Multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Adrian Younge has released his new album The American Negro. The deeply personal and at times difficult project was something that Younge wrote and played every instrument from the rhythm section himself, while conducting a 30-piece orchestra in his studio. The album, as one can see from the cover art (trigger warning: racist violence), takes an unapologetic view of the systemic racism that has impact people of color in the United States.
Using music as an avenue of expression, in addition to spoken word, poetry and more, it reflects on the physical and psychological toll of life in the US as black person. It looks at the evolution of racism in its various insidious forms, while mixing in different types of black music like jazz, soul, funk and more. It is designed to make you feel uncomfortable and even enlighten you with some of the spoken word pieces in between songs.
To get better background on the album, Younge is releasing a four-part podcast Invisible Blackness with Adrian Younge and short film T.A.N.--both available exclusively via Amazon Music. Chuck D, Ladybug Mecca, Keyon Harrold, Michael Jai White and others join Younge on the podcast. The film will be available next week.
Listen to it below and get a copy digitally and in physical formats here on Jazz Is Dead.