April 03, 1978 12:00 PM

Paul Freeman conducting the Detroit Symphony

Singling out contemporary composers because of the color of their skin may seem as perverse as refusing to serve them hamburgers at a lunch counter, but without some reverse discrimination their works might never be played. That may not be too big a loss with some of them—the piano concerto by George Walker, performed by Natalie Hinderas, is a bit thin on both sound and ideas—but the modern orchestral pieces of college professors Hale Smith and Adolphus Hailstork are rich and tantalizing in Freeman’s lucid interpretation. Part of an ambitious series of albums begun in 1974, this LP is a reminder that having an Afro doesn’t mean one can’t also be a longhair.

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