From the quixotic toy piano opening of “Armed Ant War,” all the way to the final electric bass resolve of “Happiest Man,” the eight musical stories that compose Liberation Prophecy’s debut release, Last Exit Angel, represent a musical journey unlike any other in recent memory. Liberation Prophecy, the longtime musical lovechild of leader/saxophonist/composer Jacob Duncan, is a genre-confounding nine-piece band based in Louisville, Kentucky. With influences including, but not limited to, luminaries such as Sun Ra, Charles Mingus, Carla Bley, John Coltrane, Kurt Weill and Frank Zappa, Liberation Prophecy’s range is nothing short of astonishing, with open windows replacing any narrow sense of expected musical boundaries. Dysfunctional sambas collide with seasick circus waltzes, introspective ballads juxtapose with the primal exigency of the avant-garde, the gloom-laden asks the playfully comic for the next dance.
released August 28, 2006
A list of the band’s current personnel reads like a Who’s Who of Louisville’s musical Big Dogs: bassist Sonny Stephens, drummer Jason Tiemann, guitarist Craig Wagner, pianist Todd Hildreth, Josh Toppass on bari sax, Chris Fortner on trombone, tenor saxophonist Aaron Kinman, and Amber Estes, vocals. Norah Jones rejoins the group for a riveting guest lead vocal performance on track 3. Challenging, adventurous, surprising, shapely and free, Liberation Prophecy’s Last Exit Angel is a work of brilliance, a genuine artistic statement that never relies on its considerable reserve of virtuosity to make its points: pure beauty, sincere expression, and as many question marks as answers.
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