Wynton Marsalis’ Unforgivable Blackness is in stores now !
Available from Blue Note records from November 30: Unforgivable Blackness, Wynton’s original score to the upcoming Ken Burns documentary of same name.
The film marks the second collaboration between filmmaker Burns and Wynton Marsalis (the first being 2000’s Jazz series, where Marsalis held the position of Senior Creative Consultant.)
Unforgivable Blackness tells the story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing World Champion, and is given historical context from 21 compositions covering pre-modern genres like blues, ragtime and Dixieland, where the ensembles’ embellishments and collective improvisations sound remarkably accurate.
The album boasts 15 original Marsalis compositions, including 13 new and previously unreleased recordings. Unforgivable also features six interpretations of standards including Jelly Roll Morton’s “New Orleans Bump,” “Deep Creek” and “Buddy Bolden’s Blues.” W.C. Handy’s “Careless Love,” Artie Matthews’ “Weary Blues” and “We’ll Meet Again Someday” also appear.
The sessions were produced by Burns, Paul Barnes and Delfeayo Marsalis. The latter returns along with pianist Eric Lewis from Wynton’s The Magic Hour. Also featured in the Unforgivable sessions are saxophonists Wess Anderson and Sherman Irby, guitarist and banjoist Doug Wamble, banjoist Don Vappie, clarinetist Victor Goines, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, drummer Herlin Riley and bassists Reginald Veal and Rodney Whitaker.