Magazine article New Internationalist

Harlem in Vogue - the Art and Poetry of Langston Hughes

Magazine article New Internationalist

Harlem in Vogue - the Art and Poetry of Langston Hughes

Article excerpt

Harlem in Vogue - the Art and Poetry of Langston Hughes

by Langston Hughes, with Charles Mingus, Leonard Feather and others

(Fingertips 001CD, download)

Jazz, the escape from rural poverty and a flourishing of an Afro-American arts movement that was as vital as it was political - this was New York's Harlem Renaissance in the decades before the Second World War. And poet Langston Hughes was at the forefront of it. This beautifully designed album is collected from various older and ultra-rare 1950s albums, so it's something of a marvel to get not just Hughes declaiming his own work (he had a magnificent voice, paced and at times sardonic), but backed up with such jazz greats as Charlie Mingus, Horace Parian and Leonard Feather.

The music's fantastic - horns, shuffled drums and smoky bass - and the remastered tapes have not lost their original warmth. …

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