Amiri Baraka

Amiri’s Contributions

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March 2011    Farewells

Marion Brown

Amiri Baraka remembers colleague Marion Brown

January/February 2001    Features

Abbey Lincoln: Straight Ahead

Knowing her music is to know a lot about Abbey Lincoln, as it is with the deepest artists. Because so much of their whole feeling-thoughtful-combined selves are used to create their art: the sensitive lyricism; the blade-sharp insight very often touched...

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December 2000    Albums

Nipples
Peter Brotzmann Sextet and Quartet

This is a general phenomenon, historically confirmed that the most influential political, intellectual and artistic ideas and trends of any period, whether as a positive confirmation or as a theoretical and ideological rejection of them, will dominate the...

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December 2000    Albums

Nation Time
Joe McPhee

Joe McPhee is often in danger of being at the other pole of what happens to influence without depth and impact without complete understanding of why the paradigmatic expression emerged in the first place. It is ironic that the title of this CD, Nation Time...

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October 1999    Albums

In Walked Buckner
Roscoe Mitchell

Mitchell's music is an eloquent paradigm for Du Bois' "double consciousness," the Afro-American "twoness," the contradiction, between being American or black, though they are both. This record swings between warmly acrid, bebopish grooves, and a pastiche...

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October 1999    Albums

Von & Ed
Von Freeman/Ed Petersen

Free Jazz, Freedom Now, Freedom Suite reflected attempts to break out of the Tin Pan Alley penitentiary where creativity is imprisoned by money. Trane, Archie, Ayler, Cecil, Ornette, Sun Ra, Pharaoh, Milford, Graves, Pullen were some of the best known escapees...

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October 1999    Albums

Blue Boye
Julius Hemphill

Blue Boye Hemphill produced on Mbari. Ditto, "Dogon AD", which struck a definite note of freshness, thoughtfulness, most impressive for the subtlety of its variations and inventive compositional logic. Hemphill's sparkled with The World Saxophone Quartet...

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October 1999    Albums

King of the Deep
Dennis Charles

I've been hip to Dennis Charles since "introducing" him in The Jazz Review in 1961, as Cecil Taylor's drummer. His recent departure is tragic, just as he was getting his life together, and his music, his delightfully spare, "old timey" traditional approach...

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October 1999    Albums

Breathing Together
One World Ensemble

One World Ensemble was recorded "down the street." Inspirational, if you know this "BrickCity." Wilber Morris' sensitive musicality pins our ears and the other players with his intelligent listening. The overarching focus of the musicians gathered was to...

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October 1999    Albums

Divine Mad Love
Sabir Mateen

We are enthralled and fascinated by the process as invention from accretion and accumulation, yet too often we hear a great deal of "aiming," which fixes the music, with the ironic dialectic of its method, as somewhat "aimless." Improvisation is the heart...

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May 1999    Albums

Complete Live Performances on Savoy
Charlie Parker

Classical American Music Classics set a standard of excellence, which teaches, and by which subsequent expressions of the genre can be evaluated and analyzed. Parker, Gordon, Dorham, Garner evoke the spirit of an era, the living continuum of new musical...

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About Amiri Baraka

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Author, playwright, poet and activist Amiri Baraka has contributed indelible work in the field of jazz criticism. His 1963 book, Blues People: Negro Music in White America, is still regarded as a seminal work on African-American music and culture. In 1968 Baraka co-edited Black Fire: An Anthology of Afro-American Writing. Among his recent publications is Somebody Blew Up America & Other Poems.