Jazz music against Portuguese dictatorship and colonialism


Dewey Redman at the Moers festival in Germany, June 2006

From British daily The Morning Star:

The spirit of struggle

(Tuesday 29 January 2008)

ALBUM: Dewey Redman – The Struggle Continues

Jazz with CHRIS SEARLE
(ECM)

IN November 1971, the Ornette Coleman Quartet performed at the Cascais Jazz Festival in Portugal. The Quartet consisted of Coleman on alto, Dewey Redman on tenor, Ed Blackwell on drums and the white bassist from Shenandoah, Illinois, Charlie Haden.

At one point during the concert, Haden dedicated his tune, Song for Che, “to the black liberation movements of Mozambique, Angola and Guinea.”

There was extended applause as the Portuguese audience expressed their own solidarity with the African heroes fighting against their own government’s colonial troops, along with Redman and Blackwell who gave raised-fist salutes.

The following day, as the quartet was being hurriedly rushed out of Lisbon International Airport, Haden was arrested by the fascist government’s secret police and only released after the intervention of the US embassy.

It was a day in the life of jazz militants nearly four decades ago, but it obviously stayed in the mind of Redman, certainly up to 1982, when he made one of his strongest albums, now reissued, called The Struggle Continues.

The album title translated into Portuguese is “a luta continua,” a battle cry of the Frelimo, MPLA and PAIGC guerrillas for whom Redman had shown his powerful support a decade before.

Dewey had been born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1931, also the home city of Coleman, where they played together in the same school marching band.

This video is called Dewey Redman – Chivas Jazz Festival.

Portuguese poet Pessoa and Aleister Crowley: here.

21 thoughts on “Jazz music against Portuguese dictatorship and colonialism

  1. Another jazz great, McCoy Tyner, is the brother of the Communist Party USA leader, Jarvis Tyner. Sad to say that the revolutionary current among jazz musicians is dying out along with Redman, Coleman and Tyner’s generation. Charlie Haden had a great band, The Liberation Orchestra, with an explicitly revolutionary agenda.

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