Congo Call: Africa-inspired jazz 1956-1970

The struggles of the civil rights era in the US had a profound transformative power and inevitably this would come to be expressed in the music of the period. With black power came a change in sense of identity, one aspect of which included a proud reclaiming of African heritage. Crucially the civil rights struggles ran concurrently with anti-imperial liberation struggles across the world, with many African countries winning their independence throughout the fifties and sixties - the sense of change and new beginnings must have been intoxicating.

Numerous jazz artists in this era had Africa on their mind, drawing on it for inspiration and strength. The following mix collates some such favourites. Some of these tracks include explicitly African elements, such as certain previously unused percussion patterns and scales, but for me what these tracks really have in common is more abstract than that - the sounds of possibility, of the chance to live in a better and more beautiful world, and of optimism in the face of adversity. That's what makes this music as relevant as ever.... the dream of Africa lives on....

Congo Call: Africa-inspired jazz 1956-1970

Tanganyika {intro edit} - The Buddy Collette &Chico Hamilton Sextet (1956)
Home In Africa - Horace Parlan (1963)
Blue Nile - Alice Coltrane (1970)
The Egyptian - Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (1964)
Congo Call - Prince Lasha (1963)
Ghana Spice (pt1) - Candido (1970)
Man From South Africa - Max Roach (1961)
Man From Tanganyika - McCoy Tyner (1967)
Liberia - John Coltrane Quartet (1964)
Appointment in Ghana - Jackie McLean (1960)

1 comment:

N. Garcia said...

Thank you for this mix Mikus. I've just put a new mix up, the accompanying text is about Bionic in Brixton - I wondered if you knew about him already, if not I think he might be of interest to you. All the best, Nick