Released in 2017 on International Anthem and Don Giovanni Records
“You try staying alive in this place.” The debut from Irreversible Entanglements is absolutely the most urgent and powerful free jazz album I’ve heard in recent years. Not only is the music visceral, intense and cathartic, but the passionately-delivered lyrics (by Camae Ayewa aka Moor Mother) peel your eyes open and make you look directly into the grotesque faces of injustice in this country. “Waiting is a privilege, and the hands of a clock are not your hands, but a system of hands choking you. Sometimes you can get lost in the rhythm of oppression”. Her words are a call-out, an indictment of you, me, and anyone else complacently taking our sweet time to stand up against the classist, sexist, and racist systems in place. But this music does not only focus on the problems in this society, it offers solutions as well. The collective improvisations of the band…the driving grooves of bassist Luke Stewart and drummer Tcheser Holmes, the triumphantly intertwined horn melodies from Aquiles Navarro and Keir Neuringer that arise out of the cacophony…all demonstrate a communal, creative spirit that we can learn from when it comes to people cooperating to build a just society after uprooting these oppressive structures.