Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Liberation’s Sweet Sound

The alluring flute and vibraphone are just a ploy — liberation’s crafty end game of using music to help listeners recognize the shared humanity that binds us all:


The Afro-Blues Quintet Plus One (1965)

Liberation” is the debut single from The Afro-Blues Quintet Plus One, who released five albums between the years 1965-1969.  “Liberation” also serves as the second track on side one of Introducing The Afro-Blues Quintet Plus One album from 1965.

“Liberation” would get some good ink in Eliot Tiegel‘s “Jazz Beat” column published in the June 11, 1966 edition of Billboard:

The Afro-Blues Quintet Plus One, a Los Angeles-based and developed group, is showing signs of cracking through that curtain of moribund forlornness which tends to sterilize the chances of many new jazz groups.  The act has been together a year, working local clubs and has a single which “is happening,” as the promotion men are prone to exclaim.

The sextet is released on Mira, Randy Wood‘s fledgling operation and the single which is beginning to generate some noise is “Liberation,” culled from their debut LP, Introducing … The song has been shortened from 4:40 to 2:35 so as to squeeze into the frantic AM turntable race.

“See these orders?” Randy Wood said last week in his suite of offices on Sunset Boulevard, across from the Bank of America and Phone Booth, a luncheon-dinner joint where the waitresses wear topless costumes.  The order blanks were for the single and were coming in from major market cities where enough jazz and rhythm and blues-influenced stations were playing the song.  “It looks big,” Wood boasted.  A disk jockey from the city’s leading R&B station, who had just walked into the office, echoed how pleased he was with the mounting excitement for the disk.

“Liberation,” like the other tracks in the album, is a very commercial property, much in the manner of the groove Ramsey Lewis established for a small group making the transition from a jazz environment to a popish one.  The music in the LP easily communicates.  There is a clean chug, chug rhythmic base, with clean stereo separation of the instruments.  Joe DeAguero‘s performance on vibes soars but never gets out of hand.  His supporting melody partner is Jack Fulks on alto sax and flute, with Bill Henderson‘s piano adding fullness to the arrangements.  The rhythm is supplied by Michael Davis on traps and timbales, Norm Johnson on bass, and Moises Obligacion on conga.


Written by Jack Fulks

Afro-Blues 45-a


Note:  Hal David bumped from the credits

Afro-Blues 45-b


1967 LP –

Early appearance of the “Future Shock” typeface?Afro Blues LP


Flute +/- Recorder Instrumentals on Zero to 180

Vibraphone instrumentals on Zero to 180

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