“The Amiri Baraka Sessions,” the new CD Will rise (not drop), January 1, 2019

Available on CD Baby and Amazon January 1, 2019

Originally recorded in 2014 and 2015 as a two-CD set tribute to the legendary poet / activist Amiri Baraka, this collection of “12 Jazz / Poetry Hi Fi Dig Its” explores the range of vernacular styles that Amiri Baraka utilized during his journey from Beat to Black Nationalist to Black Marxist to Post Black Arts Surrealist. These recordings are both celebratory and critical as HAGL is unafraid to embody the nuanced complexities of Baraka’s controversial legacy as well as transform that work into new forms that challenge the easy and outdated structures of much of today’s Written and Spoken Word, resulting in a vibrant exploration that forges a new understanding that is useful to the next generation of feelnicians.

The Amiri Baraka Sessions

Featuring James Brandon Lewis, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Margaret Morris, Luke Stewart, Janice Lowe, Randall Horton, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Heru Shabaka-ra, Brandon Moses, Warren “Trae” Crudup, Da Frontline, Catalina Gonzalez and Michael Bisio.

Track Listing

Amina

Superstar

The Shrimpy Grits

SuiteBlack Flyer

Land Back

Amina 2

The Real Illegal Must Be Crazy

LeAutoRoiOgraphy

Forensic Report

Sad Dictator

The Tender Arrival of Outsane Midget Booker Ts Who Kill Drums Runnin’ Da Voodoo Down

Amina 3

Produced By TSE
Executive Producer / Bob Holman
Paul Wickliffe / Engineer
CD Design / Kurt – Dale Watson

 

Amiri Baraka in 2007 reading at a Tribute to Sekou Sundiata / Photo: Thomas Sayers Ellis

 

The Amiri Baraka Sessions Personnel

 

Amina

 

Prophet Lee Davison, Voice
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone

Composed by James Brandon Lewis

 

Superstar

 

Janice Lowe, Piano
Margaret Morris, Lead Vocals
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone, Background Vocals
Randall Horton, Words, Vocals
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Vocals, Slapstick
Brandon Moses, Guitar
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Luke Stewart, Bass
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet

da Front Line, Rap, Background Vocals
Ailish Hopper, Vocals
Nina Angela Mercer, Vocals
“Superstar” written by Amiri Baraka, Performed by Randall Horton
“Getting Less Safe” refrain written by Amiri Baraka
Nods to Gil Scott-Heron, Stevie Wonder

and Sly and the Family Stone
Arranged by TSE and JBL

 

The Shrimpy Grits

 

Thomas Sayers Ellis, Poem
Michael Bisio, Bass
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone
Janice Lowe, Piano
Dominic Fragman, Drums
Composed by James Brandon Lewis
Arranged by JBL
Nod to Mal Waldron

SuiteBlack Flyer

 

Janice Lowe, Piano
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums

Composed by Janice Lowe
As an interpretation of “The System of Dante’s Hell”

by LeRoi Jones

Arranged by TSE

Land Back

 

Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Janice Lowe, Piano
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone
Luke Stewart, Bass

Catalina Gonzalez, Vocals

Background Betters: Thomas Sayers Ellis, Randall Horton, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Catalina Gonzalez, Ailish Hopper

Composed by James Brandon Lewis, Janice Lowe,
Heru Shabaka-ra, Luke Stewart, Warren “Trae” Crudup
and Thomas Sayers Ellis

“I Wanna Make Freedom” and Excerpt from

“To Pharoah Sanders” by Amina Baraka
both performed by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie
“Offstage Better” written and performed by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Arranged by JBL and TSE

Amina 2

 

James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone
Composed by James Brandon Lewis

 

 

The Real Illegal Must Be Crazy

 

Randall Horton, Voice
Luke Stewart, Bass
Janice Lowe, Piano

Poem written and read by Randall Horton
Excerpt from “Lowcoup” by Amiri Baraka spoken
by Prophet Lee Davison
Arranged and Composed

by Janice Lowe and Luke Stewart

LeAutoRoiOgraphy

 

Ailish Hopper, Vocals
da Front Line, Background Vocals
Randall Horton, Words, Vocals
Nina Angela Mercer, Vocals
Margaret Morris, Lead Vocals
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Words, Vocals
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone, Background Vocals
Janice Lowe, Piano, Lead Vocals, Words
Brandon Moses, Guitar
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Luke Stewart, Bass
Heru Shabaka-ra, Vocals

Lines from “A New Reality Is Better Than a New Movie”

written by Amiri Baraka, Performed by Janice Lowe
“Rhythmblues” written by Amiri Baraka,

performed by Randall Horton

Lines from “Vernacular Owl” written and performed

by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Nods to Jimmy Casterbunch and “Wailers”

by Amiri Baraka

Composed by Janice Lowe and James Brandon Lewis
Arranged by TSE

 

Forensic Report

 

Luke Stewart, Voice
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums

Composed by Luke Stewart, Heru Shabaka-ra
and Warren “Trae” Crudup
Title by Amiri Baraka
Vocal improvisation by Luke Stewart

 

Sad Dictator

 

Randall Horton, Words
Margaret Morris, Lead Vocals, Voice
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Words

James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone, Words
Janice Lowe, Piano

“Dig” written by Amiri Baraka, performed

by Prophet Lee Davison
Lines from “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” written by LeRoi Jones, performed by Margaret Morris
Lines from “Heroes Are Gang Leaders” written by LeRoi Jones, performed by Thomas Sayers Ellis and Margaret Morris
“In The In The” written and performed by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Nods to Thelonius Monk, Sammy Davis Jr., Funkadelic

Composed by James Brandon Lewis,

Arranged by TSE and JBL

 

The Tender Arrival of Outsane Midget Booker Ts

Who Kill Drums Runnin’ Da Voodo Down

 

Margaret Morris, Lead Vocals
da Front Line, Rap, Background Vocals
Randall Horton, Vocals
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Vocals
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone, Background Vocals
Janice Lowe, Piano
Luke Stewart, Bass
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet

Brandon Moses, Guitar
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Evie Shockley, Background Vocals
Ailish Hopper, Vocals
Nina Angela Mercer, Vocals
Lines from Amiri Baraka’s “Sin Soars!,” “Ode to the Creature”
“Why It’s Quiet in Some Churches,” “Fashion This”
“Outsane,” “WISE, WHY’S, Y’S,” “Heathens” and “Syncretism”

 

Composed by James Brandon Lewis
Arranged by TSE, Margaret Morris and JBL

 

Amina 3

 

James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone

Composed by James Brandon Lewis

 

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