Friday, October 28, 2011
[Out of the Depths: Music by African-American Composers; Keystone Wind Ensemble; Jack Stamp, Conductor; Citadel 88143 (2002)]
Dr. Myron D. Moss wrote the liner notes for a recording we have discussed frequently in recent days, Out of the Depths: Music by African-American Composers:
“American band history includes some remarkable African-American contributions. In the middle nineteenth century, for instance, composer and band leader Frank Johnson was the first American to program 'promenade concerts' in the European manner, attracting audiences in the thousands. Johnson led Philadelphia's premiere social orchestra and was the first African-American to publish music.
“W.C. Handy, famous as the 'father of the blues,' was also a band composer. His band works included both military marches such as 'Hail to the Spirit of Freedom' and jazzier items such as his setting of 'Loveless Love.' James Reese Europe led arguably the finest military band in U.S. Service during W.W. I. His 'Hellfighters' band drew enormous crowds in France at war's end, where the group's fabled 'ragging' style may have been France's introduction to the jazz that would soon win over the nation.” [Francis Johnson (1792-1844) is profiled at AfriClassical.com, which features a comprehensive Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma, http://www.CasaMusicaledeLerma.com]