Monday, 21 May 2018

Biafra rebirth for Africa


Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

BIAFRA’s restoration-of-independence signals to the rest of the constituent peoples or nations (i.e., pre-conquest and occupation) of Africa, enveloped in the European-created “Berlin-states” of death, immiseration, desolation and hopelessness, that freedom and transformation, right there in Africa, are achievable goals – that African peoples can build, reconstruct, embark on all possibilities of working for themselves and appropriating the fruits of their labour from their land and on their own terms... The world must now know that Biafra flowers innumerable Biafras of rebirth not seen in Africa for 500 years, since 1492.
(Jackie McLean Quartet, “Melody for Melonae”, from Let Freedom Ring [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Walter Davis, piano; Herbie Lewis, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 19 March 1962])
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Sunday, 20 May 2018

275th birthday of Toussaint L’Ouverture

(Born 20 May 1743, Bréda at Haut de Cap enslaved estate [probably], Saint-Domingue)
LEADER of the Haitian Revolution, embarks on the armed mobilisation of tens of thousands of enslaved Africans, beginning 1789, in revolt against French-occupied Saint-Domingue, west Hispaniola, the Caribbean, wealthiest African-enslaved territory of the Americas during the epoch, with the eventual historic 1804 African military victory against not only France but also the expanded forces of its pan-European allies, including, particularly British and Spanish, who come to its aid, when the free Africans proclaim the Republic of Haiti
(Max Roach Sextet, “Freedom day” [personnel: Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Booker Little, trumpet; Julian Priester, trombone; Walter Benton, tenor saxophone; James Schenk, bass; recorded: Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, New York, US, 31 August/6 September 1960)
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Saturday, 19 May 2018

83rd birthday of Cecil McBee

(Born 19 May 1935, Tulsa, Oklahoma, US)
EMINENTLY influential bassist, composer, academic
(McCoy Tyner Quartet, “Bluesin’ for John C” [composer: McCoy Tyner] [personnel: Tyner, piano; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; recorded: Impulse! Records, New York, US, 9 July 1987])
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93rd birthday of Malcolm X

(Born 19 May 1925, Omaha, Nebraska, US)
ONE OF THE preeminent leaders of the African American freedom movement
(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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Thursday, 17 May 2018

87th birthday of Dewey Redman

(Born 17 May 1931, Fort Worth, Texas, US)
VERSATILE tenor saxophonist, composer and bandleader, collaborates with a number of distinguished artists (especially alto saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Prince Lasha, trumpeter Don Cherry, pianists Cecil Taylor and Keith Jarrett, guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Charlie Haden, drummers Ed Blackwell, Paul Motian, Charles Moffett, Elvin Jones) in groundbreaking recordings (1960s-1990s), plays in the celebrated Jarrett’s American Quartet of the 1970s particularly in the ensemble’s exquisite composition, The Survivors’ Suite (1976), father of the equally brilliant and accomplished tenorist Joshua Redman
(Ornette Coleman Septet, “Happy house” [personnel: Coleman, alto saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet; Bobby Bradford, trumpet; Redman, tenor saxophone, musette; Charlie Haden, bass; Billy Higgins, drums; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: Columbia Studios E, New York, UK, 9 September 1971])
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87th birthday of Jackie McLean

Born 17 May 1931, Harlem, New York, US)
ONE OF THE preeminent alto saxophonists, bandleader, prolific composer including the classic Let Freedom Ring (1962), worked through as this phase of the great Afcrican American age of freedom gathers pace, altoist on the Charles Mingus Quintet’s recording of Pithecanthropus Erectus (1956), the iconoclastic bassist’s audacious orchestration of the tortuous and contraditory human march across the ages, co-founder, in 1970, with wife Dollie, of Hartford’s (Connecticut) Artists Collective which works for the preservation of African diaspora art and culture, academic, named after the University of Hartford’s department of African American Music – Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz
(Jackie McLean and McCoy Tyner, “Passion dance” [composer: McCoy Tyner] [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Woody Shaw, trumpet; Tyner, piano; Cecil McBee, bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums; recorded: live, One night with Blue Note, Town Hall, New York, 22 February 1985])
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67th birthday of Emma Okala

(Born 17 May 1951, Onicha, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

TOWERING goalkeeper of the majestic and indomitable Enuugwu Rangers International, the football club during the 1970s-1980s, which, arguably, most symbolises the dogged and resilient spirit of Igbo people in the wake of the cataclysmic genocide, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, phases I-III, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, when Hausa-Fulani/islamist jihadist-led Nigeria and its suzerain state Britain under the premiership of Harold Wilson murder 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation’s population
(Tina Brooks Sextet, “Back to the tracks” [personnel: Brooks, tenor saxophone; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Jackie McLean, alto saxophone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, US, 1 September 1960)
Twitter@HerbertEkweEkwe