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Right now he is actually staring right into your soul, shearing the dead flesh of hatred, fear, and civilization from your weary body, and also blowing hell of saxophone notes in one genius stroke.

I've been thrillingly fickle lately, as anyone who reads this blog might be able to gather, and while I slowly settle, I find I'm emerging into new areas of comfort. After seven or so months of speculation, I have decided that I can prove by science, fire, and feeling that "Hounds of Love" is one of the best songs ever, especially after seeing the video; I have also realized the depths of both head and heart occasionally lurk in dance music, especially the labyrinths of Villalobos and the New Red Earth of Booka Shade's "Mandarine Girl."

Still, I was completely shocked to arbitrarily check out Karma by Pharoah Sanders this morning and find that not only is it rather astounding, but I feel actually stripped of anything coherent to say about it other than "go find it and listen as soon as you can, you will hardly be disappointed." I've skirted jazz in a "canonical" way for a long time: in high school, Ayler and Mingus hit together with Trout Mask Replica, three explorations in the blues uprooted and twisted into new, clean things out of a deep hunger. I couldn't ever find anything to really truly love in heart-squall of Arthur Doyle or the head-squall of Anthony Braxton (except for the unaccompanied stuff); somehow Karma is hitting in between, like some hydra-monster of A) what I was "supposed" to get out of Coltrane B) the ecstacy of collective expressivity and C) the line between the avant-garde (which ought to test you) and the deep roots (which ought to comfort). At the intersection is the ol' spiritual, the rosier shades of the uncanny. At least, I think so right now, which is enough for me; my friend Kate had a dream of large hands above New York City that we were all afraid of. I feel that dream a little lately, but the flaring honks of Ra on Karma are pulling me through to somewhere better and beyond.


Blogger LRJP! said...

A magic, magic record. I had it on last night, it chokes me it's so joyous, so vivid. I've only had it about a year, and I’m always a little – no, a lot - upset when people i get to listen to it don't get it. This thread's quite fun in case you haven't seen it: http://ilx.wh3rd.net/thread.php?msgid=5840421

4:52 PM  

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