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Uncle June: Be It As I See It

Dedicated to his be-bopping drummer father and Sun Ra, Gerald Cleaver stretches contemporary musical modes in Be It As I See It with his band Uncle June. Cleaver’s compositions interweave intimate and grand statements with a graceful story-telling beauty. The band is large, including Craig Taborn on piano and keyboards, Andy Taub on banjo (in “22 Minutes”), Mat Maneri on viola, Andrew Bishop on winds and reeds, Tony Malaby on sax, Drew Gress on bass, John Cleaver and Jean Carla Rodea on vocals, and Gerald Cleaver on drums and vocals.

The larger concept addressed in this recording is The Great Migration of the slaves from the South of the United States to the North, a process which took decades to complete and culminated in the 70’s, left Blacks without continental roots, but forged their freedom. Cleaver’s music is as diverse as the people who trekked their path geographically, yet sticks close to describing how he gratefully experienced his own family which never split apart throughout the journey.

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