They call it jazz but this music is much bigger and broader than any definitions.
Miles Davis called it Social Music, Nicholas Payton calls it BAM (black american music) but the closest description has to be Wayne Shorter’s “I Dare You” music.
Call It what we may, this phenomenon known as jazz is fun, intricate, witty and full of whimsical freedom and wisdom; It is music at its most sincere, although often highly enigmatic.
As Amiri Baraka poetically stated “jazz listen to it at your own risk”.
It can literally either heal your soul or blow your freakin’ mind .
ngiyabuvuma ubuthakathaka bami
Kanti futhi nobubi bami ngibubonile
Ngibuthaka ngimubi ngijalo nje
Angiyigqizi qakala inkulumo yabangibandlululayo
ngiyishaya indiva imicibilisho yabangizondayo
eminye sengenze ngayo imbuthuma yomlilo esithangamini lapho sesiyoxoxa khona sidingide umsuka nesisombululo sengxabano yethu …
This is so worth listening to.
There is a very clear as well as symbolic presence of serpents in various world cultures. Have we totally forgotten the Meaning or Significance of these in our Information age and what is the consequence of our amnesia? The symbol of the serpent is everywhere and it is not always what we have been indoctrinated to believe.
I will just leave this here, we shall revisit and analyse it thoroughly later, from esoteric as well as Afrocentric perspective. I am currently reading a book called The Cosmic Serpent, this is a great documentary on the subject matter and covers most of the world, but not very much of the Afrikan connection.
A great part of the Green Ankh Works vision includes the making of sustainable creative, cultural events throughout the Southern African Development Community and beyond. These events, must not only be economically or commercially successful, but they should have an impact that transcends tourism brochures and public relations or advertising. The primary purpose is to touch people’s lives in the most positive way.
Today we are exposed to an almost overwhelming amount of information, the proverbial internet of things is upon us, yet artists, creative people and many aspects of the cultural economy remain impoverished. There is either very poor or negative appreciation of the roles of the artists, idealists and social entrepreneurs or there is blatant disregard for authenticity. It may have a lot to do with the socio-economic conditioning of all of us under a neoliberal or capitalist world which favours competition over collaboration, or it is simply a survival game where corruption and corruptibility is built into the very sinews of the system. Either way, we as Afrikans are joining the rest of the world in becoming “less Spiritual“, more materialistic and less socially responsible, ‘we are following the material that we created rather then the spiritual force that creates it’, as Toumani Diabate mentioned during his 2009 concert in Cape Town. Essentially we are losing Ubuntu to materialism and are largely distracted from community participation by programming, commercial interests as well as social media.
In my next post I will write about my experience at the Creative and Cultural Industries Federation of South Africa conference which took place in Joburg on 31st of May 2018. This is where we were supposed to engage rigorously with a Policy document that is geared towards regulating and organising the Creative/Cultural economy in Southern Afrika, my aim is to use this platform to promote synergies within the whole SADC region and beyond, beginning with South Afrika/Azania and Zimbabwe. But for now, just listen to this beautiful, deeply spiritual music from the West Afrikan brother Diabate Sounds
I just love the first song that they have chosen to begin with during the break of this Conversation, its title, “One Day Suffer Go Finish‘, says it all.
Part of Discussion: ‘The distance between how things are and how things should be in Zimbabwe” – ( Man from Chitungwiza)
Having followed the Chimurenga and Chimurenga Chronic publication/movement, for as long as it has existed, part of my ambition as a writer has been to publish some stories or even essays and poems in this auspicious black radical publication. I was also glad when the Pan African Space Station was launched. It basically fused the literature and live Chimurenga music sessions to the whole revolutionary concepts. I could say more, but I am always keenly aware of the data-struggle among my people, not all of we have WiFi and affordable data. So it would be best to listen to this. I must add though, that since coming to live in Zimbabwe recently with my family, the urge to do work in and around Harare is huge. Part of it has to do with the realization of what Chimurenga entails, in its various aspects, but it is also about the texture of the land and the struggles and lives of the people of both Zimbabwe and South Africa. There is lots happening in terms of Art, Violence and Revolutionary possibilities in both these countries, in fact my upcoming book, The House of Plenty is an attempt at making sense of how beauty, strength, wealth and hope and suffering can coexist. We shall also investigate what really keeps Afrikan countries, particularly in the SADC region from developing at apace.
Sounding The Ancient Future Thoughts
“Delmark Records – DS-413 (US, 1968)
A1. Levels And Degrees Of Light 10:35 A2. My Thoughts Are My Future – Now And Forever 20:17 B1. The Bird Song Side A: Recorded at Sound Studio. Side B: Recorded at Ter-Mar. Personnel: Muhal Richard Abrams: piano, clarinet Anthony Braxton: alto saxophone Maurice McIntyre: tenor saxophone Leroy Jenkins: violin Gordon Emmanuel: vibraphone Charles Clark: bass Leonard Jones: bass Thurman Barker: drums Penelope Taylor: vocals David Moore: poet (track 2) Levels and Degrees of Light was the first recording under Muhal Richard Abrams’ name and was a landmark album that launched the first in a long line of beautiful, musical salvos from the AACM toward the mainstream jazz world. The title track finds Abrams broadly tracing out some of the territory he would continue to explore in succeeding decades, an ethereal, mystic quality (evinced by Penelope Taylor’s otherworldly vocalizing and Gordon Emmanuel’s shimmering vibes) balanced by a harsh and earthy bluesiness set forth by the leader’s piercing clarinet. “The Bird Song” begins with a fine, dark poetry recitation by David Moore (oh! for the days when one didn’t approach a poem on a jazz album with great trepidation) before evanescing into a whirlwind of percussion, bird whistles, and violin (the latter by Leroy Jenkins in one of his first recorded appearances). When the band enters at full strength with Anthony Braxton (in his first recording session), the effect is explosive and liberating, as though Abrams’ band had stood on the shoulders of Coltrane, Coleman, and Taylor and taken a massive, daring leap into the future. It’s a historic performance. The final track offers several unaccompanied solo opportunities, spotlighting Abrams’ sumptuous piano and the under-recognized bass abilities of Charles Clark. This is a milestone recording and belongs in the collection of any modern jazz fan.” ( This is directly lifted from You Tube channel where this music is found).