cover image The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues

The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues

Imamu Amiri Baraka. William Morrow & Company, $22.95 (0pp) 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)