Underground Philadelphia’s response to Amiri Baraka’s and Gil Scott-Heron’s indictments of the Black American experience: poet, proto-rapper and catalyst Del Jones’ call to action not just for his city, but for the nation.
Equal parts psychedelic rock and deep funk, the rarely heard Court Is Closed saw only the scantest of issues before Jones overdubbed horns on the album, remixed and augmented it with additional music, and issued it as the better-known Positive Vibes. Here we present both versions of the album, with customers at either our Rappcats or Bandcamp stores also receiving a free, bonus 3rd LP containing Jones’ rare 7” single tracks and rehearsals, including unreleased tracks heard here for the first time.
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Del Jones’ story, and that of his family, is like his music: a loud, vital voice long silenced. Understanding it now is not just a visceral musical experience, but an essential dissection of racism and classism in America.
A detailed book by Jeremy Cargill, with contributions by Now-Again founder Eothen “Egon” Alapatt – included with the album, and at Bandcamp as a bonus PDF – delves into Jones’ music, milieu and life as an author, activist and orator, shining a light not only on his prescient awareness of hip-hop, but also on the struggles he confronted, and his urgent, current mandate.
Del Jones’ Court Is Closed is the 23rd release in the deluxe Now-Again Reserve Edition, formerly a subscription service, and now offered as a la carte issues, with bonus material on vinyl available for Rappcats and Bandcamp purchasers. This album, like all albums on Now-Again, was officially licensed and produced with full participation of its creators – in this case, given that Del Jones is deceased, his brother and bandmember Wayman Jones oversaw this release with Egon on the Jones family’s behalf. It was due to Wayman’s unflinching and steadfast dedication to his brother and his family’s cause that we can hear previously unreleased Del Jones’ songs like “Attica:”
Never-before seen photos and ephemera appear in the oversized book that accompanies this special Reserve Edition release.