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Julius Eastman: Unjust Malaise Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, November 1, 2005
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Editorial Reviews


1. Stay on It
2. If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
3. Prelude to The Holy Presence of Joan D'Arc
4. The Holy Presence of Joan D'Arc
5. Gay Guerilla
6. Evil Nigger
7. Crazy Nigger
8. Julius Eastman's spoken introduction to the Northwestern University concert

Product Details

  • Performer: Julius Eastman, Mitoff, Kotik, Beder, Sabee, et al.
  • Audio CD (November 1, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: New World Records
  • ASIN: B000BRP1ZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gideon on May 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This three-cd set is the first commercially available release by Julius Eastman, a minimaist composer who died in 1990 after having been forgotten by nearly everyone. Before his death he had been evicted from his house, so many of his scores got lost and for years his name disappeared from music annals.

The situation is now redressed by "Unjust Malaise", which comprises seven compositions directed by Mr Eastman himself. They are actually live recordings, but you would never notice as any applause has been edited out and the performance is so perfect that every track sounds like a studio take.

Listening to this music it soon becomes apparent that Mr Eastman was a major figure in the New Music Movement, and even more avant-garde than the avant-garde itself. His minimalist approach (repetitive, insistent structures) was mixed with carefully employed dissonance and 'pop' riffs, a fact that was considered heresy at the time.

Among the compositions (all from the '70s, and extremely notable) we find the poppy "Stay On It", with its breathtaking sax riff, and the gospelly, string-driven "The Holy Presence Of Joan D'Arc", which has an impressive vocal acappella prelude (eleven minutes) and shows that this composer was also a talented singer. Other works such as "[...] Guerilla", "Crazy [...]", "Evil [...]" (all for four pianos) are more sombre, full of spiritual tension and exert a strong emotional pull on the listener.

Julius Eastman had a flamboyant, provocative personality (e.g. he never concealed his homosexuality) and through his work we can perceive and understand the struggle of his soul. And this is how "Unjust Malaise" could ultimately be described: great soul music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Randy Fallopianus on August 21, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Eastman's music is very riveting and powerful, especially for listeners already attuned to minimalism. It's impossible to miss the struggle in it, which can be overwhelming. His emphasis on black/gay identity and socio-economics resonates with a contemporary audience in a way that confirms him as a prophetic, visionary artist.

There's a slightly undercooked quality to his music as well, owing in part (I think) to the difficulties he had finding support and stability. Given the tenuousness of that, one feels pretty lucky to have this collection on file at all.

Anyone with a strong affinity minimalism will find plenty to appreciate here.
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