> I saw Helen Sung tonight. She is having poetry
> and jazz in her set, too. Aha, a form is born.
Say it ain’t so. I absolutely love Helen Sung. I caught her live one night a few years back at the Jazz Standard. She was on a double-bill with another up-and-coming pianist, Robert Glasper. She blew Glasper into the East River. I stayed for all four sets and you could tell that Glasper listened to Ms. Sung because he stepped it up considerably during his second set.
Marsalis had ended his last Blue Note studio album, From the Plantation to the Penitentiary, with a stunning spoken word piece, a concentrated burst of righteous anger that addressed with preacher-like fervor the divisive, post-Katrina state of the nation. On He and She, Marsalis’s voice is more prominent throughout, prefacing just about every track with his words. Marsalis notes, “On He and She, it’s a man talking, but the person who delivers the universal truth of the matter is a woman.”