L'anima nera. È un miracolo, non è vero? Che le persone più oppresse e odiate sulla terra siano in grado di creare la musica più poderosa e l'arte più influente nel mondo.
E'un paradosso su cui ha ragionato Pascal Bokar Thiam, professore di Musica e studi africani presso l'Università di San Francisco, che ha appena pubblicato il libro From Timbuktu to the Mississippi Delta: How West African Standards Shaped the Music of the Delta Blues. Nel suo profondo e significativo libro, lo storico Franco-Senegalese ha illustratato quanto siano sottovalutate le origini e la cultura africana nel valutare la storia musicale degli Stati Uniti.
Sul sito The Atlanta Post è stato pubblicato un bel articolo con un'intervista a Thiam che discute su questo fondamentale aspetto della musica jazz e nera in generale.
“What I’ve noticed in teaching jazz history courses was that there was a significant amount of academic amnesia when it came to the contribution of the populations that migrated from West Africa to the southern plantations of the United States between the 16th Century and the 19th Century,” he said.
Thiam contends that jazz is essentially a fusion of blues and gospel, a music that conveyed the sorrow and hopes of a population marginalized and dehumanized. In general, the evolution of jazz follows the theme of other popular music forms which emerged from the experience of hardship.
“In order to understand the way creativity happens you have to understand what is called rhythmic creative intuition,” said Thiam. “And that’s a mechanism by which oppressed communities, in this case the African American community, have to dig deep inside their collective soul to project onto the arts something that is fundamental to their identity in order to survive the social political conditions in which they are living.”
The saxophone, the main symbolic instrument of jazz, may have been created in Europe, but the style and form of jazz was molded by the Black experience and didn’t “crystallize” until the early 20th century. One of the main points that Thiam makes is that New Orleans was not the birthplace of jazz, as the New Orleans tourist board may want you to believe. Instead, the birthplace of jazz is the collective of African-American communities where slaves and their descendants were concentrated."
Continua a leggere questo articolo sul sito The Atlanta Post.