Friday, February 10, 2012

Children of the Sun

Oliver Lake
17.5" x 6"
oil on wood, 2012
The following text was first published last December as Free Jazz in Musical Thrift Store Treasures. On that site I weekly publish a song from a vinyl record that was found at some thrift store. That many of these songs end up in the Top 100 goes without saying. The record this text refers to has now two songs in the list of 100. The image above is the first painting, another will follow soon.

My wife found a remarkable record for me. Its title is Ofamfa and the name of the group listed is Children of the Sun. Searching in Google for Ofamfa doesn't yield many results. There's a new media company situated in the Netherlands in Nijmegen of all places (it's where I'm from), with ties to Africa and Asia. And then there's an African-centric twitter account with that name. Thirdly the very record I have in front of me appears on the first Google page. On the next pages these results are repeated before I finally stumble upon the meaning of the Ofamfa I'm looking for:
  Ofamfa is the Akan symbol of critical examination.

Children of the Sun on the other hand yields many results but (looking at Wikipedia) none refer to the group of jazz musicians (or muse/icians) that play on the record. The best known of these musicians is Oliver Lake who went on to have a distinguished solo career as a jazz saxophonist. Children of the Sun operate under the umbrella of B.A.G. (Black Artist Group), an organization of creative people of all disciplines from St, Louis, MO. The record is a raw example of free jazz with equal attention to poetry and jazz. The sound reminds me of the recordings by The Last Poets many years later.

Click on the ▷ below to listen to the first of two the two songs in the Top 100. It's called After Jeremiah's Wed. Enjoy!

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