Duke-Ellington-and-his-Orchestra_featured

Stanley Crouch on Jazz and Negro Americans

In the Ken Burns' series Jazz, Stanley Crouch comments on the dynamics of Duke Ellington's Famous Orchestra.

“Negro Americans are not predisposed to follow people. They really aren’t. That’s why there’s always a certain element of chaos in the Negro world, because, see I think from slavery forward we just didn’t like to listen…No! So, somebody telling you over and over you gotta do this? You know, ‘I’m not doing that! Just cause you said that?’

You say, ‘Yes, but it’s right.’

‘I don’t care. So what if it’s right? I ain’t doing it anyway. Why I am I not doing it? For the same reason that Dostoyevsky said I’m not going to do it: so I can tell you that I exist. So I’m just gonna mess your stuff up, right?'”

— Stanley Crouch on Duke Ellington’s big band, Jazz ep. 7, “Dedicated to Chaos”

RELATED TAGS

RELATED:

Forty Years of The Wire and Hip-Hop

This year marks four decades of avant magazine the Wire. Throughout, the British publication has frequently if fitfully championed interesting rap artists.

Opening Acts: When the Tide Is High

Wu-Tang Clan’s second album, Wu-Tang Forever, elicits a discussion on the end of imperial eras. Plus, thoughts on Kendrick Lamar’s new album and a Fat Joe TV doc on A&E.

Follow us

Start here

LATEST POSTS