Rhino’s 6-CD boxed set is a comprehensive 110-song collection that charts the
eviolution of African-American music from Calloway to Coolio. The set includes
a deluxe book with a foreword from Quincy Jones, plus essays on music and history
from noted journalists.
[Editor’s note: To date we have only received a sampler CD of this collection,
what follows is a review of that collection]
This is a collection that truly spans several decades of black American music.
It may not, however, appeal to all generations simply because of its diversity
– a devotee of ’50s/60s/70s jazz/soul is probably less likely to be an ardent
admirer of rap?
Whether it’s superb trumpet (Ko-Ko: Charlie Parker); sax that could be live
in the room with you (Giant Steps: John Coltrane); ‘barber shop’ (Rock My Soul:
Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet) or pure rock ’n roll (Brown Eyed Handsome Man:
Chuck Berry) – there’s something for everyone to reminisce by.
Throw in a slow but catchy rendition of the classic "Young Gifted & Black"
by the evergreen Nina Simone and a ‘trip’ to the dance floor is essential for
Coolio’s "Fantastic Voyage". The haunting "What’s Going On" (Marvin Gaye) and
"Change Gonna Come" (Otis Redding) also sadly remind us of what might have been
had they not been lost so tragically?
A must for all music lovers and don’t miss the historic Jesse Jackson and Martin
Luther King speeches complimenting the mood between the tracks. Go on try it,
and buy it