Joe Mcphee Nation Time

"What Time Is It?! Nation Time!" is the first eruption on Atavistic's inaugural title in their Unheard Music series. This series of reissues chronicles jazz on the vanguard from the late '60s to early '80s. Nation Time is the fiercely passionate debut recording by Joe Mcphee from December 1970. You simply will not hear jazz like this anymore. It's angry, Black Panther-inspired stuff for which the political conditions simply no longer exist. Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler were the greatest exponents of this type of political polemic through jazz, but Nation Time has a good dose of Roland Kirk, or perhaps early Funkadelic groove. That is to say, there is much tambourine shaking and bongo fury. Nation Time is full of rolling, sometimes sloppy grooves rather than precise breakbeats, particularly on the magnum funk opus "Shakey Jake." Ken Vandermark contributes insightful liner notes explaining that McPhee's music was pointedly inclusive, with consistent, danceable beats coexisting with blistering collective improvisation - a controversial view then and now, opposed by those "who would put freedom in a box," as Vandermark observes. McPhee's music, despite its imprecision, retains incredible vitality and ability to inspire contemporary listeners. This recording captures not just a band of like-minded musicians, but a bond with a like-minded audience that makes the liveness of Nation Time enhance the music even more. (Atavistic)