Thought agents, arts and jazz enthusiasts, aesthetes, aficionados, thespains and virtuosos alike
Jazz Entanglements – Yoschka Chenkov
Jazz is said to have emerged in the United States during the 1700s predominantly infusing the Western African sound with that of the “American sound” these were of course the slaves who must have found commonality in being disposed and violated by being forcefully removed from their native lands, in the 1950s free jazz was introduced by musicians who perhaps due to the then socio-economic conditions had to unite and break boundaries (boundaries within music itself), in order to articulate their lived experiences with utmost clarity, this saw Jazz transcend its classical, conservative and strict boundaries to embrace hypnotic harmonies and improvisation.
Jazz has enabled those who were historically divided by the dictates of the dehumanizing system to explore untapped galaxies of unity and mutuality, the avant-garde/free-jazz/Bpop genre especially reflected musicians who were predominantly classified by the system as black and thereby subjected to the harshest forms of racial segregation. Jazz also created a huge space for the feminine spirit to find expression, music itself as a discipline does not exist in isolation from society’s conditions, thus the ever increasing need for artists with a heightened sense of consciousness, in order to fully surrender to the ever increasing need of articulating ideas with absolute impartiality.
We will timelessly be indebted to the ancestors of song who unreservedly used their voices as instruments of mobilization of a people towards harmonious yet radical presentation of ideas towards a holistically liberated and conscious society, the present day conditions in South Africa are reflective of a deeply wounded, scarred and volatile society, which at its utmost point of need is met with the provision of healing trough the sounds of great pianists who are pro-actively involved in influencing the discourse, one is easily inclined to cite names such as Nduduzo MakhathiniMakhathini, Andile Yenana, Bheki Mseleku, Moses Taiwa Molelekwa (Those who die continue to live in this dimension of song),Yonela Mnana, Keith Jarett and but not limited to Thandi Ntuli. The passionate handlers of acoustic and double base guitars, the likes of Herbie Tsoaeli, Ron Carter. The saxophone and trumpet players Feya Faku, Mandla Mlangeni, David S Ware, Mankunku Ngozi, Miles Davis, John Coltrane. The radical drummers Ayanda Sikade, Claude Cozens.
It has been interesting to observe impartially how all these multi-layered historic conditions through the evolving culture of Jazz as a way of life, embedded in it a fully fledged, non-discriminatory philosophy. One would ideally like to attempt to articulate the position of jazz without stripping it of its sanctity and harmonious nature, how exactly doe one achieve this balance when the very souls pouring life into the compositions are entangled to a society with restless historical ghosts, presently Jazz as a musical dialect is attempting to formulate a narrative that will enable society to define and redefine itself within it, to take the necessary risks to challenge the status quo, transcend the anxieties of uncertainty, unify even the racially and economically divided, in order to achieve a total shift In the lens with which society currently uses to view or relate to music. As we travel through the corridors of history we find the clearly defined positions of musicians within this genre concerning the route which society should take using music as a navigation tool.
Jazz is divinely supreme in its nature, when one dares to imagine the cultivation of an energy so harmonious, so empathetic, so aware and so impartial, thus making room for each being to reflect, to listen to the ground, to revisit it’s inner dimensions, this I would say has to occur on a very genuine and open state of being……….
Written by Yoschkah.