The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music (Music of the African Diaspora #13)
University of California Press, 9780520265820, 426pp.
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
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For almost half a century, Amiri Baraka has ranked among the most important commentators on African American music and culture. In this brilliant assemblage of his writings on music, the first such collection in nearly twenty years, Baraka blends autobiography, history, musical analysis, and political commentary to recall the sounds, people, times, and places he's encountered. As in his earlier classics, Blues People and Black Music, Baraka offers essays on the famous—Max Roach, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane—and on those whose names are known mainly by jazz aficionados—Alan Shorter, Jon Jang, and Malachi Thompson. Baraka's literary style, with its deep roots in poetry, makes palpable his love and respect for his jazz musician friends. His energy and enthusiasm show us again how much Coltrane, Albert Ayler, and the others he lovingly considers mattered. He brings home to us how music itself matters, and how musicians carry and extend that knowledge from generation to generation, providing us, their listeners, with a sense of meaning and belonging.
About the Author
Amiri Baraka (formerly LeRoi Jones) is a writer and critic, the poet laureate of New Jersey, and Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York, Stony Brook. His many books include Blues People, Black Music, and The Music.
Praise For Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music (Music of the African Diaspora #13)…
“A major contribution to both African American literature and American music criticism.”
— African American Review
“Meditations on black music, primarily jazz, that American classical music, that will satisfy anyone who desires intelligent thought on the genre.”
— Colin Cooper
“As lively and compelling as his strongest work of the past.”
— Richard Meltzer
“There is much to recommend in this excellent volume of essays.”
— Magill's Literary Annual / Salem Press
“Digging will prove an important book. . . . Enjoy the liveliness of Baraka’s writing.”
— Cadence Magazine (2)
“Offers up history, musical analyses and a political commentary as they relate to African-American music and culture.”
— Goldmine Magazine