Monday, March 09, 2009

The Lyman Woodard Legacy Lives On

Detroit area jazz organist Lyman Woodard passed away on February 24, 2009.

Since then Wax Poetics have been in touch to say:

The Lyman Woodard Legacy Lives On: Pre-Order Now!

Although Detroit is best known for fostering the musical talents of countless Motown artists,the Motor City always played host to a wide spectrum of scenes. As the Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine” was incinerating dance floors nationwide in 1975, an accomplished organist named Lyman Woodard was putting the finishing touches on Saturday Night Special, a funky collection of working-class jazz that, to this day, stands as a testament to the amazing relics of artistic expression born from this industrious place and time in American music. Unfortunately, Woodard’s label, the proletariat resource Strata Records, lacked the funds and distribution required to match the record’s musical propulsion. The rich layers of sound, befit for a double LP, were confined to one piece of vinyl, compressing the recording’s sonic brilliance to fit the more economical format.

Since most albums released on this now-legendary label tended toward the avant-garde, this recording—equal parts jazz exploration, R&B sensibilities, and funk meanderings—was marginally out of place in the contemporary Strata catalog. For whatever reason, this recording never received its proper acknowledgment. This is no longer the case. The release of this long-overdue reissue gives the album the treatment and loving attention it has always rightfully deserved.

Saturday Night Special, the fifth release by Wax Poetics Records, comes in the wake of Lyman Woodard’s recent and untimely passing at the youthful age of sixty-six. To commemorate his magnum opus, Wax Poetics Records releases Saturday Night Special as a 180-gram double LP, limited to 1,500 numbered copies and featuring original liner notes by John Sinclair, new interviews, never-before-seen photos, and a replica of the original promotional poster. The iconic cover photograph, “The Equalizers” taken by Detroit’s Leni Sinclair, has been presented in its original form. More a rerelease than a reissue, this is the way that the world was supposed to experience Saturday Night Special. The result is an album masterfully restored in the utmost respect for a true Detroit jazz and funk icon.Saturday Night Special will also be released digitally, in 320 kbps MP3s, at Wax Poetics Digital
( and other fine outlets.

Also check out these pages:

Detroit News Obit.

Shiawassee History page

Metro Times Feature

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