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Musician

Oscar Brown Jr.

Born:

As a performer, he acted his songs more than he sang them; as a songwriter, hedrew as much from gospel, the blues and folk music as he did from jazz. He preferred to call himself an entertainer, although even that broad term didnotgo far enough: he saw his art as a way to celebrate African-American life andattack racism, and it was not always easy to tell where the entertainer ended and the activist began. His song "Brown Baby," recorded by Mahalia Jackson and others, was both a lullaby for his infant son and an anthem of racial pride. Other songs, like "Signifying Monkey" and "The Snake," took their story lines from black folklore

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Lightbulb Moments

Read "Lightbulb Moments" reviewed by H William Stine


They don't happen often and they don't happen to everyone. But if one does happen to you, it could change your life. Of course I'm talking about an IRS audit. Of course I'm not talking about an IRS audit. I'm talking about those out-of-the-blue, eye-opening moments of inspiration or maybe self-discovery. One thing: they're always moments ...

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Article: Album Review

Oscar Brown Jr.: Sin & Soul

Read "Sin & Soul" reviewed by Robert Gilbert


Oscar Brown Jr. was a singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, author, performer, Civil Rights activist, television host, political candidate and serviceman, to name but a few of the hats he wore throughout his life. He also recorded one of the most dazzling debut records that has ever been released, 1960's Sin & Soul on Columbia ...

Article: Profile

La Jazz Poetry di Jayne Cortez

Read "La Jazz Poetry di Jayne Cortez" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Articolo originariamente pubblicato nel marzo 2003 e ora riproposto in occasione del mese dedicato al contributo femminile al jazz Per la sua spiccata componente di oralità, la Jazz Poetry è probabilmente l'espressione che meglio di altre connota—insieme al jazz stesso—l'esperienza artistica afroamericana del '900, in quanto trait d'union fra improvvisazione e composizione scritta.

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Article: History of Jazz

Straight Ahead: il canto di protesta di Abbey Lincoln dal 1957 al 1961

Read "Straight Ahead: il canto di protesta di Abbey Lincoln dal 1957 al 1961" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


La lettura di un libro sull'Africa, l'intuizione del manager, e la frequentazione di artisti impegnati nella rivendicazione dei diritti civili determinarono il cambio di passo nello status artistico di Anna Maria Woolridge, tra il 1956 e il 1961. Cantante nei night club californiani con lo pseudonimo di Gaby Lee, era una artista di varietà quando decise ...

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Article: Interview

Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2

Read "Brian Jackson: Winter In America Pt. 2" reviewed by Chris May


As Gil Scott-Heron's songwriting and performing partner during the 1970s, keyboardist, composer and arranger Brian Jackson was co-author of some of the most galvanising liberation music of the era. Inhabiting the intersection of jazz, soul and spoken word, Jackson and Scott-Heron, who met while they were both students at Lincoln University, were a team from Pieces ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter

Read "Lift Every Voice And Sing: Twenty #BlackLives Albums That Matter" reviewed by Chris May


Jazz has been inextricably linked with social and political protest since at least the late 1930s, when Billie Holiday made famous the leftist songwriter and poet Abel Meeropol's “Strange Fruit." The song, which has a power to move that is undiminished by familiarity, likens the bodies of lynched African Americans to fruit hanging in trees.

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

I See You; I Hear You

Read "I See You; I Hear You" reviewed by H William Stine


I think one of the responsibilities of having a microphone every week is knowing when to shut up. I did that (for the most part) this week and let singers and songwriters who for so many years have seen and heard with perception and then written with eloquent honesty about this painful struggle playing out once ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 3

Read "Fire Music: When Jazz Speaks Out - Part 3" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


As Martin Luther King put it in the opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, “Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with ...

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Article: Under the Radar

Women in Jazz, Part 1: Early Innovators

Read "Women in Jazz, Part 1: Early Innovators" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


"Lil Hardin [Armstrong]...often imagined herself standing...at the bottom of a ladder, holding it steady for Louis as he rose to stardom." (Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, 2012). “The all-female band is an anomaly in music, one that must constantly prove itself as a 'band,' and not just 'girls playing music together.'" (Mary Ann Clawson, 1999). Everything ...


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