Embraced in the early ’90s by Britain’s rare groove scene and later sampled by Digable Planets and Jay-Z, Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth has since been known as 24-Carat Black’s first and final chapter, barely a footnote in the well documented history of Stax. For 35 years, the sketches for 24-Carat Black’s sophomore release hibernated in keyboardist and session engineer Bruce Thompson’s basement below the south side of Chicago. Abandoned by arranger Dale Warren when the studio bill darkened his mailbox, the tapes, over decades, had fallen into soggy disrepair, useless save for the six tracks featured on our release. Gone: The Promises Of Yesterday is by no means a sequel to Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth—missing are the poignant and bleak sermons on the pain of inner-city existence, replaced by dusky, sensuous re-workings of tainted love songs Warren had written as far back as 1965, during his time as a songwriter at Shrine and Motown. Still, his unfinished self-reinvention, even heard through the prism of these skeletal remnants, delivers on a remarkable purity of vision: one man’s corner of black culture, 24 carats pure and mishandled perhaps until now, finally a bit less misunderstood.
24-Carat Black - Gone: The Promises of Yesterday (Vinyl LP)
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