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[Ed: CH queued got this one ready for his week but looks like it didn't make the cut. I'm digging it out of the Draft bin, dusting it off, and putting it out there.]
A song for when the end is not in sight.
The youth choir Known was founded by Minneapolis vocalist Courtland Pickens last year.
I got the feeling that's something ain’t going right
and I'm worried 'bout the human soul...
Originally recorded as the title track of Attica Blues (1972).
Max Roach, drums; Abbey Lincoln, vocals; Eddie Kahn, bass; Clifford Jordan, tenor sax, Coleridge Perkinson, piano.
Live on Belgian television, possibly circa 1964. Roach’s We Insist! Freedom Now Suite is a landmark jazz album and an artistic jewel of the Civil Right Movement.
We get two pieces of ”Tiptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace” here. I’m not sure why the third was not included on the video, but it’s worth a listen to complete Roach’s thought. (Follow the link above.) He doesn’t simply “Peace” as a nirvana state. It’s jagged, weary, even incomplete.
”Tears for Johannesburg” was Roach’s artistic reckoning with the Sharpsville massacre, which I’d encourage you to read about — particularly right now.
Juneteenth marks the last arrival of the news of an emancipation formally proclaimed two and a half years earlier. By the time of its arrival in Galveston, the proclamation’s author had been reelected & assassinated. We should not forget that slavery continued in a couple Union states until the 6 December 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified and finally abolished the practice. Nor should we forget that last Union state to ratify that amendment was Kentucky — on 18 March 1976.
Johnson’s amnesty, Reconstruction’s failure, Jim Crow, the mass perpetuation Lost Cause myth, federal anti-immigrant laws, segregation, and redlining thwarted a national reckoning with the political, social, and moral devastation of slavery & racism for generations.
Juneteenth’s rightly a day of celebration. It’s also a reminder of how far we yet have to go as a country, how fragile progress can be. It is a call seeking a response, because the work of emancipation remains incomplete.
Composed by jazz pianist Billy Taylor, this song was originally an instrumental called “I Wish I Knew”. Taylor recorded it in November 1963 with Grady Tate on drums, Ben Tucker on bass, and a horn section. He also wrote the first verse of lyrics, then collaborated with Dick Dallas on the rest. Ms. Simone recorded the song, now retitled as “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” for her 1967 album Silk & Soul. She performs it here at Montreux ‘76.
A WGOM debut. Mrs. Hayes & I saw the Sons of Kemet in the People’s Republic in October 2018. They were touring in support of their album, Your Queen is a Reptile, which was one of my favorite albums of 2018. Shabaka talks about the idea behind the name of the album & each track in a brief commentary at the end of the video.