Saturday, 30 June 2018

87th birthday of Andrew Hill

(Born 30 June 1931, Chicago, US)
SEMINALLY innovative pianist and composer, including the critically acclaimed Point of DepartureCompulsion!!!!! and Eternal Spirit; academic
(Andrew Hill Trio, “Tripping”, [personnel: Hill, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; Ben Riley, drums; recorded: Barigozzi Studio, Milan, Italy, 3/4 July 1986]) 

Friday, 29 June 2018

146th birthday of Paul Laurence Dunbar

(Born 27 June 1872, Dayton, Ohio, US)
PROLIFIC poet, novelist, playwright, songwriter (writes lyrics for In Dahomey, the very successful 1903 musical which appears in Broadway and elsewhere), essayist, whose critically acclaimed output foreshadows the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s-1930s
(John Coltrane Septet, “Dahomey dance” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; Art Davis, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: A&R Studios, New York, US, 25 May 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

105th birthday of Aimé Césaire

(Born 26 June 1913, Basse-Pointe, Martinique)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

POET, playwright, essayist, cofounder, with Léopold Sédar Senghor and Léon-Gontram Damas, of the “negritude” movement in Paris in the 1930s-1940s; one of the preeminent intellectuals of African World affirmation in the wake of 500 years of pan-European enslavement of African peoples, conquest and occupation of Africa; author of classics Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, 1939 (English: Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, 1956), 
Discours sur le colonialisme, 1950 (English: Discourse on Colonialism, 1953), Toussaint Louverture: La Révolution française et le problème colonial, 1960 (study on Toussaint L’Ouverturethe Haitian restoration-of-independence revolutionary), Une Saison au Congo, 1966 (English: A Season in the Congo, 1968 – play on life and times of Patrice Lumumba, 1950s/early 1960s’ leader of the restoration-of-independence movement in the Congo, then occupied by Belgium where the king, Leopold II, and the Belgian state, had committed an expansive genocide against constituent African peoples therein between 1878 and 1908 murdering 13 million Africans) and Une Tempête, 1969 (English: A Tempest, 1986 – a play, African peoples-centred rereading of Shakespeare’s The Tempest); The Tragedy of King Christoph (2015) – a play on Henri Christoph, general in Toussaint’s Haitian restoration-of-independence army who later declares himself king in north Haiti and exercises an oppressive rule on the peopleteacher of and major influence on Frantz Fanon, fellow Martinican and celebrated freedom scholar and author of The Wretched of the Earth.
(John Coltrane Septet, “Dahomey dance” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; Art Davis, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: A&R Studios, New York, US, 25 May 1961])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

81st birthday of Reggie Workman

(Born 26 June 1937, Philadelphia, US)
VERSATILE and celebrated bassist with an expansive collaborative recording register that includes ensembles led by John ColtraneThelonious MonkMax RoachArt Blakey,  Lee MorganMal WaldronWayne ShorterArchie SheppJohn TchicaiFreddie Hubbard and David Murray; band leader, composer, academic whose outstanding music education initiatives stretch beyond the confines of the academy to address varying community needs and aspirations particularly those involving the youth
(Reggie Workman Quartet, “Evolution” [personnel: Workman, bass; Sam Rivers, soprano saxophone; Geri Allen, piano; Gerry Hemingway, drums; recorded: Sound on Sound, New York, US, 27/28 April 1995])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

State-G out of the tourney – as usually expected

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

90th birthday of Eric Dolphy

(Born 20 June 1928, Los Angeles, US)
Multiinstrumentalist genius – alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, bassoon, oboe… – whose compositions, recordings and evocative soloing with any chosen instrument in his own multicombo-led settings and across a range of collaborative ensembles (especially those led by drummers Chico Hamilton and Max Roach, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, pianists George Russell and Andrew Hill, tenor and soprano saxophonist John Coltrane and bassist Charles Mingus) have a distinctly recognisable Dolphyian signature and impacted the jazz repertoire most profoundly
(Eric Dolphy Quartet, “Red planet” [personnel: Dolphy, alto saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Eddie Khan, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, University of Illinoi, Champaign, Illinoi, 10 March 1963])
(Eric Dolphy Duo, “Alone together” [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Richard Davis, double bass; recorded: Fuel Records, New York, US, {May?June?July?} 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Igbo genocide and this gripping irony of our times

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IF THE executioner Fulani islamist/jihadist-led genocidist regime on the ground in Nigeria that has carried out the Igbo genocide with such fiendishness these past 52 years were of European descent (bekee, oyibo, tubaab... ) and not African, there would have been a thundering outrage and expansive campaign against this perpetrator with hollering of “racist”, “fascist”, “exclusivist”, “supremacist”, “occupationist”, “b***** c******* o********”, “imperialist”… mounted across the rest of the world, particularly from the African World – continental Africans, Africans in Europe, Africans in the Americas, Africans in Asia, Africans in Australasia. 

Thus, as far as African critical opinion is concerned, despite its wide geographical spread, Africa’s state-organised mass murderers who slaughter an African people in Africa, it would appear from this devastating history of five decades, can literally get away with murder.

YET the Igbo genocide by the Fulani & co and other Africa-based state/estate’s horrendous crimes against African peoples and nations are distinct empirical determinants of those haunting lines sketched in historian Chancellor Williams’s commanding insight of Africa’s devastating history as shown here:
Now the shadows lengthened. The Europeans had also been busily building up and training strong African armies. Africans trained to hate, kill and conquer Africans. Blood of Africans was to sprinkle and further darken the pages of their history … Indeed, Africa was conquered for the Europeans by the Africans [themselves], and thereafter kept under [conquest] control by African police and African soldiers. Very little European blood was ever spilled(Chancellor Williams, The Destruction of Black CivilizationThe Great Issue of a Race between 4500BC and 2000AD [Chicago: Third World, 1995], p. 218.)
(John Coltrane Sextet, “Out of this world” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Donald Garrett, clarinet, bass; Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jonesdrums; recorded: live at Penthouse Jazz Club, Seattle, US, 30 September 1965])

Friday, 15 June 2018

96th birthday of Jaki Byard

(Born 15 June 1922, Worcester, Mass, US)
Pianist, pianists’ pianist whose “encyclopaedic knowledge” (to quote the recurring phrase from many a critic) of the jazz piano repertoire ensures he ranges effortlessly in his solo take from the stride traditions of the 1920s-1930s (James Johnson, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Fats Waller) to the late 1940s/early 1950s revolutionary breakthroughs of Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols and the later flights of Cecil Taylor but still sounding Jaki Byard; academic, indelible footprints on the Charles Mingus jazz workshop – particularly the classic sextet: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums
(Charles Mingus Sextet – featuring Eric Dolphy, Live in Oslo 1964, “So long Eric” [personnel: Mingus, bass; Johnny Coles, trumpet; Dolphy, alto saxophone; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: live, University Aula, 12 April 1964]) 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Day 270 ... Genocidist Nigeria: Where is Nnamdi Kanu? Where are Nnamdi Kanu’s parents, Eze Israel Okwu Kanu and Ugoeze Nnenne Kanu?

(Nnamdi Kanu and his loving parents)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

TODAY marks nine months or 270 days since the 14 September 2017 genocidist Nigeria military, led by Hausa-Fulani/islamist jihadists under Muhammadu Buhari, stormed the home of Nnamdi Kanu’s parents at Afaraukwu-Ibeku, eastcentral Biafra. Consequently, the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (constituted integrally in the Biafra freedom movement), and his parents, remain unknown. Scores of the Kanus’ relatives and friends were murdered during the assault and scores of others are still unaccounted for. 

Three thousand Igbo people have been murdered across Biafra since Buhari, who in March 2015 had been imposed on as Nigeria’s head of regime by ex-United States President Barack Hussein Obamafirst African-descent president of the US republic in 233 years of existence, and ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron, embarked on this bloodiest track of phase-IV of the Igbo genocide (13 January 1970-present day) in November 2015. After eight years in the White House and 18 months since he left office, Obama now presents a dreadful presidential legacy of zealously supporting the Igbo genocide, foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, executed on the ground by Nigeria, an islamist-led state, and its suzerain state Britain.

GENOCIDIST Nigeria, this haematophagous monster, this most beastly and serially kakistocratic and notoriously most vividly anti-African peoples state ever emplaced in Africa, surely knows that it will account for the safety of Nnamdi Kanu and his parents and take full responsibility for the consequences of that savage raid on a family home.
(John Coltrane Duo, “Mars” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone, bells; Rashied Ali, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood, Cliff, NJ, US, 22 February 1967])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Trump and the west and the world

(Donald Trump ... president of the US: steadily dismantling post 1939-1945 war West leadership consensus...)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

IN THE wake of the just concluded captivating G7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, it is evident that anti-establishment US President Donald Trump is steadily dismantling that post 1939-1945 war cosily predictable West leadership consensus that has since run most of the world including, particularly, Africa. The consequences of this development are surely immense and varied and will be discussed and analysed and discussed and analysed… As the cliché goes, watch this space!
(The New York Contemporary Five, “Consequences” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 9 June 2018

141st birthday of Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller

(Born 9 June 1877, Philadelphia, US)
ONE of African America’s preeminent renaissance artists: sculptorpainterpoet
(The New York Contemporary Five plays Ornette Coleman’s composition, “When will the blues leave?” [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;  Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums; recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Friday, 8 June 2018

Mmuo Biafra a biakwa! Genocidist Nigeria abandons its desperate, contemptible drive since 1999 to erase 29 May 1966, day of its launch of the Igbo genocide, from history

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

AS I show in the essay in the following link (, 
genocidist Nigeria, in 1999, declared 29 May of the year its “democracy day” as an additional tool in its murderous arsenal to deny and erase 29 May 1966, day it and co-genocidist state Britain launched the Igbo genocide, from history and public consciousness. Twenty-nine years earlier, 1970, soon after its end of phases I-III of the genocide (12 January 1970), murdering 3.1 million Igbo people, the genocidists had abolished the teaching of history in its schools as the key feature of this denialist project.

Failed mission

Two reasons account for the génocidaires’ abandonment of their 29 May so-called democracy day on 6 June 2018: 

1. The indefatigably resilient tenor of the politics of the Biafra freedom movement with its heightened, pinpointed focus on the dates of 29 May and 30 May (Heroes Day) on the Biafra calendar, particularly in these last three years of the jihadist Muhammadu Buhari-led regime, has so saturated the news cycle every month of May since that it makes nonsense of the denialist theatrics of Nigeria’s 29 May “democracy day”.

2. The génocidaires high command is currently ravaged by a grave crisis not seen in at least 30 years, exacerbated, pointedly, by the devastatingly parallel murder campaigns by the jihadist terrorists Fulani militia and Boko Haram (2 of the 5 deadliest terrorist organisations in the world) in Nigeria’s northcentral, northeast and the eastcentral Benue valley regions. These terrorists are allied more ideologically to the Fulani wing of the genocidist amalgam led by Buhari. Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba, but a very influential member of the high command who crucially supported ex-US President Obama and ex-British Prime Minister Camerons imposition of Buhari as head of regime in March 2015, has informed Buhari that he won’t now endorse a “continuation” of the latter’s regime beyond March 2019. It was Obasanjo, as head of regime, who had decreed 29 May as “democracy day” back in 1999. Buhari’s abrogation of 19 years of regime status placed on this date is therefore an embittered response to Obasanjo’s decision not to back his post-2019 leadership ambitions.

IN yet another act in these génocidaires’ bizarre enchantment to the theatre of “democracy day”-declarations, Buhari, just as Obasanjo, has himself decreed 12 June as the latest Nigeria’s “democracy day” – a desperate, cruedly opportunistic  attempt by Buhari to appeal to the wider Yoruba population for support for 2019 as 12 June itself is a day of remembrance in Yoruba history.

(Jaki Byard Trio, “Trendsition zildjian” [personnel: Byard, piano; David Izenzon, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Prestige, New York, US, 31 October 1967])


Wednesday, 6 June 2018

219th birthday of Alexander Pushkin

(Born 6 June 1799, MoscowRussia)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

ARGUABLY Russia’s most famous poet and father of modern Russian literature whose matrilineal great-grandfather, Abram Petrovich Gannibal, is an enslaved African who works himself through to become an engineer, regional governor, and general in the czarist army and rises to the Russian aristocracy, and whose great-granddaughter Nadejda de Torby marries Prince George of Battenburg of the British royal family, uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, grandfather of Prince Harry who, on 19 May 2018, marries Meghan Markle whose mother, Doria Ragland, is African American
(Miles Davis Quintet plays “Footprints”, a composition by Wayne Shorter [personnel: Davis, trumpet; Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, US, 24-25 October 1966]) 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

73rd birthday of Anthony Braxton

(Born 4 June 1945, Chicago, US)
ONE of the most prolific composers of his generation with music stretching in multiform genres that he collectively captions “creative music”, multiinstrumentalist, philosopher, academic, chess player
(Dave Holland Quartet, “Conference of the birds” [personnel: Holland, bass; Rivers, reeds, flute; Braxton, reeds, fluteBarry Altschul, percussion, marimba; recorded: {as above}])
(Max Roach & Anthony Braxton, “Birth” [personnel: Roach, drums; Braxton, reeds; recorded: Ricordi Studios, Milan, Italy, 7 September 1978])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

86th birthday of Oliver Nelson

(Born 4 June 1932, St Louis, Missouri, US)
BANDLEADER, prolific arranger and producer, composer, especially the classic The Blues and the Abstract Truth (February 1961), featuring multiinstrumentalist Eric Dolphytrumpeter Freddie Hubbardpianist Bill Evansbaritone saxophonist George Barrowbassist Paul Chambers and drummer Roy Haynes
(Oliver Nelson Septet, “Yearnin” [personnel: Nelson, reeds; Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; George Barrow, baritone saxophone; Bill Evans, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Roy Haynes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 23 February 1961])
(Oliver Nelson Septet, “Cascades” [personnel and recording details as above])
(Oliver Nelson Septet, “Stolen moments” – [personnel and recording details as above except Nelson, tenor saxophone; Dolphy, flute]) 
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

114th birthday of Charles R Drew

(Born 3 June 1904, Washington, DC, US)
PHYSICIAN, academic, distinguished researcher in medical sciences, directing, soon after his doctorate degree in Columbia University Medical School in 1940 (first African American, had earlier on in 1933 received his MD and Master of Surgery degrees at McGill University), the special New York-based blood transfusion service for Britain, set up in response to the acute blood supply shortages in the country, for both civilian and military, during these early months of the Second World War, named after the Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, California
(Billy Strayhorn Quintet, “Upper Manhattan Medical Group” [personnel: Strayhorn, piano; Clark Terry, trumpet; Bob Wilbur, clarinet, soprano saxophone; Wendell Marshall, bass; Dave Bailey, drums; recorded: ?, 1965]) 
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

49th anniversary of genocidist Nigeria military’s gruesome shooting down of an international Red Cross aircraft over south Biafra

(O Obusonjo... day of beastly monstrosity: [c]hallenged ... Gbadomosi King [genocidist Nigeria air force pilot] to produce results ... He [Gbadomosi King] redeemed his promise...”)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

THERE WAS HARDLY any day during the entire 44-month duration of phases I-III of the Igbo genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970) that the Nigerian assault on Biafra did not register some dreadful mark of infamy, such was the sheer savagery of this murder mission – the most gruesome in Africa since the first decade of the 1900s.

5 June 1969, exactly 49 years ago today, was not different. Genocidist commander Olusegun Obasanjo had, on this day of beastly monstrosity ordered his air force to shoot down an international Red Cross aircraft carrying relief supplies to the encircled, blockaded and bombarded Igbo.

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO clearly, unambiguously, records this horrendous crime in his memoirs, appropriately entitled My Command, published in 1981 by the reputable Heinemann London publishers. Obasanjo had “challenged”, to quote his words, Captain Gbadomosi King (genocidist air force pilot), who he had known since 1966, to “produce results” in stopping further international relief flight deliveries to the Igbo. Within a week of his infamous challenge, 5 June 1969, Olusegun Obasanjo recalls, most nostalgically, Gbadomosi King “redeemed his promise”. Gbadomosi King had shot down a clearly marked, in coming relief-bearing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) DC-7 plane near Eket, south Biafra, with the loss of its 3-person crew.

(DC-7 aircraft similar to the ICRC relief-carrying plane shot down over south Biafra by genocidist Nigeria military on the orders of commander O Obusonjo)
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO’s perverse satisfaction over the aftermath of this horrendous crime is fiendish, chillingly revolting. He writes: “The effect of [this] singular achievement of the Air Force especially on 3 Marine Commando Division [the notorious unit Obasanjo, who later becomes Nigeria’s head of regime for 11 years, commanded] was profound. It raised morale of all service personnel, especially of the Air Force detachment concerned and the troops they supported in [my] 3 Marine Commando Division” (Obasanjo, My Command: 79).

Caliban and his “massa” Prospero

Yet despite the huffing and puffing, the raving commanding brute is essentially a coward who lacks the courage to face up to a world totally outraged by his gruesome crime. Instead, Obasanjo, the quintessential Caliban, cringes into a stupor and beacons to his Prospero, British Prime Minister Harold Wilson (as he, Obansanjo, indeed unashamedly acknowledges in his My Command), to “sort out” the raging international outcry generated by the destruction of the ICRC plane... This request once again underscores Harold Wilson’s coordinating role in the prosecution of the Igbo genocide from the comfort of his offices and residence at 10 Downing Street, London, 3000 miles away. Anglo-Nigeria duo genocidists murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or 25 per cent of this nation’s population during this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa.

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO must now make the most honourable move over this crime and surrender himself, voluntarily, with his memoirs, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and explain to the world what happened over the skies of south Biafra on that Thursday 5 June 1969. Failing to do this, it is incumbent on the ICC to declare this man “wanted” – to tell the world why he had ordered the destruction of the ICRC DC-7 aircraft with the death of its 3-person crew and who else in his genocidist high command is culpable of this crime. How/What exactly did Harold Wilson do to “sort out” this crime, as duly requested by Obasanjo, 49 years ago?
(Mal Waldron Quartet, “Hymn from the inferno” [personnel: Waldron, piano; Clifford Jordan, tenor saxophone; Cecil McBee, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums; recorded: Vanguard Studios, New York, US, 15 August 1981]) 
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

183rd birthday of James Beale Africanus Horton

(Born 1 June 1835, Gloucester, Sierra Leone)
PHYSICIAN, first Igbo and African graduate of University of Edinburgh Medical School (August 1859), prolific author of the sciences and history, distinguished officer of the British army medical corps, visionary of freedom and restoration-of-African-independence and transformation of African fortunes in the world after centuries of European World enslavement, conquest, occupation and expropriation; entrepreneur and banker
(Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe)
(Red Garland Quintet, “All mornin’ long [personnel: Garland, piano; Donald Byrd, trumpet; John Coltrane, tenor saxophone; George Joyner, bass; Art Taylordrums;  recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, US, 15 November 1957]) 
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe