BENNIE MAUPIN — The Jewel in the Lotus

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BENNIE MAUPIN - The Jewel in the Lotus cover
4.28 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1974

Filed under Fusion
By BENNIE MAUPIN

Tracklist

A1 Ensenada 8:05
A2 Mappo 8:25
A3 Excursion 4:47
A4 Past + Present = Future 1:45
B1 The Jewel In The Lotus 9:57
B2 Winds Of Change 1:25
B3 Song For Tracie Dixon Summers 5:14
B4 Past Is Past 3:52

Total Time: 44:21

Line-up/Musicians

Bill Sumers Percussion
Herbie Hancock Piano, Piano (Electric)
Billy Hart Drums
Bennie Maupin Chimes, Clarinet (Bass),Flute, Glockenspiel, Reeds, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Vocals
Charles Sullivan Trumpet (tracks A2,A3)
Frederick Waits Drums, Marimba
Buster Williams Bass, Guitar (Bass)

About this release

ECM Records – ECM 1043 ST(Germany/US)

Recorded March 1974 at The Record Plant, New York City

Thanks to snobb for the updates

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BENNIE MAUPIN THE JEWEL IN THE LOTUS reviews

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Members reviews

supertwister
This is one of the many Mwandishi offshoot releases, an album recorded by virtually the same line-up as Hancock's early 70's masterpieces. But this one is composed by clarinet player Bennie Maupin, and it is very different from Crossings or Sextant, demonstrating how this line-up had reached a level of creativity and collective intuition that allowed them to take on entirely different and very challenging material.

'The Jewel in The Lotus' is a very experimental album, avant-garde almost, but not of the hard-core kind. The music is free-jazz based and largely eschews traditional melodic playing but it is still very rich harmonically, leaving an impression that it was composed as much as improvised. The tight grooves, which drove Hancock's albums, are absent. Instead the drums, just like all other instruments, are used to create an atmospheric texture that ebbs and flows as graciously as the waves, very fluent, continuous music with vague abstract patterns. It's hard to grasp sometimes, and nearly impossible to analyze, but at the same time it's one of those albums that totally drags you into its gentle dreamy mood. It's brooding, mesmerizing, addictive.

I've only recently got to know this album thanks to a much appreciated suggestion from a hard-core fan. I can see why now, this work quickly established itself as one of my favorite titles of my most beloved jazz period, that of the early 70s, where a deeply psychedelic and intuitive approach embraced some of the energy and electricity of rock. A masterpiece. Much recommend to fans of the early Weather Report albums and Davis' Silent Way.
Sean Trane
As Maupin was one of the indispensable ingredients for Miles’ and Hancock’s Jazz Rock adventures with his bass clarinet layers, offering much sonic space and possibilities in the treble end of the spectrum. First noticed in Miles’ BB album, Hancock enticed Maupin into his Mwandishi group where he stayed for the duration of the line-up, three albums including the fabulous Crossing and the stupendous Sextant. Indeed much of the magic of BB, Crossing and Sextant comes from Maupin’s discreet but absolutely essential interventions with his bass clarinet.

So when he started his own solo career, you’d have expected him to carry on in that direction, but this debut album is released on the ECM label, he’s definitely not exploring that alley at all, even if Hancock, Williams, Hart and Summers all played with him in the Mwandishi trilogy While I wouldn’t say that the music is light years away from Sextant, it is definitely less structured and more dissonant and improvised. We’re not into free jazz either, nor are there blatant improvisation, and the music is sufficiently structured to have been entirely written. Hancock’s electric piano and Williams’ bowed bass drones provide the perfect tapestry to allow Maupin to intervene at will, since he’s the only wind man on the album outside Sullivan’s trumpet on two of the eight tracks .also of interest is the two drummers playing together but each in his own stereo channel. If the first side is still relatively lively, the B-side is quite amorphous, if you’ll except the odd burst of energy.

Actually I find this album a tad too experimental for the ECM label because of its reputation of being a soft or cool jazz-fusion specialist label, but overall it just happens to be one of the label's better releases along with the first Return To Forever

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  • Anster
  • KK58
  • Moahaha
  • richby
  • darkprinceofjazz

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