Spiritual jazz funk as an homage to the Civil Rights Movement out of Atlanta in the late 1970s. Rare album featuring a recording session led by Joe Jennings and Howard Nicholson, both active in the Atlanta jazz scene, Incl. the fusion tune “Fearless Warriors” and the bossa dancer “To Pharaoh With Love” dedicated to Pharoah Sanders. First release of this privately pressed US-album from 1981 on the tiny Numu Numu label, remastered in 2007, comes with original cover artwork.
Life Force was organized in 1972 by Joe Jennings and Howard Nicholson as a musical outlet free of the kind of restrictions that usually limit the creativity of the musicians involved. Since then, Life Force has become a kind of Jazz Institution in Atlanta, known for its outstanding performances. This is the first recording by this group, and it is a beautiful example of the group`s versatility and talent as performers and composers. So here for the first time on record is the music of Life Force.
Original annotations to the tracks by Joe Jennings:
1. Fearless Warriors
The album and title song is dedicated to all those warriors (people) who have had to adopt themselves to so many different circumstances to survive, individually and collectively. Those Blacks, so called minorities and working class, have had to bear the heaviest portion of the burden, but continue to strive for higher goals in all aspects of lifeagainst what at times seem to be insurmountable odds. These are their songs cast in their rhythms.
2. To Pharao With Love
To Pharoah Sanders who gives us his music sincerely, his rhythms freely and his presence on this planet has given us a broader perspective of music. (Fearless Warrior)
3. Atlanta Anna
Atlanta Anna is to the street lady. No justification or condemnation for who or what she is, but just a mere acknowledgement of her existence in the rhythm that surrounds her. (Fearless Warriors)
A tune composed by Oliver Wells that is dedicated to his father, a minister, who dedicates his life to teaching us about the ever presence of the Creator and our relationship to Him. (Fearless Warriors)
5. I Remember Duke
This composition was composed by Howard Nicholson, in memory of the Master, Duke Ellington. This tune is destined to be a jazz standard. I could think of no better tribute to Duke, a Master Warrior, than with a beautiful composition, such as this one. (Fearless Warrior)
6. Sister Bea
This composition is dedicated to Howard`s sister who I had the pleasure of meeting in New York, where she was deeply involved in the activities at the East. A very beautiful Sister, dedicated to the preservation of the culture and spirit. (Fearless Warriors)
“Fearless Warriors” was the first recording effort by “Life Force”, a jazz group founded by Howard Nicholson and Joe Jennings during the early 1970’s. With much encouragement from our growing number of fans we decided to release an album of our original material. “ Fearless Warriors” sold much faster than the average low budget independent at that time, so we soon decided to do a second pressing. Unfortunately our project was caught up in the financial problems of the pressing company and having limited funds ourselves, we moved on to other projects.
The music scene in Atlanta was thriving in the seventies. There were many talented musicians living in the city, several clubs, concert promoters and festivals bringing important players and innovators to the city. There was a cultural renaissance-taking place and Civil rights were among the major issues of the day. The Civil Rights movement had left its mark on the area and we as musicians were constantly paying respect to those who had affected our lives. “Fearless Warriors” was a symbol of that respect.
In the years following we have managed to keep “Life Force” together performing in Fort De France, The North Sea Festival (1991), The Atlanta Free Jazz Festivals, the Montreux Jazz Festival (Atlanta), the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway and many other such events.
It is our pleasure to have Sonorama Records re-release “Fearless Warriors” which had almost disappeared from our memories having been produce in 1981. It is a great representation of “Life Force” at that time and was done with much Love, Honesty and Sincerity.
(Joe Jennings and Howard Nicholson 2007)
released October 18, 2007
Joe Jennings: alto and soprano sax, Howard Nicholson: Tenor and soprano sax, Oliver Wells: piano, fender rhodes and prophet, Ricky Wells Keller: Bass, Yonrico Scott: drums and percussion, Terry Smith: percussion, Luis Stefanell: triangle, claves and tambourine (on “Fearless Warriors”), timbalelitos and hand claps (on “Atlanta Anna”), agogobells and cowbell (on “To Pharao With Love”), bells and triangles (on “Sister Bea”), Michael Gandy: vocals (on “Atlanta Anna”)
Recorded at Doppler Studios, Atlanta/ Georgia in 1980
Recording engineer: Bill Quinn
Mixed at Doppler Studios by Bill Quinn, mastered by Jim Loyd at Masterfonics, Nashville/ Tennessee
Final Mastering 2007 by Jury Lutz
Producer for release on Sonorama Records: Ekkehart Fleischhammer, original recordings mastered by Carsten Daembkes, original cover design by Jennings/ Riddle, cover painting by John Riddle, adaption from original cover design by Patrick Haase, design by rab.bit. Original 6 track-LP released 1981 on the American Numu Numu label in tiny amounts only. Big thanks to Joe Jennings for finally making this release possible.
Sonorama Records is an independent and worldwide distributed label for rare jazz, funk, soul, library and world music,
established 2004 in Germany. It is all about music archaeology, an infinite search for soulful sounds, about tracing unrestricted musical diversity and the love for good music in general...more