Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Weary Blues is, above all, sexy--Harlem jazz meets the Southern blues of Bessie Smith and smoky rooms, speakeasies, and pleasantly dirty thoughts. Langston Hughes is not only one of the century's finest American poets; he ... more »
Weary Blues is, above all, sexy--Harlem jazz meets the Southern blues of Bessie Smith and smoky rooms, speakeasies, and pleasantly dirty thoughts. Langston Hughes is not only one of the century's finest American poets; he was the voice of black America in a time when opportunity was limited but hunger and drive were boundless. It is from his poem "Dream Montage" (included in this collection) that the superb Lorraine Hansberry play chose its title: "What happens to a dream deferred? / Does it dry up, like a raisin in the sun?" In his throaty, mellifluous voice, Hughes reads his words of black beauty, freedom, desire, and celebration even in times of hardship and abuse. Leonard Feather sets the first half of the disc to traditional blues and gospel bar patterns. On the remaining poems, Charles Mingus and band organically improvise a big, jazzy sound that punctuates Hughes's words. --Paige La Grone
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Amanda Pellett | 04/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to and enjoyed other musical compositions for Langston Hughes' poetry, but I feel that Charles Mingus and Leonard Feather are true to the jazz sound that inspired Hughes when he wrote and read his poetry aloud. Hughes' recitations and their compositions complement each other very well. One frustration worth noting is that the CD version is not divided into individual tracks--all fifteen tracks play as one track."
Pickin' A Nit
J. Deighton | Inches From My Computer | 10/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sure woulda liked it if the CD was split up into tracks, instead of one long track. Sure is annoying to have to listen to the whole thing in one sitting or not at all. Also, Leonard Feather has always been a bit square- and he does half the music. The MINGUS half is MINGalicious! Otherwise- please refer to the other more helpful reviewers re:actual content of CD."
katja_r | 06/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am grateful that I had the opportunity to listen to this CD of poetry by Mr Langston Hughes. First, the things I do not like about this CD are that Mr Hughes is a bit too melliferous at times bordering on laconic. I never hear the strength of conviction which matches his powerful words. Still, there is plenty that I do like about this CD. The legendary Mr Charles Mingus arranges, conducts and performs for the second half (i.e. second side of the vinyl album as it was originally released) and Mr Leonard Feather arranges and conducts the first half as well as writes the notes. Mr Feather writes that "The Weary Blues, the title poem of this album, won first prize in a contest held in 1925 by a magazine call 'Opportunity'." The words include, "Democracy will not come this day, this year or ever, through compromise and fear. / I have as much right as the other fellow has to stand on my two feet and own the land / I tire so of hearing people say let things take their course, tomorrow is another day / I do not need my freedom when I am dead / I cannot live on tomorrow's bread / Freedom is a strong seed, planted in a great need / I live here, too; I want freedom just as you." Twenty-three years after these words were penned, Mr Hughes read his works in a New York studio to create this album. Mr Feather wrote, "the Civil Rights revolution has drastically altered the state of our society." It is voices such as Mr Langston Hughes' that bring about such change. If you are interested in jazz poetry, this CD will interest you."