“Color Line” by Lynn Baker Quartet
Consider, for example, the opening tune, "Color Line," written in response to the extreme ethnic violence that took place in Denver, 1993. Like John Coltrane's "Alabama," written in mourning over the Birmingham church bombing thirty years earlier, Lynn's composition embraces a feeling of melancholy aftermath rather than violence depicted by atonal dissonance. Indeed, given the racial politics and viscous behavior that fueled the piece, "Color Line" feels artfully restrained, the way the poet William Matthews once described Coleman Hawkins: When he blew ballads / you knew one use of force: / withholding it.
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