Requiem for Jazz (Live)

Requiem for Jazz (Live)

The irony of Chicago composer/clarinetist Angel Bat Dawid’s vastly ambitious song-suite is that it’s as much a requiem for the rustic character of traditional jazz as it is a celebration of how that rusticism might still apply to modern life. Or as Dawid incants near the end of the suite itself, “The death of jazz is the first fake cry of the salvation of the Negro through the birth of a new way of life.” And yet through this heady idea comes a sound whose mix of ragtime (“OFFERTURIUM-HOSTIAS-Humility”), Black spirituals (“KYRIE ELEISON- Lawd Hav’ Merci”), free jazz (“LUX AETERNA – Eternal Light,” which features the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott), and quasi-Baroque liturgical music (“INTROIT- Joy n’ Suff’rin”) feels both radical and deferential, primitive and conceptual—roots not as a settled concept but something alive and ever-changing.

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