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Blood On The Fields Special on CNN Impact Legendary jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis is trying to come to grips with one of the most troubling times in his nation's history. On Sunday, April 6 at 9 p.m., Marsalis tells CNN IMPACT correspondent Farai Chideya that turning a tragedy like slavery into an affirmation of something positive is what his soon to be released, highly acclaimed CD "Blood on the Fields" is all about. Marsalis says his new work is not so much about slavery, as how some of us became Americans. And in the process, created American music and culture.
Some of his other thoughts in the hour-long program are: On slavery: "It took me a long time to get over being mad. The thing that you have to understand is that you just can't be tricked into the same way of thinking. Once the racists get you to think like them they have defeated you truly on the most profound and fundamental level."
On his epic composition about slavery Blood on the Fields: "It turns away from race, then it goes into the human. That's why I don't say the word white. There's not the word white one time in the whole piece. Or black."
On Injustice: "That's a fact of American history. That's a fact of our life in this nation. Of the Afro American people. In this whole time, we are the ones that are scapegoats."
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.