Soul Jazz Records/Universal Sound are releasing this ‘lost classic’ radical deep spiritual jazz album from David Lee Jr.
Originally released in New York in 1974 (400 copies only ever pressed!), ‘Evolution’ is composer and drummer David Lee Jr’s extraordinary one-off solo album, pressed on the artist’s own Supernal Records, a record company whose slogan ‘seeking creative progress’ and dedication ‘to peace and freedom’ clearly displayed artistic intent over any commercial or market-led forces.
Dave Lee Jr was born in New Orleans and the deep experimental drum-compositions featured on ‘Evolution’ are as rooted in this southern city rhythmically as they are in the spiritual and metaphysical musical ideas of John Coltrane, Sun Ra and other futurist soul-searchers.
In the early 1970s Lee headed off to New York, playing in Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity for a couple of years before immersing himself in the thriving loft deep jazz scene playing with Leon Thomas, Lonnie Liston Smith, Harold Alexander, Charles Rouse and recording for independent labels such as the classic Strata-East, India Navigation and Flying Dutchman.
New York left-field jazz meets New Orleans syncopation and military parade rhythms to produce an avant-garde drum suite as hypnotic as Roy Ayers circa ‘We Live in Brooklyn’, as radical as fellow drummer Steve Reid or Rashied Ali’s musical excursions in the early 1970s.