Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #20 (Ugly Beauty)

“One story has it that after avant-garde tenor player Archie Shepp came off stage following a performance full of honks, squeals, and bleats, he told pained auditor Johnny Griffin that he was expressing what it felt like to be a black man in America. ‘I know it’s hard,’ said Griffin, a black saxophonist who was no enemy of the modernist vanguard, having played with Thelonious Monk, ‘but why do you have to take it out on the music?’ For others, there was great beauty in the ostensible ugliness. Amiri Baraka in particular heard in the music a new paradigm of aesthetic value that required new modes of listening and engagement.”
– John Gennari, Blowin’ Hot and Cool: Jazz and its Critics, 2006

Blowin' Hot and Cool


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