Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

by Wynton Marsalis

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Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Unforgivable Blackness embodies Wynton Marsalis' soundtrack for a forthcoming Ken Burns biographical documentary on Jack Johnson, the African-American boxer whose reign as heavyweight champion in the early 20th century aroused intense hostility among whites. Mixing originals with classic blues and jazz from the period, Marsalis and his septet create a soulful, sophisticated statement that Johnson -- who carried a bass on his travels, owned cabarets in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, and was on intimate terms with various levels of the "sporting life" -- would have had no trouble understanding. Strains of the deep blues, ragtime, brass bands, and second line permeate the aura, and the spirits of Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington are never far from view. Separated from the images and narrative of the documentary, the music has a programmatic feel. But Marsalis has transmuted an old vocabulary into a tellingly modern argot that feeds the mind and nourishes the spirit.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/30/2004
Label: Blue Note Records
UPC: 0724386419422
catalogNumber: 64194

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wynton Marsalis   Primary Artist,Trumpet
Michael White   Clarinet
Eric Reed   Piano
Herlin Riley   Drums,Tambourine
Reginald Veal   Bass,Double Bass,Upright Bass
Wessell Anderson   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Lucien Barbarin   Trombone
Kimati Dinizulu   Percussion
Victor Goines   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Wycliffe Gordon   Trombone,Tuba
Don Vappie   Banjo,Guitar
Marcus Printup   Trumpet
Sherman Irby   Clarinet
Eric Lewis   Percussion,Piano,Washboard
Stephen Riley   Tenor Saxophone
Gideon Feldstein   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Doug Wamble   Banjo,Guitar
Sam Karam   Clarinet

Technical Credits

Jelly Roll Morton   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Paul Barnes   Producer,Audio Production
Ken Burns   Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
Martha E. Koenig   Composer
Wynton Marsalis   Composer,Score
Delfeayo Marsalis   Producer
Patrick Smith   Engineer
Todd Whitelock   Engineer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Sandy Palmer Grassi   Engineer
Artie Matthews   Composer
Jalmoose Rowe   Producer,Engineer
Geoffrey C. Ward   Liner Notes
Steven Epstein   Producer
David Schaye   Audio Production

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