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Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music Hardcover – May 26, 2009

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews


“A major contribution to both African American literature and American music criticism.”
(African American Review 2102-07-24)

“Meditations on black music, primarily jazz, that American classical music, that will satisfy anyone who desires intelligent thought on the genre.”
(Colin Cooper Beat Scene Magazine 2010-01-01)

“As lively and compelling as his strongest work of the past.”
(Richard Meltzer The Oregonian 2009-07-23)

“There is much to recommend in this excellent volume of essays.”
(Magill's Literary Annual / Salem Press 2011-03-15)

“Digging will prove an important book. . . . Enjoy the liveliness of Baraka’s writing.”
(Cadence Magazine (2) 2011-03-01)

“Offers up history, musical analyses and a political commentary as they relate to African-American music and culture.”
(Goldmine Magazine 2010-06-18)

From the Inside Flap

"As a commentator on American music, and African American music in particular, Baraka occupies a unique niche. His intelligence, critical sense, passion, strong political stances, involvement with musicians and in the musical world, as well as in his community, give his work a quality unlike any other. As a reviewer and as someone inside the movement, he writes powerfully about music as few others can or do."—Steven L. Isoardi, author of Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles

"Every jazz musician who has endured beyond changing fashions and warring cultures has had a signature sound. Amiri Baraka—from the very beginning of his challenging, fiery presence on the jazz scene—has brought probing light, between his off-putting thunderclaps, on what is indeed America's classical music. I sometimes disagree insistently with Amiri, and it's mutual; but when he gets past his parochial pyrotechnics, as in choruses in this book, he brings you into the life force of this music."—Nat Hentoff, author of The Jazz Life

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520257154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520257153
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,629,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

AMIRI BARAKA/LEROI JONES (1934-2014) was the author of numerous books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He was named poet laureate of New Jersey by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, from 2002-2004. His short story collection Tales of the Out & the Gone (Akashic Books) was a New York Times Editors' Choice and won a 2008 PEN/Beyond Margins Award. He is also the author of Home: Social Essays, Black Music, The System of Dante's Hell, and Tales, among other works.

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Top Customer Reviews

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If you love jazz, or even if you just want to contact the spirit of it, this is the book for you; (equally if you love some free wheeling, imaginative, out of the box prose-poetry with an African-American beat as perhaps only Amiri Baraka can do it). Radically underpins the status of jazz as America's premier music plus marvelous, insightful appreciations of jazz greats combined with personal anecdotes. Heady and enjoyable without measure.
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