Various Artists “Soul Of A Nation” (Soul Jazz Records)
via Soul Jazz & Tate: This release coincides with the new Soul of A Nation – Art in the Age of Black Power exhibition now at Tate Modern.
The album shows how the ideals of the civil rights movement, black power and black nationalism influenced the evolvement of radical African-American music in the United States of America in the intensely political and revolutionary period at the end of the 1960s following the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and the rise of the Black Panther party.
The show opens in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement and its dreams of integration. In its wake emerged more militant calls for Black Power: a rallying cry for African American pride, autonomy and solidarity, drawing inspiration from newly independent African nations.
Artists responded to these times by provoking, confronting, and confounding expectations. Their momentum makes for an electrifying visual journey. Vibrant paintings, powerful murals, collage, photography, revolutionary clothing designs and sculptures made with Black hair, melted records, and tights – the variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists and collectives at work during these explosive times.
Some engage with legendary figures from the period, with paintings in homage to political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane and sporting hero Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali appears in Andy Warhol’s famous painting.
This landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.
“Soul Of A Nation” released July 28, 2017 on Soul Jazz Records