Shelton, Skeeter & Drake, Hamid - Sclupperbep LP

Regular price $20.00

Skeeter Shelton
& Hamid Drake.

Detroit: Two Rooms Records, 2021.

Detroit saxophonist Skeeter Shelton and Chicago percus-
sionist Hamid Drake didn’t know each other before Skeeter
was subbed into a duo gig at Trinosophes (Detroit) after
Hamid’s partner fell ill. Shortly before the performance, it
was discovered that Skeeter’s father, Ajaramu Shelton, was
Hamid’s drum teacher and mentor at Chicago’s Association
for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. There was an
instant bond.

The set that night was fire. This should be no surprise, as
Skeeter, through his father, grew up around AACM-affiliated
musicians like Roscoe Mitchell, Joseph Jarman, Fred Anderson
and especially, Amina Claudine Meyers. Soon after, it was
decided that Skeeter and Hamid should record together.
With Hamid’s international touring schedule, there was
only a narrow window of opportunity. A date was picked
for Hamid to come to Detroit for a day of recording and a
one-night stay.

It turned out to be the morning aftermath of the polar
vortex in early 2019. Hamid’s just over four-hour drive from
Chicago ballooned into more than nine hours. When he
finally arrived, he was asked if he needed to decompress
or eat something. He was sick of sitting in a car, he said, and
just needed to play.That was it. Hamid was already on the house kit—no mic
placement, no line check—and he and Skeeter didn’t stop for 90 minutes. Then they paused and did another half- an-hour. It was an outpouring of free improvisation and Skeeter’s own material—all of which was new to Hamid—that
found the musicians discovering mutual sympathies and shared pathways in the music. For this release, we have highlighted mostly portions where Skeeter’s themes predominate, because so many of them are excellent and
largely unknown.