The Loud Minority

A 4 track jazz-funk album (41m 23s) — released September 29th 2023 on Wewantsounds

When he recorded "The Loud Minority" in 1972 for Bob Shad's Mainstream Records, Frank Foster had been a solid sax player for nearly twenty years, playing with the likes of Donald Byrd, Thelonious Monk and The Count Basie Orchestra. For this special session, he gathered a stellar line up of old fellow musicians like Elvin Jones and Harold Mabern and young turks including Stanley Clarke, 'Hannibal' Marvin Peterson, Cecil and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Cecil Bridgewater remembers: "Frank, his thing was, any group that he had he wanted to give young musicians a chance." As usual for Mainstream sessions, the studio was booked for two days and the record was cut live, supervised by Bob Shad's trusted men, arranger Ernie Wilkins and engineer Carmine Rubino.

What came out of these two days is now the stuff of legend, four long funky jams fuelled by two distinct line ups playing simultaneously augmented with a powerful 6-piece brass section led by Foster. The album kicks off with the anthemic "The Loud Minority" (sampled by United Future Organization and DJ Shadow) with its long brass introduction followed by Dee Dee Bridgewater fiery poem, a politically charged statement expressing the fight for civil rights, before the whole group comes together for a funky explosion clocking at 14 minutes. "That was a period where we were really into our African consciousness" reminisces Dee Dee in the interview.

The album continues with the funky uptempo "Requiem for Dusty" while "J.P.'s Thing" adopts a slightly more spiritual feel, with a beautiful Fender Rhodes solo and Foster's soprano sax improvisation. The album ends with "E.W. Beautiful People", a long dreamy improvisation climaxing with Dee Dee Bridgewater's poignant vocals.

The Loud Minority is a key militant jazz manifesto and one of the landmark jazz funk albums of the 20th Century. The album was recorded in two days but its legacy lives on and still resonates loudly in the BLM days. Wewantsounds is delighted to reissue this major works with newly remastered audio and a deluxe 20-page booklet full of breathtaking unseen session photos and insightful texts telling the whole story of this superb album.

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