On our Lists this week: Saint John Coltrane, Gary Zukav and being 'Black and British'
John Coltrane — Expression: Just this week I had that feeling described by Gil Scott-Heron in Lady Day and John Coltrane. I was deep in the clutches of an existential crisis (still am) but an encounter with the song Ogunde led, naturally, to the discovery of Coltrane’s Expression album, recorded in 1967, the year of his passing. I could identify with the candid soul-searching. I forgave myself and, as a result, I walked into work feeling rather giddy the following day. Thank you, St John. (KS)
Thandiswa Mazwai — Belede: Now that it’s finally out, I have been listening to Mazwai’s jazz rendition of African classics like Malaika, Jikijela and West Wind. Her version of Mamani is heartbreaking, but not as devastating as her Wakrazulwa, which is borrowed from Busi Mhlongo’s rendition. There are one or two songs that haven’t captured me yet but it’s a worthy mood-maker for any weekday. (MB)
The Reading List
David Olusoga — Black and British: I once listened to a Lerato Shadi talk and the interviewer suggested that the triangular shape of the cake in the work Matsogo could, perhaps, represent the triumvirate of forces closing in on Africa: the Old World, the Far East and the so-called Free World. In a sense, David Olusoga’s Black and British builds on this idea, elaborating on the confluence of forces that built one of the most unacknowledged yet influential of black diasporas. (KS)
Gary Zukav — The Seat of the Soul: I won’t call it a crisis but I’m changing, I’m recreating my life in ways that deeply satisfy the questions I am always asking of my existence, most notably: “Why am I here”? This book is ruining me in the most profound and overwhelming ways. (MB)