"women in (e)motion: Amina Claudine Myers" - 1993
1. Blessings 14´57
2. African Blues
3. Keep On Laughing
4. Jumping In The Sugar Bowl
5. Dirty No Gooders Blues
6. Country Girl
7. Wasted Life Blues
Jazz, blues’n’gospel – Amina Claudine Myers represents in a unique way the full spectrum of the concert series, "women in (e)motion". From the gospel tradition, to the blues legacy of Bessie Smith, to contemporary jazz forms, the music of the black pianist and singer naturally unites that which has characterized her personal career. Amina Claudine Myers does not merely present these styles side by side, rather she lets them flow into one another with varying emphasis.
This is particularly true of her concerts. Freed from conceptual considerations and the atmospheric isolation of a studio production, her trio, with electric bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Reggie Nicholson, develops an almost spiritual energy which flows through all titles on this recording. In an interview she once commented, "When you’re playing, another force takes over. You don’t know a lot of times what happens, but you have to be open to this force."
The first lasting influence on Amina Claudine Myers‘ musical development was gospel. In her early childhood, shorty after moving from Arkansas to Texas, she was the member of a gospel group. Later, she was director of and pianist for several church choirs, while at the same time performing in local clubs as organist and singer. In Chicago, where she had taken a teaching job, she came into contact with AACM, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. There she found support for her musical interest, new directions were opened up to her consciousness was awakened to the principle of the "Great Black Music" – the thread running from ist African origins, through blues, gospel, soul, and free jazz .
Amina recorded her first jazz album in 1969 with saxophonist Kalaparusha Maurice Mcintyre. She spend three important years in tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons‘ group. She maintained contact with the circle of musicians around the AACM when She moved to New York. Pianist and AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrahams, saxophone player Henry Threadgill, and Art Emsemble of Chicago trumpeter Lester Bowie repeatedly invited her to work on projects. (Bowie recently made her the central figure of his New York Organ Ensemble.) Amina Claudine Myers was able to devote more to her gospel roots in Martha and Fontella Bass‘ group, From the Root to the Source. She has also worked with Arthur Blythe, Frank Lowe, Sonny Stitt, Leroy Jenkins, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and others.
Amina Claudine Myers has recorded several records since the end of the 1970‘s. She composed a contemporary musical, several large compositions for various ensembles, and contributed to the off-Broadway musical, "Ain’t Misbehaven". She also worked as an actress.
The enormous intensity and destiny with which the trio performs on this live recording, is the result of many years of cooperation. Reggie Nicholson, an unusually melodic and very dynamic drummer, and Jerome Harris, who demonstrates an exemplary sensibility and elegance on the electric bass, have the necessary flexibility to do justice to Amina Claudine Myers‘ diverse, often hymnal expressiveness with both voice and piano. Music that with all it’s complexity speaks directly to the heart and soul.
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