Highest Engines Near / Near Higher Engineers
The second CD release from Heroes Are Gang Leaders (HAGL), featuring poet Thomas Sayers Ellis. (Explicit)
The previous album was a Fall staff pick by upfromsumdirt, who says "it's like a modern day Funkadelic playing the Archie Shepp songbook... Highly Recommended."
After Amiri Baraka died in January, Ellis and his frequent collaborator James Brandon Lewis formed Heroes Are Gang Leaders, a group of poets and musicians. They recorded the unreleased 2 CD album, "The Amiri Baraka Sessions," over three six-hour sessions. Ellis calls it “a signifying groove head-nod to Mr. Baraka,” influenced by Thelonious Monk and A Tribe Called Quest.
Their second recording and first release, "The Avant-Age Gard I AMs of the Gal Luxury" was dedicated to the poet Bob Kaufman. This release "Highest Engines Near/Near Higher Engineers" is Heroes Are Gang Leaders' three-track Sonic Poetic Anthem-de-Force homage to radical-rhythmic knowing, the pursuit of free inner and outer energy, and the Jump Badass poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Personnel includes Heroes Thomas Sayers Ellis, James Brandon Lewis, Margaret Morris, Luke Stewart, Janice Lowe, Randall Horton, Ailish Hopper, Heru Shabaka-ra, Warren "Trae" Crudup and new Gang Leaders Larkin Grimm (harp/vocals), Devin Brahja Waldman (synthesizer) and Brandon Moses (Guitar). Adding Instructional Spice to the front and rear end of the HAGL Musical March are avery r. young and Evie Shockley. One listener remarked: "HAGL is like a modern day Funkadelic playing the Archie Shepp songbook!"