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Free Jazz and Improvised Music

FM30  Needle of Light
Michael Castro • The James Marshall Human Arts Ensemble
1. St. Louis Blues Revisited 8:51
2. Lotsa Laffs 3:17
3. Short Shots 8:59
4. Axman In the Woods in Winter 7:16
5. Nuclear Madness 9:44
6. Superman: An American Adam 20:16
7. Aphrodite 7:39

Total time: 66:02


Recorded as live performances and mastered from original sources.


Cover art: Spyros Karayiannis,
with assistance from Shelly Walter
Audio mastering: Jay Zelenka, 2009
Produced by Jay Zelenka/Freedonia Music
© (P) 2010 Freedonia Music
Michael Castro: Words
The James Marshall Human Arts Ensemble: Music
Stylistically the music is primarily "ol' school" free jazz, avant-blues, & theatrical constructions reflecting the color & chemistry of the moment & presences present. The poetry speaks to timeless issues—a culture crucifying itself while those who must struggle for truth justice & the human way out. Decades later it’s still winter in America. In many regards the Ancient proves to also be the Future. The timeless politics of Spirit seeking to realize its truths is heard here in these performances as timely today as back in the day, while the dramatic thematics of oppression, madness, freedom, justice, inspiration & love are perpetual.

The amalgam of poetry & improvised music arose naturally in this era under the umbrella of the Human Arts Ensemble. Many of the musicians were themselves poets with experience in drama & visual arts as well. We did what came naturally and saw no reason to create separations where none existed. Performance poetry was a matter of fact & often part of the mix long before it became a fashion & acquired a name. Formally, poetry with improvised music hearkens back to the most ancient of origins: Word spoken sung chanted integral with spontaneous sonics emoting the expressions of the moment as prophecy, history as insight fore-sight & hindsight; this art form has always been with us. While grounded in their historical origins these performances spring free and speak to us today as they will no doubt speak to us tomorrow.

This is the spirit song still work'n it for loose change. Still work'n it to loose The Change. --JZ
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