In his poem “I Love Music,” Amiri Baraka recalled learning of John Coltrane’s death while he was incarcerated after the 1967 Newark rebellions. He quoted a remark by Coltrane: “I want to be a force for real good. In other words, I know that there are bad forces, forces that bring suffering to others and misery to the world, but I want to be the opposite force. I want to be the force, which is truly for good.” While writing this book, I listened to the music composed and played in parallel to the struggles it traces. Here is some of that music, which informed or somehow expresses aspects of the theory and history I hoped to present. As Baraka wrote in his liner notes to Coltrane’s Live at Birdland: "If you can hear, this music will make you think of a lot of weird and wonderful things. You might even become one of them."
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