New jazz record features old recordings recovered with the help of two Clarkson University professors
POTSDAM -- Eremite Records, a jazz record label known for its high-quality production of archival jazz recordings, has released music that was recovered with the help of two Clarkson University faculty members.
The archive was developed by Juma Sultan, a man best known as percussionist for Jimi Hendrix’s band “Gypsy Suns and Rainbows.” From the 1960s through the 1980s, Sultan played bass and percussion behind numerous notable musicians in New York City and in Woodstock.“Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society: Father of Origin” is a three-album box set that Ben Ratliff in the New York Times describes as “a lavish and thorough monument... With reproductions of hand-drawn flyers and black-and-white photographs snapped on the fly, the boxed set is a cool, collected document...”
This music was recorded 40 years ago but was never made public in any form. In fact, the music was lost and forgotten in a barn in the hills outside of Woodstock. As a Dusted Magazine review of the box set notes, “it took the passage of several decades and the assistance of Clarkson University and an NEA Grant to begin to get this material into usable shape... It’s thrilling stuff...”
In 2005, Clarkson University Communication and Media Professors Stephen Farina and Johndan Johnson-Eilola began working with Sultan to unearth what has become known as the Juma Sultan Archive, a long-forgotten cache of music, film, photos, and documents that span the music scenes of New York City and Woodstock in the 1960s and 70s.
In 2006, the three were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant to preserve and make known a portion of this collection.
Now, five years later, some of that work is finally being released commercially for the first time.
Another record company will release another recording from the archive in 2012.
With funds from the NEA grant, Johnson-Eilola led the creation of http://www.jumasarchive.org, which is the principal reason that independent record producers have found this material and are beginning to release it to the world.
Farina has written a book about the work that will be published in next spring by Wesleyan University Press.
There is more about “Juma Sultan’s Aboriginal Music Society: Father of Origin” at http://eremite.com/album/mte-54-55-56 .