Dawid Angel Bat
Requiem For Jazz
Label: International Anthem
Genre: Jazz / Avant Garde
- LP x2 €32.99 Out of Stock
Itself an incisive critique of racial politics in the USA, The Cry of Jazz draws formal comparisons between the structure of jazz music and the African American experience - as one of freedom and restraint, of joy and suffering - that manifests in the triumph of spirit over the crushing prejudice of daily life.
Cutting together archive reels from Black neighborhoods in Chicago with live performance footage from Sun Ra and his Arkestra among others, the film remains a radical and prescient evocation of Black pride and its roots in the history of jazz, from spirituals to blues and beyond.
As South African writer Nombuso Mathibela captures in the album’s liner notes:
[Music is our weapon of struggle]
that radiantly holds our positive aspiration, group pride and determination as Black people. Sonics! our beautiful fire that gave light to the world.
And a world that gave us blues. The blues that gave us Black in jazz
Drawing a through line to today’s vibrant avant-garde, Angel Bat Dawid’s Requiem For Jazz picks up the liberation work laid out by Bland’s film, taking the message of joy and suffering within the Black classical tradition into a contemporary setting.
Music from the project was originally premiered at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in Chicago in 2019, where Angel conducted a multigenerational fifteen-piece instrumental ensemble of Black musicians from across Chicago’s creative community, alongside a four-person choir (featuring singers from Black Monument Ensemble) as well as dancers and visual artists.
Recordings from the performance were then mixed and post-produced by Angel, who added interludes, vocals and additional sounds. As well as transcribing a piece from the film, Requiem For Jazz also alludes to The Cry of Jazz through contributions from the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott on the album’s final movement, which were recorded remotely at the historic Arkestral Institute of Sun Ra in Philadelphia in late 2020.
“I want us to have this very wonderful conversation that Ed Bland started over 50 years ago and I want to continue the conversation; because this is a loving conversation that we need to have with each other” - Angel Bat Dawid, Feb 2023