Tuesday, 29 August 2017

97th birthday of Charlie Parker

(Born 29 August 1920, Kansas City, US)
Alto saxophonist genius and composer who plays an instrumental role in inaugurating the bebop revolution in jazz in the 1940s/early 1950s, channelling its creativity and outcomes crucially to this epoch of African American freedom quest
(Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, “Hot house” [personnel: Parker, alto saxophone; Gillespie, trumpet; Dick Hyman, piano; Sandy Block, bass; Charlie Smith, drums; recorded: DuMont television network, New York, US, 24 February 1952])

Monday, 28 August 2017

79th birthday of Alexander Obiefoka Animalu

(Born 28 August 1938, Okuzu, Biafra)
DISTINGUISHED theoretical physicist and expert on solar energy, professor emeritus, prolific multidisciplinary author whose publications include a set of biographical studies on leading Biafran intellectuals, one of which is on mathematician Chike Obi aptly subtitled: The foremost African mathematical genius of the 20th century
(Miles Davis Quintet, “Circle” [personnel: Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, US, 24-25 October 1966])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 27 August 2017

108th birthday of Lester Young

(Born 27 August 1909, Woodville, Mississippi, US)
“Pres”/“Prez” of the tenor, influential tenor saxophonist whose unique, more introverted tone has had an immense impact on several successive lead players of the instrument including, especially, Gordon, Getz, Mulligan, Cohn, Sims, Quinichette and Stitt
(Billie holiday & Her All Stars, featuring Lester Young, play “Fine and mellow” [full personnel: Holiday, vocals; Roy Eldridge, trumpet; Doc Cheatham, trumpet; Vic Dickenson, trombone; Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Lester Young, tenor saxophone; Ben Webster, tenor saxophone; Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophone; Danny Baker, guitar; Mal Waldron, piano; Milt Hinton, bass; Osie Johnson, drums; recorded: CBS, “Sound of Jazz”, New York, US,  8 December 1957])

80th birthday of Alice Coltrane

(Born 27 August 1937, Detroit, United States)
PERSPICUOUS harpist, pianist, organist, bandleader and versatile composer whose output includes the ethereal masterpiece, Ptah, the El Daoud (personnel: Coltrane, piano, harp; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; Ron Carter, bass; Ben Riley, drums [recorded: Coltrane home studio, Dix Hills, New York, US, 26 January 1970])

Saturday, 26 August 2017

FWD: Emmanuel Marcon of France spends US$30,000/£24,000/€26,000 on makeup in the first 100 days of his presidency

(Emmanuel Marcon: not-unimpressive makeup budget indeed...)

PRESUMABLY, a hitherto undisclosed budget allocation of how the French spend the 85% of total annual reserves of so-called francophonie Africa that these states have been compelled by France to deposit in a specially dedicated Paris bank account since 1960 for French appropriation in perpetuity… Consequently, France offers no accounting, whatsoever, to the generations of African creators of this phenomenal wealth on how it squanders their critical resource year in, year out.
(Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe)
(Wayne Shorter Octet, “Mephistopheles” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone,  Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Alan Shorter, fluegelhorn; Grachan Moncur III, trombone;  James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano;  Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 15 October 1965])

99th birthday of Katherine Johnson

(Born 26 August 1918, White Sulphur Springs, W Virginia, US)
ICONIC mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, space scientist with expansive work in the US space programme

Friday, 25 August 2017

84th birthday of Wayne Shorter

(Born 25 August 1933, Newark, New Jersey, US)
CEREBRAL tenor and soprano saxophonist, member of the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet (1964-1968; personnel: Davis, trumpet; Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums)) and arguably the most prolific living composer in the repertoire – compositions include standards “Lester left town”, “Footprints”, “Nefertiti” and “ESP” and Schizophrenia, Speak No Evil  and the classic, The All Seeing Eye
(Wayne Shorter Septet, “Schizophrenia” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone; Curtis Fuller, trombone, James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood CliffNJ,US, 10 March 1967)
(Wayne Shorter Septet, “Chaos” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Grachan Moncur III, trombone, James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood CliffNJ,US, 15 October 1965)
(Wayne Shorter Octet, “Mephistopheles” [personnel: Shorter, tenor saxophone,  Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Alan Shorter, fluegelhorn; Grachan Moncur III, trombone;  James Spaulding, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano;  Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 15 October 1965])

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Biafra freedom movement has indeed a dinner party dimension in its dynamics

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

MAO TSE-TUNG once proclaimed that a revolution is not a “dinner party” but an “insurrection, an act of violence” in which a group of subjugated people in a power relation overthrows the other that controls this power of subjugation.

In its own reading of prevailing history, 90 years after this declaration, the Biafra freedom movement has projected and is operationalising a liberation strategy with resounding effect that is dramatically antithetical to Mao’s: non-violence.

Quite a few find this strategy surprising, if not intriguing, as the Igbo have had to resist a genocidist Nigeria, during the course of these past 51 years, an evidently more ruthless murder machine than either the Kuomintang Chinese regime or the (external) Japanese forces that the Maoists confronted. Neither the Kuomintang nor the Japanese was genocidist – so the incredulous observers of Biafran current strategy do feel that the Igbo, given their history, would have been obvious candidates deeply engaged in a Maoist “insurrection, an act of violence”, not its distinct opposite.


Two interlocking factors account for Biafrans’ non-violence drive. First, they have channelled the “long march” wealth of experience of one-half century of resistance to genocide to an evocative stream of conscientisation on Biafra freedom and restoration-of-independence across the length and breadth of the Biafran homeland where an essentially alternate Biafra state has begun to flourish despite the brutish Nigeria genocidist occupation. The Igbo now dictate the terms of their freedom from Nigeria. They have acquired this pivotal status, in the past 24 months, it should be stressed, without firing a shot – either in defence or offence. They insist on a referendum to democratically secure the next crucial phase of the process. They have turned Biafran towns and villages into freedom parks for open, participatory creative debates on Biafra, often involving a range of family members, that would have been deemed impossible just a few years ago. The quest for Biafra freedom is at once an occasion for celebration involving all generations of the people. Huge crowds of people across the country, varying from hundreds of thousands to two and three million estimates in the July 2017 Igwe Ocha and Owere assemblies, south and eastcentral Biafra respectively, and in mid-August (2017) in Ekwuluobia (west Biafra) have attended rallies organised by the Indigenous People of Biafra in which leader Nnamdi Kanu has fervently articulated the salient features that map out the current phase of the freedom movement with emphasis, particularly, on a referendum for the people for restoration-of-independence.


SECONDLY, 51 years after the launch of the Igbo genocide which coincides with the dramatic, ironical upheaval of the historic demands and consequences of Scotland’s quest for independence (or, more historically appropriate, restoration-of-independence) from Britain itself, a co-genocidist state in this genocide, and Britain’s own decision (through a referendum) to exit from the European Union (Brexit) that it had been a member for 44 years, Biafrans now regard Britain, not the on the ground genocidist Nigeria, as the primary agency that not only funds the genocide but is prepared to maintain its continuing execution as a means of controlling its Nigeria-creation in perpetuity. Clearly, Britain is the owner and director of the genocidist guillotine that has murdered Igbo people so gruesomely for five decades. The Nigerians are nothing more than the executioner in this project. For Britain, thanks to Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s notorious stance taken right soon after the outset of the genocide on 29 May 1966 (“I would accept a half million dead Biafrans if that was what it took” Nigeria to destroy the Igbo resistance to the genocide –
Roger MorrisUncertain Greatness: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, London and New York: Quartet Books, 1977: 122), just 18 years after the end of the deplorable perpetration of the Jewish genocide by Germany during which 6 million Jews were murdered, its central role in the Igbo genocide represents an incredibly low-risk strategy as an Africa-based executioner force, headed by Britain’s close allies in the region for over 100 years, the Hausa-Fulani/islamistsis right there in Biafra to murder the Igbo as ever as it wills with no expected condemnation from Britain – a corresponding position invariably adopted particularly by its West allies as the history of this crime attests.


DESPITE the sheer savagery of this British-led genocide in which 3.1 million Igbo were murdered in the first three phases (29 May 1966-12 January 1970) and tens of thousands murdered subsequently in phase-IV (i.e., since 13 January 1970 to this day), the Igbo have not only survived but have emerged more focused, steadfast, and resilient to free themselves from Nigeria and restore Biafran sovereignty.

Britain must now know that it cannot stop this process. No one else can stop Igbo freedom from Britain’s genocidist Nigeria. Surely, Britain has no other choice but terminate its role at once in waging this crime against humanity in Biafra, 3130 miles away in southwestcentral Africa, accept full responsibility, apologise to Igbo people, and pay them comprehensive reparations.

As most observers know, Biafra is the beacon of the long-sought African peoples’ renaissance of the current epoch.
(Eric Dolphy Septet plays “Naima”, John Coltrane’s classic composition [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Donald Byrd, trumpet; Nathan Davis, tenor saxophone; Jacques Dieval, piano; Jacques B Hess, bass; Franco Manzecchi, drums; Jacky Bambou, percussion; recorded: ORTF radio broadcasts, Paris, France, 11 June 1964])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 21 August 2017

113th birthday of Count Basie

(Born 21 August 1904, Red Bank, New Jersey, US)
Pianist, organist, composer, arranger, his salutary majesty of the big band and swing whose orchestra for 50 years, beginning in 1935, becomes a conservatoire for the distinguished graduating array of instrumentalists and singers of the age including, particularly, tenor saxophonist Lester Young, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry Edison and singers Billie Holiday, Helen Humes, Big Joe Turner, Joe Williams and Jimmy Rushing
(Count Basie and Orchestra, “One O’clock jump” [Reveille with Beverley film, 1943])

89th birthday of Art Farmer

(Born 21 August 1928, Council Bluffs, Iowa, US)
VERY DISTINGUISHED lyrical fluegelhorn player and trumpeter with grace and sensitive tonality; composer and bandleader
(Benny Golson & Milt Jackson & Art Farmer & Neils-Henning Ørsted Pedersen Nonet, “Bags groove” [personnel: Golson, tenor saxophone; Farmer, flueguelhorn, Jackson, vibraphone; Pederson, bass; Toot Thielsman, harmonica; Ulf Wakenius, guiter; Jonas Johansen, drums; Max Roach, drums; recorded: live, Große Konzertscheue, Jazzbaltica, Salzau, Germany, 14 June 1997])
(Art Farmer Quintet, “Mirage” [personnel: Farmer, flueguelhorn, Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Fred Hersch, piano; Ray Drummond, bass; Akira Tana, drums; recorded: Vanguard Studios, New York, US, 18-19 September 1982])

Thursday, 17 August 2017

130th birthday of Marcus Garvey

(Born 17 August 1887, St Ann’s Bay, Jamaica)
PREEMINENT African peoples-centred thinker, journalist, publisher, organiser, entrepreneur


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The haunting tragedy of a Nigeria...

BRITAIN creates a predatory estate it calls Nigeria, a name cavalierly concocted from one of the derivatives from the racist, dehumanising pan-European-created “n” epithet with edited part of word “area” added on to emphasise the conquered African peoples’ domicility, and employs an equally predatory and expansionist but African-based Hausa-Fulani/islamists originally from Futa Djallon highlands in contemporary Guinea-Conakry, 1500 miles from the west, to murder indigenous Igbo people at will to keep the estate in business in perpetuity. For the Igbo, the resistance and overcoming from nïgériana is undoubtedly existential; they are clearly the authors of their freedom which, thankfully, 51 years later, is on the cards. Igbo freedom from this haematophagous monster is the great African story of this century.

92nd birthday of Mal Waldron

(Born 16 August 1925, New York, US)
VERSATILE composer, bandleader and pianist with a distinctive minimalist approach, producing, during a career stretching 50 years, over 100 albums under his leadership and over 60 as accompanist in bands elsewhere especially those led by luminaries HolidayLincolnMingusAmmonsBurrellColtraneRoachDolphy and Little
(Mal Waldron Quintet, “The Seagulls of Kristiansund” [personnel: Waldron, piano; Woody Shaw, trumpet; Charlie Rouse, tenor saxophone; Reggie Workman, bass; Ed Blackwell, drums; recorded: live, The Village Vanguard, New York, US, 16 September 1986]) 

FWD: Genocidist Nigeria continues its murdering trail in Biafra...

TODAY, it is Ekwulobia, west Biafra – genocidist occupation military, including navy detachments (Ekwulobia is neither on the Biafra coast nor by a strategic river course in Biafra!), open fire on peaceful, defenceless population of the Biafra freedom movement, murdering at least one and wounding several ... detailed casualty figures are still coming in... In this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, genocidist Nigeria has continued its unrelenting murder of Igbo people, thanks to its embedded support from its co-genocidist and suzerain state Britain...

87th birthday of Christopher Okigbo

(Born 16 August 1930, Ojoto, Biafra)
Africa’s most influential and celebrated poet
AS PART of today’s commemoration of Okigbo’s birthday, re-thinkingafrica reissues the 3-part video recording of Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe’s paper presentation to the Christopher Okigbo International Conference, Harvard University, 22 September 2007, entitled “Okigbo, the Africa state, genocide and the peoples”

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

142nd birthday of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

(Born 15 August 1875, Holborn, London, England)
DISTINGUISHED prolific composer whose landmark works embody African peoples-centred/-inflected themes including, especially, “Land of the Sun”, Op. 15 (1897) [anticipating Biafra?! - HE-E], “African Romances” Op.17 (1897), The Song of Hiawatha, Op. 30 (“Overture to The Song of Hiawatha”, 1899; “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast”, 1898; “The Death of Minnehaha”, 1899; “Hiawatha’s Departure”, 1900), “African Suite”, Op. 35 (1899), Toussaint LOuverture, Op. 46 (1901), “Ethiopia Saluting the Colours”, Op. 51 [2?] (1902), “Moorish Dance”, Op. 55 (1904), “Four African Dances”, Op. 58 (1904), Kubla Khan, Op. 61 (1905), Symphonic Variations on an African Air, Op. 63 (1906), Thelma, Op. 72 (1907-9), The Bamboula, Op. 75 (1911)
(Samuel Coleridge-TaylorSymphonic variations on an African air, Op. 63 (1906), played here by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Grant Llewellyn, BBC Radio 3, London, 28 October 2004)

92nd birthday of Oscar Peterson

(Born 15 August 1925, Montreal, Canada)

AWARD winning pianist, bandleader and composer (including the freedom-quest classic, “Hymn to freedom”) whose resplendent duo (piano, bass/guitar/piano/trumpet/voice) and trio ensembles (piano, bass, drums) establish an authoritative space in the jazz repertoire for well over 50 years starting from the late 1940s
(Oscar Peterson Trio, “Hymn to freedom” [personnel: Peterson, piano; Ray Brown, bass; Ed Thigpen; recorded: live, DR VT, Holbaek, Denmark, 2 May 1964])

Monday, 14 August 2017

88th birthday of Richard Ihetu, aka Dick Tiger

(Born 14 August 1929, Ubahu, Biafra)
ILLUSTRIOUS world middleweight and light-heavyweight boxing champion of the mid-1960s, Biafran ambassadeur extraordinaire during the Igbo genocide perpetrated  jointly by Nigeria and Britain, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, when 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation’s population are slaughtered, proclaims, solemnly, to the world at the time: “Without Biafra, the championship title is no good to me. Without Biafra, my title is nothing” Dick Tiger’s is an impressive legacy that resonates most profoundly on the current phase of the Biafra freedom movement focused on liberating Biafra from 47 years of the genocidist Nigeria occupation
(Andrew Hill Nonet, “Yesterday’s tomorrow” [personnel: Hill, piano; Dizzy Reece, trumpet; Woody Shaw, trumpet; Howard Johnson, tuba; Julian Priester, trombone; Robert Northern, french horn; Joe Farrell, reeds; Ron Carter, bass; Lenny White, drums; recorded:  Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliffs, NJ, US, 14 November 1969])

Friday, 11 August 2017

62nd birthday of Hilary Beckles

(Born 11 August 1955, Bridgetown, Barbados)
DISTINGUISHED historian on African peoples’ enslavement in the Caribbean by Britain/pan-European World and advocate of programmed reparations to African peoples worldwide by the European perpetrators of this crime against humanity; Britain emerges as lead beneficiary of African enslavement across the Americas during this 400 year-epoch, beginning in the 17th century soon after it takes over the statuses of the Iberian states of Spain and Portugal exercised hitherto since the 1490s
(Professor Beckles delivers his landmark lecture on African reparations from Britain/pan-Europe on the latter’s centuries of the enslavement of African peoples in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Americas; venue: Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, 20 August 2013)
(Peter Tosh: ..“400 years”, 1975)
400 YEARS (400 years, 400 years. Wo-o-o-o)
And it’s the same –
The same (wo-o-o-o) philosophy
I’ve said it’s four hundred years;
(400 years, 400 years. Wo-o-o-o, wo-o-o-o)
Look, how long (wo-o-o-o)
And the people they (wo-o-o-o) still can’t see
Why do they fight against the poor youth of today?
And without these youths, they would be gone –
All gone astray

Come on, let’s make a move:
(make a move, make a move. Wo-o-o-o, wo-o-o-o)
I can (wo-o-o-o) see time (wo-o-o-o) - time has come
And if-a fools don’t see
(fools don’t see, fools don’t see. Wo-o-o-o)
I can’t save the youth:
The youth (wo-o-o-o) is gonna be strong
So, won’t you come with me;
I’ll take you to a land of liberty
Where we can live – live a good, good life
And be free

Look how long: 400 years, (400 years, 400 years) – 
Way too long! (wo-o-o-o)
That’s the reason my people (wo-o-o-o) - my people can’t see
Said, it’s four hundred long years – (400 years, 400 years. Wo-o-o-o)
Give me patience (wo-o-o-o) – same philosophy
It’s been 400 years, (400 years, 400 years)
Wait so long! Wo-o-o-o, wo-o-o-o
How long? 400 long, long years
(lyrics: “400 years”)


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The potent word is “referendum”!

INDEED. The Biafra freedom movement’s concerted plan to hold a referendum for 50 million Biafrans on restoration-of-independence appears to have dramatically sent the genocidist Nigeria state into free fall. Day in, day out, the Biafrans have continued to challenge and overturn the range of “conventional wisdom” that undergirds liberation quests of recent history.


Monday, 7 August 2017

82nd birthday of Rahsaan Roland Kirk

(Born 7 August 1935, Columbus, Ohio, US)
CELEBRATED multiinstrumentalist, composer, bandleader and freedom quest exemplar who often plays more than one tenor saxophone in addition to some other wind instrument simultaneously
(Mingus at Carnegie Hall, “C jam blues” [Charles Mingus, bass; Jon Faddis, trumpet; Charles McPherson, alto saxophone; John Handy, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; George Adams, tenor saxophone; Rahsaan Roland Kirk, tenor saxophone, stritch; Hamiet Bluiett, baritone saxophone; Don Pullen, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, Carnegie Hall, New York, US, 19 January 1974])


54th birthday of Marcus Roberts

(Born 7 August 1963, Jacksonville, Florida, US)
VIRTUOSO pianist and composer who has recorded prolifically especially with his trio and also solo, and earlier on with Wynton Marsalis’s varying ensembles (1985-1991); academic
(Marcus Roberts Trio – with expanded ensemble, “Deep in the shed” [Roberts, piano; Roland Guerin, bass; Jason Marsalis, drums; solos from expanded ensemble: Etienne Charles, trumpet; Ron Westray, trombone; Wess Anderson, alto saxophone; recorded: live, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, US, 1 February 2008])
(Marcus Roberts plays “Blue Monk”, classic composition by Thelonious Monk, on the Wynton Marsalis Quintet performance [personnel: Marsalis, trumpet; Todd Williams, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Roberts, piano; Reginald Veal, bass; Herlin Riley, drums; recorded: live, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 18 March 1988])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Ozubulu, Biafra: St Philips Catholic Church, Sunday 6 August 2017 (0600 mass)


Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

87th birthday of Abbey Lincoln

(Born 6 August 1930, Chicago, US)
ACCLAIMED lyricist, actress, freedom exponent, plays central role in Max Roach Decatet’s classic composition, We Insist!: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite (1960) – undoubtedly music to the ears of the Biafra freedom movement which must free 50 million Biafrans from genocidist Nigeria in one of the pressing liberation quests of the contemporary era
(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)
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 4 August 2017

185th birthday of Edward Wilmot Blyden

(Born 3 August 1832, St Thomas, Virgin Islands)
RENOWNED Igbo-St Thomas intellectual, prolific author whose books, essays, commentaries and speeches, whilst working in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, France, Britain and the United States between 1850 and 1912, inaugurate the epistemology, pan-Africanism
(Sonny Rollins Quartet, “St Thomas” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone, Tommy Flanagan, piano; Doug Watkins, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 22 June 1956])

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

93rd birthday of James Baldwin

(Born 2 August 1924, Harlem, New York, US)
Novelist, essayist, commentator, dramatist, arguably African America’s leading writer and intellectual during its age of freedom affirmation, 1950s-1990s
(The iconoclastic Baldwin in conversation with the Father of African Literature: … African Atlantic discourses, Gainesville, Florida, US, 9 April 1980)
...Reflections on history, art, politics, brainpickings, 22 September 2014,
(https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/09/21/james-baldwin-chinua-achebe-art/), accessed 28 September 2014
(Sam Rivers Quartet, “Ellipsis” [personnel: Rivers, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 11 December 1964])