Author: Fred Moten
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
There’s no doubt this book is deeply challenging, but it is so in the best way possible. Moten’s ‘In The Break’ stylistically reads like a free jazz improvisation as he argues that all black performance — culture, politics, sexuality, identity, and blackness itself— is improvisation. Moten hones in on the improvisatory jazz of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler among others and brings them into conversation with figures such as Billie Holiday, Shakespeare and Karl Marx. For Moten, improvisation provides a unique standpoint from which to investigate the connections between black aesthetics and Western philosophy. It’s a fascinating and challenging experience, one well worth undertaking.