By The Swing Prophets (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Jesper Johansen, and Bert Boren)
"Maestro Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim of the newly-formed trio, The Swing Prophets, knows it all too well. Discovery is part of our daily existence. The purpose is clear and the swinging tracks are well-crafted in this stirring & soulful collection known as THE TRUTH. Joined by bassist Jesper Johansen and trombonist Bert Boeren, Abdul-Rahim & The Swing Prophets deliver on their true consciousness with a mission to speak THE TRUTH. We can never fully understand the importance of our origin, our place in the universe. The time has come to maximize our collective efforts to seek that understanding with THE TRUTH.
Where do we truly originate from and what is our purpose during this lifetime? The answers are within reach if we dare to extract our own personal courage to face THE TRUTH. Our reason for existing is so much larger than life's individual pursuits. No longer can we turn our backs on our journey for that only diminishes our very core. No longer can we ignore our creation and cast away our responsibilities. No longer can we ignore our birthright and inner voice. THE TRUTH is the only answer to our divine purpose and fulfillment awaits us all.
The sweet vibes between Abdul-Rahim, Johansen, and Boeren oozes pure synergy. The Swing Prophets have delivered THE TRUTH on this recording with integrity, creativity and passion. You will be exposed to the talent, compassion, and humbleness that they embody. There is absolutely no doubt in regards to their convictions or the reason this journey has materialized. You see, the calling is most clear and the outcome is without rival. THE TRUTH shall envelope you in love and the result is priceless. Our destiny has already been determined, it only awaits our arrival.
THE TRUTH and all the hypnotic tracks that were spiritually manifested on this project will expose you to the many treasures. One only has to decipher the blueprint to move to the next phase. Our love for humanity, our relationships, our decisions. Claim your heritage by embracing the rhythmic and harmonic force with melodic callings. Love is THE TRUTH. You will be elevated with a divine, swinging rapture on tracks such as Tin Tin Deo, Sophisticated, Caravan, D Minor Mood and of course, THE TRUTH (I promise you). Blessings."
--Kevin John Goff, 04/26/14
THE TRUTH TRACK LIST
01. Tin Tin Deo (John B. "Dizzy" Gillespie, Chano Pozo) 11.41.48
02. The Truth (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim) 04.38.42
03. Caravan (Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills) 06.52.21
04. D-Minor Mood (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim) 08.31.70
05. All The Things You Are (Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Kern) 08.48.07
06. Sophisticated (Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish) 04.04.22
07. All Blues (Miles Davis) 05.05.54
08. *Cycles (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim) 04.57.66
09. *Why (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim) 03.09.34
10. *Harlem (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim) 06.05.37
11. *Kalahari (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Mbizo Johnny Dyani) 07.14.39
12. *Times At Hand (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim) 07.44.51
Total Run-time: 78:28:14
Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim: African Hand-Drums & African Percussions
Jesper Johansen: Double Bass
Bert Boeren: Trombones
Recorded at Norre Alslev, Storstrom, Denmark
Recording engineer: Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim
Assistant recording engineer: Jesper Johansen
Arrangement credits on The Truth, Sophisticated, and All Blues by Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim
Arrangement credits on Caravan, D Minor Mood, Tin Tin Deo, and All The Things That You Are by Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Jesper Johansen and Bert Boeren
Additional musician: Bill Buchman, Piano
Bonus tracks Cycles, Why, Harlem, Kalahari, and Times At Hand were composed & arranged by Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim
Liner notes & interviews by Kevin John Goff
Album/CD Cover Photo Credit: Stephen Freiheit
SPECIAL THANKS from Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim:
This album project is in memory of our two great brothers, Steve Berrios and Mbizo Johnny Dyani.
The amazing Steve Berrios performed on the included bonus tracks Cycles, Times at Hand, and Harlem. Steve and I edited the recordings at my home in Europe (in 1988) and he remarked, "Man, you have some good tracks on this recording!"
The great Mbizo Johnny Dyani co-wrote the included bonus track Kalahari (from the Kalahari-Suite concert series which we performed in Amsterdam, Holland in December 1985). The 1985 concert was a benefit/fundraiser for Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress.
The Truth Recording Sessions: Interview with filmmaker Kevin John Goff
The Truth is a tune that’s been running in and out of his head for quite awhile. It has a lyric that ask the question about the truth in such a way that states WHY? That was the basis of the truth… why was the basis for the title The Truth? When one of the musicians asked what was the title of this tune, I told him, "The Truth!" He then shut up and played! When Bert asked who wrote the tune (and I stated, “I did.”), he bowed down as low as one can bow down. He felt it was compatible for his instrument. The meaning is the rhythmic tune within the truth and the way it is for the listener. Basically, when Muhammad Ali said I am the greatest, the truth has that same greatness (Ali had that in mind). Also, for those journalists who don’t know about the various forms of music, (that claim they do), I want to emphasize that this is not a jazz tune! None of the tunes on this recording are in a jazz form. The tune is and has two movements. The call and the answer. In this work my call was “Why?” The answer is “The Truth!” This is what I needed to explain in this interview.
Tin Tin Deo
In my musical upbringing in America, the only person I had knowledge of (as far as a percussionist) was Chano Pozo. There was no connection from American/African American to Africa. This was 1949, 1950, etc… about the time he was introduced to Dizzy Gillespie by Mario Bauzo. I could not think of a better tune that had all the rhythmic continuity of African rhythms than Tin Tin Deo. The US made sure there were no Cuban or African teachers so that one could learn to study/play hand drums. Chano Pozo was the only person I could listen to outside of my studies at the Katherine Dunham School in New York. Again, this is not a jazz tune! It is not in the jazz format. The music journalists cannot tell me what my music is or what it is called. The legacy has to be carried on. The truth, the origin. As some journalists call it jazz, it is not (it is far from it)!
The original recording (“Sophisticated Lady”) had nothing to do with a lady. The real story on this tune was about how Ellington admired his teachers who vacationed every summer in Paris, France. This to Ellington reminded him of sophistication, so my admiration for Ellington and his teachers had to do with my desire to play Ellington’s tune in a non-jazz form of pure sophistication.
A great tune that inspired me from the pen of Miles Davis, because he based the tune on an African rhythm. The tune is not only beyond a jazz tune, it was inspired by a rhythm that Miles heard based on Yoruba. I always wanted to record this tune and place it in the right rhythmic form and that is one reason I always kept it in my book. I always wanted to play it with great musicians like JJ and Bert.
Caravan has been a tune that I have always related to. First of all, it’s written by a musician that comes from the same background as my father. I always wished to play it rhythmically correct. When I hear the melodic line in Caravan, it was like knowing that Bert would be there (since the tune was written by a composer whose main instrument was the trombone). One thing I have learned by working with Sir Duke Ellington: If you a play a tune written by his repertoire you must always consider the tune based on the instrument it was made for, the melodic line. Juan Tizol (who wrote the tune) and my father had the same first name and they were from the same place. There has always been that meaning to play it and I knew Bert would play it as it should be played.
All The Things You Are
This tune was not written as a normal pop tune, it was written on a blues form. Meaning, that it was based on 24 measures rather than 16 measures, which gives the tune a more legitimate and non-jazz form of placing it in the correct rhythm. All I had to do was put it in the right clave.
D Minor Mood
Is a Yambu rhythm montuno which is a tune I wrote, inspired by my upbringing in Spanish Harlem in NYC. It is based on a Yambu rhythm that formulates a montuno rhythm of two cords, c7 and Bb flat sus7.
Interview comments from The Swing Prophets (Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Jesper Johansen, and Bert Boeren) as they share with Kevin John Goff:
Interview Date: January 20, 2014
“What stood out to me was how all of us (Jesper Johansen, Bert Boeren, and myself) tried in our very best way to come together as a unit to express the same musical feeling that would be needed to make this recording a success. JJ was in pure concentration, a rhythmic format that was beyond merely being in a rhythmic section, but also his melodic form combined with his rhythm. Bert, who has the ability to create a personal, yet, harmonious form on his instrument, is beyond category. He has a rhythmic, harmonic and melodic mastery that is only given to a few gifted trombonists. If u listen to D Minor Mood he is playing 5 trombones at the same time. JJ creates the same mastery on his double bass. They are playing both melody and rhythm. A great recording session as a whole. Also, Jesper has to be complimented for his co-producing efforts on these recordings in association with myself.”
Interview Date: October 12, 2013
"When we were starting the recording session I was stressed out because it was the first time I played a part in all of the decisions (of a recording session). I was born in Denmark, Bert was from Holland, and Emmanuel a native of Harlem, NY. I was sad when we finished the recording session because it felt like we were just getting started (positive momentum). Emmanuel and I agreed we could have easily recorded for another week. One thing that was in his head was to groove and relax. We created something that when you listen to it you feel relaxed and in a space to be free. We were doing most of the tracks in one take even though we had never played together as a group."
Interview Date: October 7, 2013
"We recorded for three (3) days and I was impressed with Emmanuel's energy. He would go eleven (11) hours non-stop each day in the recording session. Another moment that stood out for me was the overall warmth in the recordings and the fact that we had such free space to do what we wanted during the sessions. With Tin Tin Deo and Caravan something incredible happened. We all had the thought it should be special. Tin Tin Deo was a song from the Latin scene and Caravan was a jazzy-style from another place but somehow the two connected. Going into the sessions I thought it would be more salsa-flavored but would soon discover it was more like Duke Ellington (whom Abdul-Rahim recorded with for over twelve years). It was really amazing!"
Something to think about...
“It may be timely--and not unprofitable to the many able musicians who work in the field of popular music--to say a few words about comparatively recent developments in swing music.
Scarcely anyone questions any more that "swing is here to stay." Even the so-called serious music critics who a few years ago opposed, attacked and criticized an art they did not understand, today recognize their mistake. Today, instead of attacking swing, these critics are now producing books and articles about hot music--and it must be said that most of what they now write that is friendly to swing is based on about the same lack of understanding as were their earlier hostilities.
Few practical musicians put any stock in what they read about their own art. And for an excellent reason! For those people who write about, rather than practice the art do not really know a great deal about the subject. As a result of this, we have reached the point in American musical culture (of which swing is a very important part) at which those who talk about swing do not know the first thing about how it is produced, while those who commonly produce swing--and of excellent quality--never talk about it.
Theory and practice thus have no correspondence to each other.”
-- Joseph Schillinger '42