Album Reviews

Harry Belafonte

When Colors Come Together . . . The Legacy of Harry Belafonte

Artist:     Harry Belafonte

Album:     When Colors Come Together . . . The Legacy of Harry Belafonte

Label:     Legacy Recordings

Release Date:     02/24/2017


It’s only right that every boomer and the generations hence feels like Harry Belafonte has always been inspiring them. In 90 glorious years he rose from poverty in Harlem, to being mentored by Paul Robeson, making his first pro appearance on a NY stage with Charlie Parker, Miles, and Mingus in the band. He was blacklisted by Joe McCarthy, was a close confidant to and walked boldly beside MLK, Jr. and helped finance the 1961 Freedom Rides. He was named advisor to the Peace Corps by JFK. Bob Dylan’s first studio performance is on harmonica on the namesake track to Harry’s 1962 album Midnight Special. Star of stage and screen, he’s won Grammys, an Emmy, a Tony, and humanitarian awards too numerous to mention. A true world ambassador, Belafonte is the living epitome of our better angels. So trust in Belafonte who, tirelessly ever the beacon of social justice, co-chaired the Women’s March on Washington in January, to still bring the light to the darkness.

Since most of these songs are indelibly burned into your DNA imprint, crank it up for a while, catch your breath, then get back out there into the resistance as Harry would have you do. And take the music with you. It was always his and ours first and most potent weapon against hate and intolerance. The 19 \tracks, personally chosen by Belafonte, include: “All My Trials,” “Scarlet Ribbons,” “Banana Boat (Day-O),” “Jump in the Line,” “Matilda,” “Angelina,” “Those Three On My Mind,” “Island in the Sun,” “Jamaica Farewell,” and a live, circa ’72, peerless take on “Pastures of Plenty.”

—Mike Jurkovic

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