SummaryBuild An Ark return with their third album 'LOVE Part 1', and their growth - both in sound and players - shows no signs of stopping. This is their meditation on Love - its varying forms and moods, its ecstatic and soothing powers. Build An Ark, under the production of Carlos Niņo, have made a record which flows with a real range of volume and density, with arrangements and configurations contrasting against each other. The group has still kept their organic sound while adding several more layers, and charting a distinct progression from their previous two albums. There was a real immediacy to their first LP 'Peace With Every Step', which was all recorded live and crammed with Fender Rhodes, handclaps, and ensemble vocals, while their second album 'Dawn' stands as a much shorter, calm, and cohesive record, with acoustic piano, harp, and strings bringing a more measured pace to the music.
Now with 'Love part 1', the diversity of sound and arrangements is immediately noticeable. . Inspired by the spirit of Laurel Canyon, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and Joni Mitchell as much as Alice and John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, and Sun Ra, the membership of Build An Ark has swelled to 45, bringing more instruments like guitars, strings, brass, reeds, and sitar, on top of the pianos, organs, singers, drummers, and percussionists. The writing and the improvisation is much more balanced on 'LOVE Part 1' too. Phil Ranelin's 'How Do We End All This Madness?' and the ensuing answer 'Play The Music!', were recorded completely live, while other tracks, like Dwight Trible's 'Celebrate' were recorded live, but with arrangements added to extend some of the figures.
While Build An Ark is all about the collective expression, there are some notable players, including Impulse! violinist Michael White, singers Mia Doi Todd, Waberi Jordan and Diana Moriera, Tribe co-founder Phil Ranelin, poet Kamau Daaood, spiritual baritone Dwight Trible, and tireless arranger Miguel Atwood- Ferguson, all under the guidance of production standard-bearer Carlos Niņo. The sound of 'LOVE part 1' is the sound of a family at one with the universe - and it comes straight from the heart.