Jesus, Jazz, and Justice
Check out Detroit jazz vocalist Ange Smith's uplifting new release, Hope in the Dark. This CD of "jazz and social consciousness" rocks the house with Smith's deep spiritual stylings on "Bye and Bye" and "City Called Heaven." Proceeds directly benefit Word and World: A People's School, a project to promote radical education and training for Christians committed to social transformation. www.wordandworld.org.
Poetry in Motion
"Songs are living things," sings folksinger Ani DiFranco on her latest album, So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter, a live two-disc set. Her unmistakable style and progressive, political lyrics are in full force, with songs like "Self Evident," DiFranco's 10-minute poem-song in which she rails against the injustices of U.S. politics. Others such as the vulnerable "Dilate" and "Reckoning" stand in stark contrast. Righteous Babe Records.
Rock 'n' Hope
The Ultimate Song, by Rock A Mole Productions, is a lively 30-minute film about music's role in the fight against poverty. Leaders of the poor such as Cheri Honkala of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and musicians such as Wyclef Jean, Jackson Browne, and Steve Earle talk about "the ultimate song"ending poverty. Copies free to musicians: e-mail email@example.com with name and address. Others: $10 donation requested; send to RRC, Box 341305, Los Angeles CA 90034.
Daniel Ladinsky interprets the luminous words of spiritual poets from the Eastern and Western literary traditions in Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West. St. Francis, Rumi, St. Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, and other "poetic conduits of the divine" speak with tenderness and ferocity of their communion with God. Includes brief bios of the poets. Penguin.