Hyperituals Vol. 2 - Black Saint

HJ 009LP HJ 009LP

A deep dive into the titles released by these legendary jazz labels refreshes the history and vital relevance of this music. A vast, incredibly stimulating yet little-known catalogue, Black Saint/Soul Note is an Italian "double" label based in Milan. Starting in the 1970s, by the 1980s it had established itself as one of the most important imprints for international jazz. Virtually all of the brightest names in creative jazz or the "avant-garde" of the era, left important artefacts: prominent Americans on the label included Anthony Braxton, Max Roach, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, David Murray, Roscoe Mitchell, and Sun Ra. It also gathered innovative Europeans such as Enrico Rava, Misha Mengelberg, Giorgio Gaslini, to mention just a few. In two volumes -- the second of which is dedicated to tracks from the Black Saint catalog, while the first is focused on the Soul Note one -- the music chosen by Khalab renews in unexpected ways its connection with the present through his dystopian and Afrocentric sensibilities. In this second volume there are moments in which the rhythmic aspect is powerfully explicit (the relentless Maono project by Andrew Cyrille or the fierce tension of Don Pullen's quintet), others in which the kinetic aspect dialogues on different levels with African American cultural contexts (like Oliver Lake's nod to tap dance or the dystopian Latin-jazz of Muhal Richard Abrams), others in which the groove does not even need percussion ("Hattie Wall" by World Saxophone Quartet or the intimate dance of "Wait A Minute" from one of The Leaders' album). There is no shortage of instances where the sound links the present to Africa (the strings in the dialogue between Diedre Murray and Fred Hopkinsor the textures of Karl Berger, without forgetting the very delicate polychromy woven by John Carter in "Ode to the Flower Maiden"), or references the most ancestral rituals (from Jarman and Moye's "Mama Marimba" with Johnny Dyani to the conscious Archie Shepp of "Song for Mozambique / Poem: A Sea Of Faces"), not to mention Sun Ra's eternal ability to connect Mayan temples to the farthest sidereal space. Khalab's Black Saint/Soul Note universe (which also draws on some work from the 1990s, when, without losing its vision, the label was going through a less vital period) is a colorful one, dotted with rhythmic galaxies in constant motion. It's a true feast for the ears, and a bewitching siren for the most curious and seasoned diggers. Also featuring Joseph Jarman and Don Moye.