John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music

John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music

John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music

John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music

Synopsis

Edited by prominent musician and scholar Leonard Brown, John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom: Spirituality and the Music is a timely exploration of Coltrane's sound and its spiritual qualities that are rooted in Black American music-culture and aspirations for freedom. A wide-ranging collection of essays and interviews featuring many of the most eminent figures in Black American music and jazz studies and performance --Tommy Lee Lott, Anthony Brown, Herman Gray, Emmett G. Price III, Tammy Kernodle, Salim Washington, Eric Jackson, TJ Anderson ,Yusef Lateef, Billy Taylor, Olly Wilson, George Russell, and a never before published interview with Elvin Jones -- the book examines the full spectrum of Coltrane's legacy. Each work approaches this theme from a different angle, in both historical and contemporary contexts, focusing on how Coltrane became a quintessential example of the universal and enduring qualities of Black American culture.

Excerpt

T. J. anderson

“You plod up into the electric city—
Your song now crystal and
the blues. You pick up the horn
with some will and blow
into the freezing night:
a love supreme, a love supreme—

—Michael S. Harper, “Dear John, Dear Coltrane”

A long-awaited testimonial to the influence of John Coltrane, this book includes contributions from several knowledgeable voices, each one articulating a particular aspect of our musical culture.

Why now? What is the importance of these works? At this time, we are experiencing a crisis—the lack of intellectual respect for a culture that has been subjected to both the best and worst of American attitudes. It is particularly significant that these works come directly from African American culture. These writers share with John Coltrane the legacy of slavery, segregation, and personal experiences. the words of the Negro spiritual, “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, a long way from home” echo even now. Yet, the pursuit for the true meaning of America in idealism, democratic liberalism, and civil disobedience serves as a harbinger for what is now. the spirituality of hope sustains these writers. That is why they speak. the music reflects their ideals and spiritualism.

Michael S. Harper, “Dear John, Dear Coltrane” from Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems. Copyright © 2000 by Michael S. Harper. Used with author’s permission.

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