Makaya McCraven Isn’t Interested in Saving Jazz

Posted in Articles, Arts, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2019-08-11 02:01Z by Steven

Makaya McCraven Isn’t Interested in Saving Jazz

Rolling Stone
2018-10-25

Natalie Weiner, Reporter

Makaya McCraven in Chicago in October.
Makaya McCraven in Chicago in October.
Lyndon French for RollingStone.com

Chicago-based drummer and bandleader on how he’s marrying the energy of intimate club performances with 21st-century electronic thinking

“‘Is jazz dead?’ is a stupid question,” says drummer and bandleader Makaya McCraven over beers at a Lower East Side bar that is, fittingly, playing a selection of 1930s and ’40s-era jazz cuts. “If you have to ask the same question for 50 years, it becomes a rhetorical question. When did it die?”

Those who know McCraven’s work would likely reach a similar conclusion. Critically acclaimed releases like In the Moment (2015) and Highly Rare (2017) — both made up entirely of live material — put the heat and vitality of an intimate jazz club into a distinctly 21st century mode of brainy beat music, edited down to their searching, abstract highlights. They gave McCraven the kind of jazz-vanguard cred also recently assigned to artists like Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington and Shabaka Hutchings, all of whom have earned some degree of crossover success over the past decade thanks in part to their ability to tap into hip-hop and R&B audiences. Despite the fact that these artists emerged at different times and with different aesthetics, each has been presented as the face of a jazz “revival” or “resurgence” — a necessary spark to an otherwise moribund genre. But McCraven, 35, would prefer that listeners don’t call it a comeback…

..In many ways, global jazz culture is the story of McCraven’s life. His father, jazz drummer Stephen McCraven — a Connecticut native who was mentored by avant-gardists Marion Brown, Archie Shepp, Yusef Lateef and Sam Rivers — and his mother, Hungarian folk singer Ágnes Zsigmondi, met in Paris, where McCraven was born. The family later moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, finding an intimate artistic community in the college town…

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What Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest Tells Us About America

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2016-08-30 00:37Z by Steven

What Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest Tells Us About America

Rolling Stone
2016-08-29

Morgan Jerkins

When black athletes choose to point their aggression towards larger, systematic inequalities, there’s always backlash

The role of the famous black athlete has been a polarizing one for as long as sports have dominated American headlines, going all the way back a century to when Jack Johnson beat white boxer Jim Jeffries in 1910. During Johnson’s time, he was regarded as a “bad nigger,” not only because he was articulate and handsome, but also because he beat his white rivals. It was a direct representation of black masculinity as a threat to white supremacy. In recent times, however, this kind of resistance has evolved. From track and field medal winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists as a Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics to WNBA players wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts, black athletes are expanding their sportsmanship into political activism.

Last Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. By Saturday morning, what should have been a meaningless football game was dominating the national news…

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See Logic Talk Biracial Identity, Anime Influence

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-01 17:34Z by Steven

See Logic Talk Biracial Identity, Anime Influence

Rolling Stone
2016-04-20

Brittany Spanos, Staff Writer

Rapper discusses prejudice, upcoming albums and ‘The Incredible True Story’ ahead of co-headlining tour with G-Eazy

“When it comes to being black and white, and the things that I’ve experienced, it was just a personal journey to look in the mirror and be happy with who I am,” Logic told Rolling Stone during a visit to the office. The 26-year-old biracial rapper has been hit with criticism during the course of his career given his fair complexion, but he’s using the claims of inauthenticity to speak not only to his own narrative and background but to those of many others, as well. He has two potential albums in the works, including one where he spits rhymes from varying perspectives.

“I feel the Aryan in my blood is scarier than a Blood/Been lookin’ for holy water, now I’m prayin’ for a flood/Feel like time passin’ me by slower than a slug,” he teased from a song he’s recently begun writing from the perspective of a mixed-race person like himself. “But my beautiful black brothers and sisters wanna act like I’m adopted/Go back in time when my ni**a daddy impregnated my cracker momma and stopped it.” Later, Logic says, “My skin fair, but life’s not.”…

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