Sunday Review: Beyond A Dream by Pharaoh Sanders and Norman Connors

It starts like the descending walk of an Egyptian Pharaoh, and subsequent journey across the desert.

For “A Dream,” and “Beyond” in these elements you’ll discover possibly more than you could have imagined.

The eventual giddiness of “Babylon” gives way to an intense and sophisticated cerebral soup with smiles and groove.

Enter the buzzing and drawn out chorus of percussion, with crashing cymbals, and highlights of woodwinds and brass.

Track Two: “Beyond A Dream” kicks off in a similar fashion as “Babylon,” but soon finds a groove of its own. This is a different pace and place now that reminds me of a more modern time.

Shifting colors, interpretations, a montage of industrial rhythms and sounds.

Announcements, computer technology, city transit and other forms of industry give rise to the jungle.

Scat soon becomes the breathe of the land and a looming question of “Why?” seems to persist.

Announcements by the birds, by the beat, by African, European, American gibberish.

Expectations to let go, thoughts drop and flutter, saying “whatever” as they fly on by.

They buzz and proclaim as they fade away…

“Montreux Overture” continues the fluttering that now feels like more of a threat.

This is a new start to motion, lurching forward, go! Leave!

The bees and bugs, and sun and elephants ready to defend their jungle as they shout.

Experimental rhythms are out for blood and want to give it all.

Fireworks, death, sirens, cars honking, an elephant trumpet signals aggression and distress.

Stop: As the wind blows by, we sing and fly away to the stillness of Earth at a magnificent height, or maybe not… as Side 1 of “Beyond A Dream” comes to an end.

What will be stopped? What killing or birth has commenced? This moving piece of music proclaims and yet ceases…

“The End of the Beginning” starts with a presentation of themes. A golden piano whizzing with new ideas and life.

Elements, scales, shadows… if this piano had teeth, like a chattering skull it may be singing the choruses of a thousand voices.

Steely and climbing, we ascend the towers of scaffolding that designate our modern lives.

Where do we go from here? A harrowing herd passes and we smile…

New expressions and pleasure, abstractions and wind chimes… let us sing! Dance! Go!

The fault lines of sorrow and misery bring a reprise to themes… groove.

The bass, soul, rhythm, shakers, and groove… they all perform to be heard and felt.

Rattle on and show us! Demonstrate the elements of life, with shake and expels of ‘forgotten memories’ that in this case we just can shake.

Forge, in love, and bouncing elation the road ahead that plows and herds and stampedes at times to bring a shouting of announcements to the world. A Pharaoh rides on…

Elements do return, and they make their presence, as they are part of the jungle. They re-emerge for they are part of life, born and contrasting in their very presence.

Pathways of stillness give rise to movement as they flutter and slide and nod and tip the hat to riders of deceit who are on the fringe of foul trades and other beats.

But the ambience of guitar and strings brings a standard to the mix.

Tiresome and annoyed, we sometimes laugh through the elements in view of our personal anguish. Laughter is some of the best medicine we have…

Bells ring true and fade away like the alarms of a studying clock for when the assignment has become past due and there’s no other coming-to-terms that is necessary other than what you are capable of in this moment.

These thoughts can lead to action and a progression forward. Like the groove, “Casino Latino” blends well to bring a closure to the former calls of sirens and melee of the jungle. We will not forget it even in bliss.

Modern and ancient, like referees shouting calls during a game, we hear a world of proclamations, of action.

Overall, this record has spoken to me in so many distinct, and yet non-distinct, ways. Meaning, there is a language of instruments that can be interpreted and felt, and that can give rise to many imaginative things. I really enjoy this record and I’m happy to have come across it, and for your review and reading pleasure.

The beat goes on, and indistinct shouting continues to jar and stir us in and out of the worlds we inhabit. For me, this supports the groove and mindfulness toward it.

Pharaoh Sanders & Norman Connors – Beyond A Dream – Recorded Live at Montreux Jazz Fest 1978.

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