Tyrone Washington is incredible. Here's why.
Updated: May 16
Enigmatic sax man Tyrone Washington (no relation to Kamasi) only made 3 albums under his own name, before disappearing altogether in the mid 70's. And still made an indelible mark.
I found this record mid 90’s in the bargain bins at Swingmaster Records in Groningen and it's been a while since I've listened to it front to back.
Tyrone Washington, the saxophonist, is an enigma.
For a while, he was a member of The Horace Silver Sextet and aside of some recordings with Larry Young, the last year deceased Stanley Cowell, and a few others, he just made 3 albums as a leader. This one’s here is his second; after one more album in 1974, he disappeared completely from the jazz scene, seemingly to focus on religion.
These days he goes by the name of Bialar Mohammed and presumably lives in Newark, Jersey.
Strictly from a music standpoint that’s too bad, as Tyrone is an OG, with some very inspired playing, and on this record tries his hand in a lot of different stylings, be it driving soul jazz (“Submission, “War Is Not For Men”), ballads (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”), free jazz excursions (“1980”) or some moving deep stuff (the flute driven “Roots” & “Spiritual Light Of The Universe”, the album’s pièce de résistance, imho).
Among the album’s personnel is piano player Hubert Eaves, who released one album on his own (1977's Japan-only "Esoteric Funk"), and later grew more known for his works with R&B heavy-hitters such as Mtume, Stephanie Mills, the late, great Phyllis Hyman, not to mention being the producer of all the classic D-Train gems ("You're The One For Me, "Keep Giving Me Love"and more ), but at this point in time, was mostly involved with fellow deep jazz men Gary Bartz, Carlos Garnett a.o. and especially soars with some wicked solo work on the funky “Submission", which is by far the best known cut here, especially for beatheads, as its horn blasts are sampled by the likes of Black Moon ("Ack like You Want It"), Madlib ("Return Of The Loop Digga"), Pete Rock ("Can't Front On Me", "For Pete's Sake", "The Main Ingredient") & Tribe ("Mind Power", the remix to "Can I Kick It") a.o...
As mentioned, Tyrone Washington left the scene in the 2nd half of the 70’s, and never returned. Not very much is known about the man, and the -on jazz albums usually very extensive-, information on the back doesn’t help either:
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