We STILL Insist!!!
SBLove99 | New Orleans, La. | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
A special dedication to one of the most gifted drummers to ever grace the planet earth. The black genius, Mr. Max Roach, joined the ancestors on 8-15-07. You will be missed. Thank you for this wonderful recording.
This little known gem is probably the most potent recording to come out of the early days of the civil rights movement. It should well be known as the soundtrack to the movement. Mr. Roach delivers a beautiful musical journey through the African American experience in 5 parts.
Track 1 Driva' Man -Our story begins on the plantation with Driva'Man. Abbey Lincoln provides a wonderfully piercing vocal that reveals the disdain of being a victim of Driva'Man,the overseers'/slavemasters' brutality. The percussive slaps, done to mimic the sound of a whip, accents her vocals. Coleman Hawkins, the great tenor saxophonist delivers a great solo on this track.
Track 2 Freedom Day -The estatic feeling of joy and disbelief is felt as Ms. Lincoln's voice floats aimlessly as Max Roach & the rhythm section accelarates to speeds that depicts overjoyed Africans running to spread the news of freedom.
Track 3 Triptych: Prayer, Protest, Peace - This is the centerpiece of the recording and still the most moving. Max Roach plays the drums and Abby Lincoln provides the vocals. It is sectioned into 3 parts. The first, prayer, is a hymn-like humming over a sort of drum roll; the second part, protest, bursts from the quietness of the first part with chaotic drumming, and the screaming voice of Ms. Lincoln. Her voice depicts the anger, frustration, and fury of a people who constantly have to struggle for basic human rights in a so called "free" society. Part 3 is a return to calmness, Ms. Lincoln sings & hums as though she is exhausted but healed and it evolves to a singing that has a more freer sound while Max Roach carries throughout with his excellent drumming.This song in itself is a journey. It is a wonderful testament to the power of music as a communicating language, not just something to dance to.
Track 4 All Africa, in my opinion is the door that opens after the baptism of Triptych. It is a return to home, so to speak. As Mr. Roach and the band is joined by OLANTUNJI, the great Africa drummer, Abbey sings the history of the drumbeat, then commences to do a role call of all the African nations from the Bantu to the Watusi before the drummers go into some serious African rhythms.
Track 5 Tears for Johannesburg picks up where the African drumming stops with a hypnotic bass line that sets up a polyrhythmic, multi-tempo tune that once again Ms. Lincoln beautifully floats over wordlessly humming a melody that gives the feeling of redemption even though it is a lament for the brothers and sisters in Johannesburg, S. Africa.
This is a recording that should be remembered as a potent piece of history in relationship to the civil righs movement era. It is probably not as well known because after it was recorded and released, Max Roach was blacklisted and the recording eventually went out of print, in which is still is today. It took me forever to find a copy 2 years ago, now it's here on amazon; Get it, at least for its historical value."
Great Album, Mastered from a vinyl copy !!!
J. D. Foster | NYC | 11/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We Insist! Freedom Now...
Is a beautiful record and the digital download is a major bargain. BUT, be aware this is mastered from a vinyl copy. It has several pops throughout and the surface noise associated with a good (but used for 30+ years) record. Works fine for me but thought I'd add this caveat..."
Chills...down your spine...
John J. Knapik | Orlando, FL | 01/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hearing Abbey Lincoln scream during Max's drum solo in "Triptych Prayer/Protest/Peace" will send chills down your spine. You have never heard anything quite like this. This music says more about the civil rights movement than any jazz ever recorded. I can't believe this was out of print in the US for a long time--- actually, I can.... this music is just too powerful."