A Tale of 3 Cities

A Tale of 3 Cities CD Cover

Liner Notes

Developing original methods of vocal prosody and musical improvisation within unique nested looping structures is the foundation upon which the Metrics concept is built. Metrics is an amalgam of futuristic vocal and instrumental improvisations layered over a shifting base of street-style African based polyrhythms, redefining the structural ideas of earlier pioneers of African-American music. This concept is the result of a desire to play creative dance music based on the living experiences of African-American people and the African Diaspora. These ideas are the result of brain-storming among musicians, producers and rappers based in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago and Oakland. The influence of several distinct regions results in a broad-based mixture with a distinct flavor.

The musical vision of these young artists has created a cult following and a fresh music, leading the way in creative dance music. These young pioneers are committed to a vision of forging ahead to create living, musical experiences; thus ensuring the musicís fresh and unpredictable sound. Although at first listening Metrics might appear to have some similarities with the current Jazz-Rap trend further listening will reveal that this music involves unique combinations and close interplay among the various musical elements, showing a definite move in another direction. This music is not simply Hip-Hop with Jazz samples but is another form of music in the making!

Expanding on the previous unique developments of creative movements in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, the main intention is development of music expressing todayís living process. Earlier explorations were concentrated on developing a distinct rhythmic base on which to build musical structures. Steps were then taken to expand the concept further by developing the unique melodic and voice leading aspects of this music. Added to these developments are the unique versatility and amazing prosodic abilities of the most creative rappers around today. These lyricists from different urban centers in the eastern portion of the states are paving the way in the next development in street music. Given the novel subject matter, unique rhythmic devices (alliterative meter, syllabic meter, accentual meter and free verse) and the ability to remain open and take chances with creative musical material, these artists are at the forefront of innovations in music today.

A main goal of the artists involved in Metrics is to use the power of creative music to help in the process of true world unification. To that end steps are now being taken to connect with creative artists from different countries worldwide in an effort to project truth music. The current experimental trends in London, Italy, West Africa, etc. are examples of creative people pulling together with similar visions. Metrics is a significant contribution to these movements.

This is a music for adventurous souls who desire to explore the possibilities that 21st Century music has to offer.


The lyricist on this recording are Sub-Zero, Kokayi, Utasi, Shahliek and Black Thought.
The musicians are Steve Coleman (alto saxophone), Andy Milne (piano), Reggie Washington (electric bass), Gene Lake (drums), Ravi Coltrane (tenor sax), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Michael Wimberly, (percussion), Ezra Greer and Duane Sarden (samples). Joe Marciano (recording and mix engineer). Recorded May/June, 1994 in Brooklyn, NY

Track List

  1. Be Bop 07:54
  2. I Am Who I Am 05:06
  3. Science 07:26
  4. Get Open 07:37
  5. Slow Burn 05:50
  6. Left To Right 07:14


Music available on the downloads page.