"It is Forbidden"

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#1 Mon, 2001-06-11 08:18
Sam Byrd
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"It is Forbidden"

I finally got this CD last week, and it's been blowing me away! It's got a much higher ratio of improvisation on it than the other Sinclair live discs, I think...the compositions are there mainly as signposts along the way, sometimes only alluded to briefly before going off in another direction.

In the liner notes, it only lists Akh Tal Ebah on trumpet, with "unidentified" as the other trumpet...isn't it likely that it's Kwame Hadi?

One thing that really stands out for me is the guitar break from around 10:16 to 13:00 of the initial improvisation. Am I wrong, or is this the only Ra piece that features electric guitar so prominently? Are there other examples, live or otherwise, that have guitar breaks like this? It's wonderful, and for a bit I thought it was Ra fooling me with a synth...but I think for sure it's Dale Williams, wailing in a Ra-inspired/noise/Hendrix solo that reminds me of nothing so much as Pete Cosey and Reggie Lucas' guitar breaks with Miles from roughly the same period.

"It is Forbidden" is a nice chant that only shows up in the discography from a performance in '96 by the Marshall Allen Arkestra.

It's great too, to have a live "Images" from this period, with its primo Gilmore solo. Excellent bass work throughout from Reginald Fields. An excellent set!

Does anyone know if John Sinclair has plans to release any of the extensive recordings he made of the band in Detroit in 1979 or 1980 (mentioned in his article on Ra in the recent "Signal to Noise"?)

Saturnally, Sam


Samuel D. Byrd (sbyrd@lva.lib.va.us) (804) 692-3766 Digital Library Program http://www.lva.lib.va.us/ fax(804) 692-3771 The Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad St., Richmond, VA 23219-1905