That slight trace of mystery and ambiguity in the title of Untitled #23 is a vague signal that the Church is returning to the spacy, hazy territory of their heyday on this, their 23rd album. The Church has never quite left this swirling psychedelia behind, but Untitled #23 has a delicate, suspended quality, floating at an elevated distance above earth. It's familiar yet not tired because the Church has a unified sense of purpose here, crafting tightly written songs that are then expanded and elongated when recorded, giving them an otherworldly quality.
Calvin Massey (1928-1972) is virtually unknown with the exception of both highly knowledgeable jazz scholars and a small coterie of illustrious musicians who remain alive and were immensely indebted to Massey s musical influence and mentorship. Massey was a father figure and close friend to many of the greatest jazz musicians of the post-World War era until his early death in 1972. Massey was a trumpeter, but was most noted as a composer of magisterial works, of which his epic opus was The Black Liberation Movement Suite, an extended work of nine movements. Until now, the work had never been recorded in its entirety. Cal Massey ranked among the greatest jazz composers of the 20th century, included with Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Sun Ra.