New Thing! tells the story of Deep Jazz in the USA. Post-Civil Rights, Post- Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, Post-John Coltrane, this album shows how radical musicians developed musically, politically and spiritually at this time.
New Thing! shows how these musicians redefined themselves and their music to present a new Black American music that encompassed Jazz with Eastern music and philosophies, space travel, classical music, ballet and African music alongside other American musics such as Gospel, Funk, Soul and Blues. The period of music covered on New Thing is from 1970-1985. (One exception and a forerunner to much of this music, the Sun Ra track "Angels and Demons at Play" is from 1957! and clearly shows a man ahead of his time in his music and ideas). New Thing! features heavyweight Jazz artists such as Alice Coltrane, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra and Archie Shepp alongside many other less-well known, but equally important artists such as Rashied Ali (who played alongside John Coltrane) and Stanley Cowell (who started one of the first independent labels for this music, Strata-East Records, along with Charles Tolliver).
The music on New Thing! ranges from the deep street funk of "Street Rap" and "Funky AECO" to hypnotic eastern-influenced tracks such as "Tibetan Serenity" and radical left-field tracks such as Rashied Ali and Frank Lowe’s "Duo Exchange". The album comes with extensive sleevenotes and exclusive photos (many by celebrated photographer Val Wilmer, herself an important chronicler of this period in music).