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The point, it seemed, was to spend oneself with as much attention as possible, and also to make the instruments sound as unmusical, or as non-Western, as possible. It was almost as if the blues people were reacting against the softness and "legitimacy" that had crept into black instrumental music with the advent of swing. In a way, this is what had happened, and for this reason, rhythm & blues sat as completely outside the mainstream as earlier blues forms, though without that mainstream this form of music might have been impossible.

LeRoi Jones, "The Blues Continuum" in Blues People (1963).
R.I.P. Amiri Baraka (1934-2014)