Trumpeter Eddie Gale played on Cecil Taylor’s stunning Unit Structures (Blue Note, 1966) and he was a frequent member of Sun Ra’s Arkestra in the 1960s and ’70s. But it was his invaluable contributions to organist Larry Young’s 1966 Blue Note LP Of Love and Peace that caused the label’s Francis Wolff to cough up his own dough and stick Gale in the studio to record his debut as a leader, 1968’s Ghetto Music.
While the album came out on Blue Note, as did its 1969 follow-up, Black Rhythm Happening, the LPs came out at a time of serious transition at the label. By the time Blue Note left the hands of Wolff and Alfred Lion and went to United Artists, Gale’s contract was not renewed. These two albums have languished in the Blue Note vaults ever since, but the mysterious crew of folk known variously as Water Music (for CD reissues) and 4 Men With Beards (for cool-ass gatefold, 180-gram vinyl reissues) have picked up the slack and put these records back into circulation. (Why two different labels for the different formats? Just semantics, brah. Water Music and 4 Men With Beards appear to be run by the same gang.)