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Home Jazz Jayne Cortez Jayne Cortez ‎– Celebrations And Solitudes (1974)

Jayne Cortez ‎– Celebrations And Solitudes (1974)

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Jayne Cortez ‎– Celebrations And Solitudes (1974)

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A1 	Lead 	
A2 	How Long Has Trane Been Gone 	
A3 	Essence Of Rose Solitude 	
A4 	Song For Kwame 	
A5 	Forreal 	
A6 	Festivals And Funerals 	
A7 	Solo 	
B1 	I Am New York City 	
B2 	Under The Edge Of February 	
B3 	Lynch Fragment 	
B4 	Ife Night 	
B5 	Homicide 	
B6 	3 Day New York Blues 	
B7 	Remembrance 	
B8 	Do You Think 	
B9 	Making It 	
B10 	So Long 	
B11 	Lexington/96 Street Stop 	
B12 	I Won't Forget It

Jayne Cortez - Voice [Poetry]
Richard Davis – Bass


The obituary for Jayne Cortez rightly describes her as a "jazz poet," a category that was one of her signature labels. What might not be as evident to observers is how hard won such a label was for Cortez and several other black poets of her generation. Along with Amiri Baraka, Larry Neal, Carolyn Rodgers, Sonia Sanchez, Michael Harper, and several others, Cortez helped solidify a place for "the music" in artistic writing and performance before people, especially scholars, were regularly using the phrase "jazz poetry."

Decades before the black arts era of the 1960s and 1970s, poets incorporated jazz references and approaches into their work. Most notably, Langston Hughes depicted musicians in his poems, and he developed a style of writing poetry that invoked the rhythms and features of blues and jazz. But aside from Hughes and later Bob Kaufman, the presence of jazz in poetry did not become an overriding presence, at least not to the degree that the music appeared in black arts discourse.

More so than any era before or since, large numbers of poets developed personal ties and working relationships with each other. Indeed, Cortez and leading jazz artist Ornette Coleman were at one time married. Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, John Coltrane, and others contributed to arts projects organized by Baraka.

Several poets also wrote commentary about jazz. Baraka, Larry Neal, and poet A.B. Spelman even started a small arts journal featuring the music. The interest among artists in establishing a "black aesthetic," or distinct African American artistic productions, led cultural advocates to encourage poets to actively incorporate jazz into their works.

Jayne Cortez was always in the mix and a leading contributor in the growing discourse on jazz and poetry during the black arts era. “See how she, Sister Jayne Cortez, picks her words/verbs the nouns/makes the rhythmic imagery just happen to your eyes and ears, at once!,” wrote June Jordan of Cortez’s collaboration with bassist Richard Davis on the album Celebrations and Solitudes (1974). According to Jordan in her glowing review, Cortez was an extraordinary poet “of surrealism, jazz, blues, and Black language well refreshed by craft.”

Now, at the time of her recent passing, we'd become accustomed to referring to Cortez in more succinct terms: "jazz poet." --- culturalfront.org

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