The Awakening – 1973 – Mirage
Amazing spiritual jazz / jazz funk lp by The Awakening, it became a classic album in the genre, essential stuff!!
A jazzy sextet based in Chicago in the early seventies with Sunny Murray. This was their second and final effort from 1973 on the ultra hip label Black Jazz. They played a very gentle kind of funky soul jazz, sometimes with hard boppin’ touch. This groovy LP is nowadays a collectors item….
A1 Mode For D.D. 5:37
A2 The Ultimate Frontier 9:54
A3 Just A Little Peace 5:08
B1 Slinky 6:10
B2 Mirage 8:31
B3 Glory To The Sun 6:12
B4 March On 5:30
The Awakening’s jazz – hard bop with side-trips into soul jazz, plus some free-jazz tonal expressionism.
The Chicago-based jazz sextet known as The Awakening was in the front line of the second tier of jazz combos active in the first half of the 1970s, amongst the Revolutionary Ensemble and the low-profile bands of, respectively, Sunny Murray, Hadley Caliman, Hampton Hawes, Billy Harper, Albert Mangelsdorff, and Fred Anderson. Who inhabited the top tier? Certainly the Art Ensemble Of Chicago and groups led by heavyweights Charles Mingus, Cecil Taylor, Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett and Phil Woods…..
The Awakening s hard bop with side trips into soul jazz, plus some free-jazz tonal expressionism wears its age well on their second and final Black Jazz album Mirage.
Chicago’s The Awakening is the only non solo artist to be featured on the fabled Black Jazz label. The Bay Area based Black Jazz label was formed in the early 70s by pianist Gene Russell with the intent to give spotlight to emerging jazz players. The label managed to release over 20 albums until fading into obscurity in the mid 70s. The emergence of acid jazz and crate digging culture sparked new interest in Black Jazz in the 1990s. At which that time the masters fell into the hands of an entrepreneur who later put the label’s masters for sale on Craigslist!
This is the second and final release from the band commanded by ballsy acoustic bass, funky Rhodes work, and a tight horn section as evident on jazz funk cuts like “Slinky” , “Mode for D.D.” , and “March On“. The rest is your standard spiritual soul jazz.