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Program 603: African-American Experimentalists

KALW Broadcast Date: June 5, 2020 | Host: Mark Abramson

Like so many Americans we at Other Minds have been reeling from the trauma our country is going through in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. We’re sad, we’re angry, and worse, no longer shocked by this kind of blatant racism. Our country is built on racist systems of control, and it’s up to all of us to change that. If you think about the most famous names in new music, you’re likely to come up with John Cage, Philip Glass, Morton Feldman, Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk. The list is almost completely lacking in artists from marginalized communities. Many of the greatest achievements in music history belong to the black community, including the invention of entire genres. Tonight we present a small sampling from the panoply of boundary-defying innovations made by black artists in the field of experimental music.

Program Audio

30-Second Spot

Track Info & Links

Title: Driva’ Man (1960)
Composer: Max Roach & Oscar Brown, Jr.
Performers: Max Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Booker Little, trumpet; Julian Priester, trombone; Walter Benton, tenor saxophone; Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone; James Schenk, bass
Recording Title: We Insist (1960)
Record Label: Candid
Catalog Number: CJS 9002


Title: Arcs (2005)
Composer: Sam Rivers
Performers: Sam Rivers’s Rivbea All-Star Orchestra
Recording Title: Aurora (2005)
Record Label: Rivbea Sound Company
Catalog Number:


Title: Spihumonesty (1978)
Composer: Muhal Richard Abrams
Performers: Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis, Leonard Jones, Amina Claudine Myers, Youseff Yancy, Jay Clayton
Recording Title: Celestial Birds (2019)
Record Label: Karlrecords
Catalog Number: KR070


Title: Black Origami, Carbon 7 (161) (2017)
Composer: Jlin
Recording Title: Black Origami (2017)
Record Label: Planet Mu
Catalog Number: ZIQ376CD


Title: Conversations With Angels (2016)
Composer: Dedekind Cut
Performers: Lee Bannon, Chino Amobi, DJ Shadow, Al Carlson
Recording Title: $uccessor (ded404) (2016)
Record Label: NON
Catalog Number: LP1-DED004


Title: Transition East (2020)
Composer: Angel Bat Dawid
Performers: Angel Bat Dawid
Recording Title: Transition East (2020)
Record Label: International Anthem
Catalog Number:


Title: My Queen Is Nanny of the Maroons (2018)
Composer: Sons of Kemet
Performers: Sons of Kemet
Recording Title: Your Queen is a Reptile (2018)
Record Label: Impulse!
Catalog Number: B0027970-01


Title: Lyric For Strings (1946)
Composer: George Walker
Performers: London Symphony Orchestra, Paul Freeman conductor
Recording Title: Black Composer Series, Vol. 7 (1975)
Record Label: Columbia Masterworks
Catalog Number: M 33433

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