“Jazz” by Kgomotso Ditshego

Jazz

This is Jasmine Allegro Zoning Zealous and rhythmic beyond the zenith:

A fragrant organized ‘Black classical music’ of melodies connected to smooth sails of infamous enormous ships on noble ocean spines of a dense planet

‘Black classical music’ that Nina Simone termed so repulsive in retaliation to the dragon subtext of that time, affixed to the status quo by Pig(mentation) stereotypical cats of inferior time concerning social connotations perfidiously attached to the pronoun, Jazz, and all that Jazz at its primetime.

Not by happenstance that the origin of this music by some rudimentary circumstance from those imported deprived strangers on the yester scotching fields of toil and perseverance, led to its ambience which was typified by the end-product of it in organized rhythm rendition of brilliance that matures to date from that first Jass Band From Dixieland recording in the Chi, January 1917.

It has evolved to recent revolutionary performances the likes of which Odadaa, that Ghanaian West African rhythm family stepping on stage collaborative with the brother Wynton and The Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra during the dusk of the 21st century, to stage revive evolved and evolving noble vibes of the yester circumstantial Congo Square in Montréal Canada in displays of vanguard musicianship, as the reconciliation of two ventilated familiar ages  by a diaspora disease of human relations, once again, the power of unity was typified by sound harmony as a universal language for hearts in harmony.

Spiritual Music, like that first African-American slave born and baptized in Jamestown from a Virgin (ia) state of coastal acoustics, as the first plantation offspring from a South collective music-making era that dazzled the early racist odds all the way to the Swing Era before errors of the Great Depression tried impeaching it, was nothing short of the purest form of Uncle Sam’s democracy that became therapeutic to even political casualties.

It was music that became the catalyst of unity for America’s adopted Nations and Tribes of the Transatlantic, coming together due to stage performances of non-Tin Pan Alley sound structures of notes that leaned on emotional translations than rely on typical keynote curriculums among some, with rare solo instrumental skills of depicting expression by improvisation from classical placements of notes read, Gospel was created and from its most bent part of the rib was extracted Blues, and together they made JAZZ.

As singing hymns without a basic drumline took the plantation centre stage, to make history in the music of stages and development tales, from a spoken heart that wrote freedom an 18th century invitational telegram page of genius musical scales with unique varying vocal pitches humming monotonous slave-master concatenations of Euro-zone folklore praise in spaces La Rocca called ‘the wharves.’

Suddenly the notes became blue, and Christianity was pioneered to a Gospel tune tap sermon syncopated, by sun toasted black-like-me servants full of rhythm to a starved Free World Dream of the Jim Crow made to pick cotton carded, tobacco dried or the American rice bred under sought auspices of Sierra Leone’s natural rice farming expertise under duress from the Motherland continent’s West Coast.

A singing whose art of syncopated rhythm classified a sea of emotions expressed at multiple artistic levels unknown to ears of self-acclaimed supremacy to the Negro laden south and the Slave Master laden north.

Although this God-given blue note among the basic God-given 12 in the universal language scale of word, sound and soul power for more than two centuries of circumstantial ethnic fusion with the Spanish, amnesty seeking slaves and freemen from the Caribbean, and Anglo–Germanic-Franks in the Americas, from the likes of which the Original Dixieland “Jass” Band emerged to lay its first-booth foundation with a gramophone documentation for the first time in the evolutionary Jazz discovery age within the morning of the 20th century: it became a note of note.

This is a noble man’s legacy black pepper minted on strange genius transmutations of harmonies harnessed with tears salted with unknown skills, bending them eloquently all the way to ‘Go man Go’s expressions of Bop sessions from ragtime riches of style and soul below the yellow sun.

This sound of a noble band of friends and descendants among segregated masses of colorism stood like fruit trees on the Drakensberg against the Irish on the outskirts of New York, and tapped strangely in a fusion of fugitive cultures on the East Coast and said, enough, simultaneously Tap was here.

As intervallic innuendos of violated human understanding between distant shores among sly hunters on a barrel of conquer, hypocritical merchants of home human affairs native to the sight, and the hunted victimized from innocence aligned without notice to the dirges of sudden death on a scintillating beach front beneath the sunshine leaving the Door of No Return, we thank Allah for sending Jazz as a chromatic passing rhythm of harmony and melodies demarcated to link hate from the House of Slaves with the fate of good music at the highest peak of human sound creativity in the home of Jazz, America, which is the culmination of Black Classical Music as the Grandfather Clock among all clocks of popular music entrained to the pendulums of sound mastership

God blesses with fruitful percolations and the historical percolation of a Jazz rhythm is one of them, as an invention of no single slave pioneer in the wilderness of the Free World, but with mankind as the winning team showcasing a perfect hybrid of teamwork.

From people of the South in the south of Atlantic paying homage to this art ensemble of the South north of the Atlantic more than two centuries later, Jazz we are still feeding from you. The fusion of this noble musicianship by importation and distinction is purely but sadly North American South from the genius of servants who could not read or write music until well beyond the Reconstruction Era.

A long time where human resources and human voice sadly but proudly intertwined between colonies of captives in chained colonies for sale, a human event in the historical process that distilled the imperial move of soul defamation impromptu as the bedrock of popular American music.

This interfused music-making was pioneered by brevity in gravitas to define liberty, a percolation that survived restriction themes of the French Code Noir in New Orleans through state governance check by slave revolts of which some were woven by black Muslims in Central Americana all the way to Bahia, the likes of Shaikh ’Uthman Dan Fodio who authored a manifesto of slave resistance called The Wathiqa to the Sud’ani (black) peoples against relentless Hausa autocrats, a document that inspired the 1821 revolt in the Manchester Parish of Jamaica.

Jazz as the noble output of those interfused live performed insurrections that Paul Whiteman came later in 1926 by authorship to acknowledge brave hearts behind the music, as a purely three century old indirect shipment of those who came in chains.

Let us kiss the hand of New Orleans history in admiration and admonition before the Louisiana Purchase, the coloured ballroom dance boycott, and beyond the early ban of drumming to silence social Sundays of nonduty where the un-Europa syncopations from a slave’s voice met the un- African Europa humming that made large slave crowds move in Kalinda.

From this principal port of states united below the South coastal belt of levee workers on timeout far from carnage fields of free toil and Gold rush battles that led partly to the Civil War, but close to barrelhouse music spots round the Orleans of blacks with ancient African roots and light skinned Creole blacks with modern mixed Germanic-French Quarter roots, being emphasized upon by principle that they are separate and unequal African American slaves…,

The former ‘city of music’ in times Picayune with scenes of marching militia brass bands, classical glissando rhythm patterns of the Bossa Nova, outdoor carnivals of Hispano-Franco, Afro-American and their Creole extracts of stylistic musical cultures, where ballroom dance gigs that made White turn against White from Spain to Germany, and Black against Black from coastal Dakar to interior Lake Chad back coastal as far as Africa’s Guinea Coast of Fulani clans in the fertile delta, all settled and exchanged across this new world central proponent port of the Mississippi Delta, this was due to Uncle Sam’s preferred reels and jig dance for ballroom set ups instead of well known Europa waltzes and cotillions familial to histrionics of the recent victim of Hurricane Katrina, this was New Orleans.

Though throughout the rich cycles of Jazz listenership in its fermented nucleus of tune, fashion, politics, the urban grip of American mafia influence, and nightlife style rendition anecdotes for style affirmation and vice reformation, critic and dispute remained present on snobbery eardrum sidelines of the listener.

Likewise in any other music genre it’s always the case when it comes to compositional sciences of artistic improvisation and conservative compositional creativity based on origin: traditional classic works and early genius of the bygone greats admired of how they made the music sound compared to how it came to sound like. Some preferred to silence the critic by being disciple in sample to composed harmonies of those who became copied musical disciplines themselves by sticking to well-known respected Jazz, though eluding the critic was the ignored reason why he pays so much homage to the originators as legends is because they themselves were disciple to creative veins of no composer but the self, ignoring both the critic and the listener, if there was any.

This music came my way, it came his way and it came their way and our way, the legend of labor, manumissions and the Underground Railroad lives on in its history but not so upon listening to harmonic masterminds of improvisation like Sir Bird or a Thelonious Monk next to a Mingus Dynasty, a dynasty on double bass nostalgic that always established individual genius that hides behind the norm for any musician that picks up an instrument to relate or please, or any band that picks up a tune to tie it to a pattern of originality when the heart spoke and the ear was learned enough to sound detect skill, style and genius from the stage to the audience beyond the club’s dim lights, Charlie simply said be original.

Among many other disputes, is that of Bunk from the old folk New Orleans classic riverboat era when he acquiesced with Sidney from the same era, which more or less cements the argument that the dispute was more on personality than musicality, and that Webster top Swing tenor talisman who conferred with the Mingus maestro, Ellington the straight back conductor from DC whom both lived the era of big band swingers.

The art persists with a musical creative continuum of spirituality by positive influence that still blesses our contemporary eardrums to date with our own legendary hybrid of vocal jazz, contemporary Marabi of black urban township jig in this SADC corner of racial uprisings, to the native horn sounds of the late Zim, may Allah be pleased with him and Marcus Wyatt, and those key patterns of a Dollar Brand ’Abd and the late Taiwa, while vocal hues of Bra Hugh raspy on the horn of urban translations, not forgetting strings of native melodies by Malombo next door the Moretele Mountain and Mogale River, and a master Cape Town-born Butler with a home far away from home in the US West Coast, they continue blessing our listenership.


Kgomotso Modikoe Ditshego is a Pretoria-born and based writer emerging in the literary sphere. His journey with words began early in his childhood growing up in a home where parents used to read a lot. In 2003 his passion for words transformed into writing inspired by Hip-Hop rhyme authors like Tumi and Ba4za. It so happened that in 2005 his bedroom raps met computerized production for the first time, a combination that led to his first studio album in 2006 called The Black and Forth album, and decade later by the grace of He, evolved his first publication anthology called.

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