A pair of great albums back to back – both rare albums from a percussionist who worked with Sun Ra! First up is Mora volume 1 – a legendary early set from percussionist Francisco Mora Catlett – and a really sublime blend of spiritual jazz and Latin rhythms! Mora's percussion is definitely at the core – but the set also features wonderful contributions from Vincent Bowens on tenor and soprano sax, Jerome LeDuff on berimbau, Alberto Nacif on quinto, and Detroit jazz legend Kenny Cox on piano! There's a balance here that really matches the best Strata East energy of the 70s – an open, flowing approach that's completely sublime, and very righteous
too – even more so than anything Mora's done since the 70s – making this record one of his greatest achievements ever. Tersa Mora sings a bit of vocals at times – and titles include "Afra Jum", "Five AM", "Rumba Morena", "Samba De Amor", and "Cultural Warrior". Mora 2 is a set recorded in Detroit, but one that's got a globe's worth of elements in the mix – originally recorded in the mid 80s, but not released until a brief CD issue in the early part of the 21st Century! Despite that history, the album's a really timeless record that encompasses a world's worth of elements in jazz! Francisco Mora Catlett's at the height of his powers here – leading the group with a sense of righteous
majesty that takes us back to some of the most ambitious heirs of the post-Coltrane generation, but with perhaps an oddly rhythmic twist as well – such as you might find in some of the 70s classics of Bobby Vince Paunetto. Echoes of Latin, Afro, and spiritual jazz come together as one – soaring to the skies on soulful waves of sound – brought together with a sense of focus and spirit that really moves us a lot. Players include Marcus Belgrave and John Douglass on trumpets, Sherman Mitchell on trombone, Vincent Bowens on tenor and flute, Alex Harding on baritone and bass clarinet, Kenny Cox on piano, and Rodney Whitaker on bass – and titles include "Samba/
Conga De Amor", "Amazona Prelude/
Dawn", "Old Man Joe", "Por Que Paro", and "Afra-Jum (parts 2 & 3)".