Sitting at the computer tonight I've been listening to music, and in the process dug out a couple of CDs I haven't listened to in a long time. The first was Shoukichi Kina and Champloose's The Music Power From Okinawa, a great recording of a 1977 gig by Kina in Okinawa. Kina is a pioneer of combining traditional Okinawan music with Western influences, and this was the album that supposedly first began to get him attention in Japan. Its too bad more Asian music like this didn't get released during the world music boom of the mid '90s.
The other CD, which I'm currently listening to right now, is guitarist Sonny Sharrock's Ask the Ages. Recorded in 1991, it features Sonny teaming up with his old employer Pharoah Sanders on saxes, Elvin Jones on drums, and the somewhat younger Charnett Moffett on upright bass. Great playing on this one, with all the tunes written by Sharrock. Sonny plays, for him, very straight ahead on this album. This year marks the tenth anniversary of his death, which was especially unfortunate given that he was about to sign a contract with RCA when he died. Elvin Jones left us a few weeks ago as well, so its kind of appropriate to be listening to this right now.