Leyla McCalla (Folkways Records) - Vari-Colored Songs - Vinyl LP

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Leyla McCalla's Vari-Colored Songs is a celebration of the complexity of Black culture and identity, and a tribute to the legacy of poet and thinker Langston Hughes. A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, McCalla sets Hughes' poems to her own spare yet profound compositions. She juxtaposes these with arrangements of folk songs from Haiti, the first independent Black nation and the homeland of her parents, tapping into the nuances of Black experience. McCalla's music elegantly weaves Haitian influences together with American folk music, just as Hughes incorporated Black vernacular into his remarkable poetry, and the way the Haitian Kreyòl is a beacon for the survival of African identity through the brutal legacy of colonialism. This is music of reclamation, imbued with a quiet power that grapples with the immense weight of history.

1 Heart of Gold
2 When I Can See the Valley
3 Mesi Bondye
4 Girl
5 Kamèn Sa w FÈ?
6 Too Blue
7 Manman Mwen
8 Song for a Dark Girl
9 Love Again Blues
10 Rose Marie
11 Latibonit
12 Search
13 Lonely House
14 Changing Tide