Archive for January 9th, 2018

Langston Hughes – The Dream Keeper

Spoken word meets the ivory as Eric Mingus joins forces with David Amram, Larry Simon and an assortment of session musicians. Langston Hughes: The Dream Keeper (Mode Records, 2017) presents the American poet/novelist/activist/playwright’s words in musical form.

The players are Mingus, vocals; Amram, piano; and Simon, guitar and music director. Additional players on “The Dream Keeper” and “In Time of Silver Rain”: Don Davis, alto sax, contra-alto clarinet; Catherine Sikora, soprano sax; Cynthia Chatis, Native American flute; Scip Gallant, Hammond organ; Chris Stambaugh, bass; Mike Barron, drums; Shawn Russell and Frank Laurino, percussion. On “Daybreak in Alabama”: Sikora, soprano sax; Barron, drums; Russell and Laurino, percussion. Democracy has Davis again on contra-alto sax; Sikora on soprano; and Cynthia Chatis, flute. Simon’s only appearance is on “Border Line.” And Gallant comes back on Hammond organ for “Railroad Avenue.”

Mingus speaks briefly to start “The Dreamer.” The organ steps in, followed by other instruments, creating a haunting soundscape. After the instruments set the mood, Mingus recites again. “Bring me all your dreams,” he says. Davis’ contra-alto emerges for a meandering solo. Chatis follows and closes out the track.

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