A Black Mass is a curious piece that was extremely limited when it was first released in 1968 on Leroi Jones' (Amiri Baraka) Jihad records. Recorded at Spirit House, Jones' house/theater in Newark, this live performance of Jones' dramatic piece dedicated to Malcolm X -- and to a lesser extent, the Nation of Islam -- would have originally only been found in black nationalist bookstores in a few cities. Fans of Sun Ra & the Arkestra may be disappointed, as Ra and company never play more than a few notes here and there. Unfortunately, it's difficult to make out certain key elements of the dialogue, obviously essential to grasping the full understanding of Baraka's play. This is more a historical literary piece than a musical one, just as worthy of serious examination, albeit with strained ears.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell