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Langston Hughes: The Dream Keeper



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Langston Hughes (1902–67) was an American poet, novelist, social activist and playwright whose work showcased the dignity and beauty in ordinary black life. His African-American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. The hours he spent in Harlem clubs affected his work, making him one of the innovators of “Jazz Poetry.” Hughes’ poetry is still powerful and contemporary today. The Langston Hughes Project came from jazz guitarist Larry Simon, who is the founder of JazzMouth, unique festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire that combines jazz and spontaneous music with readings by some of the finest poets. Hughes’ texts are brought to life by the rich, soulful delivery of Eric Mingus, son of Charles Mingus. For some years he worked as a session musician and backing singer, playing on dates with artists such as Carla Bley, Bobby McFerrin and Karen Mantler. He has also performed with the Mingus Big Band, Elliott Sharp’s Terraplane, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello, Nick Cave, Catherine Sikora and Levon Helm, and a featured performer in many of Hal Willner’s projects. Simon also brought David Amram — composer, conductor, multi-instrumentalist, and author — to the project. As a classical composer and performer, his integration of jazz, folk and world music led him to work with Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Willie Nelson, Charles Mingus, Levon Helm and Betty Carter. Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, and written many scores for Broadway theater and film, including the classic scores for the films Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate. Amram collaborated with Hughes on the cantata "Let us Remember." Importantly, in the 1950s Amram collaborated in clubs with Langston Hughes and Jack Kerouac on the spontaneous creation of words and music which came to be known as “jazz/poetry.” And jazz/poetry is what “Langston Hughes: The Dream Keeper” is. Half of the poems find Mingus with Amram on piano, as a duo. The instrumentally varied balance of the album are Mingus duos with electric guitar or Hammond organ; with woodwinds and percussion or larger ensembles.
Facts
Item number MOD-CD-A17
Barcode 764593101727
Release date 2/3/2017
Category Contemporary Jazz
Label AVANT RECORDS
Media type COMPACT DISC
Number of units 1
Performers
Ensemble The Langston Hughes Project
Non-Classical Composer Mingus, Eric
Disc: 1
Weary Blues00:04:00
1 Weary Blues 00:04:02 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
The Dream Keeper00:04:00
2 The Dream Keeper 00:04:27 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Neighbor00:02:00
3 Neighbor 00:02:15 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Daybreak in Alabama00:02:00
4 Daybreak in Alabama 00:02:29 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Sylvester's Dying Bed00:02:00
5 Sylvester's Dying Bed 00:01:57 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Border Line00:02:00
6 Border Line 00:01:41 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Reverie on the Harlem River00:01:00
7 Reverie on the Harlem River 00:01:22 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
In Time of Silver Rain00:04:00
8 In Time of Silver Rain 00:04:00 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Bound No'th Blues00:03:00
9 Bound No'th Blues 00:02:37 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Democracy00:03:00
10 Democracy 00:02:31 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Ma Lord00:01:00
11 Ma Lord 00:01:26 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Railroad Avenue00:03:00
12 Railroad Avenue 00:02:33 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
Life is Fine00:03:00
13 Life Is Fine 00:03:26 Mingus, Eric The Langston Hughes Project
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