The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues

Amiri Baraka, With, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Author William Morrow & Company $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-04388-9
Poet and playwright Baraka and his poet wife here collect his recent talks, articles, book and record reviews about jazz, blues and soul, 34 poems, the text for an anti-nuclear jazz musical and 15 of her poems. Declaring that he is ""not a populist . . . but a Marxist-Leninist,'' Baraka, in this angry, repetitious agitprop material, seems to use almost every occasion possible to attack ``white chauvinism.'' Instead of focusing on the music itself, to which he is clearly addicted, he focuses on the fact that ``black music, like black people generally, is . . . left to the tender mercies of white racist monopoly capitalists'' and that ``jazz writing, like everything else in the society, has shifted toward the right.'' More than ever, he is convinced that white jazz critics impose a critical standard on the music that is opposed to the standards the music itself carries with it and describes. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May 19)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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