Friday, September 7, 2007
requiem for katrina
ATale of God's Will (a requiem for katrina), on the jazz label, Blue Note, is mostly composed, conducted, produced by trumpeter-composer, Terrence Blanchard. This album is an expansion of the music he wrote for Spike Lee's HBO series, When the Levees Broke. He includes new material on this expansion of the sound track by members of his band. It's been what we've been listening to most since the end of August, i.e. the anniversary of the breaking of the New Orleans's levees, sometimes several times in a single day.
This is a difficult period. It's now the interregnum between the two great catastrophe-disasters of our entwined lives, between August 29th and September 11, both of which changed our lives and those of the people we are most close to, for the rest of our days. Both of these disasters, if not exactly caused by the current political regime, were made infinitely worse by their actions and non-actions both.
These are the watershed for us: before we were still young; after, we no longer were.
So then it seems appropriate that this album is just a bit more movie score-ish in places than we would normally like. The music of our lives, our national lives, as heard by a movie composer.
Ghost of Congo Square
In Time of Need
Ghost of Betsy
Ghost of 1927
There is a great deal of history embedded in these titles, if you know New Orleans and the Mississippi River history. For example, "Ghost of 1927" refers to the great floods of 1927 and 1928 when the entire Mississippi drainage system, from the Missouri Platt on down over-topped the banks and levees, concluding with the deliberate dynamiting of the levees that drowned (black) thousands in the lower parishes of Louisiana, to save the property of the capitalists.