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Aruán Ortiz

Lester Saint Louis Don Byron and Pheeroan akLaff - Pastor's Paradox

Review by Gary Hill

This is a unique and intriguing set. It's part jazz, part classical, and mostly freeform in terms of the musical composition. There are long instrumental passages and fully instrumental tracks. There are also spoken word sections included. This is without question art music. It has a message to be made. It absolutely insists on being heard. As strange as it can be, it's also compelling.

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Track by Track Review
Autumn of freedom
Weird, crazed jazz jamming is rather dissonant. It includes beat poetry over the top. This is very avant garde. The jamming gets pretty noisy after the voice goes away. This thing feels dangerous and really heavy at times. Yet, it's still all jazz oriented.
Pastor's paradox
Coming in mellower and more melodic, this instrumental works out with style and charm. There are things here that make me think of horror movie soundtrack music.
Turning the other cheek no more

Feeling more freeform than the previous cut did, there is a lot of classical music here. It is quite avant garde and feels a little dangerous at times.

The dream that wasn't meant to be ours
At over ten-minutes of music, this is the epic of the set. Percussion brings it in and holds it for a while. In fact, it's more than a minute-and-a-half before anything else joins. First, it's a spoken voice. Then some stringed instrumentation is added. The arrangement eventually fills out more, but the cut remains quite freeform and tastefully strange.
From Montgomery to Memphis (to April 4th)
There is a moving sort of energy to this. It's one of the least freeform and grounded things here, but this instrumental is still far from ordinary. It has enough weirdness to make it art music. It gets suitably freaky before it's done.
An interval of hope
Just a little under a minute-and-a-half long, this features a fairly sparse musical arrangement with spoken word over the top of it.
No justice, no peace, legacy!
Multiple voices get things going here. Once the music takes over, we're taken into more of the freeform art music we've come to expect on this album. The voices return after the music ends.
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