Requiem for Jazz is a 12-movement suite composed and arranged by Angel Bat Dawid, inspired in part by dialogue from Edward O. Bland’s 1959 film “The Cry of Jazz.”
The original form of the music was premiered at the 2019 edition of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival in Chicago, where Angel conducted a multigenerational fifteen-piece instrumental ensemble (all Black musicians from Chicago’s creative music community) alongside a four-person choir (featuring singers from Black Monument Ensemble), dancers, and visual artists in performance. Angel mixed and post-produced recordings from the performance – adding interludes, vocals and additional sounds, as well as transcribing a piece from “The Cry of Jazz” film. The final movement of Requiem for Jazz features Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Their contributions were recorded remotely at the historic Arkestral Institute of Sun Ra in Philadelphia in late 2020.
The final Requiem for Jazz work in album form is an immersive 24-track, double LP experience. The physical package is a deluxe, heavyweight gatefold jacket with liner notes by South African writer Nombuso Mathibela, artwork by Damon Locks, and a large fold out poster designed by Jeremiah Chiu, featuring poetry written by Angel Bat Dawid in dedication to all of her collaborators on the project. Additionally, there is a limited Thy Kingdom Come purple color vinyl edition of Requiem for Jazz available for the first pressing only.