Sound Obsession

Jazz Spirituals

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120 minsFirst aired 7 May 2016
Artwork by Nick Taylor

Kirk Degiorgio takes your musical heroes and puts them to the acid test. This time with a deep selection of spiritual jazz and rare gems.

Emerging in the ’60s, spiritual jazz was as much about blowing through a new mindset as it was about a new sound. Liberation from inner city poverty was one thing, but breaking the shackles of the psyche was the bigger picture. No one would argue that the forefather of spiritual jazz was John Coltrane, most notably with his A Love Supreme album, and few have fused a hymnal spirituality with avant-garde free jazz explorations and non-Western rhythms like he did. However, many musicians grabbed hold of the opportunity to rewrite the jazz template, and whole communities sprung up around ensembles, labels, magazines, theaters and gallery spaces. Whether the music was co-opted by the Civil Rights movement or the Black Panthers, the Nation of Islam, or other Afro-centric or Egyptian philosophies, the music is still essential listening for any spiritual development, and still rings loud and clear today.

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