ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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No one spoke, no one nodded hello or as-salaam-alaikum. Hell was silent.

Not even a whisper did the devils do in hell. Only pass the dope.

Let the ladies parade butt naked as on the auction block, though

the men did not bother to look up from chasing the dragon.

 

 

Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

John Coltrane CDs:

 Ascension  /  Ballads  /  Best of John Coltrane / Impressions / My Favorite Things  / Selflessness  / A Love Supreme  / Giant Steps  Meditations 

Kulu Se Mama  /  Interstellar Space  / The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions  / Stellar Regions  / Expression / Afro Blue Impressions

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Parable of Jazz

By Marvin X

 

Jazz Saved Me

                           Marvin X

Jazz saved me
this night
jazz
saved me
I was ready to go
jazz
held my arm
reached into my soul
saved me.



He was so happy to be born a North American African. A little sad he wasn't born in New Orleans, but happy just the same to claim his heritage of black classical music, the most wonderful music in the world. What other music could come from a people enslaved except jazz or black classical music? Well, now, don't leave out Vudun, another music from the African democratic society that allows the voice of everyone to be heard, recognized, accepted, and respected.

No matter what name, Black classical music reflects the black soul and mind, the freedom of the body in the midst of hell on earth, a transcendence of this world into the infinity, beyond the pussy and dick of blues, the nursery rhymes of rap, the putrid mythology of gospel, though we love the purity and sacredness, but the mythology is total insanity. And he loved gospel music more than any Muslim who ever lived. A woman said she never knew a Muslim could love gospel more than a Christian.

A Muslim elder heard him playing gospel and was horrified! But jazz/black classical music was his love. And yet he strayed so far away when he descended into the depths of hell. There was no music in hell, nothing but silence in the night and in the day. No one spoke, no one nodded hello or as-salaam-alaikum. Hell was silent. Not even a whisper did the devils do in hell. Only pass the dope. Let the ladies parade butt naked as on the auction block, though the men did not bother to look up from chasing the dragon. What beautiful women, butt naked, but who cared, pass the pipe. Let us chase the dragon into the night.

Maybe we will share with the ladies for a moment, only for a moment. We will look up their vagina with a flashlight. We are that sick, that insane. No music in the Crack house, only the silence of smoke in the air, the flies are dead on the floor from the smoke. Open the window, let some air in. But, no, don't open the window, the police might be outside. They hear us in the silence. We have tons of dope, they are going to raid us. Play some music. Wait. No. Be quiet. No music!

There were years with no music, no jazz, except for the musician on the corner. He tried not to hear him in the Frisco night, but his sound was so beautiful it flowed through the fog of his mind. He heard the music and knew he had to run outside to give a donation. It was Sonny Simmons on the corner from the dope fiend's hotel room in Union Square. He heard Sonny every night in the most lyrical language ever heard, calling him home. Come home, black man, come black to self and kind, let the ghosts go, let the demons fly away, let the butt naked women flee into the night. Come home, black man, North American African.

And yet, it would take years to reconnect with the music, to return to the music, Sun Ra would go to space is the place, BJ would go home to jazz heaven, Oliver Jackson, dead in Paris, Dewey Redman, one of his main men from Black Arts West, left us with his son Joshuah. And still he could not connect to the music of his soul, the healing sounds of his mind.

And somehow, through it all, he made the transition over the chasm, the precipice of darkness and dread, into the sound of his ancestors, the living, and the yet unborn. He reached out into space is the place and grabbed his mother tongue, the sound of the womb in the ocean of his mind. He was home.


Note: The poem Jazz Saved Me is from Confession of a Wife Beater and Other Poems by Marvin X, Al KItab Sudan Press, Fresno, 1981.

Source: http://Parables and Fables of Marvin X

posted 10 June 2010 

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A Love Supreme

By John Coltrane

I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee O Lord.

It all has to do with it.

Thank you God.

Peace.

There is none other.

God is. It is so beautiful. Thank you God. God is all.

Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses.

Thank you God.

In You all things are possible.

We know. God made us so.

Keep your eye on God.

God is. he always was. he always will be.

No Matter what . . . it is God.

He is gracious and merciful.

It is most important that I know Thee.

Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, thoughts,

     fears and emotionstimeall related . . .

     all made from one . . . all made in one.

Blessed be His name.

Thought wavesheat wavesall vibrations

    all paths lead to God. Thank you God.

His way . . . it is so lovely . . . it is gracious.

 

It is merciful Thank you God.

One thought can produce millions of vibrations

     and they all go back to God . . . everything does.

Thank you God.

Have no fear . . . believe . . . Thank you God.

The universe has many wonders. God is all.

His way . . . it is so wonderful.

Thoughtsdeedsvibrations, etc.

They all go back to God and He cleanses all.

He is gracious and merciful . . . Than you God.

Glory to God . . . God is so alive.

God is.

God loves.

May I be acceptable in thy sight.

We are all one in His grace.

The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement

    of Thee O Lord.

Thank you God.

God will wash away all our tears . . .

     He always has . . .

He always will.

Seek Him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday.

Let us sing all songs to God

 

To whom all praise is due . . . praise God.

No road is an easy one, but they all

     go back to God.

With all we share God.

It is all with god.

It is all with Thee.

Obey the Lord

Blessed is He.

We are all from one thing . . . the will of God . . .

     Thank you God

I have seen GodI have seen ungodly

     none can be greater—none can compare to God.

Thank you God.

He will remake us . . . He always has and he

     always will.

He is true—blessed be His name—Thank you God.

god breathes through us so completely . . .

     so gently we hardly feel it . . . yet,

     it is everything.

Thank you God.

ELATIONS—ELEGANCE—EXALTATION—

All from God.

Thank you God.     Amen.

December 1964

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  /  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  /  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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Africa Makes Some Noise—Documentary on contemporary music from Africa

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The transcendent power of music has long been recognized as a vehicle for spiritual practice and a path to spiritual fulfilment and enlightenment. Spiritual music, a universally powerful form of prayer, has for millennia provided human beings with a sense of the greater spiritual universe. Chanting forms part of many religious rituals, and diverse spiritual traditions consider music as a means of opening the individual to spiritual experience. I

n this episode of Global Spirit, host Phil Cousineau explores the transcendent qualities of spiritual and sacred music with guests Rev. Alan Jones and Grammy-award-winning singer and member of the Native American Onondaga tribe Joanne Shenandoah.  Experience the power of liturgical musical performances in Latin from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco (where the Rev. Jones serves as Dean) and witness powerful, live studio performances by Joanne Shenandoah and her daughter.

This episode also includes a hauntingly moving, seven-minute sequence from Peter Brook’s film, Meetings with Remarkable Men, in which the young mystic Gurdjieff learns the power of sacred sound as it resonates from the Afghan mountaintops.—Music, Sound and the Sacred

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Among the many forms in which the human spirit has tried to express its innermost yearnings and perceptions, music is perhaps the most universal. It symbolizes the yearnings for harmony, with oneself and with others, with nature and with the spiritual and sacred within us and around us. There is something in music that transcends and unites. This is evident in the sacred music of every community—music that expresses the universal yearning that is shared by people all over the globe.—His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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John Coltrane A Love Supreme  / My Favorite Things—John Coltrane

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My Favorite Things  is a 1961 jazz album by John Coltrane. It is considered by many jazz critics and listeners to be a highly significant and historic recording. It was the first session recorded by Coltrane on the Atlantic label, the first to introduce his new quartet featuring McCoy Tyner (Piano), Elvin Jones (Drums) and Steve Davis (Bass) - neither Jimmy Garrison nor Reggie Workman featured as yet.

It is classed as another album in which Coltrane made a break free of bop, introducing complex harmonic reworkings of such songs as "My Favorite Things", and "But Not for Me." Additionally, at a time when the soprano saxophone was considered obsolete, it demonstrated Coltrane's further investigation of the instrument's capabilities in a jazz idiom.

The standard “Summertime” is notable for its upbeat, searching feel, a demonstration of Coltrane's “sheets of sound,” a stark antithesis to Miles Davis's melancholy, lyrical version on Porgy and Bess. "But Not For Me" is reharmonised using the famous Coltrane changes, and features an extended coda over a repeated ii-V-I-vi progression.

The title track is a modal rendition of the Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein's seminal song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. The melody is heard numerous times throughout the almost 14-minute version, and instead of soloing over the written chord changes, both Tyner and Coltrane taking extended solos over vamps of the two tonic chords, E minor and E major. Tyner's solo is famous for being extremely chordal and rhythmic, as opposed to developing melodies. In the documentary The World According to John Coltrane, narrator Ed Wheeler remarks: “In 1960, Coltrane left Miles [Davis] and formed his own quartet to further explore modal playing, freer directions, and a growing Indian influence. They transformed ‘My Favorite Things’, the cheerful populist song from The Sound of Music, into a hypnotic eastern dervish dance. The recording was a hit and became Coltrane's most requested tune—an abridged broad public acceptance.”

A cover of the title track appeared on the OutKast album The Love Below.

It is one of the most well-known examples of modal jazz, set in the Dorian mode and consisting of 16 bars of D minor7, followed by eight bars of Eb minor7 and another eight of D minor7. This AABA structure puts it in the format of popular song structure.

The piano and bass introduction for the piece was written by Gil Evans for Bill Evans and Paul Chambers on Kind of Blue. An orchestrated version by Gil Evans of this introduction is later to be found on a television broadcast given by Miles' Quintet (minus Cannonball Adderley who was ill that day) and the Gil Evans Orchestra; the orchestra gave the introduction after which the quintet produced a rendition of the rest of "So What".

The distinctive voicing employed by Bill Evans for the chords that interject the head, from the bottom up three perfect fourths followed by a major third, has been given the name "So What Chord" by such theorists as Mark Levine.

While the track is taken at a very moderate tempo on Kind Of Blue, it is played at an extremely fast tempo on later live recordings by the Quintet, such as Four and More.

The same chord structure was later used by John Coltrane for his standard “Impressions.”

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Eldridge Cleaver: My Friend the Devil

A Memoir by Marvin X

Marvin X on YouTube   Marvin X Table  

Other Books by Marvin X

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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What This Cruel War Was Over

Soldiers Slavery and the Civil War

By Chandra Manning

For this impressively researched Civil War social history, Georgetown assistant history professor Manning visited more than two dozen states to comb though archives and libraries for primary source material, mostly diaries and letters of men who fought on both sides in the Civil War, along with more than 100 regimental newspapers. The result is an engagingly written, convincingly argued social history with a point—that those who did the fighting in the Union and Confederate armies "plainly identified slavery as the root of the Civil War." Manning backs up her contention with hundreds of first-person testimonies written at the time, rather than often-unreliable after-the-fact memoirs. While most Civil War narratives lean heavily on officers, Easterners and men who fought in Virginia, Manning casts a much broader net. She includes immigrants, African-Americans and western fighters, in order, she says, "to approximate cross sections of the actual Union and Confederate ranks." Based on the author's dissertation, the book is free of academese and appeals to a general audience, though Manning's harsh condemnation of white Southerners' feelings about slavery and her unstinting praise of Union soldiers' "commitment to emancipation" take a step beyond scholarly objectivity.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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Enjoy!

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)

 

 

 

 

 

update 28 March 2012

 

 

 

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Related files: A Love Supreme   Breathing Low & Steady  John Coltrane Bio   Blue Train  Kalamu ya Salaam, "Alabama"