After Karma was issued and Sanders had established himself -- to himself -- as a musician who had something valuable and of use to say, he was on what this critic considers to be a divinely inspired tear. Deaf Dumb Blind is an example of that inspiration. Beginning with the title cut, a suite of over 21 minutes, Sanders brings in the whole of his obsession with rhythm and R&B. Using African percussion, bylophones, shakers, cowbells, and all manner of percussion, as well as drummer Clifford Jarvis, Sanders brought in Cecil McBee to hold down the bass chair and Lonnie Liston Smith back in on piano, and added a three-piece horn section that included Gary Bartz on alto and Woody Shaw on trumpet in addition to himself. Whew! Here the Latin and African polyrhythms collide and place the horns, as large and varied as they are, in almost a supplementary role. The horns check counterpoint in striated harmony, calling and responding over the wash of bass and drums and drums and drums! It evolves into a percussion orgy before the scary otherworldly multiphonic solos begin. And Shaw and Bartz are worthy foils for Sanders. And no matter how out it gets, those rhythms keep it rooted in the soul. "Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord" is almost 18 minutes in length. It has a long soprano intro, covered in shimmering bells and shakers with a glorious piano fill by Smith, who becomes more prominent, along with some excellent arco work by McBee, until the piece becomes a meditation on lyricism and silence about halfway through. The entire band eventually rejoins for a group ostinato with very little variation, except in timbre and subtle accented color work by Sanders and McBee. It is a stunningly beautiful and contemplative work that showcases how intrinsic melodic phrasing and drones were to Sanders at the time -- and still are today. This piece, and this album, is a joyful noise made in the direction of the divine, and we can feel it through the speakers, down in the place that scares us.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek