I have to admit: I’m looking forward to seeing if Tyler Perry can step up from the broad caricatures of black life that he usually deals in and do justice to Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking Broadway choreo-poem “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”. Here’s hoping.
In the meantime, I’m happy to find out that, Mem Nahadr, part of the black rock extended fam, is getting a shot at broader exposure via this song that’s on the soundtrack. From the press release:
M.’s distinctive looks and multi-octave powerhouse of a voice set her apart, yet also led her to a revelation of our shared humanity, our common difference. “I was a little girl that looked like Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap, living in an all African-American neighborhood in America,” she recollects. “What I experience on Planet Earth as a person with albinism is the oneness of one story told. Everyone has the experience of being different. Period. That’s the lowest common denominator.”
“When I first heard her sing, I thought that M. had fallen from the sky; her voice was tying the heavens to the ocean, because of the range of it and the holiness of it,” [Ntozake] Shange explains. “I don’t mean holiness in a religious sense, but the inescapable ‘sacredness’ of her voice, as if there were a holiness in her voice that could lift you off your feet.”
Both M. and Shange share a deep love to free jazz, you’ll be able to check them out together as they doa series of spoken word and improvised free music performances at the Nuyorican Poets Café (November 8-17, 2010 at 7 PM).
M. shares the soundtrack with Sharon Jones & Dap Kings, Gladys Knight, Lalah Hathaway, Macy Gray, Ledisi, Simone, Laura Izibor, and others.
I’ll be interviewing M. later this week, so stay tuned for that.