Poems by Langston Hughes set to music and played by

Poems by Langston Hughes set to music and played by - The Langston Project

Debbie Cameron vocals & fender rhodes

Hasse Poulsen guitar and vocals

Luc Ex bass guitar

Mark Sanders drums

Freedom is a strong seed

Planted in a great need.”

 

 The Langston Project is a quartet where musical inventiveness meets the poems of the late, great American writer Langston Hughes. It is the combination of creative - or let's say “free” - music with ambitious song writing.

The poems by Langston Hughes are set to music in precise song forms that allow the four musicians room for interpretation and improvisation. Langston Hughes' poems call for swinging and grooving music and for the blues – the more or less abstract blues, “ Contemporary Blues” as Luc calls it.

The arrival of Debbie Cameron in the quartet in the Spring 2014 brings a strong jazz and soul fell as well as a deep American prononciation that fits Langston Hughes' poems perfectly. The between this rich world and the more experimental temperaments of Poulsen, Ex, and Sanders gives a fresh and grooving music on the edge between tradition and invention.

If one word could pin-point Langston Hughes' poems, it would be “desire”: Desire for artistic expression, desire for writing, desire for justice and equality, the ambition and desire of people, the desire for dignity and above all the desire of love, for love, in love. Desire.

 

 

HASSE POULSEN

Born in Denmark Hasse Poulsen studied at Berklee College in Boston and in the Conservatory for Improvised Rhythmic Music in Copenhagen.

As a free improviser he has worked with Mark Sanders, John Butcher, Phil Minton and Joelle Leandre, Sidsel Endresen and many others. Founded his own group Sound of Choice in 1991, founding member of Das Kapital since 2001.

In 1990 he founded the AV-ART gallery (exhibitions, concerts and poetry readings) with four friends. In 1995 AV-ART became a collective of musicians and a label. In 1997 Hasse Poulsen moved to Paris.

In 2002, Louis Sclavis included Poulsen in Napolis Walls with Vincent Courtois and Mederic Collignon. The same year, the trio Das Kapital played its first concert. Napolis Walls was a decisive experience leading Poulsen to return to a more jazzy style mixing compositions and improvisations. This is clearly heard on the recordings of Sound of Choice, Das Kapital and The Progressive Patriots.

He also plays in Labarrière Hélène Quartet. Hasse Poulsen is co-founder of Quark records in 2005 and Das Kapital Records in 2011. He was artist in residence in Champagne-Ardenne in 2008-2010 and Banlieues Bleues-the Dynamo in 2009-2010.

 

DEBBIE CAMERON

Debbie Cameron is an American singer of Bahamian descent who has spent most of her career in Denmark. This career began in 1976 when she received the award for "Most promising student" at the Music School of the University of Miami. She arrived in Copenhagen in 1978 to join her mother Etta who lived for several years.

Cameron represented Denmark in the Eurovision Grand Prix 1981 duet with Tommy Seebach with the song Krøller eller Ej. She is the leader of her own soul-funk group Debbie Cameron Group and is involved as soloist in many projects specializing in jazz and gospel.

 

LUC EX

Born in 1958 in the Netherlands, Luc Klaasen, aka Luc Ex, occupied the most diverse activities before fully dedicating himself to music. He is a founding member of the famous punk band The Ex, an experience which set him in contact with many artists from the European and international scene. In 1995, he formed the quartet ROOF with Tom Cora, while ever more intensely devoting himself to his solo projects. After the death of Tom Cora Roof became Four Walls featuring Varyan Weston. The last 15 years Luc has created several new groups, the most recent being the free-pop group Rubatong and with several young musicians based in Amsterdam called Naked Wolf.

Luc Ex continuous collaborations and played alongside many artists including Hasse Poulsen, Franz Hautzinger, Otomo Yoshihide, Mark Sanders, Tristan Honsinger, Phil Minton or Isabelle Duthoit.

 

MARK SANDERS

Since the beginning of his career, Mark Sanders has played with many famous musicians such as John Butcher, Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Sylvie Courvoursier, Sirone, Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Jah Wobble, Harold Budd, Bill Laswell, Sidsel Endresen, Charles Gayle, Peter Evans, and William Parker.

He is featured by Christian Marclay on "Everyday" He also composes for some of the projects he is involved in, like those of Brian Irvine or Alex Hawkins. Impossible to list all the musicians with whom he worked: Paul Rodgers, Paul Dunmall ...

 

LANGSTON HUGHES

Poet, journalist and American playwright.

Born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902. His parents divorced when he was very young and his father moved to Mexico. He was raised by his grandmother until the age of thirteenn when he went to live with his mother and new husband in Lincoln (Illinois). It was at this time that he composed his first poems. Some time later, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon graduation, Hughes spent a year in Mexico and one year at Columbia University. During this période he held several disparate jobs: assistant cook, launderer, server, and even on ships bound for Europe and Africa.

Langston Hughes wrote several collections of poems (the first, The Weary Blues, was published in 1926), collections of short stories (Laughing to Keep From Crying, 1930), plays and an autobiography (I Wonder as I Wander, 1956). Coming from the "Harlem Renaissance" of the 1920s, Langston Hughes incorporated the rhythms of jazz and those of the African oral tradition to an often caustic prose. He was a leading activist in the black community.

Hughes is one of the literary influences that have most marked Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg and Whitman. He wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as a broad corpus of poetry. He is also known for his relationship with jazz, and the influence the music had on his literary work. His life and work were crucial in the development of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s Unlike other black writers of this period, Hughes refused to differentiate his personal experience of the common life of black Americans. He wanted to tell the stories of his community in ways that reflected their culture, including their suffering and love of music, their humor in their own language.

Langston Hughes died in New York in may 1967. To commemorate his memory, the city of New York has designated his residence from 20 East 127th Street in Harlem as a historical monument and was renamed "Langston Hughes Place."

short notes from critics:

short notes from critics: - The Langston Project

Without the slightest hesitation I apply the word ”master-piece” to The Langston Project”. Denis Desassis

"Together the four musicians fold out a well beaten Stars and Stripes with frayed edges in a series of violent and sensitive stagings of the poetry of Langston Hughes." Christian Munch-Hansen, Politiken

Magnificent concert and beautiful project. Come on, promoters, do your job! Make them tour!” Alain Gauthier

a powerful, committed and often enraged creation making this a new asset for this Danish guitarist and artist of conviction and integrity.” Thierry Giard

there reigns a perfect understanding, the result is totally addictive.” Philippe Méziat

This is an extremely interesting record, and a brilliant project, which will be allowed to play anytime they want in my neighbourghood. And if that doesn't work out, I can still console myself with this great recording” Jan Granlie

Now that the record is out, do not deprive yourself of listening to it”  CULTURE JAZZ

THE LANGSTON PROJECT - deutsch

THE LANGSTON PROJECT - deutsch - The Langston Project

Im Langston Project findet sich zusammen, was laut Jazz-, Punk- oder Poppolizei gar nicht zusammen gehören dürfte! Unterschiedlicher können die Stilrichtungen nicht sein: angefangen bei Luc Ex, der viele Jahre in der niederländischen Anarcho Punk Band The Ex sein (Un-)wesen trieb und mit Musikern wie Tom Cora, Sonic Youth, Han Bennink und Otomo Yoshihide auf der Bühne stand, weiter mit  Hasse Poulsen, dem Gitarrenwizzard solcher Bands wie Das Kapital, Helene Labarriere Quartett  oder Gründer so viel versprechender Bands mit Namen wie „The Man they call Ass“, dann Debbie Cameron (Tochter der Gospelsängerin Etta Cameron) die nach einer klassischen Gesangsausbildung in den 80iger Jahren bei den Eurovision Song Contest für Dänemark an den Start ging, ansonsten aber im Jazzgesang zu Hause, sowie Mark Sanders, der mit Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey, Sylvie Courvoursier, Sirone, Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Jah Wobble, Bill Laswell, Sidsel Endresen, Charles Gayle, Peter Evans, William Parker und vielen anderen in Projekten zu Hören war und ist.

Die Worte von Langston Hughes sind das vereinende Element. Hughes, Lyriker der Harlem Renaissance und Gründer der Jazzpoetry, einem Vordenker der afroamerikanischen Kulturbewegung und immer noch brandaktuell. Gil Scott – Heron beschrieb Langston Hughes als seinen größten Einfluß. Somit Zeit, das große Vorbild manchen Rappers gebührend zu ehren...



I, Too - Poem by Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"
Then.

Besides,
They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

CD released november 13 2015

CD released november 13 2015 - The Langston Project

 

The Langston Project released on Das Kapital Records CD15A8

 

Distribution in France: L'Autre Distribution

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Listen to samples on this SoundCloud link:  https://soundcloud.com/hasse-poulsen/sets/the-langston-project 

 

If you have any problems finding available CDs please send a mail to hep.agency@gmail.com

Press

Press - The Langston Project

 

 

http://maitrechronique.hautetfort.com/archive/2015/12/28/ah-ce-poulsen-5736644.html 

 

Par Denis Desassis  2015, 28/12 

 

Certains vous parleraient de choc, d’autres salueraient un élu, d’autres encore décerneraient un diapason ou je ne sais quelle distinction. J’appose sans la moindre hésitation un « Coup de Maître » à The Langston Project, autre livraison du mois de novembre, cette fois sur Das Kapital Records. Aux commandes de ce projet à la coloration résolument blues-rock, notre ami Poulsen, vous l’avez compris !

 

      Ce disque est un hommage à Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), poète, nouvelliste, dramaturge et éditorialiste américain du XXe siècle, dont la renommée est due en grande partie à son implication dans le mouvement culturel communément appelé Renaissance de Harlem, pour le renouveau de la culture afro-américaine, dans l’Entre-deux-guerres, qui touche aussi bien la photographie, la musique, la peinture ou la littérature. Hugues aura l’occasion de dire : « J'ai cherché à comprendre et à décrire la vie des noirs aux États-Unis et d'une manière éloignée, celle de tout humain ». Il a voulu montrer l'importance d'une conscience noire et d'un nationalisme culturel qui unit les hommes plutôt qu'elle ne les oppose.

 

Puissamment épaulé par deux autres flibustiers (Luc Ex à la basse électrique et Mark Sanders à la batterie), Hasse Poulsen met en musique les textes de Langston Hugues, une démarche qu’il a explicitée dans soninterview pour Citizen Jazz : « Ce qu’il y a de spécial avec les poèmes de Hughes, c’est qu’on entend la musique dans ses paroles. On entend du rythme, des mélodies, des progressions harmoniques. Dans son écriture, il va dans beaucoup de directions : il écrit des blues dans la forme la plus basique du blues, il écrit des poèmes abstraits qui correspondent à la musique contemporaine (avec laquelle il a beaucoup travaillé aussi), il écrit des textes rap, des proclamations, des plaintes, des rimes d’amour… c’est très riche. » Il abat ainsi avec détermination les cartes d’un disque fiévreux, propulsé par un groupe compact, sans effets ni fioritures, comme se doit d’être le rock ou le blues par essence. Et puis, il y a cette chanteuse magnifique, une véritable illumination. Vraiment. En écoutant le disque pour la première fois, l’effet de séduction a été total, comme si cette Debbie Cameron, dont je ne connaissais absolument rien jusqu’à ce jour d’octobre où le disque m’est arrivé, avait vécu plusieurs vies en une seule et les avait concentrées dans son chant habité. Le guitariste m’a dit en quelques mots qui elle était et je ne résiste pas au plaisir de vous résumer son propos : « Debbie, c'est une grande musicienne avec un parcours impossible ! Master de musique à dix-sept ans à Miami où elle cohabitait avec Jaco Pastorius, chanteuse jazz avec Clark Terry et bien d’autres à 18-20 ans. Elle a représenté le Danemark au concours de l’Eurovision en 1981 et s'est fait bien piéger par la pop music. Elle a transcrit des disques entiers de Weather Report (solos, orchestrations, accords) pour un éditeur allemand. Et maintenant elle est un peu perdue en province. Mais elle sait vraiment chanter... ». C’est le moins qu’on puisse dire ! Ecoutez-la vouloir prendre votre cœur dans « When It Comes To You » ; perdez votre souffle avec elle pour un « Midnight Raffle » giflé par une rythmique survoltée ; abandonnez-vous à l’envoûtement quand elle chante « Request For Requiems ». Hasse Poulsen unit aussi sa voix à la sienne, comme sur cet « I Dream A World » parcouru d’un frisson dont les couleurs acoustiques renvoient à The Man They Call Ass. Chair de poule garantie ! Objet musical des chemins de traverse, distillant une musique de brûlure, The Langston Project est à n’en pas douter un de ces albums qui ne sont pas près de regagner leur place dans les rayonnages d’une discothèque. Il reste là, à portée de main, revenant sans cesse au premier plan. Il n’est pas un disque qu’on écoute, mais un disque qu’on ré-écoute. Et qu’Hasse Poulsen ne m’en veuille pas de cette faiblesse de ma part mais... Debbie Cameron, tout de même, quelle splendeur ! Je lui dédie cette phrase extraite de « Breath Of A Rose » : « Love is like perfume in the heart of a rose ».

 

Sons d’Hiver 2015 #2 : les 29 et 31 janvier

Deux soirs au 24ème festival Sons d’Hiver  D 4 FÉVRIER 2015     H 19:39     A ALAIN GAUTHIER    

 

Hasse Poulsen pays tribute to Langston Hughes.

A queue of sovjet dimensions stretches in front of the entrance of the theater Jean Vilar in Vitry sur Seine, but no tanks, no ground to air missile battery; a security officer inspects absentmindedly the small handbags and backpacks of teens and others.

In the middle of the stage, in a space made for collective play, Hasse Poulsen on guitars and vocals, Luke EX on bass, Mark Sanders on drums and Debbie Cameron (from Miami ...) singing and playing the Fender Rhodes are getting ready to give life to the The Langston project as conceived by Poulsen.

 

It starts with an audio uppercut that makes you fear the worst: if they start as strong as that, how will they be able go the distance and finish the set? And how about us?

Luc EX has not only plugged his guitar, he hes also pushed his fingers into the three-phase. That boy is electric, holding his bass-guitar low guitar on the upper thighs and come-on-let's-go marching around on part of the stage as Attila on bass. SANDERS works with all his might over his drums and cymbals and POULSEN scratches the neck of his guitar like a slumdog overtaken by the capitalist poison. CAMERON struggles to be heard, "Hurt me Johnny" perhaps?

And then, once our ears are cleansed and our attention, they calm down. Debbie Cameron goes to the net: her pretty dress of alligator skin encrusted with stained glass, mica and mirrors sparkles with the 1001 lights she lits here and there as moves around the stage. She sings, waves, dances, laughs, touches her heart: she living there, for us, an inexhaustible, insatiable nuclear reaction.

The song Heart evokes the spirit of public poetry readings in the San Francisco of the 70s: a library or bar, stragglers of the evening leaving their television and it's prerecorded laughter, a firecracker turning and something to drink. Reread The Dharma Bums? The return of the tribes?

And It takes your soul: because this is an affair of heart and soul.

The small doings of everyday life parading by and amongst them, this heart and this soul. This quartet is inhabited, "animated", Poulsen goes from one guitar to another, CAMERON takes the lead and then leaves space, EX and SANDERS engage in a dialogue that will quietly lead them behind a quiet gentle thing sung by the two others. Something is happening before our eyes: jazz poetry of the best brandy with the work of Langston Hughes as a guideline, something that everyone contributes to develop without ever knowing if it will take off or not, where the whole is more than the sum of its parts: this is tonight!

They string along ballads, rhymes, blues and protest song in the tradition of Joan Baez, Dylan and the Pete Seeger. And this little wonder: "Where I go from here" as a soft color in a silky wave surf.

Magnificent concert and beautiful project.

Come on, promoters, do your job! Make them tour!

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