Flying Note Records is sharing this music "from the archives" with you, because it is one of the few and best recorded examples of the artistry and genius of the late composer and multi-instrumentalist Donald RAFAEL GARRETT, particularly in the context of The SEA ENSEMBLE, his duo with his wife, Zusaan KALI FASTEAU. Rafael Garrett is more widely known for his recordings with the great John Coltrane: "Om", "Kulu Se Mama", "Live in Seattle" and "Selflessness", as well as with Rahsaan Roland Kirk and with Dewey Redman.
"Streaming Love", Disc One of this Double CD set, was recorded multi-track in Leiden, Holland in May, 1975.
"Come From Deep", Disc Two, was recorded Live-in-Concert in Ankara, Turkey on March 6, 1977.
On Memoirs of a Dream, RAFAEL GARRETT plays contrabass, Bb clarinet, voice, shakuhachi, ney & kaval flutes, sol clarinet, sheng, zurna, balafon, sanza, conch, and percussion. KALI Z. FASTEAU plays piano harp & keys, cello, voice, ney & shakuhachi flutes, sol clarinet, cumbus tanbur, sheng, sanza, moursin, conch, and davul drum.
DONALD RAFAEL GARRETT was a brilliant artist, way ahead of his time. In addition to his total mastery of the mystery of music-making, his incredibly beautiful sound on his instruments, and his very warm, graceful, intense, spirited and high energy performance style, he had vast knowledge and expertise in the most advanced cultural developments. Bamboo flute-making, Tai-Chi Chuan, extended string techniques, the keys to woodwind vitality, macrobiotic health and cuisine, and Buddhism were some of these treasures. We shared an iconoclasm, an anarchism regarding many formal aspects of art and life. Rafael, while he was one of the very best walking (bebop) and avant-garde arco bassists of all time, enjoyed stretching the definitions of music to the utmost, and embued it all with tremendous emotion and feeling. His inclusive sense of music juxtaposed some of his favorite standards, the unexpected, music from around the world, and sounds of found-object instruments. He invented an entire musical language. He encouraged audience participation in many settings, and enjoyed blurring the line between audience and performer. He liked his bass bridge very high. This produces the biggest sound on the instrument, but requires great strength to get that beautiful tone. Whenever possible, he refused amplification, preferring the natural acoustics of the instruments. His clarinet sound is exquisite, as you hear on these discs, as is his amazing round tone on shakuhachi. Making, selling, and teaching thousands of people to play and make their own bamboo flutes, was not merely a mainstay of our economic survival during lean times. It was showing people a way to actively create their own culture. Our life was in harmony with our highest ideals...a double Piscean dreamtime, the itinerant gypsy musicians' life, leaping over boundaries of all kinds, and surprising people in many lands with our total immersion-dedication-delight in sound. A creative, conjugal symbiosis, we nourished each other's concepts of sound and futuristic humanism, making music at least nine hours every day for six years. We played at home, while walking the streets of whatever country we were in, while traveling to gigs, everywhere and anywhere. Rafael had a very fine and expressive face and body, which he used to wonderful effect in his highly personal and compelling performance style. He enjoyed extending and even demolishing the conventional bounds of performance, for instance, by playing on stage before and after the "performance" was "really on." His playing was so loved by other great musicians that he was always invited to sit in. Then he would take over the bass, stoke up the band with his superb and impassioned walking bass, and then add his enthusiastic and genial scatting (vocalese) and wreck the house every time. Although he didn't want to own a saxophone, backstage, he could blow away the best on any horn. He could make music on anything. And, he generously taught many musicians everything he could. Those lucky enough to have known him at his best will surely agree that he was a musical genius and an extraordinary person.