Greg Thomas on Albert Murray, Philosopher of Jazz and the Blues

Greg Thomas and Ed Mahood talk about the life and literary legacy of Albert Murray, whose Collected Essays & Memoirs were published by the Library of America in 2016. We discuss Murray’s ideas on Omni-American identity, culture and race, and his conception of “antagonistic cooperation,” which gives us the Blues Hero, who faces adversity with improvisation, artfulness, and affirmation of life. We also explore how Murray’s thought is especially relevant in our political moment, and how leaders in business and other areas can learn from the example of the “Jazz break,” where the performers slay the dragon of entropy and chaos with superior style.

Music includes Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, playing “Bird’s Blues,” and a recording of “Cherokee” by Clifford Brown.

Ed Mahood also joins for the latter part of the discussion, and we listen to some music!

Niven Jazz Collection: Charlie Parker Tape 1 (1940-1945)

Clifford Brown and Max Roach, “Cherokee”


Marco V Morelli (host)
Greg Thomas
Ed Mahood

Read Greg’s piece, “Reading Albert Murray in the Age of Trump” on Metapsychosis.