Carlos Garnett - Black Love

Saxophonist Carlos Garnett was born in Panama in 1938 and made his recording debut on Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Soul Experiment’ album in 1968. His lyrical style of playing can also be heard on Andrew Hill’s ‘Lift Every Voice’ from 1969, Pharoah Sanders ‘Black Unity’, Mtume –‘Alkebu-lan -Land of the Blacks’ and Miles Davis influential funky electronic  album ‘On the Corner’ in ‘72. He also played on Davis’ ‘Big fun’ and ‘Get up with it’ albums in ’74. Garnett played with Norman Connors appearing on his first five albums, Connors returns the favour by providing the Drums one all but one track on this album.

Carlos had also played in Charles Mingus and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers before recording his debut album ‘Black Love’ in January 1974. ‘Black Love’ was his statement of Black Consciousness providing a positive message to his community during a period of difficult times. The line up on this album of future stars is incredible, alongside established jazz artists Charles Sullivan and Buster Williams are Norman Connors, Mtume, Reggie Lucas, Onaje-Allan Gumbs and a young Dee Dee Bridgewater amongst others.  

The album contains five self composed tracks of Spiritual and at times very funky Jazz. ‘Black Love’ is an anthem celebrating Black Culture and features the beautiful and powerful vocals of Ayodele Jenkins. ‘Banks of the Nile’ is another up tempo and at times almost frantic Spiritual Jazz workout. ‘Mother of the Future’ has become a jazz dance classic with Dee Dee Bridgewater taking the lead vocals on this slightly freer original version. The version recorded by Norman Connors featuring Jean Carn later in the same year is better known, but this version really cooks with fantastic rhythms and a great solo from Carlos. The yodelling by Carlos Chambers is reminiscent of Leon Thomas and adds another touch of ancestral heritage to the recording. ‘Ebonesque’ is beautiful whilst ‘Taurus Woman’ is the album’s funkiest track, its twelve and half minutes allowing many members of the band to contribute a fine solo, most notably Mauricio Smith who is excellent on flute.



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