Ancestor Energy | Allwhere

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Jazz: Free Jazz Spoken Word: Poetry Moods: Spiritual
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by Ancestor Energy

Ancestor Energy. Dynamics is the operative word here....Ancestor Energy offers a fairly unique amalgam of bristling post-Coltrane jazz, taut social commentary, potent poetics, striking melodies, and freewheeling yet insistent rhythms.
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Invocation
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1:24 $0.99
2. Remembering Elsa Rezene
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4:13 $0.99
3. Heart Song For Our Father
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8:28 $0.99
4. For My Bro
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4:00 $0.99
5. Portrait of Carmen McRae
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5:08 $0.99
6. Africans in the Snow
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5:32 $0.99
7. Meditation on My Mother
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4:15 $0.99
8. Father Guide Me
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4:12 $0.99
9. That Evening in the Kitchen
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6:01 $0.99
10. Crazy Eyes, No Boundaries
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5:24 $0.99
11. All Love is Sacred
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5:32 $0.99
12. Seeds of War
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12:22 $0.99
13. Song of the Blackstone Pipe/We are the River
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8:13 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
AncestorEnergy: a history
When does something really begin? Where is its point of emergence into the world? Is there a difference
between one's manifestation and one's source? Is there a separation? If we were talking about collaboration
amongst a group of people that also stretches over time, what does that mean? Did we begin in our
mothers' wombs or the fire in our fathers' eyes? Is meaning fixed in time or does it flow like a night river
gathering dreams and nightmares from all our shores flowing toward sunrise? What spirits known and
unknown have guided and protected us?
How did the poetry/jazz ensemble known as AncestorEnergy come into being in 1981? What sunlit morning
or burning sunset spoke to our individual or collective soul? What casual cruelty, bumbling-fumbling
or knowing embrace brought us to this Light that has been the experience of this band? AncestorEnergy is
ruff and elegant magic, the anarchy of Love. This is transgressive, affirming and hopeful "stuff" under the
cloud of what is probably another Dark Age. AncestorEnergy comes through us, not from us.
In present time, AncestorEnergy began at the AfricanAmerican Cultural Center in the late 70s during what
I consider the 2nd Black Renaissance known as the Black Arts Movement. It began with composer/pianist
Carei Thomas, master-musician saxophonist David Wright and myself, Louis Alemayehu, in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. We began with a request to do a fundraiser for Minnesota's Farm Labor Association. There
was one "rehearsal" of sorts. Carei and David listened to the poems. I talked to them about the music
I listened to when I was writing, or songs and rhythms that came up for me when I recited these poems.
I tapped out the rhythms on which I hung my words and phrases. AncestorEnergy musicians are most
often thoughtful, precise and spontaneous. We live in the Fire, are transformed in that element and hunger
to touch each of you - man, woman, child, "stranger" or neighbor - in the spirit of Tikun Olam, a Jewish
concept which means to heal the World.
I think, in part, because the three of us came from Chicago, there was a common musical/cultural frame
of reference. We communicated in short hand. We could feel one another and the music and poetry "just
happened". We have followed that pattern of little to no rehearsal and have been joined over the years by
some incredible musicians. They have included: Gary Schulte, Donald Washington, mick laBriola, Jeroen
van Tyn, David Edminster, George Parker, Jose F. James, Maisah Blanton, Jeff Bailey, Kevin Washington,
Carl Adams and many, many more. Despite my words and Carei's musical direction, this performance
group would not have been possible without everyone's contribution.
mick laBriola and his son Diego (a young ancestor now) played a special role in making this CD happen.
Diego's early departure from the physical plane, as it pierced his father's heart also inspired him to be
an insistent driving force behind the birth of this first AncestorEnergy CD. Diego's spirit, among other
Ancestors, is in this CD.
1) Invocation
2) Remembering Elsa Rezene
from the poems An Apartment on Lake Street and
Power in the Blood. Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit by Mc-
Coy Tyner & Joony Booth.
Also, Louis Alemayehu and AncestorEnergy
3) Heart Song for Our Father
Dedicated to Elmer Jones
Composer: Carei F. Thomas
4) For My Bro
Dedicated to Topper
Composers: Carei F. Thomas & AncestorEnergy
5) Portrait of Carmen McRae
Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk
Violin and Wordless Vocals - Jeroen van Tyn
6) Africans in the Snow
Composer: mick laBriola
7) Meditation on My Mother
Dedicated to Jeanette Wood Jones
Home Clean by Carei F. Thomas
Violin - Gary Schulte
8) Father Guide Me
Nys by Carei F. Thomas
Tenor Saxophone - Donald Washington
Soprano Saxophone - David Wright III
9) That Evening in the Kitchen
Composers: Carei F. Thomas & AncestorEnergy
Vocals - Maisah Blanton,
Vocals with Violin - Jeroen van Tyn
10) Crazy Eyes, No Boundaries
Composers: Louis Alemayehu & AncestorEnergy
Contrabass - Jeff Bailey
Percussion Section & Kit - mick laBriola
11) All Love is Sacred
Touching by David Edminster
Violin - Gary Schulte
12) Seeds of War
In a Silent Way by Josef Zawinul,
A Love Supreme by John Coltrane and
This Allegiance by Carei F. Thomas
Soprano Saxophone - David Wright III
Roland JD800 Synthesizer and Realistic
Concertmate 350 Mini-Keyboard - Carei F. Thomas
13) Song of the Blackstone Pipe /
We are the River
Dedicated to Amos Owen and the people of the
Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota Reservation
Composer: Gary Schulte
Alexs Pate on AncestorEnergy
The musical compositions are brilliant; Carei Thomas has scaled the heights and brings back proof. The
gathered musical talent (Donald Washington, David Wright, Gary Schulte, Mick LaBriola, Jeroen van Tyn,
Jeff Bailey) speak back to the composition with stunning performances. Louis Alemayehu's poetry and voice
and voice work is possessed, spirited; functioning precisely the way it should. Leading us through those
labyrinths of discovery. Guiding us. Haunting us. By the time we are asked to remember "That Evening in
the Kitchen," with additional voices by Maisah Blanton and Jeroen van Tyn, I am willing to follow him/them
anywhere. There are favorites lined up waiting for you here. But be soul prepared. This is true flight.
Destination: Allwhere.
Alexs D. Pate is a Visiting Assistant Professor of African American and African studies at the University of Minnesota
and author of the novels Amistad, West of Rehoboth, Losing Absalom, the Multicultiboho Sideshow and Finding
From early on, Carei Thomas and I have been in accord with the conviction that the AncestorEnergy presence
in the community, in the world, was about healing. Over the years we have performed for African
Liberation, Native American sovereignty, women's rights, peace and justice, the Latin American New Song
Movement, multicultural education and community building. A significant part of what AncestorEnergy
evolved into was the result of ceremonies that took place on the Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota
(Sioux) Reservation in the early 1980's at the homestead of Dakota elder, the late Amos Owen. The foundation
of our identity was then set with Song of the Blackstone Pipe: We are the River. The creation of that
poem is a story all by itself, long and mystical with prophetic overtones!
Collectively, we have never been about doing gigs or moving product. We, through words and music, have
reflected the Buddhist insights that there is no separation between mind and body or human beings and
their environment. No separation! This current CD, our first, comes from two things: 1) Feeling the need
to document what we have been doing. After all, we ain't getting no younger! And 2) the feeling of many
in our community that what we do needs to be heard NOW! and more than ever. If that is true, here it is
- AncestorEnergy: Allwhere.
Louis Alemayehu
October 4, 2004
04-0789 insert.indd 2 10/12/04 11:37:02 AM


to write a review

Martin Case

The CD captures the dynamic spirit of a profound collaboration.
This is space music that isn't spacey, art that isn't artsy. The music tells stories and the words sing.

Alex Pate

Author of Amistad, West of Rehoboth, Losing Absalom, the Mulitcultiboho Sideshow
The musical compositions are brilliant: Carei Thomas has scaled the heights and brings back proof. The gathered musical talent speak back to the composition with stunning performances. Louis Alemayehu's poetry and voice and voice work is possessed, spirited: functioning precisely the way it should. Leading us through those labyrinths of discovery. Guiding us. Haunting us. These are favorites lined up waiting for you here. But be soul prepared. This is true flight. Destination: Allwhere.