Black Music

Amiri Baraka (1934-2014) "wrote with ecstasy—highly informed and intricate—about ecstatically complex music", says Richard Brody of this raucous collection of essays on modern jazz giants (Coltrane, Monk, Sun Ra and more) and their sonic elucidation of the African-American experience.

July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.