Soul Jazz Records are proud to release the first in a series of albums by the legendary Los Angeles radical jazz artist, Horace Tapscott and The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. Horace Tapscott is the key figure in the Los Angeles political and underground jazz scene of the late 20th Century - his stridently independent and radical music, as far-reaching, cosmic and spiritual in scope as it was rooted in the Watts community of Los Angeles where he lived.
This superb rare, deep and spiritual jazz opus album was recorded at the Immanuel United Church of Christ, Los Angeles, in 1979 and has been unavailable on vinyl for over 40 years.
The music of Horace Tapscott and The Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra is part Sun Ra Arkestra, part John Coltrane, part Art Ensemble of Chicago. This ground-breaking and monumental album (released here for the first time ever on expanded triple vinyl and double CD) explores the multi-faceted deep and spiritual jazz of Tapscott - Afro-centric rhythms, hypnotic bass lines, Tapscott’s stabbing modal piano playing and stunning flute and horn arrangements. ‘Live At I.U.C.C.’ is a true high point in the cannon of great independent underground jazz music recorded during this era.
Tapscott’s Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra was set up as a musicians’ collective in Los Angeles in the early 1960s, part of the Underground Musicians Association (UGMA), later Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA), an umbrella organisation for musicians, poets, dancers and painters in the neighbourhood. Out of this group came many leading players including Black Arthur (Arthur Blythe), Azar Lawrence, Dwight Trible, Phil Ranelin (originally from Tribe), writer Stanley Crouch, David Murray, Adele Sebastian, Jesse Sharps and hundreds more.
The music, ethos and influence of Horace Tapscott among Los Angeles artists is profound, McCoy Tyner commenting that in the 1970s there was no music coming out of LA that wasn’t linked to Horace Tapscott and The Pan-Afrikan Arkestra. In the 1990s a new generation of artists took inspiration from Tapscott; The West Coast Get Down collective, including Kamasi Washington and Thundercat, was involved in similar processes of cross-pollination across the arts in South Los Angeles working with Kendrick Lamar, Pan-Afrikan Arkestra vocalist Dwight Trible, Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder label and others.
“Our music is contributive, rather than competitive” - Horace Tapscott