Doug Carn, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Jazz Is Dead 005

Image of Doug Carn, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad - Jazz Is Dead 005

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Among the heroes and innovators of 70s spiritual & progressive funk and jazz, Doug Carn has always flown a little under the radar. He has long plied his trade with patience and dedication, releasing absolutely stunning albums that are cherished by cognoscenti but lesser known even to the jazz mainstream, even as his influence can be detected among his colleagues.

Carn's newest project, his entry in the Jazz Is Dead album series helmed by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, takes his unique and timeless art and places it within the context of a musical culture that has always taken cues from his ‘70s classics. There's no mistaking the musical mind that created legendary albums like “Infant Eyes” and “Adam's Apple”, but the encounter of that with the distinctive jazz-hip hop-funk-noir that is the Younge/Muhammad/JID trademark creates something worthy of comparison to Carn's past work but which could only have been made right now.

Carn’s own luminous work on acoustic and electric piano on all these albums placed him firmly in the realm of contemporaries like Lonnie Liston Smith, Herbie Hancock and George Duke and they were elevated even further by the exquisite sideman work of a number of luminaries including Olu Dara (aka Nas Sr.), Charles Tolliver, Alphonse Mouzon and legendary Cannonball Adderley bassist Walter Booker among others. Following this classic era, Doug and Jean continued to chart their own paths separately, Jean as a solo R&B star with a number of successful albums and singles for Philadelphia International Records and Doug as the same brilliant and creatively restless spiritual-jazz avatar he’s always been. Happily, for the last decade Doug and Jean’s orbits have intersected anew, and they can often be found performing together once again.

‘I was barely a year old when Doug Carn released Infant Eyes. To me the album is an expedition of warmth, hope, majesty and pride, where you cross the bridge of venerable wonders on supernatural tones of innovation,’ says Shaheed Muhammad. ‘If you grew up in the ‘70s then you know exactly how consequential his art is. There are so many levels to this and time is never enough to unfold it, but Adrian and I were blessed to spend a twinkle of time with the honorable Doug Carn. We recorded an album that bridges to dimensions seemingly familiar but yet uncharted and raw.’ One can detect nods to musical motifs by Carn's jazz peers that have served as frequent sample fodder, but his compositional and improvisational integrity remain indisputable throughout.


Matt says: I usually shudder when I hear 'progressive' thrown into genres like rock and jazz. But these three ably prove that pushing beyond the traditional boundary constraints can only emphasize the fun and creativity contained within the musicians involved. This is great!


1. Dimensions
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Processions
4. Windfall
5. Down Deep
6. Desert Rain
7. Freedom At Sunset
8. Underwater
9. Lions Walk
10. Nuna Um Malandro
11. Desires

A1. Dimensions
A2. Autumn Leaves
A3. Processions
B1. Windfall
B2. Down Deep
B3. Desert Rain
C1. Freedom At Sunset
C2. Underwater
C3. Lions Walk
D1. Nuna Um Malandro
D2. Desires

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