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10 October 2010

Black Requiem - The Quincy Jones / Ray Charles Masterpiece That Never Was Released (1971, 1988, 1992) (Cont'd)

On 20 July 1976 Quincy Jones published a column in The Baltimore Afro-American, where he shed some more light on the genesis of Black Requiem (read earlier article here), revealing that the work went back to a vow he and Ray made when they were together in Seattle (i.e. 1947/1949):
"Back when Ray and I were just kids, we talked about performing a classical, gospel, jazz and operatic composition together. We even went so far as to vow that one day we would do it. Then in 1971, it happened. As part of the celebration of Ray's 20th year in show business, we performed my composition "Black Requiem" with the 80-piece Houston Symphony orchestra. The piece depicted the musical struggle of blacks from the time they entered the slave ships into the period of compensation.
From there it went into the aera of Dr. Martin Luher King Jr., and passive resistance to the period of militancy and lastly, into the era of hope for the future."
Personal note to Ms. Valerie Ervin and Mr. Quincy Jones:
a. Find back that tape. b. Add that oomph. c. Release that record.


  1. There's a typo in line 2. It should read "went back TO a vow" rather than "went back ON a vow."