THE BLACK SAINT AND THE SINNERMAN by Harmony Holiday
LP, includes a 11×11 insert of Holiday’s poem “To the black female children,” as well as a download card for the entire album.
Charles Mingus’s classic 1963 album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is swerved into Harmony Holiday’s classic 2018 album The Black Saint and the Sinnerman. The albums are not the same, not at all. But they speak to one and other across time and language, motion and sound.
The Black Saint and the Sinnerman was recorded live at Machine Project in Los Angeles, CA on September 9, 2016. The album was mastered and engineered by Gus Elg at Sky Onion in Portland, OR in the Fall of 2017.
A man and a woman meet in the marketplace. She is selling her body and he is beating his drum. A man and woman meet in a concert hall. She is thinking the music he spins loose as tantrum. Ah Um and other standards of misused/freedom. A man and woman meet on the radio. He calls her a hoe and she calls him a prince. Jokes are science. She wears white lace and he wears no rubbers. What eagles, also shrugs. Slugs Tavern smells like burnt wheat and hussies. A man and a woman meet there to touch. A man and a woman meet at University. She is studying Frederick Douglass and he is learning to count the bones. Jesus was a geneticist and we are mapping our way home. A man and a woman meet on the way home. He tries to corrupt her as if the sins of the father are being visited in prison. Dial tone. Heart bone. Copper and carbon make electricity. Ringing and spinning into thought. The copper in your pineal gland and the carbon in your cerebral cortex. A man a woman meet in the mind. She is electric and he is legba, the trickster, sluggish under her lucky sun. Not every love story is a fairy tale. In fact the best ones simulate the process of waking up from a nightmare; a man and a woman meet in that glare, fuzzy-hearted almost despair of morning. This is a story about the body. Brown in white lace, disgraced and redeemed. There are no more sour grapes. My teeth glow like a railroad. A man and a woman meet on a train. Your brother and your sister don’t speak to you, and I don’t blame them. Do you blame them? Sin is not as simple as breaking a man made rule. Sainthood is not as simple as being good. This is a story about the body. Sweet grapes. Sweetback. Sweet race. Sweet runner. Sweet earth/rising.