1. Protestor (6:40)
2. Madison (6:13)
3. The Onge (6:19)
4. The Wrath (7:21)
5. Mass Manipulation (7:17)
6. Manifest Destiny (6:48)
7. Sol Within (5:57)
8. Jazz Conspiracy (7:26)
Zaccai Curtis - Piano, Luques Curtis - Bass, Ralph Peterson - Drums, Brian Lynch - Trumpet, Donald Harrison - Alto Saxophone (1,2,3,7,8), Joe Ford - Alto Saxophone (4,5,6), Jimmy Greene - Tenor Saxophone (4,5,6), Pedro Martinez - Bata (4,6), Rogerio Boccato - Brazilian Percussion (5), Reinaldo De Jesus - Barriles (7)
All compositions composed and arranged by
Zaccai Curtis (Truth Revolution Publishing)
ⓟ © 2011 Truth Revolution Publishing/ Truth Revolution Records
Recorded at Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn Dec 2008 and Dec 2009
Engineer: Joe Marciano
Assistant engineer: Max Ross
Edited by Brian Lynch and Zaccai Curtis
Mixed and Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid
Album art by Edward LaRose
Album layout by Giovanni Almonte
A Curtis Brothers & Hollistic MusicWorks Production
RUSS MUSTO'S LINER NOTES
Music with a powerful message is the hallmark of the sound of the Curtis Brothers band. It is a sound that is deeply rooted in tradition, yet forward looking in its aim. Completion Of Proof unwinds from the music Zaccai and Luques heard in their youth, first growing up in a household rich in AfroAmerican and Latino culture and later in their musical studies at The Artists Collective, the Hartford, Connecticut interdisciplinary arts and cultural organization founded by jazz master Jackie McLean and his wife Dollie. The early lessons learned at home and in the Collective have ineradicably informed the art of the brothers – not just musically, but also philosophically – ever since.
It is no coincidence that the compositions on Completion Of Proof, created as acknowledgment to the music the brothers heard growing up, bear a strong sonic semblance to the sound of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. From Jackie McLean on, many of the young musicians’ mentors were alumni of the esteemed band. Three of those artists – Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison and Brian Lynch – join the two brothers to fill out the quintet that is heard on the date’s opening three tracks. It was Peterson, the powerful drummer that Blakey chose to be his second in the Jazz Messenger Big Band, who first introduced Luques and Zaccai to a wider audience, as rhythm section mates in his Boston based band, while the two attended Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory.
Donald Harrison and Brian Lynch, well known for their Messenger tenures, have both utilized the talents of the brothers in various groups under their individual leadership, the saxophonist and trumpeter’s compelling command of their instruments making a mark on the pianist and bassist’s abilities to contribute their own fire when working within the incendiary atmosphere of an intensely creative musical environment. It is the combined sound of Lynch and Harrison in the front line and Peterson’s relentlessly swinging drumming behind them that give the Curtis Brothers’ efforts here the stamp of authenticity that many a Messenger homage lack.
On the album’s centerpiece – “The Manifest Destiny Suite” - Zaccai and Luques are joined by two other important figures in their musical backgrounds. Tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene, like the brothers, is a native of Connecticut and an alumnus of the Artists Collective, where he helped mentor the youths during their formative years. Altoist Joe Ford has shared the bandstand with the pianist and bassist when they have been called upon to stand in for Larry Willis and Andy Gonzalez, respectively, with Jerry Gonzalez and The Fort Apache Band. The ability of the brothers to hold their own with the iconic group that epitomizes the innovative synthesis of jazz and Latin musics, a true testament of their talents in the field, is further testified to by their playing on the three movements of the suite where they are joined by master percussionists Pedro Martinez and Rogério Boccato.
Harrison and Lynch (with regular Curtis Brothers conguero Reinaldo De Jesus joining the quintet on “Sol Within”) return for the date’s final two tracks, to complete a truly rewarding musical journey. All of the music clearly speaks for itself with pride and fire, but the words written by composer Zaccai Curtis that accompany these notes elucidate on a philosophy where music plays an important role in informing a general public about its circumstances and the necessity to discover the truth and act for justice.
New York City Jazz Record
1) PROTESTOR – This piece pays homage to one of my favorite inspirations on all accounts. “Tank Man.” This is about a man who challenged the Chinese army of about 30 armed tanks by himself. The video is on YouTube and has been the inspiration for many revolutionaries in China and all over the world! As a Truth Revolutionary, I hope that one day, I can have an impact on the world at least ¼ the size of “Tank Man.” - Inspired by my own ambition to stand up
2) MADISON – This song was written for my niece. If you listen to the melody you will find her name all over it! Family is the most important structure to society and we can’t seem to “get” that. Your family is your army, safetynet, bloodline, teacher, doctor, bank, store, and job. - Inspired by the strength in family
3) THE ONGE - The Onge are one of the Andamanese Adivasi indigenous peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal. The semi-nomadic Onge have passed down history through their traditional stories. They used this knowledge in 2004 when all 96 tribesmen of the semi-nomadic Onge survived the tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake. They moved into higher lands and avoided the catastrophe caused by the "great wall of water" of their legends! They know this because they listen to their elders....the passed down verbal history and information that they traditionally keep. – Inspired by the ancient knowledge passed through time by my ancestors
4) THE WRATH – Part 1 of the Manifest Destiny Suite – This part was written while I became aware of the wrath of the imperialistic governments of the world. They are not to be questioned, opposed, proved wrong, ignored or exposed. They believe that they are the fruit of the Gods, adorned upon the Earth to control man because we cannot control ourselves in their absence. Ironically they use us to monitor and control ourselves! This concept reminds me of the school “Hall Monitor.” At the end of the day….he returns his badge and is subjected to the tyrannical conditions he helped to create. – Inspired by the middle school hall monitor
5) MASS MANIPULATION – Part 2 of the Manifest Destiny Suite – Is written for the people that are sucked into the sports games, their job, making money, drugs, politics, race, religion and can’t see the homeless or fellow man next to them. They blindly listen to the television, movies, preachers, more than their own families. This is a world where an original thought is taboo. As you are reading this I am sure that some of you might feel a tinge of defensiveness, as we all do. This feeling is a good cue to look at ourselves and ask, "Why do I feel this way?” The most powerful and influential voice in todays’ world is the television. Whoever controls the box, controls the masses.– Inspired by the main-stream media, where news is a commodity
6) MANIFEST DESTINY - Part 3 of the Manifest Destiny Suite - Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. It was used by Democrats in the 1840s to expand westward and justify the war with Mexico and Native American populations. This is exactly what is going on all over the world today! The U.S. government "saving" the Iraqi people from themselves
parallels European imperialists “saving” the Africans and Native Americans for the same reasons. Australia, with their eugenics policies and control over the native aboriginal. Israeli occupation of Palestine. The German regime and what they have done to the Jews and Gypsies...I can go on forever. The bottom line is; once we wake up to this scam and see how the imperialist governments around the world use it’s own people for control, there will be nothing to stop the peace that follows. – Inspired by the Albert Einstein quote, “The world is a dangerous place, not because people do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”
7) SOL WITHIN – This piece is a dedication to the Sun that is inside of us. “Sol,” is the Spanish word for sun. “Sol,” also sounds like the English word, “soul.” Once you substitute the English phonetic with the Spanish word, you get a bright star in the center of your chest. The sun gives us everything, and for that, our ancestors would worship it. I wish the people of today would see it inside of themselves and see that they themselves are a piece of that truth. - inspired by the God within You
8) JAZZ CONSPIRACY – Written with the one secret corporate government in mind. This government of corporations wants to be the one controlling factor that dominates the world through our media, politics and much more…but they themselves are exempt from its regulations. How I see it, the more power put into the hands of the few.....well, that just makes me uncomfortable....;) - Inspired by Damian “King Solomon” Curtis.