Thursday, November 23, 2006


With HYPNOTIC back in Chicago for a big holiday meal with Pops (aka Kelan Phil Cohran) and family, it's a good day to relay that Philip Cohran and the Artistic Heritage Ensemble's "The Malcolm X Memorial (A Tribute In Music)" is reportedly getting the reissue look. Recorded live in 1968 at the Affro-Arts Theater and released on Cohran's own Zulu Records in the early 70s, the album invokes the sounds and spirit of Malcolm as he moves from the young hustler known as Detroit Red to become the visionary El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. We were vibing on this album with Jafar recently, about what a challenge it is for an artist explore or recreate the work of their past, and what a ride a trip to the flipside can beā€”Amiri Baraka's Autobiography Of Leroi Jones being a prime example. So when Cohran dips back into the music of Malcolm's life, he's looking at that life with everything he's lived and learned in his own (Malcolm was born in 1925, Cohran in 1927).

The entire song cycle is a profound listen, and not just for Cohran's compositions. The entire line-up is all bossy players: you get Cohran on trumpet rather than the frankiphone, plus future Earth, Wind & Firememberss Louis Satterfield and Donald Myrick, some soulful mathic blues guitar from a pre-Agharta Pete Cosey, tuba enigma Aaron Dodd, percussionist Master! Gibson! Henry! and others.

The OG vinyl is ballerific type rare status, so shouts to Katalyst Entertainment for putting out the CD...hopefully they've reproduced the high school yearbook style photographs from the original LP. Not sure if it's out already, but Dusty Groove is taking orders.

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