Blood on the Fields

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This article is about the jazz oratorio. For other uses, see Blood on the Fields (disambiguation).
Blood on the Fields
Box set by Wynton Marsalis
Released 1995
Recorded April 1, 1994
Genre Jazz
Label Columbia
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Blood on the Fields is a three-and-a-half-hour jazz oratorio, by Wynton Marsalis. It was commissioned by Lincoln Center and concerns a couple moving from slavery to freedom.[2]

It received the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Music. However, Marsalis' victory was controversial because according to the Pulitzer guidelines, his work was not eligible. Although a winning work was supposed to have had its first performance during that year, Marsalis' piece premiered on April 1, 1994 and its recording, released on Columbia Records, was dated 1995. Yet, the piece won the 1997 prize. Marsalis' management had submitted a "revised version" of "Blood on the Fields" which was "premiered" at Yale University after the composer made seven small changes.[3] When asked what would make a revised work eligible, the chairman of that year's music jury, Robert Ward, said: "Not a cut here and there...or a slight revision," but rather something that changed "the whole conception of the piece." After being read the list of revisions made to the piece, Ward acknowledged that the minor changes should not have qualified it as eligible, but he said that "the list you had here was not available to us, and we did not discuss it."[4]

Track listing[edit]

Disc 1[edit]

  1. Calling The Indians Out
  2. Move Over
  3. You Don't Hear No Drums
  4. The Market Place
  5. Soul For Sale
  6. Plantation Coffle March
  7. Work Song (Blood On The Fields)

Disc 2[edit]

  1. Lady's Lament
  2. Flying High
  3. Oh We Have A Friend In Jesus
  4. God Don't Like Ugly
  5. Juba And A O'Brown Squaw
  6. Follow The Drinking Gourd
  7. My Soul Fell Down
  8. Forty Lashes
  9. What A Fool I've Been
  10. Back To Basics

Disc 3[edit]

  1. I Hold Out My Hand
  2. Look And See
  3. The Sun Is Gonna Shine
  4. Will The Sun Come Out?
  5. The Sun Is Gonna Shine
  6. Chant To Call The Indians Out
  7. Calling The Indians Out
  8. Follow The Drinking Gourd
  9. Freedom Is In The Trying
  10. Due North

Personnel[edit]

[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Blood on the Fields - Review". Allmusic. Retrieved November 8, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Jazzing the Pulitzer", PBS.org. April 9, 1997.
  3. ^ "Weatherbird: The Academy's Pulitzer Why Jazz and Pop Don't Make the Cut", EarBox.com, by Gary Giddins, The Village Voice, April 30 - May 6, 2003.
  4. ^ "Wynton Marsalis and the Pulitzer Prize", GregSandow.com.
  5. ^ Liner Notes from Blood on the Fields CD set, Columbia Records 1997.