MONSTER deep jazz with vocals from Jean Carn. Recommended.
"Doug Carn created a personalized strain of jazz music that expressed a loving hopefulness. He found a home at the Black Jazz label, where African-Americans called the shots and, of course, racial tension was nonexistent. Who was this 22-year-old whose first album, Infant Eyes, sold very well away from the machinations of the music industry? Once a child prodigy on piano and alto saxophone, Carn had attended Jacksonville University on a full music scholarship and afterwards performed on the Florida-Georgia roadhouse circuit with a band that mixed jazz, rock and R&B. Following his muse to Los Angeles, he worked in an organ trio and studied with organ and piano player Larry Young, who had co-founded the seminal jazz-rock band Tony Williams' Lifetime and recorded an excellent mid-1960s hard-bop record titled Unity, among other things. A devout Muslim, Young (Khalid Yasin) surely deepened Carn's appreciation of John Coltrane's 1964 album, A Love Supreme, that stunning merger of musicality and spirituality. Carn assumes several roles well: organ and piano player, arranger and lyricist. His wife at the time, Jean, is just as impressive singing. First track 'Welcome' -- a Coltrane piece found on the early 1960s collection The Gentle Sound of John Coltrane -- has Jean's operatic voice and a swirl of instruments conjuring a state of awe in just over a minute. Next, Jean displays a world of conviction singing the joyous lyrics about a newborn that Doug penned for vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's 'Little B's Poem' (originally an instrumental on Hutcherson's Components album). Jean opens still another vista of wonder singing the new lyrics of the melodic Wayne Shorter ballad 'Infant Eyes.' Jean also contributes glowingly to the take-no-prisoners 'Acknowledgement,' a near-total immersion in 'A Love Supreme.' This Coltrane homage has a round-robin of good, probing solos by George Harper on tenor, Bob Frazier on trumpet and Al Hall, Jr. on trombone." --Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat; Personnel: Doug Carn (piano electric piano, organ), Jean Carn (vocals), George Harper (tenor sax, flute), Bob Frazier (trumpet, flugelhorn), Henry Franklin (bass), Al Hall, Jr. (trombone), Michael Carvin (drums).