9780306808142 / 0306808145

Black Music


Publisher:Da Capo Press



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About the book:

This scintillating collection by Amiri Imamu Baraka, published in 1968 under his birth name Leroi Jones, covers a wide range of jazz writings from 1959 to 1967. Baraka's engaging and prophetic portraits of Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Bradford, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, Roy Haynes, Don Cherry, and John Coltrane (whom he called "the heaviest spirit") beam with an electric and fluid language that mirrors those artists' speed-of-light improvisations. In "Jazz and the White Critic," which blasts white critics who judge jazz by European, rather than African American, standards, Jones wrote, "As Western people, the sociocultural thinking of 18th-century Europe comes to us as history and legacy that is a continuous and organic part of the 20th-century West. The sociocultural philosophy of the Negro in America ... is no less specific and no less important for any intelligent critical speculation about the music that came out of it." His analysis of the burgeoning avant-garde scene in "Apple Cores #1-6," "New York Loft and Coffee Shop Jazz," and "The Jazz Avant-Garde" accurately depicts the artistic promise and peril of that period in the words of a literary genius who was there and helped create it. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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