In June, 1972, the Vietnam War was going on and the group Love Cry Want took up residency in Lafayette Park with the sole intent of levitating Richard Nixon's neighboring White House.
That didn't happen, in fact Nixon apparently personally ordered aide JR Haldeman to yank the power on the concert. But needless to say, there's a pretty amazing document of one of these concerts that I am surprised more people don't talk about in the cosmic free-jazz-luvin' circles. I always wondered why as well, Love Cry Want's unreleased-until-1997 session should have knocked everyone on their asses, but I barely saw it around, even in so-called hip records stores whom you'da thunk would be all over it. Even with the fans of all the free-blowing jazz-spacerock hybrids like Sunburned Hand of the Man and such have a big question mark over their heads when I bring this one up. Possibly the attribution of the "f-word" (that being "Fusion") scared your average free jazz connoisseur away, but this ain't no post-Scientology Chick Corea business. First off, Larry Young is here, whose Lawrence of Newark is one of the all-time mindblowers of the jazz genre; he played on Miles' Bitches Brew and also with the Tony Williams Lifetime; and while those two things may have paved the way for a lot of unicorn-visions of wank in some artists of the future, there's no denying the fact that Larry with these units demonstrated some total electric spuzz power and helped bring a new bent wind to things at that time. In Love Cry Want, Young joins the duo of Nicholas and Gallivan, the former also guilty of some terrible future legacies having pioneered the synth guitar, and the latter developing the drum synth with Robert Moog. Throwing these elements in you might be a bit concerned, but the truth is that Love Cry Want delivered a total bolt of electricity on par with prime Sun Ra and Sonny Sharrock stuff. Hell, it was even rocking enough to match some of the more spaced moments of the Pink Fairies and Sonny Sharrock, and no unicorns were anywhere to be found. This disc exhibits Young's organ conjuring up great black clouds over DC, (streaming Realaudio) with drummer Jimmy Molnieri creating a free-wheeling thunderous racket around spasms of ring modulators, freakout distorto wailings and pure emotion that reigns as organic and not academic at all. It's a great reflection of the undefined turmoil of the times where camps and factions blurred amidst promise and confusion, and the technology of the times used as liberation of musical margins (as well as liberation of minds). It's time someone else took a shot at the White House in the park, what are the Boredoms up to when they get here in May?