The Lost Archive of Juma Sultan and the Aboriginal Music Society
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
December 10, 1970
Part 1. Search
'Réal to Reel
Some years ago I wrote the following passages:
"My daughter's arm's-length tattoo is a narrow and delicate vine that wends its way from the back of her right hand to her shoulder and then ascends precipitously along the slender ridge of her collarbone.... luminous pigments that turned...
I had no plan. When the novel tanked, I guess my research
reflex kicked in. That's really the only explanation for the
None of my previous research focused on the music business. But interviewing people has been a part of my skill set since Graduate School. Off went the letter....
My colleague Johndan could help me. Like me he had no academic expertise in music theory, music history, nor the music business. But he has written about issues of intellectual property in the digital age; He's an expert in new media, and he knew a bit about...
I found the restaurant easily, a pizza joint not far from the thruway. I waited outside. When he drove into the lot, he opened his window and we confirmed our mutual identities. He suggested that I go in and find a table in the back where it is...
OK, here we go, here we go... Dewey, 3rd St.
Rene McLean. You know? Jackie McLean's son? At Slugs. '72.
You see what I'm saying? That was one of his...
Part 2. Found
Over the course of two years I interviewed Juma about
his life and the music he played and documented.
I was an art student at UCLA. One night I went to a concert and I'm sitting by the stage in Los Angeles. Ray Brown was playing bass. It was about this close to my ear. The whole...
We Were Conscious
There was always a problem for space to play, especially if you were not noted. It was always a problem. You could play and get run out of your apartment. But for many, the opportunities to play at a club for an audience were few and...
All Kinds of Experiments
A friend of mine told me about an intermedia workshop near
A professor from SUNY New Paltz named Bob Likalla and his wife, Isabelle, they had 40 acres of property. Several large houses were on it and they were running an arts workshop.
It was called "Group 212" and they were receiving funding from the...
'66 to '72 (My Archive)
Juma continued to reconstruct his past as we traveled the
back roads from West Saugerities to Shokan...
...until we came upon a scene that triggered memories of my past -- a chance occurrence that led me back to my archives in order to reconstruct a few scenes from the life I had lived in...
A Blistering Statement
It was 1972 when George Wein brought the Newport Jazz
Festival from Rhode Island and moved the concerts to New
York and we established the New York Musicians Organization.
Once we heard what his roster was of musicians, we saw that out all of the concerts that he was presenting he had very few...
July 26, 2005: we arrange to take some tapes to a recording
Here's Sonny Simmons on English horn. I'll look for some of Pharoah and then I'll just stop.
I might get carried away. I got Archie. I got Wilbur Ware. I got Hannibal. Oh man, that's hot....
Part 3. Lost
In New York I was able to function out of Studio We, which was a five-story building and I always had adequate storage space there. After that, I had sort of a large studio in Brooklyn. It was still Aboriginal Productions but it was called "Home Recording Studio." There I had a big basement and I was always able to...
I conducted my final interview with Juma in his office in 2007.
We had arranged to talk in the room where he was now storing
By that time, more than two years after we had removed the tapes from the barn, he had resurrected a reel-to-reel tape recorder and was occasionally reviewing tapes that appeared...
In early 2010 I received an inquiry through the jumasarchive.org website from an independent record
label owner who was interested in the possibility of releasing some of the music from the archive. Within
weeks a second indie producer from another label contacted Juma with the same idea. By the spring I
learned that Juma was negotiating potential commercial arrangements with both labels.
On June 15, 2010, Johndan...
This is almost a forgotten period of our culture. It shouldn't be
forgotten. It should be remembered and preserved.
Frank Lowe: performed with Rashied Ali, Sonny Simmons, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Joseph Jarman, Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, Ahmed Abdullah, Billy Bang, Grachan...
I cannot fully express the extent of my gratitude to Juma Sultan for
both his generosity and his spirit. Both are powerful and expansive.
Also, great thanks go to:
Johndan Johnson-Eilola for his tremendous help in moving this project from whim to fruition. Johndan was the primary force behind jumasarchive.com....