Welcome to the January 2018 issue of Black Grooves, sponsored by the Indiana University Archives of African American Music and Culture.
This month we’re opening with Black Manhattan Vol. 3 by The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, performing works by African American composers affiliated with New York’s black music and theatre communities from the 1890s to 1920s. Also featured are three tribute projects: Hendrix in the Spirit of Jazz, a collection of songs performed by artists from Germany’s ACT label to commemorate the 75th birthday of Jimi Hendrix; The World of Captain Beefheart, a collaboration by the artistic duo of Nona Hendryx and Gary Lucas; and Texas-born arranger Sly5thAve’s The Invisible Man: An Orchestral Tribute to Dr. Dre.
For our annual “winter blues” observance we’re highlighting four recent releases: Blues With Horns Vol. 1 by Chris Daniels & The Kings with Freddy Gowdy; the Mighty Mo Rodgers & Baba Sissoko collaboration Griot Blues; and from the Catfood label, James Armstrong’s Blues Been Good to Me and Johnny Rawls’ Waiting for the Train.
Continuing our focus on Indianapolis label Tyscot Records, we featuring two more recent gospel releases that are climbing the charts: Ruth La‘Ontra’s sophomore album I Got You, and the debut album Hide and Seek by 20-year-old singer-guitarist C West. R&B releases include Tribute to My Soul Sisters by Martha High, longtime backup singer for James Brown; and from another JB affiliate, the Bobby Byrd compilation Help For My Brother: The Pre-Funk Singles, 1963-1968.
Wrapping up this issue is the new jazz release The Music in the Night from IU alum Rahsaan Barber; the collaboration between artists from Cuba and Jamaica, Havana Meets Kingston; and our compilation of December 2017 Releases of Note.