“Who's the new Messiah?”

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Mr. Barker is asking rhetorically, within his response to a student's inquiring of his viewpoint as to whom will inherit the legacy of John Coltrane. (The saxophonist had been deceased ten years and firmly a Jazz icon.) This is the only instance in which Mr. Barker speaks of “Coltrane and Rollins” - in his role as instructor of Afro-American Music at Xavier University. Perhaps it is not too surprising that Danny didn't have a great deal to say regarding John, or Alice Coltrane; nevertheless... Danny Barker acknowledged that Trane's departure left a great void.

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“Fantastically fast,” Leon Brown 'Chu' Berry was born September 13th, 1908. He was a show-stopping tenor titan of the Swing era by the time that Danny made some sessions with him in the late 1930's. At the same time and thereafter they rode “top flight” in Cab's band. 'Chu' Berry died at the age of 33 years following a car accident en route from one gig to another. Coltrane inherited Berry's legacy and needless to say, raised the bar. May I say: raised the consciousness.

In this lecture, Danny also mentions the very elemental and consciousness-raising band of the 1970's, Earth, Wind, & Fire. Mr. Barker apparently considered them to be a Rock band but, as we have heard previously, “It's all Jazz.”

Peace & Pops,
Esquizito
Maison Musique, New Orleans
esquizito.com
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Comment by Esquizito on December 9, 2009 at 1:06pm
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THIS JUST IN...! Yours truly, proclaiming the old Messiah! (tho not Papa Handel's) via the miracle of Televisi... Nettube.

Peace, it still is good y'all...!
E.
Comment by Esquizito on December 8, 2009 at 11:35am
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Earth, Wind & Fire was a phenomenal force of music to grow up with. I drop the needle on the band the day that, my big brother, Al brought home Open Our Eyes. It was not long after this that my mind was blown by Gratitude, the live album... with characteristic gate-fold jacket! I had never really heard a document of such a collective consciousness as this recording represents. I had heard live records... Band of Gypsy's... Woodstock... Listening to Gratitude opened my eyes to a collective black consciousness. It was much later in time when I heard John Coltrane. I suppose that EWF prepared the way for ALS... that is, in my mind.

Guess what?! New Orleans has been digging on EWF for a good while now. From what I have heard, there was skepticism upon their arrival by LP. But by carnival time 1978, the band was rocking the biggest house in town! My father, Big Al, he took me to the Mardi Gras; we arrived by plane at night... maybe Wednesday or Thursday before Fat Tuesday. My cousin, Raoul became responsible for chaperoning me thru an introduction to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I was not ready when he asked me: “You wanna go hear Earth, Wind & Fire tonight?” I was incredulous before I knew the word; I replied, “Tonight...! You got tickets? He said, “No, but that's no problem.” I was apoplectic, “You mean, the night of the show we can just walk up to the window and get tickets to see Earth, Wind & Fire...? It's not sold out?" Raoul grinned and said: “The Superdome never sells out.”

We waited a long time! I thought; just sitting in the mezzanine. Raoul didn't take me to the floor of 'The Dome' which was a very good idea. At some point in the waiting, as folks started to arrive and fill the floor level, there was a commotion. The crowd quickly fanned out from the center in all directions like a planet exploding. Apparently, it was jive. Gratefully. The concert commenced. It was: flashy, bright, loud, noisy, frenetic... and loving; and then Verdine levitated during a thunderous bass solo.

I was, no doubt drowsy by the time the house lights came up. It was incredible, I am sure. In the following days, I did things and saw things that I had never encountered before. Some of these foolish things, I didn't even know existed! It was all a revelation. And just the beginning!

I'd like to now point you away from these shadows of my memory to the source of my sunny feelings for these courageous musicians. These good brothers stuck their necks out and; in the time of the storm passing over, they inspired the people with this message, Keep Your Head to the Sky. Look, and listen for it on my Main Page.

I'm still doin'it!

Peace,
E.

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