"The path the slave took to 'citizenship' is what I want to look at. And I make my analogy through the slave citizen's music -- through the music that is most closely associated with him: blues and a later, but parallel development, jazz... [If] the Negro represents, or is symbolic of, something in and about the nature of American culture, this certainly should be revealed by his characteristic music." So says Amiri Baraka in the Introduction to Blues People, his classic work on the place of jazz and blues in American social, musical, economic, and cultural history. From the music of African slaves in the United States through the music scene of the 1960's, Baraka traces the influence of what he calls "negro music" on white America -- not only in the context of music and pop culture but also in terms of the values and perspectives passed on through the music. In tracing the music, he brilliantly illuminates the influence of African Americans on American culture and history.
The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music
Author: Amiri Baraka
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"As a commentator on American music, and African American music in particular, Baraka occupies a unique niche. His intelligence, critical sense, passion, strong political stances, involvement with musicians and in the musical world, as well as in his community, give his work a quality unlike any other. As a reviewer and as someone inside the movement, he writes powerfully about music as few others can or do."—Steven L. Isoardi, author of Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles "Every jazz musician who has endured beyond changing fashions and warring cultures has had a signature sound. Amiri Baraka—from the very beginning of his challenging, fiery presence on the jazz scene—has brought probing light, between his off-putting thunderclaps, on what is indeed America's classical music. I sometimes disagree insistently with Amiri, and it's mutual; but when he gets past his parochial pyrotechnics, as in choruses in this book, he brings you into the life force of this music."—Nat Hentoff, author of The Jazz Life
Aquest llibre explora l'estètica de LeRoi Jones / Amiri Baraka des dels seus primers dies com poeta 'beat' fins a l'actualitat. Baraka ha estat considerat com el poeta rebel, el que sempre ataca la política, denuncia l'abús de poder i les errònies polítiques administratives dels Estats Units. Aquest volum examina alguns dels més importants assajos i obres de ficció, amb l'objectiu de clarificar la importància en el desenvolupament de l'obra de Baraka.
A Blues Bibliography, Second Edition is a revised and enlarged version of the definitive blues bibliography first published in 1999. Material previously omitted from the first edition has now been included, and the bibliography has been expanded to include works published since then. In addition to biographical references, this work includes entries on the history and background of the blues, instruments, record labels, reference sources, regional variations and lyric transcriptions and musical analysis. The Blues Bibliography is an invaluable guide to the enthusiastic market among libraries specializing in music and African-American culture and among individual blues scholars.
The progressive/hard rock band Rush has never been as popular as it is now. A documentary film about the band, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, which was released in the summer of 2010 has been universally well received. They had a cameo in the movie I Love You Man. Their seven-part song “2112” was included in a version of “Guitar Hero” released in 2010. The group even appeared on The Colbert Report. Even legendary trios such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, and The Police don’t enjoy the commitment and devotion that Rush’s fans lavish on Alex, Geddy, and Neil. In part, this is because Rush is equally devoted to its fans. Since their first album in 1974, they have released 18 additional albums and toured the world following nearly every release. Today, when other 70s-bands have either broken up or become nostalgia acts, Rush continues to sell out arenas and amphitheatres and sell albums—to date Rush has sold over 40 million albums. They are ranked fourth after The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush’s success is also due to its intellectual approach to music and sound. The concept album 2112 made Rush a world-class band and cemented its reputation as the thinking-person’s progressive rock trio. Rush’s interest in political philosophy, mind-control, the nature of free-will, of individuality, and our relationship to machines makes Rush a band that matters and which speaks to its fans directly and honestly like no other. Lyricist Niel Peart has even built a following by writing books, both about his motorcycle travels and about the tragic death of his daughter, which have only furthered the respect Rush’s fans have for (arguably) rock’s greatest drummer and lyricist. Fiercely independent of trends, Rush has maintained a clear mission and purpose throughout their career. With the unique “Rush sound,” the band has been able to blend thought-provoking lyrics and music for almost four decades. The Rush style of music can trigger the unusual combination of air-drumming, air-guitar, singing along, and fist-pumping, just as much as it can thoughtful reflection and deep thinking, making Rush “The Thinking Man’s Band.” Rush and Philosophy does not set out to sway the public’s opinion, nor is it an awkward gushing of how much the authors love Rush. Rush and Philosophy is a fascinating look at the music and lyrics of the band, setting out to address thought-provoking questions. For example, elements of philosophical thinking from the likes of Jean Paul-Sartre, Ayn Rand, and Plato can be found in Peart’s lyrics; does this make Peart a disciple of philosophy? In what ways has technology influenced the band through the decades? Can there be too much technology for a power-trio? Can listening to Rush’s music and lyrics lead listeners to think more clearly, responsibly, and happily? Is the band’s music a “pleasant distraction” from the singing of Geddy Lee? In what ways is Rush Canadian? How can a band that has been referred to as “right-wing” also criticize big government, religion, and imperialism? Rush and Philosophy is written by an assortment of philosophers and scholars with eclectic and diverse backgrounds who love Rush’s music and who “get” the meaning and importance of it. They discuss Rush with the enthusiasm of fan. The book will be a must-read for the many fans who have long known that Rush deserves as much respect as the ideas, concepts, and puzzles about human existence they write and compose music about.
Black gospel music grew from obscure nineteenth-century beginnings to become the leading style of sacred music in black American communities after World War II. Jerma A. Jackson traces the music's unique history, profiling the careers of several singers--particularly Sister Rosetta Tharpe--and demonstrating the important role women played in popularizing gospel. Female gospel singers initially developed their musical abilities in churches where gospel prevailed as a mode of worship. Few, however, stayed exclusively in the religious realm. As recordings and sheet music pushed gospel into the commercial arena, gospel began to develop a life beyond the church, spreading first among a broad spectrum of African Americans and then to white middle-class audiences. Retail outlets, recording companies, and booking agencies turned gospel into big business, and local church singers emerged as national and international celebrities. Amid these changes, the music acquired increasing significance as a source of black identity. These successes, however, generated fierce controversy. As gospel gained public visibility and broad commercial appeal, debates broke out over the meaning of the music and its message, raising questions about the virtues of commercialism and material values, the contours of racial identity, and the nature of the sacred. Jackson engages these debates to explore how race, faith, and identity became central questions in twentieth-century African American life.