Ralphie Knows Jazz?

LeoCasey at aol.com LeoCasey at aol.com
Sat Dec 9 13:26:55 MST 1995


Now that Ralph has announced that Coltrane is his exemplar of revolutionary
artists, I am faced with the troubling possibility that I might actually
share come common ground with him. The choice of Coltrane is interesting, as
is his silence on Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, as these
figures (particularly the last) would pose questions of revolutions in
musical form. Thus, there seems to be a certain Ralphie affinity,
notwithstanding his last statement, with the Marsalis worldview of jazz and
its place in African-American culture.

But let me stick to Coltrane, and one of his most political and my favorite
pieces in his repertoire -- Alabama. Can Ralphie listen to this piece,
dedicated to the four young girls murdered in the bombing of an
African-American church (excuse the language) in Birmingham, and not hear the
prayerful and soulful tones of that dirge? Hmmmm.



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