Accentuating the personal parameters of the project, each piece carries a postscript providing brief clues to its import and origins. Brotherman" blends breathy bass clarinets. Hoodoo" for alto and What Friend We Have in Jesus" for soprano draw immediate comparisons to Joe McPhee in their spiritual mellifluousness. The two reeds voice in tandem on the lush ballad Marianne and Alicia" while Mind Exercise" pares back down to alto in a barrage of harsh upper register shrieks. Fast forwarding nearly two decades, the '07 pieces find Lancaster expanding his palette and engaging in a curious avuncular commentary. Prayer Cry" and Tribalize Lancaster" play to the directives of their titles, mixing playful vocal effects, chanting and piquant flute with what Lancaster terms percussion spiriting." The first even weaves in sampled African tribal field recordings to explicate its case.
Afro-Ville" and Free Mumia" bring the afrocentric funk through further convergences of jousting flutes and recitations. Keyboard explorations power Global Key" and Loving You," the former moving from modest beginnings to a full-scale piano and percussion avalanche while the latter threads in pliant flute. Heard as a chapbook of snapshots and musings, the disc delivers a great deal of listening pleasure. Lancaster isn't preoccupied with chops and instead directs his energies toward sketching aural moods and pictures with digressions intact. Through the conveyance of such intensely personal cartography the veracity of the project's title holds fast.
[Originally published 6/9/08 @ Bagatellen]