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Herbie Hancock Is Taking Over @AppleMusic’s #PureJazz Playlist In Honor of #BlackMusicMonth

June 11, 2020

I’m taking over @AppleMusic’s #PureJazz Playlist in honor of #BlackMusicMonth. I chose songs starting from nearly a century ago with “ Muskrat Ramble” by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five up to young artists of today like Kamasi Washington and his “Fists Of Fury”. Some of my choices reflect the protest movement against racism, like several of Nina Simone’s songs, and, in part, my choice here, her version of Gershwin’s “ I Loves You Porgy” from the opera “Porgy and Bess”, containing messages of poverty, exclusion, and love. Charlie Mingus’ “Original Faubus Fables”, here in its original form that had been rejected and replaced by a wordless version on the “Mingus Ah Um” recording, was an “in your face” protest against the racist anti school integration policies of former Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus. Black music, as in all music, reflects life and is affected by the times in which the songs were written or recorded. Jazz, being highly improvisatory, lifts the art form to new levels of direct connection to the moment and the times as a shared experience with the members of the band and, in some ways, with the audience. Check out my selections here: