Amiri Baraka

Poet Amiri Baraka (1934 – 2014) compellingly brought the sounds and rhythms of jazz into his work in the Black Arts movement.

A prime example is Baraka vocalizing Thelonious Monk’s stair-step piano figure from “Misterioso” in the poem “Bang Bang Outishly.”

In this 2007 interview, Baraka discussed the profound influence of John Coltrane.

A revelatory moment occurs around 11:40 when Baraka vocally mimics Coltrane’s horn.

Check out Amiri Baraka’s keen ear for jazz, and his ability to home in on the poetic DNA of a horn line or piano figure. Then use that inspiration in your own work.

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