Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Africa: Snippet of the Arab/islamist conquest and occupation – in retrieval and consequences

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WITHIN 70 years of the Arab/islamist conquest and seizure of Kemet, or “ancient” Egypt, the great African civilisation on the continent’s northeast and on the Mediterranean, in 642 CE, these conqueror forces from west Asia extended their territorial march across Africa westward, stretching onto the northwest Atlantic coast (the so-called Maghreb). Indeed by 705 CE, these invaders had taken over one-third of Africa – from the northwest Atlantic coast to the Red Sea (Indian Ocean). Soon after, an expeditionary force from the occupation’s base in the “Maghreb” attacked the westcentral Atlantic coast kingdom of Ghana (situated around contemporary Sénégal/Gambia/Guinea-Bissau/Mali/Mauritania) ravaging, pillaging and occupying.


The trend and consequences of these invasions on the continent were seismically devastating: overruns and takeovers of states, enslavements and exportations of peoples, serial pillage of phenomenal treasures, simultaneous islamisation/Arabisation and targeted and insistent de-Africanisation of the expansive, variegated cultural heritage of these regions of Africa. The Arab/islamist invasion inaugurated 1200 (0ne thousand two hundred) years of the enslavement of African peoples which extended to the east, central and southern Africa.

IN EFFECT, the Arab/islamist occupation of Africa constitutes the catastrophic relay race of invasion whose baton the Arab/islamists would hand over to Europe, beginning 15th century CE.
(Alice Coltrane Quintet “Blue Nile” [personnel: Coltrane, harp; Joe Henderson, alto flute, Pharoah Sanders, alto flute; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Coltrane home studios, Dix Hills, New York, US, 26 January 1970])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 11 December 2017

79th birthday of McCoy Tyner

(Born 11 December 1938, Philadelphia, United States)
ONE OF THE most influential pianists of the 20th century, occupies the piano chair of the classic John Coltrane Quartet (full personnel: Coltrane, tenor and soprano saxophones; Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums), 1960-1965, and subsequently records own key signature albums (The Real McCoyTime for TynerExtensionsTender MomentsSaharaBlues for Coltraneplays John Coltrane at The Village VanguardRemembering JohnRevelationsInfinity44th Street SuiteIlluminationsExpansionsLive in WarsawRound MidnightSoliloquyplays Duke EllingtonToday and TomorrowNights of Ballads and BluesLove and PeaceLand of the Giants) in varying group contexts such as trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, nonets, big band, solo
(McCoy Tyner Quartet“Blues on the corner” [personnel: Tyner, piano; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophoneRon Carter, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 April 1967]) 
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 10 December 2017

92nd birthday of Jimmy Smith

(Born 8 December 1925, Norristown, Pennsylvania, US)
CELEBRATED inventive organist and prolific composer who significantly promotes the use of the Hammond B-3 organ as an instrument in jazz in the early 1950s and whose influence on subsequent organists in the repertoire has been immensely profound
(Jimmy Smith Trio, “The sermon” [personnel: Smith, organ; QuentinWarren, guitar; Billy Hart, drums; recorded: BBC TV, {?} 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe 

Saturday, 9 December 2017

53rd anniversary of the recording of John Coltrane’s classic, A Love Supreme

(Recorded 9 Dec 1964, Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US)

A Love Supreme, a suite in four parts (“Acknowledgement”, “Resolution”, “Pursuance”, “Psalm”), is played here by the John Coltrane Quartet (personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums)

John Coltrane Quartet
(John Coltrane: tenor saxophone)
(McCoy Tyner: piano)
(Jimmy Garrison: bass)
(Elvin Jones: drums)

A Love Supreme

pt. I “Acknowledgement”
pt. II “Resolution”
pt. III “Pursuance”
 pt. IV “Psalm”

Friday, 8 December 2017

Thoughts for the weekend: Who is “person of colour”?

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

WHO is this? Who indeed is “person of colour”? Would they also be termed “coloured person”? If not, why not?

No one should ever toy with their identity, their history – particularly African peoples, especially those domiciled in the pan-European World. Crucially, in this geographical space, as well as in the Arab World, the cardinal constructs of African identity have in the past been expunged in stretches of robust state/quasi-state programmes aimed primarily to deny or distort the saliency of the African presence.

This is why a person who presents themself, for instance, as African British, African American, African Caribbean, Igbo British, Ethiopian American, Congolese French, Biafran German, Jamaican Canadian, etc., etc., actuates a presence unmistakeably that references or resonates with history. In contrast, employing a dehistoricised expression/epithet in referencing someone, however expedient, even fanciful, questions that person’s presence and surely accelerates their slide to quite often tragic alienation.

ALWAYS insist on who you are. This is not the responsibility of somebody else’s.
(McCoy Tyner Quartet, “Contemplation” [personnel: Tyner, piano; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophoneRon Carter, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 April 1967])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

At long last… Nana Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana, sets the pace for the African peoples’ position in relation to the pan-European World during this joint press conference in Accra, Ghana (Tuesday 5 December 2017), with Emmanuel Marcon, the visiting French president – 61 years after the beginning of the so-called African restoration of independence in the Sudan … Marcon appears disconcerted as Akufo-Addo makes his speech…

 (Nana Akufo-Addo)
(President Nana Akufo-Addo delivers his historic speech in Accra at joint news conference with visiting French President Emmanuel Marcon, Tuesday 5 December 2017)

Statues of ideas

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THE RECENT comical if not bizzare assemblage of appointments by the overseer regime in Owere, Imo, east Biafra region, must not mask a salient characteristic of an occupation enterprise by a conqueror force, particularly the genocidist’s. It is to entrench lilliputians on the ground to police the occupation as part of expanding even further the parameters of the genocidist drive.


In this land of enriched statutes of ideas and transformations that elevated Biafra to Africa’s most dynamic economy prior to the genocide, launched by Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led Nigeria and Britain on 29 May 1966, the lilliputians of the occupation are designed by the génocidaires to destroy the critical milestones of a people’s history. These lead murderers of Africans in Africa since the 1900s are desperate indeed

They do know, though, that Biafrans are solidly knowledgeable of their history and that the days of this occupation and season of the little, petty personages of vile enforcers are coming to an end. Biafra, the pearl of African affirmation, is defiantly on the way back.

THE SCHOOLS’ curricula and the dramatic arts and other sites of creativity in Biafra on the morrow of the restoration-of-independence will surely contend with the evolving encyclopaedic material that references this tragic epoch of Igbo history in its entirety.
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Lonnie’s lament” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliff, NJ, US, 27 April 1964])