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Ten empowering books to read in celebration of Black History Month

Anna J. Cooper once said: “the cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class—it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity.”In observance of Black History Month, we are celebrating our prize-winning authors and empowering scholarship spanning a variety of topics across African American history, the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, and more. Explore our reading list and update your bookshelf with the most recent ...
Tags: Books, Music, Featured, Africa, America, History, Biography, Louis Armstrong, Black History Month, Trump, Angela Davis, Nat King Cole, Editor's Picks, Stewart, Armstrong, Locke


Hear the First Recorded Blues Song by an African American Singer: Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” (1920)

Historian John Hope Franklin once described the decades from the end of slavery through the advent of Jim Crow as “The Long Dark Night" because of the legislative chicanery and extreme violence used to disenfranchise and dispossess African Americans after the failure of Reconstruction. It is during these years that the blues emerged from the rural South into the cities, and the age of the “race record” brought black music into popular culture in ways that irrevocably defined what the cou...
Tags: Google, Music, Beyonce, Congress, College, Washington, Woody Guthrie, Davis, Npr, Smith, Memphis, Jim Crow, South, Okeh Records, Angela Davis, Facebook Twitter


Building the cathedral

Wynton Marsalis on the cover of Downbeat: December 2017 In the fall of 2016, Wynton Marsalis spoke at an event in Manhattan commemorating the centennial of Albert Murray, the jazz historian, cultural critic and novelist who died in 2013 at age 97. Murray had been a longtime mentor to the trumpeter and composer, ever since he was an 18-year-old Juilliard student. He talked about some of the key lessons he learned at Murray’s knee in the older man’s modest, book-lined apartment on We...
Tags: John Lewis, New York, United States, New Orleans, Manhattan, Jazz, Ornette Coleman, Gillespie, Lincoln Center, Duke, Morton, Murray, Philly, Marsalis, Wynton, Wynton Marsalis


Hear 2,000 Recordings of the Most Essential Jazz Songs: A Huge Playlist for Your Jazz Education

If you were to ask me “What is jazz?” I wouldn’t presume to know the answer, and I’m not sure any single composition exists to which one could point to as an ideal type. Maybe the only thing I’m certain of when it comes to jazz is—to quote Wallace Stevens—“it must change.” Of course, there’s an incredibly rich history of jazz, broadly known, especially to those who have seen Ken Burns’ expansive documentary. I’d also recommend the excellent jazz writing of Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, o...
Tags: Google, Spotify, Music, College, America, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, Ken Burns, Stanford University, Ucla, Charles Mingus, Coleman, Facebook Twitter, Leonard Bernstein, Josh Jones


25 Great EPs From 2016

In an age when major-label artists are putting out bloated albums in an effort to rack up the most streaming equivalent units, it can sometimes feel like brevity is becoming a lost art form. But that's really not the case outside of the pop sphere, as the releases below will attest. Most of these … More »
Tags: Music, Kingdom, List, Charli Xcx, Naps, Carly Rae Jepsen, Abra, Vince Staples, Braids, Aphex Twin, Moses Sumney, Majical Cloudz, Cleo Tucker, Vic Mensa, Gioia, Sheer Mag


Gioia – “Burn Me Down”

My friend Nick Sylvester, who produced Shamir's Ratchet album and founded the Brooklyn indie Godmode, recently teamed up with Eddi Front frontwoman Ivana Carrescia to form a duo called Gioia and to release a self-titled EP full of chilly, intense electronic music. This morning, they've followed that EP up with "Burn Me Down," … More »
Tags: Music, Brooklyn, Shamir, Eddi Front, Nick Sylvester, Gioia, Ivana Carrescia


Stream Gioia’s Self-Titled EP

My friend Nick Sylvester produced Shamir's Ratchet and Mai Lan's "Technique." He played drums in Mr. Dream and founded the Godmode label. He does a lot of awesome shit, and I'm proud to know him. And here's another thing he's done: He's teamed up with Eddi Front frontwoman Ivana Carrescia to form … More »
Tags: Music, Mp3s, Album Stream, Shamir, Eddi Front, Nick Sylvester, Gioia, Ivana Carrescia, Mai Lan


Gioia - White Lies (GODMODE)

Together Ivana Carrescia and Nick Sylvester are Gioia, and next month they will release their debut, self-titled, four-song EP. “White Lies” is the second track they’ve shared from it, and it flows, controlled and rapid, like oxygen-rich blood,… (in post Together Ivana Carrescia and Nick Sylvester are Gioia, and next... from The Autumn Roses. More by this artist at )
Tags: Music, Nick Sylvester, Gioia, Ivana Carrescia


Jean-Paul Sartre on How American Jazz Lets You Experience Existentialist Freedom & Transcendence

In Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1938 philosophical novel Nausea, which he considered one of his finest works of fiction or otherwise, the stricken protagonist Antoine Roquentin cures his existential horror and sickness with jazz—specifically with an old recording of the song “Some of These Days.” Which recording? We do not know. “I only wish Sartre had been more specific about the names of the musicians on the date,” writes critic Ted Gioia in a newly published essay, “I would love to hear the jaz...
Tags: Google, Music, New York, America, Paris, Literature, Philosophy, Nausea, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Jack Kerouac, Baker, NICK, Al Jolson, Facebook Twitter



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