We were listening to Pharoah Sanders last week, and we were pulled by the gravity of the Karma album to shuffle up all of the version's of Creator Plans we could dig out of the crates.
This tune is basically a gospel/spiritual collage, a prayer to glue together the loose scraps of the world -- it's past and present, it's eastern coast and its west coast, all of its opposites -- into something satisfying.
Pharoah's reference version is above all a musical comfort, less raucous than A Love Supreme, even though it's grounded in the same groove and the same aesthetic, and above all it is about the resolution of all of that screamin' and hollerin.'
The versions that spin out are all versions of the same comfort, some with more surprises to resolve than others. We find the pared down simplicity of the earlier live quartet in many ways more forceful.
And we find the Leon Thomas/Louis Armstrong take more than a freaky amusement. Pops is dying when he takes up the mike, and yet his voice fills the room with the same depth and volume it does when, say, he steals the show from Ella Fitzgerald in their duet of "Summertime."
More than once in this here place we have written about the power of the version, the conjure and reconjure that makes up tradition. This clip of bullets remakes point again, different.
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Pharoah Sanders (1969).
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Pharoah Sanders (1968).
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Leon Thomas w/ Louis Armstrong (1970).
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Don Cherry (1972).
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Quayshaun, produced by G-Clef Da Mad Creator (1993).
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Brooklyn Funk Essentials (1994).
- "The Creator Has a Master Plan," Elouise Burrell (2010).
- "The Creator Has Other Plans for Me," Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble (2007).