Acting, Thinking, Feeling marks the first time that psychedelic jazz ensemble The Stark Reality's Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop album has been reissued in full (the 2003 Stones Throw Records anthology Now only contained half of the original album's music). The anthology also contains the band's out-of-print Roller Coaster Ride (first issued as 1969 on Now-Again in 2003), and a series of recently discovered, previously-unreleased tracks in a 3 CD "complete works" box set. Besides the missing Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop songs, the most exciting additions to the Stark Reality's oeuvre are the three songs recorded between the earliest incarnation of the band the big band that recorded "Theme To Say Brother" and "Acting, Thinking, Feeling" in 1968 - and the slimmed down combo that recorded the Roller Coaster Ride and The Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop. These recordings display a band in flux, and color the development of Stark's genius. We hear the signature sound of his "plugged in" vibes for the first time; we hear an early stab at the psychedelic "Red Yellow Moonbeams" (and realize why the addition of John Abercrombie's fuzz guitar was crucial to his vision); we hear a subtle change towards a more funk and rock based sound. This anthology thus encapsulates the first known Stark Reality recordings done for and in performance at WGBH, these transitional big band pieces, and the Roller Coaster Ride and The Stark Reality Discovers Hoagy Carmichael's Music Shop albums in full. The liner notes are updated with Ahmad Jamal's participation, more photos and full annotation of the additional songs.
One of the most prized funk artifacts of all time, Stark s project allies Hendrix-stoned guitars, heavily-fuzzed vibraphone and Bitches Brew rhythms... --Mojo Magazine
The music of the Stark Reality is as playful as it is wild... as fantastic as it is frazzled. --Rolling Stone