Christian McBride Releases “The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons”
Though it’s been performed several times, Christian McBride’s magnum opus The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons is now available for the entire world to hear. The work was first commissioned back in 1998 by Portland (Maine) Arts Society for quartet and gospel choir.
“At that time, I called it a musical portrait of the Civil Rights Movement,” McBride explains. “I thought about those times and decided that rather than try to write a history of the movement, I wanted to evoke its spirit and feeling.”
The piece grew in 2008 when the L.A. Philharmonic asked him to expand it for their upcoming season. McBride rewrote The Movement as a four-part suite for big band, jazz combo, gospel choir, and four narrators that would reflect four important figures: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali.
“The movement was obviously much bigger than the four historic figures I included,” Christian notes. “But these four icons are people that touched me deeply, therefore I decided to put the tagline ‘A Musical Portrait of Four Icons’ as opposed to calling it a portrait of the Civil Rights Movement.” A final section, “Apotheosis, November 4th, 2008,” was added to honor Barack Obama being elected president.
McBride tapped poet Sonia Sanchez to voice Rosa Parks, Vondie Curtis-Hall to voice Malcolm X, Dion Graham to voice Muhammad Ali, and Wendell Pierce to voice Martin Luther King, Jr. You can hear Pierce’s recitation of the “I Have a Dream” speech in the piece “Soldiers (I Have a Dream)”:
The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons Track List:
- Overture/The Movement Revisited
- Sister Rosa – Prologue
- Sister Rosa
- Rosa Introduces Malcolm
- Brother Malcolm – Prologue
- Brother Malcolm
- Malcolm Introduced Ali
- Ali Speaks
- Rumble in the Jungle
- Rosa Introduces MLK
- Soldiers (I Have a Dream)
- A View from the Mountaintop
- Apotheosis: November 4th, 2008