A horn riff. A thump of the bass. A tinkle of the keys followed by the “boom-bap” of the drums. These sounds are the hallmarks of legendary jazz label Blue Note Records, which was the first recording showcase of talents like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and many more who would go on to be jazz legends.
“Every night in my sleep, I need you beside me.”
In the world of women in music, there are queens, princesses, first ladies and even a duchess—but there has only ever been one high priestess of soul: Nina Simone.
Every so often on Facebook, like every few months, I like to do a “Bobby Caldwell is white” check. What’s that? Well, it’s where I randomly toss out “Hey, did you know Bobby Caldwell is white?” and like clockwork there is ALWAYS some group of black folks who, at that moment, learn the truth that the rest of us…
The best Christmas songs are ones that can be played while sipping brown liquor.
So, what, exactly, is jazz? We know it’s black music, we know that many of the artists of the genre are political. But how does one define an art form so heavily based on improvisation and live instrumentation?
Jazz has always been one of the soundtracks of black people’s journey toward freedom in America. Artists like Nina Simone and Gary Bartz became the fearless messengers of African-American protest.
“I don’t take coffee; I take tea, my dear. Some extra rice, please, on the side...”
(This is long. And yes, that's what she said.)
There are not enough superlatives to describe the work of Toni Morrison, America's greatest living novelist. The Bluest Eye isn't just a great book, it's there with Citizen Kane, What's Going On, the iPhone, and Bria Myles as one of the best and most important artistic triumphs of the last century. She is your…