February 22, 2023
The multi-instrumentalist explores the “African American experience” on her 24-track album.
Composer, clarinetist, singer and educator Angel Bat Dawid has released the details of her new album, Requiem For Jazz, out on March 24 via International Anthem.
The 24-track release takes inspiration from Edward O. Bland’s 1959 film The Cry of Jazz. The political documentary explores the relationship between African American history and jazz through footage of Chicago’s Black neighbourhoods, interwoven with performances from Sun Ra, John Gilmore, and Julian Priester.
Catch the first single, “RECORDARE-Recall the Joy”, along with a Cyrus Moussavi video.
Dawid first premiered the material at Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival in 2019 with a 15-piece ensemble of Chicagoan Black musicians, a choir featuring singers from Black Monument Ensemble, and dancers and visual artists. For the album release, Dawid mixed and post-produced these recordings and added interludes, vocals and additional sounds.
As well as dialogue from Bland’s documentary, Requiem For Jazz features contributions from the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott recorded at the Arkestral Institute of Sun Ra in Philadelphia.
Speaking about the Requiem for Jazz, Angel Bat Dawid says: “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.”
South African writer Nombuso Mathibela adds 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.”
Requiem For Jazz is available for pre-order on black gatefold vinyl now.
1. Jazz is merely the Negroes cry of Joy & Suffering
2. INTROIT- Joy n’ Suff’rin
3. Jazz is the musical expression of the triumph of the Negroes Spirit
4. KYRIE ELEISON- Lawd Hav’ Merci
5. This endless repetition is like a Chain around the Spirit. And is a reflection of the denial of a future to the Negro in the American way of life
6. DIAS IRE- Chain Around the Spirit
7. Another restraining factor in Jazz are the changes
8. TUBA MIRUM- The Changes
9. The Negro experiences the endless daily humiliation of American life which bequeaths him a Futureless Future
10. REX TREMENDAE –Futureless Future
11. The Negro transforms America’s image of him into a transport of Joy!
12. RECORDARE-Recall the Joy
13. Jazz reflects the improvised life thrust upon the Negro
15. Through Spirituals, through the Blues, then through Jazz we made a memory of our past and a promise of all to come
16. LACRIMOSA- Weeping our Lady of Sorrow
17. Because Jazz is the one element in American life where whites must be humble to the Negro
19. Only when whites have paid the price in suffering to be the Negroes equal
20. SANCTUS- Holy, Holy, Holy
21. The Jazz body is dead but the Spirit of Jazz is Alive
22. AGNUS DEI-Jazz is Dead!
23. LUX AETERNA – Eternal Light (Angel Bat Dawid) / My Rhapsody (Severson-Leist) feat. Marshall Allen & Knoel Scott
24. Long Tone for Rayna Golding (A Binti Zawadi our Future)