Mississippi Records

ROMAN NORFLEET AND THE BE PRESENT ART GROUP - s/t LP

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Premiere LP by Portland's finest practitioners of Great Black Music. A spiritual record for the ages. Roman Norfleet And Be Present Art Group play deeply felt sometimes earthy and sometimes cosmic music. A trio (sax, drums and organ) are augmented by additional percussion, soaring vocals and even a vocal appearance by a toddler. This record will take you where you need to go. Don't miss history in the making.

Across six expansive tracks, Roman Norfleet and Be Present Art Group build from free-flowing ceremony through meditative groove-based prayer and into full-on gales of improvised music. “We build our own time,” Norfleet said, a collective act of liberation through sound. Raised in the Baptist church and trained in the Hindu/Vedic philosophy of Swamini Turiyasangitanada (Alice Coltrane), Portland multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Roman Norfleet travels a lineage of Great Black Music and the world’s spiritualities on his debut for Mississippi Records. The album emerged out of drum gatherings in Washington DC’s Malcolm X Park - a pocket of freedom built on collective improvisation and shared rhythm. In Portland, Norfleet gathered a collective of artists including Jacque Hammond and members of Brown Calculus to transmit the spirit of those DC sessions.

A formative encounter with Pharoah Sanders furthered the young saxophonist’s journey via the spaceways, through Sun Ra and into the universe of contemporaries like Angel Bat Dawid.

The album culminates in the beautiful “Turiya the Butterfly,” sung by 2-year-old Turiya Raiah. A daughter of band members Andre and Mia and named after the great Alice Coltrane, Turiya completes both the intergenerational circle and a spiritual classic in the present.

Record comes with a glossy band photo and insert