Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Jewel in the Lotus
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Bennie Maupin was one of the first musicians to record for ECM, playing on a Marion Brown record in August 1970, when the label was just a few months old. Born in Detroit in 1940, Maupin was encouraged in his early musical... more »
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Bennie Maupin was one of the first musicians to record for ECM, playing on a Marion Brown record in August 1970, when the label was just a few months old. Born in Detroit in 1940, Maupin was encouraged in his early musical development by Yusef Lateef, John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy. Jack DeJohnette introduced him to Miles Davis, and Bennie's bass clarinet was to become one of the signature sounds of the epochal Bitches Brew. The early 70s, however, were spent mostly working with Herbie Hancock's ensembles and The Jewel In The Lotus is essentially a pooling of players from the Hancock circle, including Herbie himself in his only ECM appearance. The Jewel In The Lotus was Bennie Maupin's first leader record. The album was recorded in March 1974, and could be described as a sequence of pulsing tone-poems, full of glowing, compound sound-colors and subtle interactions - a jazz-and-Buddhism-inspired floating chamber music that was way ahead of its time. The recording shows Maupin very much concerned with the totality of the musical conception, with the form as a whole. He is an exceptional improviser, thinking compositionally and directing group music in the moment.
Avant-garde in 1974 and still avant-garde!
Dr. Debra Jan Bibel | Oakland, CA USA | 11/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The early 1970s was an era of commercial and artistic exploration of spirit and consciousness, opened up by the mid 60s drug-influenced cultural revolution. Time and space became more fluid and indefinite; the meditative aspects of Asian, i.e., traditional Japanese and Hindustani, musics entered jazz, too. Miles Davis' In a Silent Way (1969) had helped lead the way, and Pharoah Sanders in 1980 would actually include koto and sitar in his Journey to the One. And, of course, there was the recent font of free jazz. The group Oregon, beginning in 1970, would mesh jazz and world music into high art. Nothing, however, could prepare the listener in 1974 for this recording from artists as Herbie Hancock, Buster Williams, and Billy Hart. Structures and silences, form and emptiness, pulses and flows: it is like sensing something in peripheral vision but when turning to focus, the impression disappears. Always interesting, often surprising, sometimes frustrating, the CD is out-there and yet in-here. In fact, it reminds me of Japanese court music, gagaku. Such experimentation would pass and the coherent features would enter the realm of classical and world music and persist in the sound of ECM jazz. In short, this recording is more for historical, intellectual, and spiritual study than for simple pleasure, which is why, I suppose, it remains timeless, pointing toward a deeper significance, as the Buddhist jewel in the lotus."
James K. Stewart | Louisville, Ky USA | 10/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have waited longer than I can remember for this ECM masterpiece from
the early 70's to be issued on cd, and now I can thank Manfred Eicher at
ECM for finally making it available. Like Julian Priester's "Love, Love",
also recently released on cd from ECM, it's a brilliant work of art for
open minds. Gorgeous, deep meditations from the reedman from Herbie
Hancock's Mwandishi and Headhunter bands along with Miles Davis' "Bitches
Brew". "Jewel in the Lotus" has been on so many request lists for cd
issue for so many years, it will make many happy this has at long last
finally happened. The sound and clarity on the new cd is breathtakingly
beautiful. Herbie Hancock, Buster Williams, and Billy Hart from the
brilliant Mwandishi band are all here, along with Charles Sullivan on
trumpet, Bill Summers on percussion, and Frederick Watts on drums and
marimba. It's an unforgettable, mind-bending collage of gorgeous sounds
and images. An ECM classic from 1974 that sounds better than ever. I will
be framing on the wall my vinyl cover of this that I still have and love
to look at. Thank you Manfred for hearing our pleas to finally get this
out on cd. Several months ago, I contacted Bennie about my admiration
for "Jewel" and why this masterpiece hasn't yet appeared on cd. He warmly
responded that he was in talks with ECM about getting it out and optimis-
tic it could happen soon with support from many fans of this recording
who have written ECM about it. And now it has happened! My cd player
has never sounded so good. A billion stars for "Jewel in the Lotus".
A Peaceful Song
Eric Kennedy | East coast | 02/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Beautiful meditative music. This expressive tone poem is a delight to hear. If you're looking for bebop or the fusion/jazz/rock, this is not your record. If you like the music that brings a sense of relaxation to your home and heart, this is it."