In 1979, President Jimmy Carter designated June as Black Music Month. Thirty-one years later, we proudly join in the celebration of one of America’s most underappreciated, yet infinitely precious offspring.
For our Black Music Month issue we deemed it especially appropriate to include the work of artists that shed light on the foundations upon which contemporary music stand, including Feed My Soul by The Holmes Brothers, Shake For Me by the Mannish Boys, and Duke Ellington’s Queenie Pie. Virtuoso drummer Cindy Blackman’s Another Lifetime honors the creative legacy left behind by Tony Williams’ album Lifetime. Haitian-American violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (aka DBR) offers a new genre-bending album, Woodbox Beats & Balladry. Adrian Younge’s original score to the Blaxploitation parody Black Dynamite, recently released on CD, is an accurate re-creation of ‘70s funk and soul. Other new releases featured this month include Janelle Monae’s ArchAndroid, B.o.B.’s The Adventures of Bobby Ray, Devin the Dude’s Suite 420, and gospel artist Rafeal Ross’s New Creation Live. Last but not least, we’re including brief descriptions of many more new releases from the first quarter of the year that caught our attention.