Saturday, February 14, 2009
Love Lockdown: The Lavoe Revolt Edition
The Soul of Izayaa By Sunez
Soul, the natural essence of supremacy, that animating principle nameable yet unquantifiable, that actualizing reality of all, where creator and creation become one and the same. This Soul is Blackness, the biochemical nature of all my Original people ("High Yellow Gal…If your mind could really see you’d know your color the same as me" – Curtis Mayfield). This Soul is animated by the principle of mathematics where one knows self yet continues to wonderfully just understand. This Soul is the union of all that we are in all that we manifest in an ultimate expression of love. This love is the binding element of all creation and it fortifies the sublime word, the 180 martial moves of bian xing and the myriad notes of keys, bars and measures of song.
To honor the soul song is to honor the lady in my life, Izayaa Allat, that hand-in-hand we shall create the best part with. That we have been forged in the mist of song is all in this list of select tracks I distill of her love. That these songs are from five women, from an everlasting list of crates I exhaustively excavate, reflect my Earth’s rhythm of sentiment and rhythm of sharing offered to me sublimely.
The enlightenment of the self sparks many words. So much was unknown, so much was lived abnormally, so much attachment to falsity, all masked as contradiction, truisms and belief. Yet she had seen that I would only heal her, only be the champion of all she is and from that moment be the father of her family. And so there are many words but making a long story short…
Gladys Knight – Make A Long Story Short (YSI)
Gladys Knight – Make A Long Story Short (Limelinx)
"Words…I could use a thousand words to say/ what I’ve got on my mind/ What’s the use of beating round the bush/wasting words/wasting time/mmmm…boring you with talk ain’t what I want so I’ll try to get right to the point./ To make a long story short, oooo baby I love you"
In 1977, Gladys Knight shared this jewel on the Still Together album. It is the softness of the lyrics, that there is a way of immediacy in her soft hums and her refusals to do nothing but tell him "I love you." The soothing strings that will not roar but carry us carefully to her abruptness is what I was told. So Izayaa had just told me. Letting tears stream her eyes, her heart pounded with fulfillment. An endless story still must be told…
…On a night of beauty where intimacy is realized, we are lovers that have become one. All our children forthcoming shall be testament to the sincerity of our hearts. I remember the footsteps to her, seeing someone alike to me and letting my chivalry be more than plotted plays but a revealing of my nature. Able to understand her every insight whilst excited so effortlessly by her voluptuousness, I was as thrilled as she. So the mind I read was my own and I let her acknowledge the time of our enjoining in infinite space.
Angela Bofill – Tonight I Give In (YSI)
Angela Bofill – Tonight I Give In (Limelinx)
"Somebody walked into my life/And he's right on time/Somebody looked into my eyes/And he read my mind/And its true/I only need to tell you/that it's you/You're every thing/I ever dreamed would come to me/ Somebody walked into my heart
And to my surprise/ Somebody tearing me apart/ And it feels just fine/ And it's you
I've waited oh so long to say/it's you/You're every thing/I ever dreamed"
In 1983, Angela Bofill uttered my love’s words of submitting love on her Too Tough album. This too titillating track crescendos the realization of submission with soft piano keys offering the most luscious bed. A song of exquisite peaks and intense declaration, Angela’s command of flow is supreme lush. That a man may know his supremacy with many facts and figures, or lust the beauty of a woman with many pictures and videos is nothing. To understand himself and so her too. To see her become everything she has ever wanted to be, all that she knew she was deep inside and be that foundation of insight and ear with embrace and hand to hold. Sharing, listening, caressing and leading a realized intimacy.
And so, how is this love evermore? In all ways and actions is it rejuvenating? How must the loveliest woman I shall ever know have her mood? It is what the woman becomes with that man that shows the worth of that man. If he is just and true, her thoughts will flower a field of eternal possibilities. She may take her lover’s hand and learn of herself, see herself as supreme, with the evidence of her splendor as well as any and all science that chooses to document her. So it must be so. That when her Sun ez shining on her, dreams of grandeur become proposed propositions proven paradise.
Phyllis Hyman – In A Sentimental Mood (YSI)
Phyllis Hyman – In A Sentimental Mood (Limelinx)
"In a sentimental mood/I can see the sun come through my room/And your lovin' attitude/Is like a flame that comes and lights the gloom/On the wings of every kiss/Drifts a melody so strange and sweet/And the sentimental bliss is like a dream/My paradise complete/Rose petals seem to fall/It's all like a dream to call you mine/My heart's a lighter thing/Since you made this night a thing divine/In a sentimental mood/I'm within a world, so heavenly/And I never dreamt that you'd be lovin' me/My paradise complete"
In 1981, Phyllis Hyman sang Duke’s immaculate song for Broadway's Duke Ellington revue Sophisticated Ladies. All the women that sing Izayaa’s heart have voices that can soar, that punctuate as well timed as the most erudite composition and bring that special "ooooo" as the most profound elegance spontaneity can manifest. Phyllis was a master of pitch, flow and sang lyrics as if they were truly her understanding. And with Izayaa in paradise, she shall know that I am there with her. And when we stare at the world as warriors, she looks toward me and tells me that nothing will ever destroy our family, our Soul. And to what lengths does the strength of love reach?
There are tears that only the Soul can bring. Those special tears at the witness of a rarity. It is that our oppressed people have so much awe inspiring power and wonder locked in cages of assimilation and mind numbing content. That if and when it is let out we see glimpses of all our trials, all of our desires, all of our insights. That there may be a clue in the reckoning with art’s beauty as a testament that we all can create a culture that secures our freedom. And each and every moment, my Izayaa comes to know it when true love is in the context of all this hell, these unspeakable yet livable horrors. She stands firm and cries become advanced swordplay, crooning moves as the deadliest wing chun animal forms and each word a detailed exhale of iron lung breath. And only the fatality of that which cannot die can sever such.
Linda Jones – That’s when I’ll Stop Loving You (YSI)
Linda Jones – That’s when I’ll Stop Loving You (Limelinx)
"When the birds no longer use wings to fly, no-no/And the raindrops stop falling, yeah, /from the sky, oh yeah/When mathematicians find, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, that one plus one isn't two/Now don’t ya know that that's when,/ah don’t ya know that's when I'll stop lovin' you, Baby/ Oh-oh-oh-ooh, stop lovin' ya, Darlin', yeah/When there is no remedy for, oh-ooh, for aches an', for/aches and pains, yeah-yeah-yeah/And when the flowers, the flowers they no longer, no longer/grow from the rain, oh-ooh, yeah-yeah/And when old Broadway, Broadway changes to Fifth Avenue/Now don’t ya know that that's when, wooooh-whoooooh, that's when I'll stop lovin' you, aw Baby, no-ooh/The only way I'll stop lovin' ya, Darlin'/You've shown me the joy love can truly bring, yes ya did now/And you made my, my sad life like the first day,/ like the first day, woooooooooooh, the first day of Spring Oh-ooh-Oh, now when the rays of the Sun are gone/No longer, it no longer gives us heat/And this ol' heart of mine, don't y'all know, that one day it's gonna refuse to beat/ And one last thing I've got to say/And if I wake, if I awake and find there's no more, no more mornin' dew/Now don’t ya know that that's when, OOOOOOOOOOOOO........"
The martial way of Soul was the domain of Linda Jones’ unfortunately brief career. Her unique "Yeah" furthering the lines or her trademark "Oh-ooh-Oh" making the end of every lyric beautiful. Her climatic "wooooohh-ooooooo" were exclamations of a woman that will fight for love, that immerses herself in every morsel of a man’s offerings and knows the joy of loving that much greater. To capture Linda live, as on the live LP recorded in 1970 in Ohio (Never Mind the Quality), is to show and prove that her power, clarity and intensity must never be forgotten. Her voice lived, escaping the cages of contentment and becoming the definitive definition of Soul. Yes. My Izayaa is known. That she will cry out upon any injustice with inflating vicissitude from tame adorability of a bunny’s physique into vicious challenger as a towering tigress. Be it the defamation of any of the lovely attributes she loves of me or the questioning of any truism that challenges the prosperity of principle, she gallops as a heart that has built legs for itself to step in front of hate or armed to sift and gather the all the endearing vitals to victual as the right foods. Her soul nurtures mine and so she must be grand…as the Earth…
…The personification of the supreme Black woman in song is Anita Baker. That before I met my Izayaa it was Anita who reminded me of what true love ought to be, the emphasis of her passions, the details of her longing, the way she will live for you, with you. So many discourses beginning with those wavy "ooooohhhhss" and words that melt away annunciation’s restrictions into soft aural waters through gilded pastures of keys and drums. All telling the story of our love.
On that night, Izayaa would open that Harlem Café door and our memory became stained with love. A picture in our memory of the day when we first met when solo became duet. Now I was her Angel and with whatever it takes she just knew to love me to the letter. And giving me the best that she got was and will be done just because. It was more than I could ever know at the time and it is the blessedness of life to bring her joy.
Anita Baker – You Bring Me Joy (YSI)
Anita Baker – You Bring Me Joy (Limelinx)
"You bring me joy/When I'm down/Oh, so much joy/When I lose my way your love comes smiling on me/I saw your face/And then I knew/We would be friends/I was so afraid but your eyes they'd say "come to me"/So I'd say to you/"Can we talk for a while?" You'd say it's "alright"/When you love me, I smile/I feel your hands and you feel mine/You bring me joy/You bring me joy/Don't go too far away/If I can't see your face, I will remember your smile/But can this be right?/Oh and should we be friends?/I get lonely sometimes and I'm mixed up again/'Cause you're the finest thing I've seen in all my life/You bring me joy/My joy, my joy/Oh baby this is gonna be what you want it to be/I just love you, I love you, oh can`t you see/That you're the finest I've seen in all my life/You bring me joy/My joy . . . you are ...you're my joy/My joy . . . my, my joy/ohhh Thank you baby, thank you baby/I just love you, baby...I just love you baby... I just love you/When I lose my way, your love comes smiling on me"
On the night of July 26, 2007, the perfected sound of Soul was in form at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The most luxurious woman on my arm listening to her vocal incarnation. It was when she sang "You Bring Me Joy," from her Rapture LP in 1986 where all one must do is embrace one’s lover and let Soul’s inflections freckle the path of attraction with light. Our attraction to our every reality melded with Anita’s ‘oooohhhss’ and the immense truth in her reverberating cadence is our story. Yes, Izayaa, has the eyes of joy. That the tempos our hearts have measured are the rhythm of intimacy, secret to all yet sung by us. That this alike supreme being is the forum for all life I shall impregnate my understanding through, how many songs may the God yet sing. Forever I commence to chant creation…
…Izayaa is pure sweet Blackness, this tender yellow Queen of mine. She is the infinity that pairs with knowledge. Izayaa is my love. Izayaa is the Soul Allat. These are some of her songs.
Edward Sunez Rodriguez is a veritable scholar in every sense of the word. As an accomplished writer, editor, radio personality and lecturer, Sunez has published/presented 280+ articles in magazines such as XXL, Vibe, Stress, and The Source. In addition to all of his other awe-inspiring achievements, he's also lectured courses and seminars in history, ethnomusicology & Black/Latino culture.
You can catch up with Sunez via the blog and MySpace for Lavoe Revolt
Word From Your Moms:
"Among the different arts, the art of music has been especially considered divine, because it is the exact miniature of the law working within the whole universe. For instance if we study ourselves we shall find that in the beats of the pulse and the heart, in the inhaling and exhaling of the breath, all is the work of rhythm."---Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan