Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (December 25, 1745 – June 10, 1799)
A champion fencer, classical composer, virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris. Born in the French colony of Guadeloupe, he was the son of George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy married planter, and Anne dites Nanon, his wife’s African slave. His father took him to France when he was young, and he was educated there, also becoming a champion fencer. During the French Revolution, the younger Saint-Georges served as a colonel of the Légion St.-Georges, the first all-black regiment in Europe. He fought on the side of the Republic. Today the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is best remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry; he composed numerous string quartets and other instrumental music, and opera.
“So What”, by Miles Davis, originally released in 1959 on the studio album , Kind of Blue
The album features Davis’ ensemble sextet consisting of saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, with former band pianist Bill Evans appearing on most of the tracks in place of Kelly.
Credit for today’s select goes entirely to Economist Jared Bernstein. Last Tuesday he posted this on his twitter feed.
If you’re feeling forlorn behind the ascendance of venal, racism-spewing idiots, and all the other hate and dysfunction that abounds, I’ve got an antidote, or at least an essential vacation. Seriously.
It’s the 20’s, young people are leaving the farm and going to the city to work in the factories. That New Orleans music had moved north to Chicago and then to New York. The radio was new, so was sound in the movies. We started to have shared experiences as a nation. Jazz, speak easies, women in short skirts……….. Grandma, who was busy raising her family, must have been shaking her head.
What I love about YouTube is access to original recordings. The quality isn’t great but you are there in the room for the first time.
The Charleston represented a decade and here it is played by its creator. James P Johnson.