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Sonic Liberation Front

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  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Sonic Liberation Front, a nine-piece group from Philadelphia, formed as the result of a meeting between an Afro-Caribbean band and a jazz band that both shared the services of percussionist Kevin Diehl. Sonic Liberation Front's sound begins with rolling Caribbean polyrhythms performed by percussionists Nick Rivera, Chuckie Joseph, and Frank "Squirrel" Williams, as well as by percussionist/vocalist Joseph Toledo. Sonic Liberation Front's jazz musicians, including alto saxophonist Adam Jenkins, tenor saxophonist Terry Lawson, trumpeter Kimbal Brown, and bassist Howard Cooper, then add raucous, Albert Ayler-like free playing, as well as bits of funk and conventional jazz. Diehl divides his time between the two sub-groups, playing both Afro-Caribbean percussion instruments and jazz drum set. He also occasionally programs electronics.

Sonic Liberation Front released its first album, Water and Stone, on its own Eye Dog label in 2000. The group has collaborated on a multimedia piece with Termite TV, and it has performed alongside free jazz legend Sunny Murray. From 2000 to 2002, Sonic Liberation Front frequently played in Philadelphia and New York.