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John Coltrane - Alabama, written in response to 1963 Birmingham church bombing

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 07:28 PM
Original message
John Coltrane - Alabama, written in response to 1963 Birmingham church bombing
 
Run time: 05:55
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOjxBuwBUEE
 
Posted on YouTube: May 21, 2008
By YouTube Member: DrThiMarques
Views on YouTube: 32807
 
Posted on DU: August 05, 2010
By DU Member: Amerigo Vespucci
Views on DU: 1367
 
From the YouTube poster's notes:

Coltrane wrote the song 'Alabama' in response to the bombing. He patterned his saxophone playing on Martin Luther King's funeral speech. Midway through the song, mirroring the point where King transforms his mourning into a statement of renewed determination for the struggle against racism, Elvin Jones's drumming rises from a whisper to a pounding rage. He wanted this crescendo to signify the rising of the civil rights movement.
New Generation

Coltrane had already revolutionised jazz twice--the sheets of sound and his 'classic quartet' sound. He changed direction again with the recording of Ascension. He threw himself into the free jazz movement which was coalescing around a new generation of young musicians--Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler. The music was pure improvisation. Coltrane was now playing two hour long solos. The music was free from constraints and barriers. Coltrane began to introduce percussionists, harp players and African vocalists. He was creating a world music 25 years before the term was even coined. For some in the free jazz movement the musical revolution was purely artistic, but for many that aesthetic revolution was linked to the explosion sweeping the Northern cities. Coltrane's drummer, Rashid Ali, said as much:

'Those were trying times in the 1960s. We had the civil rights thing going on, we had King, we had Malcolm, we had the Panthers. There was so much diversity happening. People were screaming for their rights and wanting to be equal, be free. And naturally, the music reflects the whole period... I think that that's where really free form came into it... I'm sure that the music came out of the whole thing.'


http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/m_r/randall/birmingham.htm

About the 1963 Birmingham Bombing

Birmingham, Alabama, and the Civil Rights Movement in 1963

The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing



The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was used as a meeting-place for civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and Fred Shutterworth. Tensions became high when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) became involved in a campaign to register African American to vote in Birmingham.

On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen getting out of a white and turquoise Chevrolet car and placing a box under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Soon afterwards, at 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded killing Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14). The four girls had been attending Sunday school classes at the church. Twenty-three other people were also hurt by the blast.

Civil rights activists blamed George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, for the killings. Only a week before the bombing he had told the New York Times that to stop integration Alabama needed a "few first-class funerals."

A witness identified Robert Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, as the man who placed the bomb under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. He was arrested and charged with murder and possessing a box of 122 sticks of dynamite without a permit. On 8th October, 1963, Chambliss was found not guilty of murder and received a hundred-dollar fine and a six-month jail sentence for having the dynamite.

The case was unsolved until Bill Baxley was elected attorney general of Alabama. He requested the original Federal Bureau of Investigation files on the case and discovered that the organization had accumulated a great deal of evidence against Chambliss that had not been used in the original trial.

In November, 1977 Chambliss was tried once again for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. Now aged 73, Chambliss was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. Chambliss died in an Alabama prison on 29th October, 1985.

On 17th May, 2000, the FBI announced that the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing had been carried out by the Ku Klux Klan splinter group, the Cahaba Boys. It was claimed that four men, Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry had been responsible for the crime. Cash was dead but Blanton and Cherry were arrested and Blanton has since been tried and convicted.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'll rec'd anything with Coltrane in the title; fair warning.
Now I'll go have a listen. :hi:
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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Masterful, wordless political commentary...
...I found the YouTube poster's notes to be fascinating. This is a "Political Video" in every sense of the word.

:patriot:
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. YES! - K&R n/t
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-04-10 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. kick for more eyes. Hear and read; it's worth it. nt
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