Welcome to the June 2018 issue of Black Grooves, sponsored by the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture.
What better way to open our African American Music Appreciate Month edition than new releases from two legendary groups. On their first album in 20 years, The Last Poets’ continue their tradition of setting politically charged poetry to music on Understand What Black Is. For funk fans, Medicaid Fraud Dogg is the first new release in 38 years from George Clinton’s Parliament, reinvigorated through a line-up of young musicians.
Featured jazz releases include the programmatic suite Pictures at an African Exhibition from Darryl Yokley ‘s Sound Reformation, and the self-titled debut album from the UK genre-blending group Orcastratum.
Sacred and classical offerings include Keith “Wonderboy” Johnson’s 13th album Keep Pushin’, young South Carolina native Kelontae Gavin’s debut album The Higher Experience, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s live recording I Am Reminded, the choral group Gloriae Dei Cantores’ recording of God’s Trombones based on the poems of James Weldon Johnson, and the debut album Inspiration from Royal Wedding cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Other featured releases include Ayibobo from Haitian musician Paul Beaubrun, the EP One Time from the swing-inspired electronic music duo Ginkgoa, Book of Ryan from rapper Royce da 5’9”, Love in Wartime from Americana duo Birds of Chicago, Wishes & Wants from soul singer Shirley Davis & The Silverbacks, and the latest Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite collab, No Mercy In This Land.
Wrapping up this issue is our list of May 2018 Releases of Note.