I was surprised to find a video announcing Theo Parrish’s first record of the new year in Moodymann’s instagram feed. “Preacher’s Comin” is rhythmic to the point of hypnosis, locked in on attaining some point in the service when people burst forth in spontaneous poetry and tongues. Alone it would be a remarkable single; together with “Gullah Geechee” one suspects this EP is Parrish’s contribution to the surge of interest into the culture of the descendants of the slaves from West Africa who live now mostly in South Carolina and Georgia.

“Gullah Geechee” features Carolyn Ferrari (aka Diamondancer) Craig Huckaby (whose “Squirrel” featured on the Black Music EP), Jovia Armstrong and Keith Beber giving a rousing oration. Though the lyrics are printed on the sleeve, I suspect many people haven’t gone beyond googling “gullah” and dropping a reference to James Brown because this is powerful beyond words of praise – both a searing indictment and tribute to lost heroes, a condemnation of the people who “wear baubles” while “we live Africa” and praise to Denmark Vesey & Gullah Jack who lead the 1822 slave revolt against the “buckra.”

Theo Parrish: Preacher’s Comin (Sound Signature)
A1. Theo Parrish: Preacher’s Comin
B1. Theo Parrish: Gullah Geechee
B2. Theo Parrish: Gullah Geechee (Original)


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