). The music was remastered from the best available sources by Mike King (Reel Recordings), pressed on premium, high quality, 180-gram vinyl by Record Technology, Inc., and presented in a heavyweight Stoughton replica sleeve in an edition of 600.