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Artificial Happiness Button

by Heroes Are Gang Leaders

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Mista Sippy 13:23
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Hurt Cult 07:58
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about

Heroes Are Gang Leaders was founded in 2014 by poet, photographer and professor Thomas Sayers Ellis and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis as a tribute to the late poet, activist and Jazz Critic Amiri Baraka. Ellis and Lewis opened for Baraka at the St Marks Church (The Poetry Project) in 2013. HAGL is a Literary Free Jazz Ensemble of writers, artists and musicians dedicated to the sound extensions of literary text and original composition. Between 2014 and 2019 HAGL recorded six projects: “The Amiri Baraka Sessions,” “The Avant-Age Garde I AMs of the Gal Luxury,” “Highest Engines Near / Near Higher Engineers,” “Flukum (Your Book Sucks)” and the yet to be released “POPschutz” (recorded in Berlin, Germany) during HAGL’s first European Tour.

Artificial Happiness Button finds HAGL moving from tribute-mode into the wider realm of integrating and expanding, in meaning and mode, what it means to be a literary jazz band once described as “a version of Funkadelic playing the Archie Shepp song book.”

credits

released March 20, 2020

01 “Artificial Happiness Button”
James Brandon Lewis, Sax
Luke Stewart, Bass
Janice Lowe, Keyboards
Brandon Moses, Guitar
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Melanie Dyer, Viola
Devin Brahja Waldman, Synthesizer
Margaret Morris, Vocals
Poems by Crystal Good and Randall Horton
Background Vocals
Nettie Chickering
Christian Black
Bonita Penn
No Land
Crystal Good
Janice Lowe
Randall Horton
Devin Brahja Waldman
Thomas Sayers Ellis
James Brandon Lewis

Words by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Composed by James Brandon Lewis
Arranged by James Brandon Lewis and Thomas Sayers Ellis
Ambrose Bye, Engineer
Title and Song Lyrics by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Excerpt from Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein, Read by No Land

02 “Mista Sippy”
James Brandon Lewis, Tenor Sax
Luke Stewart, Bass
Janice Lowe, Keyboards
Melanie Dyer, Viola
Brandon Moses, Guitar
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Devin Brahja Waldman, Alto Sax
Janice Lowe, Lead Vocals
Nettie Chickering, Vocals
Poem by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Poem Support by Crystal Good, Randall Horton, Bonita Penn and Christian Black
No Land, Voice
Matthew Alexander, George Wallace Reenactment (Song Intro)
Anonymous woman talking about lynching recorded by Thomas Sayers Ellis at Amtrak Station, Tampa, Florida, September 22, 2016
Background Vocals
Janice Lowe
James Brandon Lewis
Crystal Good

Title and Song Lyrics by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Composed by Luke Stewart
Arranged by TSE / Produced by TSE
Ambrose Bye, Engineer

03 “Hurt Cult”
Margaret Morris, Voice
James Brandon Lewis, Sax
Luke Stewart, Bass
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Janice Lowe, Keyboards
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums

Title by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Original Bass line by Luke Stewart / Improvised by Heroes Are Gang Leaders
Recorded by Thomas Harris
Reproduced and Reengineered by Ambrose Bye

04 “London Butterfield”James Brandon Lewis, Tenor Sax
Luke Stewart, Electric Bass
William Parker, Upright Bass
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Janice Lowe, Keyboards
Devin Brahja Waldman, Alto Sax
Sean Berry, Drums
Margaret Morris, Lead Vocals and Voice
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Lead Vocals
Background Vocals:
Margaret Morris
Janice Lowe
Randall Horton
No Land
Em Rose
Crystal Good
London Butterfield
James Brandon Lewis
Thomas Sayers Ellis

Composed by James Brandon Lewis
Music by James Brandon Lewis
Words by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Arranged by James Brandon Lewis and Thomas Sayers Ellis
Ambrose Bye, Engineer
Song Title and Lyrics by Thomas Sayers Ellis

05 “The Day We Gave the Globes Back”Jamie “Breezy” Branch, Trumpet
James Brandon Lewis, Tenor Sax, Vocals
Devin Brahja Waldman, Alto Sax
Luke Stewart, Bass, Vocals, Wood Blocks
Janice Lowe, Keyboards, Flute, Vocals
Margaret Morris, Lead Vocals
Randall Horton, Poem
Nettie Chickering, Vocals
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums, Cocoapods
No Land, Poem, Vocals
Crystal Good, Vocals
Jenna Camille, Vocals, Background Singing
Samantha Riott, Vocals
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Vocals, Whistle
Ambrose Bye, Background Vocals
Anne Waldman, Background Vocals

Part 1 Composed by James Brandon Lewis
Part 2 Composed by Janice Lowe
Title and Song Lyrics by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis, Randall Horton and No Land
Composed and Arranged by Janice Lowe and James Brandon Lewis
Ambrose Bye, Engineer

06 “The End of the Babysitting of Traumatized Grown Ass Men”James Brandon Lewis, Piano
Luke Stewart, Electric Bass
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Devin Brahja Waldman, Alto Sax
Savannah Grace Harris, Drums
Improvisation by Thomas Sayers Ellis, Randall Horton and Savannah Grace Harris
No Land, Voice
Janice Lowe, Vocals
Savannah Grace Harris, Vocals
Composed by James Brandon Lewis
Title by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Arranged by James Brandon Lewis
Ambrose Bye, Engineer

07 “Internet Kill Switch”Thomas Sayers Ellis, Poem, Background Vocals
James Brandon Lewis, Tenor Sax, Background Vocals
William Parker, Upright Bass
Luke Stewart, Electric Bass
Melanie Dyer, Viola
Jamie "Breezy" Branch, Intro Poem Trumpet
Janice Lowe, Keyboards
Margaret Morris, Voice and Improvised Vocals
Cecilia Vicuna, Voice
No Land, Background Voice
Em Rose, Background Voice
Heru Shabaka-ra, Trumpet
Devin Brahja Waldman, Alto Sax
Warren “Trae” Crudup, Drums
Randall Horton, Background Vocals
Title by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Composition Foundation by Luke Stewart & Warren “Trae” Crudup
Song Improvised by Heroes Are Gang Leaders
Ambrose Bye, Engineer

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