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The Spirit House Movers

Black and Beautiful, Soul and Madness

(Sonboy; US: 10 Nov 2009; UK: 10 Nov 2009)

Led by the legendary revolutionary black poet Amiri Baraka back when he was known as LeRoi Jones, the Spirit House Movers was a spoken word collective a la the Watts Prophets and the Last Poets based out of Jones’ cultural center in Newark, New Jersey, named, well, the Spirit House. The group’s long-out-of-print 1968 album on the Jihad label run out of the Spirit House (which also released music from Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra) finally sees a wide release courtesy of the Sonboy imprint as part of their reissue campaign of the Jihad catalog. The Movers incorporated elements of Motown soul and Bronx-born doo-wop into the fire of Baraka’s militantly incendiary prose. Black and Beautiful, Soul and Madness is where the calm of the Coasters met the fury of the Black Panthers and should be studied and heeded as much as it should be listened to and heard.

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Ron Hart is currently enjoying his 11th year as a professional music journalist. In addition to PopMatters, he has also written for such publications as CMJ, Billboard.com, SPIN.com, The Village Voice, Gear, Paper, SHOUT NY, Paperthinwalls.com, Blender, Yellow Rat Bastard, Good Times, Paste, and Barnesandnoble.com among others. He is also the editor and publisher of the Interboro Rock Tribune, a free NYC music zine now in its 6th year in print. Please give us traffic on our website at http://www.irtmag.com.


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