Soul Jazz Records’ new release ‘Soul of A Nation: Jazz is the Teacher, Funk is the Preacher’ is a powerful new collection of radical jazz, street funk and proto-rap made in the era of Black Power (1969-75). This is the second ‘Soul of A Nation’ album released by Soul Jazz Records to coincide with the exhibition ‘Soul of a Nation – Art in the Age of Black Power’, critically acclaimed and enormously successful when it opened at the Tate Modern in London last year (as was Soul Jazz Records’ accompanying first album ‘Soul of A Nation – Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power 1968-79’). The blockbuster international exhibition is now at the Brooklyn Museum, New York and then travels to Los Angeles in 2019.
This new album features a number of important and ground-breaking African-American artists – The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Don Cherry, Funkadelic, Gil Scott-Heron and more – alongside a host of lesser-known artists all of whom in the early 1970s were exploring new Afrocentric poly-rhythmical styles of music – radical jazz, street funk and proto-rap – while at the same time exploring the Black Power and civil-rights inspired notions of self-definition, self-respect and self-empowerment in their own lives.
All of the featured artists here were involved in this search in different ways; A shared sense of Afrocentric collectivism joined the dots between the deep avant-garde experimentalism of The Art Ensemble of Chicago (here featuring soul singer Fontella Bass singing the powerful ‘Theme de Yoyo’) to the hyper funk psychedelia of George Clinton’s Funkadelic.