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Jerome Jennings | Solidarity

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Jazz: Soul-Jazz World: Afro-Beat Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Jerome Jennings

As its title implies, Solidarity is deeply concerned with the state of political and social justice in the United States on the cusp of the 2020s. It particularly focuses on the experiences of the most vulnerable people in our world society.
Genre: Jazz: Soul-Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Be-Bop
6:02 $1.99
2. Recy's Lament
6:57 $1.99
3. Marielle (For Marielle Franco)
8:05 $1.99
4. Solidarity
0:33 $1.99
5. I Love Your Smile
6:00 $1.99
6. The Theory of Difference
6:51 $1.99
7. Heart
5:52 $1.99
8. Three Muses
7:05 $1.99
9. Pay It No Mind
6:53 $1.99
10. Convo with Senator Flowers
3:09 $1.99
11. You Are Never Far Away from Me
4:02 $1.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Drummer-composer Jerome Jennings puts the spotlight on his writing chops for Solidarity, his rousing second album as a leader, set for a November 8 release on his own Iola Records. Featuring as its core unit trumpeter Josh Evans, tenor and soprano saxophonist Stacy Dillard, trombonist Andrae Murchison, pianist Zaccai Curtis, and Jennings’s friend and mentor, legendary bassist Christian McBride (along with special guests, including saxophonist-flutist Tia Fuller, tenor saxophonist-vocalist Camille Thurman, bassist Endea Owens, and percussionist Carlos Maldano), the album also features seven original compositions and four covers with fiercely inventive new arrangements.

As its title implies, Solidarity is deeply concerned with the state of political and social justice in the United States on the cusp of the 2020s. It particularly focuses on the experiences of African American women, examining them through the prisms of the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements, among others. “Black women have traditionally been the conscience of the country,” Jennings explains. “Solidarity means…being present, not walking away. Being an ally, in a very overt way. ‘I got you. I hear you. I’m with you.’”
Indeed, most of Jennings’s originals place him in solidarity with specific individuals. Heroic women from intersectional feminist philosopher Audre Lorde (“Theory of Difference”) to sharecropper and defiant self-advocate Recy Taylor (“Recy’s Lament”) to transgender activist

Marsha P. Johnson (“Pay It No Mind”) are the subjects of his compositional tributes. On “Convo with Senator Flowers,” the drummer makes himself almost literally present; he provides solo accompaniment to the outspoken Arkansas State Senator’s viral speech against open-carry laws in her state.

That said, Jennings also considers the cover songs on Solidarity to be within social-justice parameters. His hip-hop-laced arrangements of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Bebop” recalls that the titular music had revolutionary implications of its own. Meanwhile, pieces like the R&B/pop classic “I Love Your Smile” (featuring Fuller on alto and flute and Thurman on vocal) are less about revolution than recreation. But they’re not frivolous: “People who are oppressed also need a space where they can smile, laugh and have a good time,” Jennings observes. “That’s part of resistance as well.”

Dizzy Gillespie wrote this tune and named it after the music and movement. The tune is still fresh and modern. I wanted to explore a different groove under the melody and first two solo’s.

Recy’s Lament
Composed in honor of Recy Taylor. In 1944 Mrs Taylor (an african american woman) was raped by 6 white men on her way home from church. Days after the innocent she would file charges against the men with help from a sharp detective, militant race woman, rape activist named Rosa Parks. The Dark End Of The Street by Danielle Mcguire illuminates this story along with a the side of Rosa Parks very few are aware exists.

Marielle (For Marielle Franco)
Marielle Franco was a black woman from the favela in Rio de Janeiro. She was an outspoken, powerful political activist. Marielle was elected council woman and spoke out against sexual exploitation and violence, LBGTQ injustices as well as police brutality against blacks, and injustices against the poor. She was assassinated in 2018.

Its actually a 4 bar ostinato expression. Originally, I played the piece for over 8mins. I’ve truncated it down to 33 seconds. Solidarity is something that people who feel alone and scared need. Having true allies, and feeling that somebody, anybody has got your back in the world is a priceless resource to all of us. This is especially true of the most vulnerable in out society. Solidarity should be everlasting.

I Love Your Smile
This is my arrangement of an RandB classic sang by Shanice in 1991. I always visioned this tune with a second line groove.

Theory Of Difference
This tune was composed to honor Black woman, Poet, Lesbian, Mother, Warrior, Audre Lorde. “Sexism and heterosexism both arise from the same source as racism…The increasing attacks upon lesbian and gay men are only an introduction to the increasing attacks upon all black people.” From There Is No Hierarchy of Oppressions

This composition is a solo drum piece. The piece is based off of the West African bembe groove. It develops within the hands all while an ostinato pattern is played in my feet.

Three Muses
Written by trumpeter, composer Woody Shaw. I love the melody, crafty changes and form of this 3/4 time piece.

Pay It No Mind
This piece was composed in dedication to Marsh P. Johnson, a transgender activist who played a vital role in the Stonewall riots and the gay rights movement it launched. She along with Sylvia Rivera opened a house to shelter homeless LGBT youth — the first shelter of its kind in the country. The “P.” in Marsha P. Johnson stood for “Pay it no mind” — and when people got too nosy about her, that is what she would tell them. Pay it no mind.

Convo with Senator Flowers
March 6, 2019 Arkansas Senator Stephanie Flowers gave a passionate speech regarding a proposed ‘Stand your ground’ bill. Arkansas law requires residents outside of their homes to retreat before using deadly force in self defense. The proposed bill would have removed that requirement. Democrat, Senator Flowers erupted after state senators tried to curb debate on the bill. This ‘drum conversation’ was inspired by Flowers’ passion and courage.

You Are Never Far Away From Me
This is a tune that was the theme song of crooner Perry Como. The lyric to this tune reflects the sentiment that I have with regards to my wife and the people to whom I have dedicated this project. I arranged this song as a dual bass feature. The tune features bassists Christian McBride and Endea Owens



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