Nathaniel Oyelola Rejects the Locker

Nathaniel Oyelola Rejects Davy Jones Locker

A strange event floated into my quiet space like an aimless freak and stuns me harder than a shockwave. The indigo lights had come on indicating a great personality or deity is ready to visit Davy Jones Locker for some unpur knownpose or is it unknown purpose. Then the light went out, making my eyes fall to the ground then return to its sockets with a little dust that itched them. Such a one-in-a-billion chance event had to be a cancellation or an error. I was worried. (more…)

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The Lure of Collecting Jazz Albums

The Lure of Collecting Jazz Albums

I am often asked by newer jazz fans for advice on collecting good or classic jazz records. My answer; “only you can decide what a classic is“ and “it depends on the path of collection you choose to adopt.” A jazz collection without the Miles’ Kind of Blue, Coltrane‘s Giant Steps, Hancock‘s Maiden Voyage, Blakey and the Jazz Messengers‘ Moanin’, Mingus‘ Mingus Ah Um, or Brubeck‘s Time Out albums may attract little interest, an unsolicited lecture or even ridicule. Owning Dolphy’s Out to Lunch, Ornette’s The Shape of Jazz to Come, Jarret’s The Koln Concert or Terry’s Haig and Haig albums can bring you instant respect from many. Such shows a well-defined culture of acquisition that transcends the sounds of jazz. (more…)

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What Is Academic Jazz, Does It matter?
Courtesy Henrique Morais

What Is Academic Jazz, Does It matter?

What Is Academic Jazz, Does It matter?

 “Academic jazz” is a phrase that startles me. What does it mean? Today, jazz music, jazz dance and jazz poetry are mainstream academic subjects. Libraries of books on jazz theory, performance, improvisation, history, analyses, events, styles, and personalities abound. Many believe jazz, particularly in its bebop and Avant-Garde forms, is intellectual, making it suitable for academic inquiry. If public intellectual giants such as Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Cornel West, Jack Kerouac, Amiri Baraka, have been steep in jazz and its expression, it has to be intellectual.

Nevertheless, jazz music is not a creation of university departments or conservatories of music. It came out of Africa, a continent perceived as backward. Most of the earliest practitioners of jazz in the USA could not read nor write English or music. They learnt and played their musical crafts by ear. That said, we may confront with the question, does academic jazz or the jazz of academics matter?  (more…)

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Ayo Odebisi’s Embrace: Words of Henry Miller

Ayo Odebisi’s Embrace: Words of Henry Miller

Ayo Odebisi, also known as Paramole, would have turned sixty-five on Wednesday, 28th of April. He was not a man you could forget. The aura he projected on those around him and his immediate environment contributed to the weight of words and ways. I met no one as sincere with himself and about the whole palate called life. He stood as an exemplar of the human spirit. I never get carried away by his thought; he was not superhuman; he was human and humane. Nothing has reminded me of Paramole’s than some words from Henry Miller in the video below. (more…)

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Where is Nigeria’s Thriving Middle-Class in 2021? The Youth Want to Know
Courtesy Adedire Abiodun

Where is Nigeria’s Great Middle-Class in 2021?

Where is Nigeria’s Thriving Middle-Class in 2021? The Youth Want to Know.

A truism of economies is they thrive when they have a large stable middle-class. In the mid-2010s, one of the most aggressive facts promoted about the Nigerian economy was that it had created a large and thriving middle-class. Many observers were skeptical but were called naysayers.

Today, we are all concerned about the future of our economies, which has become incalculable because of the uncertain impacts of COVID-19; rising inequality, growing poverty, upward concentration of wealth, and climate change. Nigeria is facing such concerns and has a serious youth immiseration and deprivation problem. The culture of youth neglect has never been so insensitive. And yes, the middle class and the less well-off are the hardest hit. Upward mobility for the youth has become a phantom. (more…)

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From A Myth to A Cure: Where Does Africa Go After
It was once incisions not injections.

From A Myth to A Cure: Vaccinations

From Myth to A Cure: Vaccinations

Can a universal cure come out of olden African culture, especially one that originates from mythology? “Nothing good comes out of Africa” is a settled statement of the many. Testing the truth of that statement can be difficult or easy, depending on a person’s education and exposure. (more…)

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