« Program: Reimagining Africa: From Popular Swing to the Jazz Avant-Garde

A Music Tease: Reimagining Africa through American Jazz

Next week we will be airing our next Hip Deep program,Reimaging Africa: From Popular Swing to the Jazz Avant Garde. For the past couple weeks, we’ve been supplementing this exciting and in-depth look into how some of American Jazz masters have addressed their African ancestry with posts giving you a glimpse behind the music that will be featured.

Recently, AACM founder George Lewis was kind of enough to drop 25 essential albums on us to check out that closely relate to the theme of our show. From that 25 we picked out ten tracks to showcase for those looking to go beyond the hour long program. Our original plan was to offer these tracks for streaming. However, as we quickly learned, iTunes is lacking in their jazz selection so we had to head onto Youtube to find more tracks. Even then, we often came up empty. The end result is the XX track featured below. While it isn’t the extent that we wanted to bring you, we thought it still did a good job at giving you a nice preview of our forthcoming program.

For all you record crate diggers out there, we’ve included the list of 6 from George Lewis below as well.


Henry Threadgill’s Zooid – “Tickled Pink” from Up Popped Two Lips

Amina Claudette Myers – “Jumping in the Sugar Bowl” from Jumping in the Sugar Bowl


Art Ensemble of Chicago – “Theme de Yoyo” from Les Stances a Sophie

Revolutionary Ensemble – “Hu-Man” from Psyche

Joseph Jarman – “Little Fox Run” from Songs For

Anthony Braxton – “To Artist Murray De Pillars” from For Alto

George Lewis’ Top 25:

1. Muhal Richard AbramsLevels and Degrees of Light (1967)

2. Muhal Richard AbramsThe UMO Jazz Orchestra Plays the Music of Muhal Richard Abrams (1999)

3. AirAir Raid (1979)

4. Fred Anderson QuartetLive at the Velvet Lounge. Vol. 2 (2000)

5. George Lewis Homage to Charles Parker (1980)

6. Roscoe MitchellSound (1966)

7. Roscoe Mitchell L-R-G; The Maze; SII Examples (1968)

8. SamanaSamana (1996)

9. Anthony BraxtonCreative Orchestra Music (1976)

10. Anthony BraxtonFor Alto (1969)

11. Anthony BraxtonThree Compositions of New Jazz (1968)

12. Douglas EwartBamboo Meditations at Banff (1994)

13. Joseph JarmanSong For (1967)

14. Nicole MitchellXenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (2008)

15. Edward Wilkerson8 Bold Souls (1987)

16. Muhal Richard Abrams and Amina Claudine Myers Duet (1993)

17. Wadada Leo Smith Tao-Njia (1996)

18. Wadada Leo SmithKabell Years 1971–1979 (2004)

19. Revolutionary EnsembleThe Psyche (1975)

20. Amina Claudine MyersJumping in the Sugar Bowl (1984)

21. Henry Threadgill’s ZooidUp Popped the Two Lips (2001)

22. Art Ensemble of ChicagoA.A.C.M. Great Black Music/Message to Our Folks(1969)

23. Art Ensemble of ChicagoLes stances à Sophie (1970)

24. Art Ensemble of Chicago Live at Mandel Hall (1972)

25. Art Ensemble of Chicago People in Sorrow (1969)