Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Creator Has a Master Plan

In 1969 Pharoah Sanders released his LP, Karma. About a year ago the blog Deadly Death: The Diening published a post on the album (including a download of the album that is still working).  Their description of the album's centerpiece, "The Creator Has a Master Plan" reads:

"Creator" comes in at 32:47 and wastes not a single note. Opening with a virtual rush of sound, it then quiets down and drops a brief riff from A Love Supreme. The tune then works itself into a groove that would later be known as acid jazz, working with Eastern percussion and allowing the bass to float close to the front of the mix. This first section relies on a modal two-chord structure that keeps the tone bouncy and meditative. At eight minutes Leon Thomas begins a chant-like vocal that varies lines from the mantra "The creator has a master plan, peace and love for every man." The vocals drop and the third movement becomes an unrelenting Coltranesque blitz that tears the mellow mood apart, only to combine the angst and mellowness in the next movement and settle back into a reprise of the first fourteen minutes.

In April 1998 I assembled a group of musicians in a studio and recorded an afternoon's worth of improvisations that later became the album In The Summer Of The Mushroom Honey. In the late fall of that year I brought together another group of musicians, some who had played on the earlier session, for recordings that became the album Waters Of Life, an album that is still unissued. During those sessions I decided to try and record a version of "The Creator Has a Master Plan" in which the sax is replaced by an electric guitar, played by Portland Oregon-based jazz guitarist and teacher, Daniel Noland. I don't have a complete list of everyone who plays on the track, however, I know that Mark Cutsinger played drums, Vess Ruhtenberg played bass, Barry McCabe played acoustic piano and I did the vocals and played percussion. The track is not part of the finished Waters Of Life album and is sort of a musical Ronin, homeless, wandering the endless plains of cyberspace. Give a listen.


ish said...

Oh that was awesome. "Creator" is one of my favorite tunes. I love hearing versions from across the musical spectrum; it lends itself to psychedelia.

Thanks for the listen.

Coffee Messiah said...

Nicely done!

Saw Leon Thomas at Keystone Korner in SF way back when, solo. He was an amazing person, and wish they had released this. I know Todd Barking taped most everything at the time.


Coffee Messiah said...

Yikes, need to make sure I have my coffee first, I meant Todd Barkin.