ExiledOne Commentary

Unique View of An African from America

Terry Callier: Velvet Doesn't Tear Pt3 (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
Lyrical truth teller of his time. Born months before the 6 and 9 August 1945 atomic bombings by the USA on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in puberty during the Korean war led by the USA and a thirty year old at the USA surrender in Viet Nam, he opposed war. Terry Callier was a person who could never see a purpose of the atomic supremacy of the Pentagon in any way 'in service to mankind' as Harry Truman,America's president, had declared in a radio program on 9 August 1945. In his song Keep Your Heart Right, he asks "will we live to love another day?", and sings in this song about a steadfast integrity in spite of the world's plight. The 1998 United Nations award for outstanding artistic contribution (Timepeace album) for world peace went to Terry Callier. He helped raise funds for HIV AIDs awareness, a particular warzone for the urban USA and across the impoverished world. Terry Callier followed in the pathways of Odetta (1930-2008) and Josh White (1914-1969). Below, Part Three of Velvet Doesn't Tear
 





Where The Peoples' Music Was Sold

Once more, as in the 1930s and 40s, the music was being sold out of car trunks.
Constructed this time from petroleum products except for a few metal screws, the cassette tapes were the only way that the sound of the urban streets were broadcast. Thus began the 1970s-1990s for African so called Americans buying and selling their recorded music.




Once again, also, the social messages of the people, this time the very young, those born as the Civil Rights laws of the early 1960s 'rotted on the vine',became increasingly commercialized. The 1980s and 90s music industry promoted egocentric individuals or exploited the artist personalities. There was little interest in a long fought battle of the people.

Lacking the elder, seasoned opposite that the Terry Calliers could provide, a specific, killing corporate and state agenda supported only certain voices.Lacking a perspective, the social implosion also occurred in the midst of a corporate resurgence - and the massive growth of inequality.The elevation of artists who endorsed corporate products brazenly, from alcoholic drinks, luxury clothing and expensive sportswear became lucrative as the references to where most of the recording stars had come from fell away into the shadows.Life in New York City or other USA metro areas, the racially restricted 'hoods' was on display but too often the distressing details were under the corporate lens. Millions of times, the sophisticated corporate media defined the tragedy or triumph as it wished. The arists were silent in fear of losing whatever had been gained as far as personal earnings and the chance to leave the 'hood'.Personal problems became the headline in media not development in the craft.Singing or chanting (or cursing) with a drum machine was crucial. Sunglasses, once worn only by Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles, were standard on stage and for some even at night in public.Comedic posturing in place of real talent became the ordinary definition of the 'stars'.Open drug abuse, jail terms and skin lighteners, steroids and drug rehabilitation became status markers. Before long, death threats were made and carried out. The perpetrators were often never found.
War, on recordings or war on the streets was a strange goal being reached. Life became cheaper than last year's song's insults.In time, continuation of racist, sexist and classist stereotypes by the corporate media (and in truth black and brown people willing to play buffoons) aided a system poised to profit. This global complex, like the people, was struggling to survive.



END PART 3



3 September 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




The Big Bang (Exile 2012)

"...What is The Big Bang?

It can be said that the Big Bang occurred in the USA when Africans (so called Americans) made trapset drum music flower into a distinct, mature cultural phenomenon after centuries of condemnation of the drum. A great many drummers of the important time after 1945 shaped today's scene..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/149529.html




New Century Friends (Exile 2013)

"...I'm from the Telegram era but I found out about Instagram

Autotune

If I need to know what a cloud is, as far as computers, I can ask him. I thought autotune was a new car technology. On the other hand, the concept of the cap gun of my 1960s youth was a mystery to him.

He's of another world, make that two. One parent is an African, the other European, his gene pool blended in a 1990s sauce. Corporate forces, military and business-and though I'm not privy, love has brought forth multiracial and multilingual generations thirsting for some global sanity to all of this growth/decline going on. Critical parts of the vaunted White world regimes are in peril and at the same time the Africa of old is shedding dead skin.

I'm in class these days, learning from these young men and women, especially those who have travelled to the locale they wonder about, the not so united America and it's fifty states. I'm really unable to explain much of the corporate driven popular media of any era but I can compare notes with someone three and a half decades younger..."


http://exiledun.livejournal.com/181438.html

Velvet Doesn't Tear: Terry Callier Pt2 (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
Terry Callier was no hobo, though he had sung about the topic (I'm a Drifter) on The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier (1964). Whether Samuel Charters of Prestige Records vanished into Mexico with the master tapes or not, Samuel Charters did a 3 year hobo move. It wasn't until 1968 before the album was released. Terry Callier 'kept it moving'.Below, Part Two of Velvet Doesn't Tear





What Was To Be Said In The 1970s?



Down here on the ground
when you fine folks are givin’ you the runarround
keep your game up up-tight
and if you must just take your secrets underground
now, politicians try to speech you
mad color watchers try to teach you
very few will really try to reach you
if you’re lost in the stack
that’s ok come on black                  [Verse from Ordinary Joe]



The albums Terry would compose, play on and develop into crystalized conversations that he, his people, the world were having, were stunning.This conversation was led by others in Chicago: the multi talented Phil Cohran, b. 1927 and brilliant Oscar Brown Jr (1926-2005) who both exemplify the richness. He had used a genuine voice, his own textured baritone (opening the door for Will Downing and many more) and the acoustic guitar to get the word out. He was and wasn't, simultaneously, an Ordinary Joe to paraphrase a great composition of his from 1972 . He was not all the way driven about dismantling the toe plates of the oppression machine. He did however have something to say, something eloquent, about his people in the epic composition African Violet.

Culture And Political War Continued

Saying this, singing the message of African historical legacy of resistance in the late 1970s (1978) was not politically popular and White establishment music/radio mob (the 'black' ones too) may have allowed only late night rotation and select distribution.Pressures on Terry Callier, Gil Scott- Heron, The Last Poets and Gary Bartz and even 'non political artists' to change their tune were real as the Lee Atwater incident details.

Lee Atwater and the Destruction of Black Music
Lee Atwater was a person who was extremely knowledgeable about Black culture, in fact he was not only a big fan of Black culture, he was even a Blues musician. Some of you may even remember Lee Atwater playing the guitar alongside BB King, back in 1980's. He was able to use his knowledge of Black culture to refine the "southern strategy" into the science that propelled the winning elections of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush in 1980, 1984 & 1988. Using his knowledge of Black culture, Lee Atwater developed the brilliant "Welfare Queen," "Willie Horton," and other ad's that scared the hell out of white voters. Lee Atwater passed away in the early 1990's. On his deathbed he is said to have asked Black Americans for their forgiveness in using them as a "pawn" to attract white voters to the candidates that had hired him. [From article by Bob Davis of Soul-Patrol.com "Lee Atwater and the Destruction of Black Music" ]    http://www.soul-patrol.com/funk/lee_at.htm


Even
What Color Is Love challenged American racial ideas and this speaks to the vile and persistent denigration of humans who are African. Dancing Girl, another stellar recording on the album What Color Is Love from 1972 treats the idea of poverty and sexism atmospherically,beginning with the intro: "a vision in amber lace...here in the weary world...we shall be free.."

When the second movement of the nearly 10 minute opus turns to "that needle in your arm" and "baby sister hits those streets", the listener is readied for a superb vocal chorus of the American urban ages against a background of electric bass and a wailing, nimble string and whining brass sections:

"Tell Her What You Want To Do

Boogie Bump or Boogaloo.." 


The romping third section features the wordless language of Terry smoothly singing the melody as an orchestra mounts and resides behind him.The trance and almost indistinguishable lyrics Terry relays are the lead instrument as bass, cymbals and his guitar return to the intro's sparkling guitar restatement of the theme.Singing this, Terry Callier's velvety performance and then the harp and violins and cellos, the French horns and organ deliver a breathtaking quiet outro.


Diamonds Of Chicago

Charles Stepney (1939-1976) a colleague and later famed for aiding Earth Wind and Fire, had a musical relationship  with Terry Callier which influenced Terry Callier during his busy recording era between '72 and '79. The music minds are evidently at full stroke on
What Color Is Love ('72) I Just Can't Help Myself ('74),Occasional Rain ('72) has the soulful but insistent Terry Callier with Ordinary Joe but also there is a mournful entreaty to the woman with Golden Circle and his folk segue Go Head On continues throughout. The famed Cadet trademark string section work and then 'gospel stepper' Lean On Me showcases a preacher/lover- like Terry in front of a choir, every bit as bold in compositional simplicity but different from the Bill Withers' smash it of the era.Certainly the performers Terry Callier has worked with during the period are diamonds,created in the heat of another kind of Chicago fire.

Fire On Ice from 1977, is an album sometimes uptempo and rocking (Street Fever) Terry Callier as storyteller observed the drugs and difficulties of the city. A funky stepper (Holdin' On) had Terry Callier in mellow mood, as often, praising his lover and the cocoon they share.

"...My money is short but the hustle is long...We was standin' in the unemployment line...the longest damn line in the town..even crap like that can't keep me down...holdin' on to your sweet love..."

Eddie Harris (1934-1996), the saxophone genius plays his varitone behind Terry, takes a solo and riffs with the background singers going out: "Stevie, I wonder, can you hold on? My man Marvin..." as he name checks others also struggling in the music industry fight game, Terry Callier forecasted the end of an era. The social commentators in the music of Black America were entering the abyss.

A Hard Rain Gonna Fall.




END PART 2


19 August 2015
From Exile,
Bankole


See Related Articles:



Millenium Injustice (Exile 2001)

"...From The ExiledOne Commentary Archives…

In looking over corporate wire reports (and these fly by us by the millions daily) years ago those of us in the grassroots information networks did what was possible to get readers to listen to one word: analyze.

In 2001 I hosted a radio program called ExiledOne News & Views in Stockholm, the Swedish capital. A recurring theme was Human Rights. I broadcasted a two hour program weekly.  Below is a radio transcript from a 2 June 2001 broadcast on USA being told to leave a United Nations panel on Human Rights and Drug Trafficking.

900 YEARS : TOTAL TIME INNOCENT PEOPLE SPENT IN PRISON SINCE 1989 IN ONE AMERICAN STATE, ILLINOIS. That is almost a millenium..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/136185.html



Stuplicate (Exile 2009)
"...Today, with African ‘American’ spending power equal to some of the Gross National Product of rich Arab nations and sultanates, the United States of America surely has no plans of altering ‘a good thing’.
The great fountain of cash is almost entirely from wages and has very little to do with assets such as business equity, property ownership and investments like Whites emphasize. All of this wealth doesn’t enrich the people but is directly poured into America’s economy, in other words into the pockets of other people who are either Whites or largely free of the ingrained Human Rights violations in society African ‘Americans’ face. This potent racism is one of the world’s great cancers and extends itself into African people in America being treated in fact as nonpersons..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/78836.html



Gil Scott-Heron, Genius Walk Pt1 (Exile 2014)

"...Less well known, especially to those who discovered Gil Scott-Heron with the Canongate reissues of poetry and other literary pieces he wrote, is that he was a novelist early in life...
The N*gger Factory from 1972, had been published during his fertile initial recording era (after the bombastic and sensitive The Revolution Will Not Be Televised made history from his first album, Small Talk At 125th and Lenox in 1970). This was also after the cryptic yet lyrical Pieces Of A Man album of 1971. With a cream of the crop musicians in his studio bands at this time (Bernard Purdie, Hubert Laws and others), the man born 1 April 1949 was competing for 'political song airplay' with Marvin Gaye born 2 April 1939. What's Going On was being answered, and by a baritone voice at once strident and sotto in condemnation of the approaching backlash years for Liberal America: Save The Children. The Prisoner. Or Down You Fall. 1972 saw the Album Free Will released. In the composition list were The King Alfred Plan and No Knock, two pointedly political titles that spoke to increasing and some people imagined, fascist, USA government responses to social uprisings of the 60s and 70s. In the discussion below of The N*gger Factory, this duo of prophetic surveillance and restrictions of Human Rights in the Western world resonate and not just in the fiction of a writer. Another selection from Free Will, Get Out Of The Ghetto Blues, was a plaintive reminder to African people to navigate carefully the poison olive branch Washington DC extended and that said, it was only applying to a veneer-like strata of the people. The theme of class elevation is also tackled..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/206052.html


 

Velvet Doesn't Tear: Terry Callier Pt1 (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
Chicago isn't known for the soft, the delicate and that which doesn't wear well in the frigid winds called society. It's "the city of big shoulders", they say. But neither were the Africans who have migrated - and all humans who were not Indigenous followed in
the footsteps of an African to the place to be named Chicago.




Besides That:
The image of 60s guitar is a White man and an electric guitar (except for Jimi Hendrix) or Bob Dylan and an acoustic guitar. How and Why?


The residents of the region for 20,000 years had named the lakeside area "place of bad smells". The French were shocked to meet Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable, who spoke their language and who was descended from Africans in Haiti. Yet he had been there for some time, knew the terrain as well as languages of the ancient people. In current parlance, the Brother was smooth , like velvet.





Door County, Wisconsin:
Ships that had left Lake Forest Illinois in the mid 1800s were sometimes hiding Africans bound for other ships waiting here to go to Ontario, Canada.

Callier, a French name, was a infant's last name scribbled on a Chicago legal form on 24 May 1945. The great war that ravaged the world was about to slow down. Terry Callier, called Terrence by his parents,
was on Chicago's Near North Side schoolyards playing with a basketball friend, a precocious musical force, Curtis Mayfield.  The other bespectacled one, a piano playing community resident,Ramsey Lewis and one day deep voiced Jerry Butler was an eight year
old classmate. He would also sing quartet and quintet harmony (often Christian hymns) from the African culture of Louisiana-Texas-Alabama-Mississippi-Georgia region many teenagers descended from. It was called doo
wop. The sweet sound of The Dells was coming into fruition on the edge of the Chicago South Side, in Harvey, Illinois. But even more profitable to young Africans in America looking to better their lives through music was a flocking to the 'Black Pop Capital', Detroit. Former boxer/songwriter Berry Gordy had Hitsville aka Motown developing local talent from the mid 1950s. The most financially successful and 'black owned' recording label and production company since Black Swan in the 1920s was in motion. There were the Primettes, soon to be the Supremes, The Four Tops, and a man with with sublime stage charm, the maple syrup voiced crooner Marvin Gaye (1939-1984). Terry Callier would one day write and perform compositions every bit as socially charged as What's Goin' On, the 1971 Marvin Gaye classic.

The world would soon know of the Alabama born Eddie Kendricks (1939-1992), Otis Williams b. 1941, David Ruffin, born in Mississippi (1941-1991) Paul Williams, born in Alabama, (1939-1973) and Melvin Franklin, born in Alabama, (1942-1995), the world famous Temptations of the 1960s and beyond. These commercially polished versions of the peoples' songs, even the high falsetto of Eddie and the gruff soul offerings of David have meaning culturally to a people of endurance. The melodic bass phrasings of the legendary bass singer and the then contemporary bass wizard Paul Chambers were just equidistant culturally, musical dialects of a language Africans in America 'speak'. Faded versions of this would propel Liverpool, England's Beatles to corporate riches and leave behind in poverty thousands of Africans in America who were musicians of every kind.

After accomplishing himself as an amateur, young Terry Callier was stunned into silence for a year after a 1964 John Coltrane Quartet set (JC, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison, McCoy Tyner). The power and
dignity was something that, for a year, he felt he could not communicate to the world properly. Having heard a virtuoso and healing force in the
streets of racially segregated Chicago, having been born in the blues and folk ditties of his
environment, including exposure to the bluegrass Appalachian Euro Americans brought to the North Side,
Terry Callier found a commercial outlet for what he had to say, deeply and like velvet.





First Recorded In Chicago:
Vee Jay Records ('black owned') released
a Beatles album
on 10 January 1964


The Impressions, lead by Curtis Mayfield
was scoring moneywise and by the mid 60s the young members found themselves actually living in areas far beyond the restriction line for African people in Chicago. After trying to leave home as a musican at age sixteen,the layoff from the guitar after the Coltrane experience, playing the popular 'coffee house' circuit in Chicago, Terry Callier finally signed with a recording label. He was signed to Prestige and in '64 The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier was supposed to hit the shelves.
  

END PART 1

17 August 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:



The Greatest Music Of The Twentieth Century (Exile 2007)


"...At the time of Luciano Pavarotti’s birth, a towering African in America, William “Big Bill” Broonzy toiled away by day in Chicago’s industrial plants. By night he brought to dark lit racially segregated clubs a sound on his guitar and through his voice the longing of a people. It has been called the Blues. At ten years old in the US South of forced labor and chain gangs, he made a violin from a cigar box. By age forty he was playing Carnegie Hall. He passed away a half a century ago, at the time Big Capital presented White imitators and began a money making operation still unrivaled today. The US and eventually the world capitalized economically on this “Race Music”. The African race, long suppressed and unable to speak its mind in America created and developed multiple musics. Songs about work exploitation, prisons, genocide and murder of people determined to fight back against American injustice were as common as love songs and dance tunes. All reflected what was real: the social, political and economic domination endured for centuries. Bob Dylan from Minnesota could not have existed without Leadbelly, Josh White, Big Bill Broonzy, Odetta or Memphis Slim. Big Mama Thornton, Robert Nighthawk, Memphis Minnie and even Louis Jordan preceded Elvis Presley but are largely unknown. The world as it was had to be sung about, played in stirring, crying guitar chords or peals, grunts and screams of a saxophone. Historically, commenting on the conditions African people subsisted in has been forbidden and the penalty often has been death. This has extended from the first African captives hustled in chains onto the North and South American and Caribbean beaches to the present era.

Still, some like Big Bill Broonzy, tall and burly like Paul Robeson, to the horror of record bosses, dared to let this voice be heard. His Black Brown and White record concerning the abuse of African workers in America was rejected by Decca, RCA Victor and Columbia in 1945. Later, rebellion was packaged to young Whites. Elvis Presley, for instance danced and pranced in an early music video, Jailhouse Rock. And the same companies profiled themselves as radical. Big Bill Broonzy, who had to go to Europe for Black Brown and White to be performed before Europeans and professionally recorded, finally getting a deal overseas in 1951. The song is a classic today..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/10125.html


Nellie Lutcher: Tall Respect (Exile 2008)

"...She had the whole package. Erroll Garner had the swing, bounce and twinkling keyboard that signifies for many people the sound of 40’s popular music. Let’s look at his musically jewel-like birthplace.

None of the following lionized artists of the day had the entire deal that Nellie Lutcher brought to the table. Neither the Pittsburgh PA genius, Erroll, nor a mentor from the same town, Earl Hines did what a lean woman from Louisiana did. No, Duke Ellington’s composer and arranger, Billy Strayhorn, another Pittsburgh virtuoso, didn’t do it either. Ahmad Jamal? Nope.

Bill ‘Count’ Basie from Red Bank, New Jersey didn’t do it either .

Or Thelonious Monk, Sir Charles Thompson, Hank Jones, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell or even Duke.

Nellie Lutcher's  piano presentation simply outclassed the above players by the late 1940s because she did what most men couldn’t do.

Two things at once..."


http://exiledun.livejournal.com/35259.html

Mesmerized (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
Ours is Yours. Like a magic trick with white gloves, bright lights and white rabbits in the midst of loud music, the post-imperial era has switched into another gear.

   Inside of

                                                                                       ??????


The pretty lady in the bathing suit, military technology, leaves 'em awestruck in the geopolitical aisles.


Scene, Russian Arms Expo 2013


As the drumroll mounts, illusions in the sparkling glitter and blue smoke involves tense decades and centuries gone by. The Ottoman empire, Persia and Armenia, Libya and Egypt hover as holograms above. Envoys from Berlin, Paris, Washington and Paris were on the scene pre-automobile, pre-airplane, ladies and gentlemen. Our rabbit, once the Gatling gun, has been surpassed!


Drone Armed To Kill



Behold the drone, a white dove of peace, if you will!




7 August 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:






The Refugee And The Enchilada (Exile 2013)

"..."Take me to America!" "Learn me English, I want British girl, American girl!"
Along with the frequent companions, I had to laugh. The nervous man in
his mid twenties, an Afghan with haunted eyes and the stern but friendly
Kurd all looked incredulous at these outbursts. Their questions about
USA life was tempered by trenchant life experience. I valued the chance
for us to learn about each other's situations. The Syrian guffawed and
pestered me when he could, even during my discussions with a Nepali or
an Ethiopian and always had some kind of comment about others and how he would be going to England or America as soon as possible. His sincerity
grew on us all, not one of us had been met in this European country
with a welcome ceremony and flowers..." "


http://exiledun.livejournal.com/172868.html







Thirst For Freedom: Ireland (Exile 2013)

"...Back when the Irish economy was said to be booming, there were heroin addicts nodding and asleep in Dublin's Temple Bar area. I suppose that the early 21st period was a healthy capitalist time. The expense of our simple meal ingredients shocked me, and that was after time spent in London and Stockholm. Drink of an intoxicating nature was central to Ireland. Other drugs, too. You could step over an addict and into a pub selling a pint of beer for anywhere from 5 euros to 11 euros. Somebody was getting rich.

As an exiled so called American of African heritage, the neighborhood I lived in was talked about by friends and activists but almost never did they visit. No tour buses passed through these bleak streets of the capital. The Celtic Tiger didn't set foot there, as far as I could tell..."

http://exiledun.livejournal.com/170579.html





Sun In The Mountain (Exile 2015)

"...Many defintions are made by the conquerors. Few, though they are made by the thousands and millions, by the conquered, are magnified. While it is comforting to the oppressed to wallow in camouflaged conqueror status which remain abstractions of surrender, there is no glory in defeatism..."



http://exiledun.livejournal.com/216090.html

The PIN (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
Sometimes, at the limits of belief, is the truth. When describing the reality of life in the USA there are those who can pierce the web of myth and then there are people who end a social or business engagement by telling us which hollywood 'black entertainer' we resemble.






The European and I get our hands dirty together from time to time. Dancing linguistically through a task or two every now and then is what we do. After I proved I could hold simple conversations in his language we alternated yet often we resort to the age old grunt system. That method indicates, as needed, frustration or elation and uses breath being inhaled or expelled dramatically.

Yeah, I learned a few cuss words from this spot on the earth. It's the folks who work with their hands who unceremoniously let you know what language street to walk, saunter or run like a thunderbolt through. Uh huh, in the beginning it was rough discovering the spoken mathematics that I felt my tongue, facial muscles and throat couldn't produce. At any and all moments, being confronted either brusquely or good naturedly as my friend did recently, surprising instances can be predicted.




Ninety seven out of a hundred people I meet, actually believe my PIN is my identity. To be clear, I call the paper of individual nationality a ridiculous point of reference. I'm no American as my buddy, born in the immediate aftermath of USA military 'liberation' of his country in the 1940s, imagines. My PIN will never match up, like certain metal pieces, incongruous to one another also fail to. While these similar, it seems, parts may cause the brain and even the heart to seek out a synchronicity, it just results, eventually, in a sputter of profanity.


Not from me, but from faces of genuine human warmth now forced to recoil, encountering truth, one demonstrated instead of stated.




3 August 2015
From Exile,
Bankole





See Related Articles:



Prison Dispatch #7
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/167353.htmlh








Film Critic (Exile 2009)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/74225.html





African "Americans" and the Pentagon (Exile 2006)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/6932.html

The Liverpool Interview Pt6 (Exile 2002)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Commentary Archives...this is part 6 of the Liverpool interview published by Catalyst magazine in 2002. In these final paragraphs of the article, there is a continued commentary on the island sometimes called Britain-which we found the Welsh, Scottish and others generally opposed as a term. I outline some differences between there and the USA. Censorship, lack of humane communications in 'modern' societies, US Political Prisoners needing support as well as the genocidal war against Indigenous people by Europeans in North America are all topics that I touch on. Shortly after, we were traveling on to another country, searching for a permanent place to live. This is the last section of the interview, which we are pleased Darren Guy and Catalyst actually printed.




Forced Travel In Exile Continued...



Since you’ve been travelling around the UK, can you see any
similarities to the US?   




Well, yeah lots, the ol’ capitalist thing is so strong, the old
individualistic mentality is so strong - its me, me, me, forget
other people - its vicious, well I don’t know whether it’s the
chicken or the egg thing. I would say its getting worse. You know
people here have myths; they glorify the US, that’s so unreal. They
pay more attention to Hollywood here than in the US. But it’s
impossible for this country to be like America, the economy is
different – you have this whole class thing – you have less
diversity – I mean this is a white country – in the US the black
population is 1/6 of the population - there are 60 million black
people. And then you have all the Spanish speaking people.

Historically Americans are white people, even now when we go
through airports we are stopped while white people sail through. We
get asked ‘where are we going? what are we doing?’ So we aren’t
even treated as Americans. But most black people will still not
admit they are oppressed, they’ll fight with you to say they are
not.

America is a very insular place, historically they have been very
insular. Aisha told me when she was young; she took a group trip to
Toronto, Canada. You know, a modern, big, city. And the people she
was with didn’t want to leave the hotel, they didn’t even want to
venture and find out about the place. That’s the American mentality
in general – they think ‘we’re in charge we’re the centre of the
universe everything else is foreign, strange,’ and has some kind of
danger lurking around it – that’s crazy.



When I was travelling around the southern states a few years ago,
Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee. One of the
things that struck me was the barrenness, of the place, the
barrenness, the poverty – and what I perceived to be the complete
loss of reality, of the people I met.


Well, Imagine or realize 100 million Native people were slaughtered
in that land – if you go through places for example Virginia –
there was one battle that lasted two or three days. Two hundred
thousand (200,000) men, women and children died in two or three
days – in the civil war. Can you imagine the haunted, the
desolation that was in those people and the people they descended
from. And this is our people, the dehumanisation of the people. I
remember a women who lived with us when I was a child – she was 104
years old, and she told us about the 1860s – to me these are the
reasons why America is like this. A lot of times I couldn’t sleep
when I was travelling by train – it wasn’t a nice feeling –you
could sense something strange as you passed from town to town.
Nobody came to Europe and wiped out a whole nation – terrible
things have happened but not 100 million. For most people in the US
the history is just a town or a street name – they don’t know
anything else.  

Can we stop this from happening again, do you think?


I think people have to look inside of themselves first, once you
have done that you can bond with other people – men have to deal
with sexism. That’s where it starts. From there it begins to become
more natural and easier.

I think your magazine is good it isn’t pushing all the material and
consumer stuff. You have to just keep talking to people, trying to
reach people. It’s just good to talk to people. And the people
should have a voice, not just the corporations.

I mean there are reasons why people feel alienated, lonely –
disconnected; I don’t think it just happens like that.

You know the drugs came because the families were broken up if you
had an uncle or grandfather to talk to, you probably wouldn’t do
drugs. I mean suicide - its 500% higher than 25 years ago. The age
groups are at odds with each other. People think they can grab a
remote control and live through a TV character and that’s going to
deal with their emotions, or go and buy something or stick someone
up if they don’t have the money. And all this has replaced people
talking to each other. 



Would you like to say anything else? I can see you are getting
tired. 

People should get involved in helping to free US Political
Prisoners, Zolo Agona Azania, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Ali Khalid
Abdullah, Obadyah ben Yisrayl, The MOVE 9 and all those who put
their lives on the line.

Most importantly, we also ask readers to support us in practical
way by picking up a book a CD or arranging a concert or book
launch. This defeats the global music/literary corporations who
have tried endlessly to keep Aisha from singing and to keep me from
writing by censoring us. Our greatest need as well as that of Zolo,
Ali, Obadyah and Dr. Shakur is help and support on a real,
practical level.

Thanks for the opportunity to talk, its not often journalists will
follow through with these kinds of interviews, we have interviews
in all kinds of countries, with all kinds of people and you should
see them run when it comes to printing it. 



Well we wont run, as long as we get the money to print the next
issue.

Thank you Bankole, let me take one more picture. And then we can
get some sleep.


End Part Six And Article  





28 July 2015
From Exile,
Bankole



See Related Articles:

TIME & USA Immigration (Exile 2012)

"...The following segment of a dated TIME article on immigrants in America typically excludes mention of African and Indigenous peoples in lightly tracing some USA government policies regarding legal immigration. Thirty-six years after its printing, the American state and society is hardly finished with the issue of immigration, legal or illegal. Debate is likely to increase in intensity as the 2012 presidential election comes into view nine months in the future. The rich and influential, no longer all White, are divided on how to adjust a historical economic and political tool to profits. Mexicans and Central Americans, those closest geographically to the the USA borders are still not welcome. Neither are Libyans whose country was invaded by USA arms, 'military advisors', politicians including the spectacle of their officials, it's upper echelons, giving speeches in the midst of the bloodbath. Muscular USA military brass instructed NATO destruction during last year's Euro American backed coup. Comparatively, the American state has done nothing for refugees and displaced peoples given the hell it rained down on Iraq (2003-2011) and Afghanistan (2001-present)..."
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/152072.html

Germany Turns A Page (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
World War I Medals of the German Military


Growth means different things to different peoples. Coaxing a field of flowers for harvest and then getting paid for it is a way to feed and clothe a family. Government assistance makes it all the more sweeter. Or does it? If the land is in France, Angola or Mexico changes matters. The Netherlands is famous for flower market dominance. But so is Afghanistan and Mexico--some say opium poppies change it all in the negative. Yet markets are served, something that we are told is the supreme function of human beings. If the USA never felt the predictable repercussions of it's southern country neighbor supplying the demand (and pipelining almost half of USA's heroin needs), would Mexico still be a devil figure for so many of the Americans?


German building on 1 Euro Coin

Germany, a collection of Länder (sections) but known to the world as a whole country, has been in a state of high profile observation for at least a century. Within European history, add to that world accounts of geopolitics, it has been an immense player economically, an industrial and sociopolitical force.

Growth in Germany in 2015 has repercussions from Moscow to Athens, and out into the global scene. This central powerhouse, however is in the midst of many developments.  One of these is the slipping out of one set of clothing into another. The second set is of the military kind. It's not that Germany has not been a weapons heavyweight. It is that Europeans worldwide had agreed in waves of political parleys to have Germany tone down the age old song this part of the earth has sung with violence. It was at the heart of two world wars begun in Europe within the last 100 years. That's about to change. But how?

Western Asia's Kurdish Peshmerga fighters (spanning Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey) got a load of weapons, transport vehicles and German "advisors" several times this year. The enemy is the Islamic State which has it's eyes on Baghdad, Iraq after taking the Kurdish ruled Mosul earlier in 2015. Ramadi and Fallujah have fallen to Islamic State despite USA airforces pounding Iraq since 2014. Kurdistan is, like numerous nations an entity that the West has to realize is going to shape the region. Germany, with a large Turkish population has special concerns since Turkey has had to come to grips with Kurds and various formations that seek autonomy.

To say that Germany has morphed needs the context of it's previous team playing position within NATO and within European military forces. But the shipments to the Kurds, a stroke significant in it's quantity (close to 2000 tons of armaments) and it's long range (first foreign, non European mission on it's own in a while) and also a message to the world about it's future interests. Germany, it has to be said, stood back from the Pentagon and George Bush pre emptive strike fiasco of 2003 in Iraq. The USA is again in Iraq to the tune of 3000-4000 soldiers as this is written. Also, at least overtly, Germany held back in the Libyan destruction unleashed by NATO a few years ago.


Below some facts and figures of Germany's entry onto the new stage.

Germany is the world's #3 arms exporter after USA (31% of the market) and Russia (27%). By contrast the next largest sellers of
guns, heavy artillery, tanks and more, are China and France (both with 5%).


Germany is #3 in applications of technology patents in the EU in 2014, following the USA and Japan.

The Bundeswehr (armed forces complex) budget in 2015 is 32.97 Billion euros, just 1% of GDP.

How Germany's foreign policy, including a serious deviation into warfare, unfolds will have a particularly important impact. This will resonate in Germany, within Europe and it's state neighbors and especially beyond.


27 July 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:



Poland And Dues (Exile 2010)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/99049.html



Texas Pt2: Prisons & Perceptions (Exile 2014)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/200845.html





What's Cooking In Europe Pt2 (Exile 2015)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/215397.html

Mid Year Bulletin (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
A little later than usual...

ExiledOne Commentary Mid Year Bulletin 2015




A lot stronger

It's the crossing juncture for another year. Welcome to ExiledOne Commentary Mid Year Bulletin. Aisha and I are doing well in health and overall life. Enjoying life is what we wish for all who are willing to make the better world. Writing this web blog at Livejournal remains a positive portion of my efforts. Last year I had completed 32 articles by this point on the calendar, 45 the year before.
There's a rise, however, in other kinds of development. That's the life. That's the ebb and flow reality of any writing, any activism, any family striving against the negativity achieving goals and going ahead with resistance.

Solidarity Greetings to all progressive people producing a new day in the Prison Nation. I thank you for your support and readership. Sharing your time and energy and love in ways few on the 'outside' ever do has been a lifeline for us.

Readership is steady even as my time at the keyboard has diminished. Still, the effort to present clear and visionary writing goes on. Sensationalism isn't, like corporate (and corporate imitating media), a goal or a strategy at ExiledOne Commentary. I've been pleased to realize that a wide range of articles are being read and apparently, discussed 'out there'.

Transformation is in effect worldwide.
Within dis united states of dominance, the tools of war, the often noted militarization of local police function in concert with psy-op video. Now it is a 'throw-away' graphic image of Black and Brown (mainly) humans. Pretense of law has now been erased for all to see. A response to this is not reactionary here. Seeking and finding context is important. That means avoiding bombastic claims and contests to get precise, immediate analysis of events. That's right, speed is dangerous.


Inspiring Second Half
As the second half of the Western year 2015 unfolds, I'm grateful in that opportunities to learn continue. I'm in touch with those kind enough to relate to me valuable life experiences. This has, beyond information written in books, or that seen on screens, season after season, driven me to speak out more, write more and I'm willing, deliver better content at ExiledOne Commentary.

The second half has begun. Protect and Prosper.

Be well!



18 July 2015



Bankole

Nexus Pt6 (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Cultural Perspectives #14

Part 6 of Nexus




How Deep Is The Well?




Root Down

To get to the essence of the majority of singers of European Classical Music, the route travels through the Black Christian Church Experience back to Africa. Dig and you shall find the jewels. The late Sylvia Olden Lee spoke of her father's education in culture a century ago and how it came to shape her performances as a European Classical vocalist of such forms as the lieder from Germany. She was the granddaughter of African captives and Indigenous people who resisted the Trail of Tears and White masters in the 1800s. The well of the collective soul is deep. She explains:

"At Fisk (university where relatives were Fisk Jubilee Singers) part of Daddy's 1906 scholarship was to serve as a waiter as well as to lead the singing in Sunday morning chapel. Nobody knew what they (the visiting ministers) were going to say...it was Daddy's job to break out acapella with the choir, with the very first thing that came into his head from the sermon.

Like--I never been to heaven but I been told...

The whole church joined in unaccompanied. Everyone sang four part harmony.
"

Sylvia Olden Lee, born in Meridian, Mississsippi (1917-2004) was world famous as a vocal coach (Kathleen Battle b. 1948) and accompanist to opera singers at the New York City Met.



Vocal Overseas

Martina Arroyo, b. 1937, wanted to be a schoolteacher. Her father
was from Puerto Rico and her mother, South Carolina. She had sung
in church in New York City before discovering opera. She developed
at Hunter College Opera Workshop as a young teen. At age nineteen
she had a degree in Romance Languages. In 1960s she had experiences
singing in Europe: Vienna (Giuseppi Verdi's Aida), Dusseldorf and
other venues. She was acclaimed as a singer of lieder and a
soprano. 1965 was a breakout year when she replaced an ill
Birgit
Nilsson (1918-2005), the Swedish soprano vocalist, at the New York
Met. Into the late 70s, Martina was a principal soprano there.
Currently, Martina operates a foundation to develop opera singers.


"I like the idea of being another person very very much and I like
the idea of being a lot of different people to see if I could be
those different people. But I only wanted to be the people that I
liked. I love Butterfly, she's dramatic, she's wonderful, she's
warm, she gives. The characters I don't like, I don't go near. If I
don't love her, I can't live her life."


"I think that if they don't want to hear me sing because of the
color of my skin, then get somebody else, I'll go sing someplace
else else. That's your problem. You're the one missing my voice. I'm
sorry. I can't take it on me because you don't like me."



Martina Arroyo on roles and racial discrimination


Grace Bumbry b. 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri, has been known to the
German opera public as Die Schwarze Venus (the black Venus) after
the 1961 singing (mezzo soprano and soprano) redefinition of the
Venus role in Germany's
Richard Wagner's (1813-1883) Tannhäuser.
She was the first African woman to sing the part and Wieland Wagner
authorized the controversial move, as a descendant of the Wagner
family line, on 23 July 1961 . Grace started out in the Black
Church and was influenced by attending Marian Anderson concert as a
child and developed later in California, Chicago (debut at Chicago Lyric
Opera in '63), Boston and then opened in London in 1959 and later
Paris as a young woman of twenty three. She studied with
Lotte
Lehmann (1888-1976), a famous retired German soprano. Throughout
fifty years of performance, Grace has been praised as one of the
greatest opera singers of the 20th century from Milan, Italy (La
Scala) to New York City, USA (the Met). She resides in Salzburg,
Austria.



Shirley Verrett (1931-2010) born in New Orleans, Louisiana,
developed her rich and soaring mezzo soprano/soprano voice
including fine diction, singing selections such as Il Trovatore by
Giuseppe Verdi. Her family, Seventh Day Adventist Christians did
not approve of her dream of singing opera. She disliked labels for
her voice and its range and declined to be a student of Lotte
Lehmann. The 1950s and 60s saw her at Juilliard music academy as
well as the performing at the Bolshoi in Russia's metropole, Moscow
and in Europe (debut at Cologne, 1959). Recorded and filmed in the
new age of opera, Shirley has reached the elite level of vocalists
in European Classical music, adored in Italy for instance as 'La
Nera Callas', "The Black (Maria) Callas" comparable to
Maria Callas
(1923-1977) the Greek soprano. Shirley Verrett wrote I Never
Walked Alone (2003) detailing her life, loves and confronting
racism in the arts. At Shirley Verrett's memorial ceremony were
vocalists
Jessye Norman b. 1945 in Augusta, Georgia, a contralto,
mezzo and high soprano,
Sherill Milnes, b. 1935 in Downer's Grove,
Illinois, a baritone,
Placido Domingo b. 1941, Madrid Spain, Barbara
Smith Conrad b. 1940, mezzo soprano, and George Shirley, born in
Indianapolis, Indiana in
1934, the first African American man to sing a leading role at the Met, beginning in 1961.


The most well known of the European Classical vocalists from
African America is the stunning soprano
Leontyne Price, b. 1927 in
Laurel, Mississippi. Her mother was a Methodist church choir
soloist, her father played tuba in the church band. Leontyne, long
before she sang in front of 3800 audience members at the New York
Met on 27 January 1961 (as Leonora from Il Travatore), had been to
Juilliard and before that Central State University (Wilberforce) in
the early 1950s. She performed in Porgy and Bess by Gershwin but
had never seen European Classical opera until her years at
Juilliard when she visited the Met. Her big break was at London's
Covent Garden in the late 1950s. The 1961 Met standing ovation of
nearly an hour (40 minutes) would become standard for Leontyne
across the world's European Classical music hall stages. For the
first time in history the top level vocalists were African so
called Americans, women. This contrasted with the Mammy image
deeply ingrained in American society. Leontyne was unmistakeably
African and projected a majesty that Europeans themselves could not
deny. It cannot be underestimated that such a glorious voice and
stature commanded respect and a humanity earned in the fires of USA
oppression. Leontyne Price would go on to many years of acclaim.
For a short period, she was in the orbit of Paul Robeson, who
opened doors for her educationally and whose protegé,
Willliam
Warfield (1920-2002) baritone and bass vocalist, became her husband
after they starred together at Juilliard in Porgy & Bess. Expert in singing European Classical Music, (German, Russian) he was instead largely known for singing Old Man River from Porgy & Bess.


"As an artist, you don't divide those two. The gift from God, the
talent, is who you are. Be who you are as a human being through
your art. What the audience is feeling and hearing is the real you.
The audience understood me through my voice."
Leontyne Price


Millenium Postscript

Leontyne Price, who continually sold out music halls, retiring in
1984 by singing Aida but later came out of retirement to sing in New York
City, where she lives, after the terror attacks of 2001.


What society shaped Leontyne Price years ago and why did she choose to sing
God Bless America in 2001?


No music is born of or grows from apolitical soil. A look back at
the pivotal 1950s and early 60s is in order, long before opera
divas could command €30,000 to €200,000 for a performance (Jessye
Norman interview, Financial Times, 2015).

This phenomenon, the African woman of dignified carriage and
excellent stage presence singing in various European languages was
broadcast by the John Kennnedy administration to showcase and also
shower propaganda on the fires burning 'at home' in front of the
world. Much more serious than Leontyne or
Mattiwilda Dobbs
(coloratura soprano, b. 1925 in Atlanta Georgia) or soprano Reri Grist b. 1932 in New York City, (now resident in Germany)  being unable to
perform in Texas or Georgia due to racist laws, the 'negroes' were
not always peaceful in the face of White terror attacks. Robert and
Mabel Williams and two of their sons, of North Carolina, were
political exiles in Cuba because they defended their community and
'freedom riders' with weapons. Martin Luther King's nonviolent
crusade made less and less sense to a young generation born in the
mid to late 1940s. Malcolm X, Gloria Richardson, William Worthy, Mae Mallory, Fannie Lou Hamer and Albert Cleage were considered enemies of the state for their
views that were broader than what the Democratic Party, Washington
Post and NBC-tv defined. The 1960s were a time in which the foundations of the USA
and the capitalists system in general were shaking and may have
well collapsed. Imagery and signals of a high estimation of African
life in the USA, progress in a word were desperately needed. In
truth, inequality in economic terms was beginning to expand faster
and faster. This is one reason why the mobilization of artists across the board for freedom, not inclusion into the system as it had been established, was critical.

Pageantry is a weapon that the White House knew well.
African people in and from the USA, poised to influence the world even further, were not in control of their images before the world. Those who
resonated with the African diaspora were few-fear of the White
elites was that anticolonialism and anti racist structuralism would
connect. There is nothing that happens in a geopolitical or
geocultural vacuum, in geopolitical and geocultural isolation. The Kennedy White House collaborated (CIA) with the Belgian state to
assassinate Patrice Lumumba, a Congo head of government, while
flashing beautiful African women often from it's Dixie states
singing beautiful operatic phrases. Marian Anderson, just a few
years earlier (1958) was appointed by Eisenhower's administration to represent the USAstate department in tours of India
and Asian countries and the next year served as a delegate
representing the USA government at the United Nations. Africans in Springfield, Missouri in 1958 (Grace Bumbry's "home" state) faced these barriers in access to
public accommodation (taxes paid for bus service, some food service, schools, etc) according to a survey:


Of 116 Springfield restaurants, African people could not sit and
eat at 76 White owned restaurants.
26 White owned restaurants would serve African people
11 White owned restaurants would in some cases, possibly only in
the kitchen
3 African owned restaurants welcomed Africans

Of 22 Springfield hotels African people could not stay in the rooms
at all at 20 White owned hotels
1 White owned hotel allowed African guests
1 African owned hotel allowed African guests

Of 57 Springfield motels, African people could not stay in the
rooms at 46 White owned motels
8 White owned motels allowed Africans to stay in the rooms once in
a while
The only African owned motel welcomed African guests


Of 6 movie Springfield theaters (all White owned) 3 would not admit
Africans
3 movie theaters admitted Africans but only on certain days, and
just one of the three was an indoor cinema


The other song sung by Leontyne Price in 2001 was This Little Light
of Mine, made famous during the 60s by her Mississippi folksong
cousin, activist and freedom fighter Fannie Lou Hamer.


Leontyne Price, whose 21st century reports indicate has won 19
Grammy awards, has at age eighty eight, just $2 Million dollars in assets. In comparison,opera tenor
Luciano Pavarotti of Italy (1935-2007) was said to have
had close to $300 Million dollars at the time of his death.



The Geocultural Second Phase

2035 will mark nearly 75 years beyond the first 75 years of
African so called American cultural cross fertilization with
European Classical Music. African Classical Music, though it is
downplayed, also has influenced the perceived greater of the two.
The questions must be asked, has the scenario ever been one of
consent? How is cultural appropriation worked into the equation?
What is co-existence of cultures, it's dimensions and limits when a
colonizer and the colonized are face to face? Omitting the
discussion of assimilation, forced assimilation and the
geopolitical USA policy of 'racial integration' of African people
in the 20th century remains to be addressed by many people,
including musicians, agents, corporate or independent recording
companies, musician cooperatives and ethnomusicologists. The world
has been affected by these developments, these unanswered queries
that deserve resolution.

The issue of Africans in/from America and their cultural gifts will
only grow, in European Classical Music and anything else which is
excelled at as the future rushes towards us.



Selected Personalities of Note

Portia White (1911-1968) was a contralto from Truro in Nova Scotia, Canada immersed in the Black gospel tradition and taught in historic Africville, later touring Europe and South America singing 'negro spirituals' as well as 'European classics.'

Bernie Worrell b. 1944 in Long Branch, New Jersey USA, famous composer/keyboardist with Parliament Funkadelic, has returned to the European Classical Music training he received early in life (child prodigy at age 3, Juilliard studies), in the 21st century.


Art Davis (1934-2007) born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA was a contrabassist skilled in African Classical Music as well as European Classical Music is well known for a profound upper register bass duet with Reggie Workman b. 1937 on the  John Coltrane album Olé in 1961. Art was an activist that filed a lawsuit against the New York Philharmonic in the late 60s for not allowing impartial selection of musicians. He called for auditioning behind a screen to obscure the person's racial identity. He was not successful in his challenge. After the 1970s began, Art lost many gigs across both the African and European Classical Music scenes; despite his world class talent and reputation, he was 'blacklisted' in the USA. He became a practicing psychologist and at the same time returned to music in the 1980s, both in the clubs of the African Classical and the halls of the European Classical.


End Part 6 and Article



17 July 2015
From Exile,
Bankole




See Related Articles:



What Is Africville To Me? (Exile 2009)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/80815.html






John Coltrane: Deep Miner (Exile 2011)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/145641.html




Bass Art Pt6 (Exile 2014)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/194959.html

Nexus Pt5 (Exile 2015)
Aspirations, Aaron Douglas, 1936
exiledun
ExiledOne Cultural Perspectives #14

Part 5 of Nexus








African Women In European Classical Music


Today, there are many African women singing European Classical Music, performing as instrumentalists, composers, conductors and much more. But for historical and cultural reasons, the African women from the USA in the 20th century have had the spotlight. Below, a look at a few influential ones of the opera stage, where the ability to sing, play, dance, act and provide stellar presence is of prime importance.


Woman With A Drum


Beginning with an instrumentalist,
Elayne Jones b. 1928, who mastered numerous instruments including piano and violin became the first African so called American (parents migrated to Harlem, NYC from Barbados), man or woman, to play with the New York City Opera and Ballet Company orchestra in 1949. Despite formal acceptance to the Company, an attempt to sabotage her entry as a timpanist took place. The entire orchestra had a rehearsal but Elayne was not given notice. Still, she performed remarkably, sight reading German lyrics and music of Richard Strauss. Earlier, as a Duke Ellington sponsored Juilliard scholarship winner in the 1940s she fended off sexism and racism and also earned a place in the national youth orchestra led by legendary conductor Dean Dixon (1915-1976). Elayne's mother's ambition had been to be a concert pianist but in racist New York City she was forced to be a maid for Whites. She taught Elayne music from birth. She was the only African in the high school for performing arts and was told she could play drums, she was too skinny for violin or too weak for brass instruments. Becoming a world class timpani (kettle drums) performer. She had been a good tennis and baseball player and surprised the other White teen classmates, playing to Carnegie Hall audiences before she was 20 years old. Along with composer/arranger, New York City's Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004), Elayne helped form Symphony of the New World in 1965. Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) the English conductor notable for a long career with the Philadelphia Orchestra, hired Elayne without an audition. "A timpanist who phrases like a lieder singer",it has been said. Elayne Jones had great momentum when she challenged racist and sexist discrimination in San Francisco, California at the San Francisco Symphony after being praised for two years as the best timpanist in the world. Colleagues throughout the European Classical Music world supported her against this symphony. She continued to play timpani for the SF Opera, where she would have the same golden reputation, for two decades, until 1998. By late 1977, the courts dismissed her lawsuit for compensation. Elayne has for 40 years continued to teach music, sports and encourage people to find their own goals and pursue them.
   


The Piano Prodigy  


Hazel Scott, born in Port of Spain, Trinidad (1920-1981) but raised
in New York City from 1924, was the premier pianist who had
conquered both 'the classics' and 'jazz' in the early 1940s. She
began her musical journey at the piano at age 2 and had numerous
offers for scholarship to Juillard by age 8. As fast as Art Tatum,
but edging towards the soulful Mary Lou Williams, at age twenty one
in 1941, Hazel was an adult legally but had already performed with
Count Basie, been a national radio star, played in her mother's
band on piano and trumpet and become a New York City sensation. Her
bandmates included the master drumkit performer, Big Sid Catlett.
In the middle 40s she was in hollywood films. Europe was a
destination (10 years) before she returned to the USA after a
divorce from the famous politician and preacher Adam Clayton Powell
Jr. Her skills never failed her but the decision to stand up and
call out the racism in the USA at the 1950s HUAC or so called
McCarthy hearings, as Paul Robeson had, derailed her bookings.
Hazel Scott, like Chicago's
Dorothy Donegan (1922-1998) were
virtuosos, pianists with outstanding talent and charm. But they
were women, African and that was not acceptable. Few, if any could
do as Hazel and Dorothy could, rock Shostakovich and Chopin with a
boogie beat. These women were also fine bandleaders and paved the
way not just for frontier pushers
Nina Simone (1933-2003) but also
free minded conductors that were born during their prime, such as
Lester
Bowie (1941-1999), Henry Threadgill, b. 1944 and Butch Morris (1947-
2013).   



End Part 5



17 July 2015
From Exile,
Bankole



See Related Articles:



Never Truly Gone: AK Salim (Exile 2014)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/204025.html




Sketch Of Solomon (Exile 2014)  
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/209194.html





Gene Harris: A Joyful Tantrum (Exile 2015)
http://exiledun.livejournal.com/212695.html

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