Blood on the Fields

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Blood on the Fields
Box set by
ReleasedJune 17, 1997 (1997-06-17)
RecordedJanuary 22–25, 1995
Wynton Marsalis chronology
In Gabriel's Garden
Blood on the Fields
Jump Start and Jazz
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings[2]

Blood on the Fields is a two-and-a-half-hour jazz oratorio by Wynton Marsalis. It was commissioned by Lincoln Center and treats the history of slavery and its aftermath in the United States of America. The oratorio tells the story of two slaves, Jesse and Leona, as they traverse the difficult journey to freedom. The narrative suggests that the individual freedom and agency of its protagonists is necessarily and inextricably intertwined with the empowerment of the community and nation as a whole.[3] The work received the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Music,[4] being the first time the prize was ever given for a jazz music composition, an honor that had previously been reserved for classical composers.

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


  • Wynton Marsalis – trumpet, oratory vocal
  • Jon Hendricks – vocal
  • Cassandra Wilson – vocal
  • Miles Griffith – vocal
  • Roger Ingram – lead trumpet, oratory vocal
  • Marcus Printup – second trumpet, oratory vocal
  • Russell Gunn – third trumpet, oratory vocal
  • Ron Westray – lead trombone, oratory vocal
  • Wayne Goodman – second trombone, oratory vocal
  • Wycliffe Gordon – trombone and tuba, oratory vocal
  • Walter Blanding – soprano saxophone, oratory vocal
  • Wes Anderson – lead alto saxophone, oratory vocal
  • Robert Stewart – lead tenor saxophone, oratory vocal
  • Victor Goines – tenor, soprano saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet, oratory vocal
  • James Carter – baritone saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet, oratory vocal
  • Regina Carter – violin, oratory vocal
  • Michael Ward – violin, oratory vocal
  • Eric Reed – piano, oratory vocal
  • Reginald Veal – bass, oratory vocal
  • Herlin Riley – drums, tambourine, oratory vocal[5]


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Blood on the Fields - Review". AllMusic. Retrieved November 8, 2009.
  2. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 951. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  3. ^ "Blood on the Fields". Wynton Marsalis Enterprises. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  4. ^ "Blood on the Fields, by Wynton Marsalis". The Pulitzer Prizes. January 28, 1997. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  5. ^ Liner Notes from Blood on the Fields CD set, Columbia Records 1997.