LIVE AT IUCC by HORACE TAPSCOTT & THE PAN AFRIKAN PEOPLES ARKESTRA

SKU108013
ArtistHORACE TAPSCOTT & THE PAN AFRIKAN PEOPLES ARKESTRA
TitleLIVE AT IUCC
LabelSOUL JAZZ
Catalog #SJRLP 424
Genre
ReleaseW 08 - 2019
FormatVinyl - UK3LP
€ 29,50incl. VAT, excl. shipping

Description

Superb rare, deep and spiritual jazz opus album from 1979, unavailable on vinyl for over 40 years, is now repressed by Soul jazz on a luxurious triple pack vinyl!

The music of Horace Tapscott and The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra is part Sun Ra Arkestra, part John Coltrane, part Art Ensemble of Chicago. This ground-breaking and monumental album explores the multi-faceted deep and spiritual jazz of Tapscott – Afro-centric rhythms, hypnotic bass lines, Tapscott’s stabbing modal piano playing and stunning flute and horn arrangements. ‘The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra ‎– Live at I.U.C.C.’ is a true high point in the cannon of great independent underground jazz music recorded during this era.

This is the first in a series of albums by the legendary Los Angeles radical jazz artist, Horace Tapscott and The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. Horace Tapscott is the key figure in the Los Angeles political and underground jazz scene of the late 20th century – his independent and radical music, as far-reaching, cosmic and spiritual in scope as it was rooted in the Watts community of Los Angeles where he lived.

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Tapscott’s Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra was set up as a musicians’ collective in Los Angeles in the early 1960s, part of the Underground Musicians Association (UGMA), later Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA), an umbrella organisation for musicians, poets, dancers and painters in the neighbourhood. Out of this group came many leading players including Black Arthur (Arthur Blythe), Azar Lawrence, Dwight Trible, Phil Ranelin (originally from Tribe), writer Stanley Crouch, David Murray, Adele Sebastian, Jesse Sharps and hundreds more.

At the start of the 1960s Tapscott was part of a radical underground jazz scene on the west coast that included Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. But while these other artists sought international success and the magnetic pull of New York City, Tapscott chose to remain in Los Angeles music and stayed firmly rooted in the Watts community, organising the long-standing Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and the Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension.

This musical and artistic collective was part of the larger Black Arts Movement that spread across the USA during this time - in similar fashion to African-American community arts collectives such as The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (and Art Ensemble of Chicago) in Chicago, the Tribe collective of musicians in Detroit, Amiri Baraka’s Spirit House in New Jersey, and The Black Artists Group in St Louis.

After Tapscott’s debut album for Impulse Records in 1969, Tapscott and the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra recorded two albums with Elaine Brown, the only woman to lead the Black Panther party. ‘Seize the Time – The Black Panther Party’ also featured the artwork of Emory Douglas, graphic designer and Minister for Culture for the Black Panthers. Tapscott was closely aligned to the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panthers, at one point working out of the same two-story building in South LA – while upstairs they planned revolution, stockpiled weapons and hosted revolutionaries such as H Rap Brown, Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael, downstairs Tapscott ran the Arkestra, a number of which were also Black Panther members. Through this association and after the UGMAA building was raided in the Watts Riots, Tapscott was watched by both the FBI and the CIA and effectively black-listed from further recording sessions.

Despite this, throughout the 1970s Tapscott continued to create music as a community experience, performing and running workshops mainly at local parks and recreation events and in churches around the Watts area of Los Angeles. The group performed for free, sometimes requesting an entry fee of a food donation which was distributed to poor families in the area.

Tapscott’s music remained undocumented throughout the 1970s. It was not until 1978 when a new record company, Nimbus West, was especially set up by Tom Albach, specifically to record the music of Tapscott, The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra as well as a number of solo projects by group members.

The music, ethos and influence of Horace Tapscott among Los Angeles artists is profound, McCoy Tyner commenting that in the 1970s there was no music coming out of LA that wasn’t linked to Horace Tapscott and The Pan-Afrikan Arkestra. In the 1990s a new generation of artists took inspiration from Tapscott; The West Coast Get Down collective, including Kamasi Washington and Thundercat, was involved in similar processes of cross-pollinisation across the arts in South Los Angeles working with Kendrick Lamar, Pan-Afrikan Arkestra vocalist Dwight Trible, Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder label and others.

‘Our music is contributive, rather than competitive’ HORACE TAPSCOTT