ListN Up: Darius Jones (October 8, 2021)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Darius Jones has created a recognizable voice as a critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer by embracing individuality and innovation in the tradition of African-American music. Jones’ new album, Raw Demoon Alchemy (A Lone Operation), will be released on Northern Spy Records in Fall 2021. Darius’ music is a confrontation against apathy and ego, hoping to inspire authenticity that compels us to be better humans.

Hi, my name is Darius Jones. I am a composer and alto saxophonist. I’ve created a playlist for you that features composers and pieces of theirs that I have interpreted on a new album of mine, entitled Raw Demoon Alchemy (A Lone Operation). Each one of these pieces is performed by them or by an individual that I simply love, and I’ve also added a few extra pieces by the composers that I really just can’t get enough of. So, I hope you enjoy it and thank you for this opportunity to share some music with you.

Figure No. 2 by Georgia Anne Muldrow, performed by Darius Jones

This is track one from my new album and is an unreleased work by Georgia. I still remember hearing her sing this piece over and over in a rehearsal some years back. I was profoundly moved by that experience with her and have not stopped playing this melody ever since.

Orgone by Georgia Anne Muldrow

I had to share this piece off her latest album, Mama, You Can Bet! This piece embodies so much of what I love about Georgia’s music. It’s unapologetically BLACK! It’s full of color, texture, movement, feeling, and love.

Sadness by Ornette Coleman

One of my favorite Ornette compositions, and his trio’s performance of this piece is the embodiment of the title.

Beautiful Love by Victor Young, performed by Benny Carter

I enjoy this piece because it was written for a monster movie in 1931. This performance by Benny Carter is one of my favorite versions and embodies a type of sax playing that straddles both a classical and jazz aesthetic.

Nonaah by Roscoe Mitchell

This performance and composition by Roscoe changed my life. To me, it embodies the epitome of artistic musical courage and grit.

Love In Outer Space by Sun Ra

There are so many versions of this piece by Sun Ra, but something about this solo version reflects why I chose to perform the piece on my new album.

Love In Outer Space by Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra

When I hear this version, I literally can’t help but to dance. It takes me into an altered state and makes me wish I could have experienced this live.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

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