Frederick Whiteface

Mato Hota

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Considering the length of Frederick Whiteface's career, the existence of only one recording of his music seems downright shameful. Whiteface had to wait as long as any artist has had to for a chance to helm a recording. Mato Hota was finally done when he was 76 years old but fortunately was released immediately and crowned with awards shortly thereafter, when the artist was still around to enjoy some benefits. Whiteface may remind some listeners of Jim Pepper, since both were native Americans drawn to the saxophone and jazz music, successful at combining these influences from outside the reservation with their own traditions. Unfortunately, it is probably a policy of the recording industry only to let one song of this sort "through" to mass consumption. In the case of Whiteface, his roots were the traditional chants and drum beats of the Lakota Sioux, which he combined with swinging and modal jazz influences to create hopping tracks such as "Mastincala Wacipi (Rabbit Dance)." These sessions were created in a studio environment, with a great deal of the band backing sound built up from the keyboards of the talented Bob Shaw. The energetic performances give some inkling and can help the listener imagine the excitement of this artist's vintage combos such as the Swing Fantabulous.

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