"Detroit Life" is a collection of 15 classic Sinclair poems set to music recorded live in Greektown, Detroit and at the Oak Park studio of Mike Boulan. In "Detroit Life" Sinclair pays homage to many of the musicians living and dead who have moved and inspired him.
Sinclair's poem to Henry Normile, the slain owner of Cobb's Corner is a beautiful heart-felt ballad to an unrecognized saint of the Detroit Jazz scene, backed by the clear bell-tone of Marcus Belgrave and The Lyman Woodard Organization.
Especially notable is "Street Beat" - the raging memory ballad to Papa J. C. Heard, a be-bop drummer born in 1917 who recorded thousands of albums, moved to Detroit in 1966 and became a mentor to many younger area musicians.
Sinclair's deep love for Monk, Teddy Wilson, J.C. Heard, Bird, Trane, the streets of Detroit and the forgotten classics is heard everywhere on this disc. A love that lifts the fog and transports the listener into his own swingin' personal creed, it's FREEDOM, baby, a "life of the mind and spirit...like Trane said, 'to be a force for good' and make an impact on the world at large/ with no promise of recompense/ or material reward... beyond the reward of creation/ and the thrills of human connections/... the deep friendships formed with fellow seekers/ who vow the same path"
"April in Paris" is an ode to creativity and jazz standards "set so high - we are still trying to reach it."
"When I think of Detroit Life, these are the people I think of, these musicians and the people like them who make their art and their lives in the wilds of the former Motor City and live to tell the story -- these people and the ones who used to be here with us, and the ones who showed us the way, and the young ones who are coming up now with the bohemian tradition, and all the people who have survived and sustained themselves as the city collapsed and rotted all around them." --John Sinclair Detroit Life
Motor City Blues Scholars performing on the CD include The Lyman Woodard Organization, Jeff "Baby" Grand, Johnny Evans, Martin Gross, Marcus Belgrave, Henry Normalie, Ibrahim Jones, Milton Hale, R.J. Spangler and many others. 15 tracks, liner notes by John Sinclair.
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