Black Fire Records was founded by Jimmy Gray in 1975. Now-Again presents definitive reissues of four Black Fire titles, and one previously unreleased.
“Magical, mystical, Afrocentric, progressive” – words that could be used to describe any number of musical compositions by Sun Ra or his cosmic brothers and sisters, from John to Alice Coltrane, early ‘70s projects on record labels like Detroit’s Tribe or New York’s Strata-East. Or, the interests of one Washington DC native named Jimmy Gray that centered under one perfect moniker: Black Fire.
Jimmy Gray spent nearly three decades pushing boundaries as a Black American promoter, distributor and, finally, record label owner. Together with Oneness of Juju’s leader James “Plunky Nkabinde” Branch, Gray oversaw sixteen releases on Black Fire Records between 1975 and 1996.
Now-Again is releasing definitive reissues of four of label’s key titles, all were lacquered – most directly from master tape – by legendary Los Angeles mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. The set is rounded out with a fifth, previously unreleased album: Juju’s Live At The East 1973.
With this set, Oneness of Juju and Black Fire’s story burns forth into its fifth decade, its message not tempered, its sound pure. It’s cycle, once again, complete.