Monday, 25 September 2017

94th birthday of Sam Rivers

Born 25 September 1923, El Reno, Oklahoma, US)
SEMINAL tenor saxophonist/multiinstrumentalist and composer who has recorded with varying ensembles (big bands, octets, quintets, quartets, trios, duos, even solo!) and whose exquisite ballad “Beatrice”, named after his wife, is a classic
(Sam Rivers Quartet, “Beatrice” [personnel: Rivers, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 11 December 1964])
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106th birthday of Eric Williams

(Born 25 September 1911, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago)
ONE OF THE most outstanding African Caribbean intellectuals of all time, author of Capitalism and Slavery (1944), classic on African enslavement in the Americas by the pan-European World – from his 1938 Oxford University doctoral thesis, and first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, 31 August 1962, after centuries of the British/European World conquest, enslaving and occupation
(George Russell Sextet, “Honesty” [personnel: Russell, piano; Don Ellis, trumpet; Dave Baker, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Steve SwallowJoe Hunt, bass; drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 8 May 1961])
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What if the US (American) football players protesting at Wembley Stadium were Biafrans?

(protesting US [American] football players, Wembley Stadium, London, England, Sunday 24 September 2017)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IF… If these US American football players in the picture (above) at Wembley Stadium in London, England, protesting against racism in their own country were, for instance, Igbo football players protesting against the recent Hausa-Fulani/islamist-led genocidist Nigeria military slaughter of Igbo youth in eastcentral Biafra regions, these players would be detained instantly on their return by the genocidist troopers and surely “disappear” subsequently… If the Igbo players had instead staged their protest in a stadium at Aba or Onicha or Oka or Asaba or Owere or Igwe Ocha or Enuugwu or indeed any other Biafran city or town, the players would almost certainly have been shot at sight by the gun-toting genocidists just as the vile operatives mowed down hundreds of Igbo youth at Afaraukwu-Ibeku/greater Umuahia and Aba/greater Aba regions of eastcentral Biafra on Thursday 14 September 2017... If…

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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Season of restoration-of-independence referendums across the globe begins this week: Kurdistan ... Catalonia ... Biafra ... African peoples in a stretch of anti-African “Berlin-states” or estates dotted across Africa …

(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958) 

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123rd birthday of E Franklin Frazier

(Born 24 September 1894, Baltimore, US)
INFLUENTIAL sociologist and academic who publishes expansively on subject of race and human rights in the United States with the E Franklin Frazier Center for Social Work Research, Howard University, named after him
(https://socialwork.howard.edu/centers/frazier-center, accessed 24 September 2017)

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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Celebration!


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

ON THIS DAY of the 91st birthday of John Coltrane, we here recall one of the most outstanding collaborations of two artistic geniuses in history: Miles Davis and John Coltrane. In this memorable April 1959 session, the Davis Quintet (Davis, trumpet; Coltrane, tenor sax; Wynton Kelly, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums – they are joined briefly towards the end by a group of trombonists who are part of the brass section of an orchestra to perform with Davis on a separate date) is playing “So what” . Davis’s solo is sensuously crisp and achingly fragile, with every single note played literally justifying its being… This is sheer beauty. Coltrane takes over and it is fascinating how, in his intro, he acknowledges the delicacy of the mood already established by Davis but confronts the question posed by the title of the composition by pitching his stall on a different plane – with those unmistakable torrents of notes, his “sheets of sound”, that mark his signature. As he takes his break, the usually reticent Davis is seen swaying to the beat as his tenorist soars. Kelly reorders the tempo, once again, as he contributes to the debate on piano and of course the irrepressible Chambers on bass (who had just turned 24!) and drummer Cobb are all redefining the state of African American classical music at such a crucial epoch in US and world history. For an excellent book on the working relationship between Miles and Trane, I recommend Farrah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington, Clawing at the limits of cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the greatest jazz collaboration ever (New York: St Martin’s & Thomas Dunn Books, 2008).

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91st birthday of John Coltrane

(Born 23 September 1926, Hamlet, NC, United States)
ICONOCLASTIC tenor (and soprano) saxophonist and composer who, arguably, has had the most profound impact on the development of jazz, African American classical music, in the past 50 years
(John Coltrane Quartet, “Impressions” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: live, Jazz Casual Productions {host: Ralph Gleason}, 7 December 1963])
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