With Eddie Palmieri’s upcoming concert revival of his classic Harlem River Drive (1971) on the horizon, Revive has protest music on the mind. Before Palmieri and his band perform the album live on May 21st, check out a few of our favorite tracks that make you question the justice, equality, and freedom still being fought for today. With a touch of new, a touch of old, and a whole lot of straight, free, bebop, vocal, instrumental, electronic, and modern jazz, these are 16 pieces of protest that deserve to be heard in 2016.

Eddie Palmieri: Harlem River Drive (1971)

Max Roach: We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite (1960)

Charles Mingus: “Fables of Faubus” – Mingus Ah Um (1959)

Sonny Rollins: “Freedom Suite” (1958)


Billy Holiday: “Strange Fruit” (1939)
* Bonus: Jose James’s chilling 2015 rendition



Charlie Haden: Liberation Music Orchestra (1970)


Nina Simone: “Mississippi Goddam” – Live in New York (1964)


Gary Bartz: “Uhuru Sasa” – I’ve Known Rivers and Other Bodies (1973)

Les McCann and Eddie Harris: “Compared to What” – Swiss Movement (1971)


John Coltrane: “Alabama” – Live at Birdland (1963)


Gil Scott Heron: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” (1971)


Gregory Porter: “1960 What?” – Water (2010)


Ambrose Akinmusire: “Rollcall For Those Absent” – The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint (2014)


Terence Blanchard: “Talk to Me” – Breathless (2015)


Vijay Iyer : “Suite for Trayvon (and Thousands More)”Wiring, feat. Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman & Andrew Cyrille (2014)


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: “KKPD” – Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (2010)


Compiled by Andie Neff 


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