Reviews that mention Amiri Baraka

May 12, 2016

Label Spotlight

Rudi Records
By Ken Waxman

Realization of one dream coupled with the lessening of funding for others convinced Massimo Iudicone that it was time to create his own label in 2010. Since that time Rudi Records has released 32 productions by noteworthy musicians from its base in Terracing, about 75 kilometres southeast of Rome. Iudicone, who also produces music festivals, found the tight-money situation making it difficult to organize concerts. “So I decided to start a record company to host and document the events that I would have liked in my festivals,” he recalls. At the same time Iudicone, who since the ‘90s, had been working with The Italian Instabile Orchestra (IIO), was organizing projects for friends in the IIO. “We often talked about creating a record linked to the Orchestra, but we were never able to manage it,” he explains. Instead that dream became Rudi. MORE

August 11, 2014

On Screen

The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Notes on the Life of Nat Hentoff
David L. Lewis (First Run Features)

By Ken Waxman

Ask most serious jazz writers who they would like to be when they grow up and the answer would likely be Nat Hentoff. For almost 70 years, Hentoff, now 89, has been involved with every aspect of jazz. At the same time he has been a staunch First Amendment advocate, defending absolute freedom of expression.

Produced and directed by David Lewis, The Pleasures of Being Out of Step is an intelligent 90-minute profile, weaving together frank interviews with Hentoff, his advocates and detractors, archival footage and audio, and it does an excellent job of placing the writer within political, journalistic and sociological currents. When he wasn’t writing about jazz, Hentoff was involved with the Civil Right and Anti-War movement was a friend of Malcolm X and Bob Dylan (he did the first serious interview with Dylan), a defender of Lenny Bruce (a clip of Hentoff cajoling a stoned Bruce into coherence is included) and debated everyone from conservatives like William F. Buckley to representatives of the Woman’s Movement. “Nat loves conflict,” his wife Margot says. Although Hentoff never missies an opportunity to return to the First Amendment, even citing Max Roach’s linkage of jazz’s group improvising with the American constitution, his importance to jazz is illuminated throughout. MORE

July 16, 2012

Jamaaladeen Tacuma/David Murray

Rendezvous Suite
JazzWerkstatt JW 095

Tommy Vig Orchestra 2012 featuring David Murray

Welcome to Hungary!

Klasszikus Jazz Records NO #

After nearly 40 years in the spotlight and after hundreds of recordings, tenor saxophonist David Murray has become an Archie Shepp for the 21st Century. Although he has avoided the older tenor saxophonist’s sometimes self-aggrandizing political agenda, over time the Los Angles-born Murray, like Shepp, has moved from playing overtly avant-garde music to embrace Funk, Swing and even discs touching on the legacies of the Grateful Dead and Nat King Cole. Like Shepp again he’s still a first-class saxophonist. But spreading his talents so thin begs the questions of how Murray’s music should be scrutinized, and more crucially who exactly David Murray is? MORE

March 28, 2008

William Parker Double Quartet

Alphaville Suite
Rogue Art: ROG 0010

William Parker/ Raining On The Moon

Corn Meal Dance

AUM Fidelity AUM043

William Parker

The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield – Live in Rome

Rai Trade RTPJ 0011

Concerned with different varieties of the Black vernacular experience, each of these fine CDs by bassist William Parker is impressive on its own. More profoundly each illustrates in a different way that the musical divisions among jazz, R&B, improvised music and soul are, in many cases, merely arbitrary. MORE

March 28, 2008

William Parker/Raining On The Moon

Corn Meal Dance
AUM Fidelity AUM043

William Parker Double Quartet

Alphaville Suite

Rogue Art: ROG 0010

William Parker

The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield – Live in Rome

Rai Trade RTPJ 0011

Concerned with different varieties of the Black vernacular experience, each of these fine CDs by bassist William Parker is impressive on its own. More profoundly each illustrates in a different way that the musical divisions among jazz, R&B, improvised music and soul are, in many cases, merely arbitrary. MORE

March 28, 2008

William Parker

The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield – Live in Rome
Rai Trade RTPJ 0011

William Parker/ Raining On The Moon

Corn Meal Dance

AUM Fidelity AUM043

William Parker Double Quartet

Alphaville Suite

Rogue Art: ROG 0010

Concerned with different varieties of the Black vernacular experience, each of these fine CDs by bassist William Parker is impressive on its own. More profoundly each illustrates in a different way that the musical divisions among jazz, R&B, improvised music and soul are, in many cases, merely arbitrary. MORE