Click on image to see how the Washington Post has been tracking those killed by police.

Click on image to see how the Washington Post has been tracking those killed by police.

Recorded: 12/21/14  
Studio: Capital University
Engineer: Storm 9000
Executive Produced: C.L. Adderley
Produced by: Mark Lomax, II & Edwin Bayard
Edited/Mixed: Mark Lomax, II & Lailah
Mastered: Storm 9000
Art work: Mark Lomax, II & Amirah
MLII plays RBH drums exclusively

Edwin Bayard- tenor sax
Mark Lomax, II- drum set

Reading List:
Blueprint for Black Power (Amos N. Wilson)
Powernomics (Claude Anderson)
Black Empire (Charles Schyuler)
The New Jim Crow (Michelle Alexander)
Isis Papers (Frances Cress Welsing)
Visions For Black Men (Na'im Akbar)
Breaking The Chains of Psychological Slavery (Na'im Akbar)

#BLM_Press Release


The Ogún Meji Duo

The Ogún Meji Duo — with drummer Mark Lomax, II joined by saxophonist Eddie Bayard — have created a jazz record sans the platter with the album #BLACKLIVESMATTER released December 31, 2014, by CFG Multimedia. #BLACKLIVESMATTER follows Lomax’s lauded 2014 album, Isis & Osiris (Inarhyme) — which Downbeat declared a “formidable excursion,” and “... [a] melodic force of nature embracing a blues based bottom line and the more traditional African based polyrhythms simply amps up the intensity from their critically acclaimed 2010 release, The State of Black America.” (Bop-N-Jazz)

BLACKLIVESMATTER - featuring samples of powerful revolutionary speeches of the last fifty years - is a digital manifestation of the revolutionary and seemingly prophetic tradition led by artists such as Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone. Jazz Columbus says The album shows the strength and impact that jazz can still have when enough skill and emotion are involved.

The release of #BLACKLIVESMATTER occurs just as America is beginning the work of addressing police brutality and the murders of unarmed African Americans- an ideal time to address the issues of race in American culture. Black rage is real, and in these three pieces- so fully realized and imbued with conversant emotion ranging from fury to hope and beyond- you can feel every angle of the investigations present in not only the music, but the inspirations.

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There is a scene in the 1991 film “Boyz n the Hood” in which the lead character, Tre, shows up at his girlfriend’s house after being randomly harassed by a police officer in the street. He proceeds to slide into an almost comic flail of tears, reiterating over and over that he’s “tired” of the numbing rut of disenfranchisement his life has become. Despite the fact that the scene elicits laughter from many viewers, looking past the theater of the moment reveals one of the truest depictions of black rage ever captured on screen. It is a moment of complete and utter despair, an overwhelming impotence against a systemic disabling of self-worth, and because of the crime’s random nature, an allegory for every black person’s declining self-worth. It is a rage that wants to fight back against despotic injustice but realizes that it does not have the means, a rage casting about its frustration in the winds of despondency, voiceless and burning with the heat that only self-hating embarrassment can inflame. And while this is a scene from a movie, black rage is real, though its triggers come in more varieties than generally credited, triggers found increasingly at the end of actual armaments held by police officers all over the country every day.
This reality was not the dream any of us were told was to come on the heels of civil rights gains. This does not feed the fire of hope that we were told burned in the breast of the American people at large, and black people particularly.

Black people have a profound relationship with America, arguably more profound than even the most patriotic white person in this day and age. It is an ironic and dichotic relationship to its core, constantly deconstructing itself downward, the rewards for such analysis typically paying off only in blood and more frustration, which is saying a lot considering where the relationship started. America is a kingdom built on oppression and murder from day one, and those blueprints masquerading as social contracts remain largely in play. The true irony is that at a time in America’s existence when even the impossible has seemingly come to bear – we elected a black president twice – things are even more distressing for black people than ever before. Even the election of a black president seems more like the ushering out of black relevance than the foundation building of an era of hope. Hope, as it turns out, is a commodity with a sliding scale and the market futures of justice seem close behind. Ask Ferguson. Ask Staten Island. Ask Cleveland. Ask, ask, ask. You will run out of lungs before you run out of places to ask.

Such is the time a project like #BlackLivesMatter finds itself in. Rather, such are the times that create a project like #BlackLivesMatter.

This is a jazz record sans the platter, a digital manifestation of the revolutionary and seemingly prophetic tradition led by artists such as Max Roach (“We Insist! Freedom Now Suite”), Charles Mingus (“Fables of Faubus”) and Billie Holiday (“Strange Fruit”). As such it bears pointing out that #BlackLivesMatter is not a collection of songs as much as an assemblage of meditations, opportunities provided by two masterful musicians attempting to bridge the distance between knowing and being to step into the heat of a moment, to investigate what lies beyond the headlines and the political talking heads. It is a space that jazz has proven time and time again is best filled with its sophic and sagacious methods. The relationship between the artist and the story the music seeks to convey are inseparable. In short, if it is rote, it is not jazz. Jazz gets a not-wholly invalid bad rap for being beholden to its traditions, when in fact its tradition is change, to always be refracting what is there with what might be. Jazz is an art form ideally realized by passionate and furious people. And when you apply an engine that artistically powerful to the times that we live in - with the right intelligence, heart and skill…well, there can be no lyrics for a session like this, save side hollers and the guttural moans of recognizable fury.
Black rage is real, and in these three pieces - so fully realized and imbued with conversant emotion ranging from fury to hope and beyond - you can feel every angle of the investigations present in not only the music, but the inspirations. #BlackLivesMatter is a not a swing era recapitulation. Lomax and Bayard are not old dudes. They are both hip-hop generation babies, weaned in part on rap music for entertainment and able to witness its unique flavor of social criticism, and as powerfully intellectual musicians are able to dissect what about the form powers its emotive engines. You will hear those lessons, and more: the snatches of historical speeches extracted and displayed, bookending each piece in a tip of the hat to the academic aspect of struggle that must always be present for it to not only instruct, but survive.

In “Part 1: Amerikkka”, there is a bubbling of drums, a symbolic rising of the collective temperature from the litany of troubles known to us all. Six minutes later, “America, the Beautiful” comes in, but it is not the anthem as we know it. This duet gives it the Hendrix treatment: “Sure,” they offer, “we could celebrate, but how could you possibly play this song with a straight face now?” In it is the awakened and ramping fury, as well as the attempt to navigate the cognitive dissonance that is so natural to the American experience it should be mailed with tax refunds. It is music that could not sleep at night if it had to say what makes us comfortable to exist. An anthem should be tradition, but not static. When the times are different, the recital of its anthems should prism through our collective experiences and in turn reflect those changes. Anthems are not just songs; they are avatars of our paradigms. Webster lists among its various definitions of an anthem the following: “a usually rousing popular song that typifies or is identified with a particular subculture, movement, or point of view.” It further associates the word with other terms like “responsively” and “patriotic.” You will do battle with all of these while listening to this piece.

“Part 2: ‘Stop Singin' and Start Swingin’” is a title sampled from the Malcolm X speech that co-leads the song and sounds just like what it is: a cultural exorcism. It is a whupppin’ of a song, all swing and cuts. It is an experiment in sonic brutalism, and you have been warned.
In “Part 3: Black, Beautiful and Powerful’,” Bayard’s saxophone slithers through the words of the most powerful symbol of black rebellion in the world, Martin Luther King, Jr. Their choice of sample here is key: this is not one of the King speeches wherein we all get along. This is King from the gut, the King not so far removed from those black leaders America does not celebrate, the King that knows when and where he is in time, when the word “black” is infused with such hate and negative connotation that it was better to be “colored,” to be unoriginal, to be sub-white. Similarly, the music here is sly, winding and subversive: tongue reed pops, scale wavers, warping squeaks…all of the things you aren’t supposed to do to a saxophone (and a couple you supposedly can’t, but appear here anyway, such is Bayard’s intrepid facility). Yet, in the context of the meditation, handled with the purpose of the times and armed with intention, it digs into the listener, questioning, pleading, cajoling. Shortly after the ten minute mark, Bayard makes his horn wail so convincingly the listener will think a person is crying because, in that moment, someone is.

If audacity has a god this project is an offering to his precepts. From its delirious energy to its free-flowing form to its sampled speeches to its codification as a multimedia experience to the fact that it’s free for any and all who wish to partake, it is the always-heavy lifting of revolutionary work manifest artistically, unapologetic in its mission and uncompromising in its vision. It is what jazz is supposed to do at times like this: wail, call, then answer.

Scott Woods
Columbus, Ohio 2015

"Don't let anybody take your manhood." - MLK
In a time when police officers are indiscriminately killing men and women of Afrikan descent,  men need to be MEN. Raise and protect families. Speak truth to power. Act, think, speak, vote, and BE/exist in the best interest of our people.

"Don't let anybody take your manhood." - MLK In a time when police officers are indiscriminately killing men and women of Afrikan descent, men need to be MEN. Raise and protect families. Speak truth to power. Act, think, speak, vote, and BE/exist in the best interest of our people.

Ferguson is a symbol for the social and political change that needs to occur in Amerikkka as it relates to its citizens of Afrikan descent.

Ferguson is a symbol for the social and political change that needs to occur in Amerikkka as it relates to its citizens of Afrikan descent.

in Memoriam:

Unarmed Blacks killed by police...

Christopher Davis, 21
Dyzhawn Perkins, 19
Colin Roquemore, 24
David Joseph, 17
Wendell Celestine Jr., 37
Antronie Scott, 36
Randy Nelson, 49 
Torrey Robinson, 35
Peter Gaines, 37
Marco Loud, 20
Ashtian Barnes, 25
Terrill Thomas, 38
Willie Tillman, 33
Demarcus Semer, 21
Kevin Hicks, 44
Various Robinson, 41
Ollie Brooks, 64
Devonte Grates, 21
Doll Pierre-Louis, 24
Vernell Bing Jr., 22
Michael Wilson Jr., 27
Jessica Williams, 29
Deravis “Cain” Rogers, 22
Clarence Howard, 25
Antwun Shumpert, 37

(No column contains a complete list)
Walter Scott, 50
Bernard Moore, 62
Lavall Hall, 25
Jonathan Ryan Paul, 42
Jamie Croom, 31
Terry Garnett Jr., 37
Monique Jenee Deckard, 43
Tony Terrell Robinson Jr., 19
Tyrone Ryerson Lawrence, 45
Naeschylus Vinzant, 37
Andrew Anthony Williams, 48
Dewayne Deshawn Ward Jr., 29
Ledarius Williams, 23
Yvette Henderson, 38
Edward Donnell Bright Sr., 56
Thomas Allen Jr., 34
Charley Leundeu Keunang, “Africa” 43
Fednel Rhinvil, 25
Shaquille C. Barrow, 20
Kendre Omari Alston, 16
Brandon Jones, 18
Darrell “Hubbard” Gatewood, 47
Cornelius J. Parker, 28
Ian Sherrod, 40
Jermonte Fletcher, 33
Darin Hutchins, 26
Glenn C. Lewis, 37
Calvon A. Reid, 39
Tiano Meton, 25
Demaris Turner, 29
Isaac Holmes, 19
A’Donte Washington, 16
Terry Price, 41
Stanley Lamar Grant, 38
Askari Roberts, 35
Dewayne Carr, 42
Terrance Moxley, 29
Theodore Johnson, 64
Cedrick Lamont Bishop, 30
Anthony Hill, 27
Terence D. Walke, 21
Janisha Fonville, 20
Phillip Watkins, 23
Anthony Bess, 49
Desmond Luster Sr., 45
James Howard Allen, 74
Natasha McKenna, 37
Herbert Hill, 26
Markell Atkins, 36
Kavonda Earl Payton, 39
Rodney Walker, 23
Donte Sowell, 27
Mario A. Jordan, 34
Artago Damon Howard, 36
Andre Larone Murphy Sr., 42
Marcus Ryan Golden, 24
Brian Pickett, 26
Hashim Hanif Ibn Abdul-Rasheed, 41
Ronald Sneed, 31
Leslie Sapp III, 47
Matthew Ajibade, 22

Kevin Davis, 44
Eric Tyrone Forbes, 28
Jerame C. Reid, 36
David Andre Scott, 28
Quentin Smith, 23
Terrence Gilbert, 25
Carlton Wayne Smith, 20
Gregory Marcus Gray, 33
Antonio Martin, 18
Tyrone Davis, 43
Xavier McDonald, 16
Brandon Tate-Brown, 26
Dennis Grisgby, 35
Michael D. Sulton, 23
Thurrell Jowers, 22
Travis Faison, 24
Calvin Peters, 49
Christopher Bernard Doss, 41
Jerry Nowlin, 39
William Mark Jones, 50
Rumain Brisbon, 34
Lincoln Price, 24
Eric Ricks, 30
Leonardo Marquette Little, 33
Tamir E. Rice, 12
Akai Gurley, 28
Myron De’Shawn May, 39
Keara Crowder, 29
Tanisha N. Anderson, 37
Darnell Dayron Stafford, 31
David Yearby, 27
Aura Rosser, 40
Carlos Davenport, 51
Cinque DJahspora, 20
Rauphael Thomas, 29
Christopher M. Anderson, 27
Charles Emmett Logan, 68
John T. Wilson, III, 22
Christopher Mason McCray, 17
Kaldrick Donald, 24
Zale Thompson, 32
Terrell Lucas, 22
Ronnie D. McNary, 44
Adam Ardett Madison, 28
Balantine Mbegbu, 65
Elisha Glass, 20
Qusean Whitten, 18
Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18
O’Shaine Evans, 26
Latandra Ellington, 36
Aljarreau Cross, 29
Iretha Lilly, 37
Lashano J. Gilbert, 31
Miguel Benton, 19
Eugene Williams, 38
Tracy A. Wade, 39
Javonta Darden, 20
Marlon S. Woodstock, 38
Oliver Jarrod Gregoire, 26
Nolan Anderson, 50
Cameron Tillman, 14
John Jolly Jr., 28
Charles Smith, 29
Michael Willis Jr., 42
Briant Paula, 26
Kashad Ashford, 23
Carrey Brown, 26
Ceasar Adams, 36
Ricky Deangelo Hinkle, 47
Elijah Jackson, 33
Darrien Nathaniel Hunt, 22
Shawn Brown, 20
Alphonse Edward Perkins, 50
Naim Owens, 22
Kendrick Brown, 35
Eugene N. Turner III, 28
Ronald Singleton, 45
Jeremy Lewis, 33
Vernicia Woodward, 26
Cortez Washington, 32
Steven Lashone Douglas, 29
Desean Pittman, 20
Roshad McIntosh, 18
Anthony Lamar Brown, 39
Arvel Douglas Williams, 30
Darius Cole-Garrit, 21
Kajieme Powell, 25
David Ellis, 29
Luther Lathron Walker, 38
Andre Maurice Jones, 37
Frederick R. Miller, 38
Michelle Cusseaux, 50
Dante Parker, 36
Corey Levert Tanner, 24
Ezell Ford, 25
Robert Baltimore, 34
Dustin Keith Glover, 27
Eddie Davis, 67
Michael Brown, Jr., 18
Michael Laray Dozer, 26
John Crawford III, 22
Daniel Row, 37
Jacorey Calhoun, 23
Anthony Callaway, 27
Patrick Small, 27
Harrison Carter, 29
Vamond Arqui Elmore, 37
Donovan Bayton, 54
Charles Leon Johnson, II, 29
Briatay McDuffie, 19
Jonathan L. Williams, 25
Eric Garner, 43
Dominique Charon Lewis, 23
Michael Reams, 47
Lawrence Campbell, 27
Kenny Clinton Walker, 23
Tyshawn Hancock, 37
Charles Goodridge, 53
Cedric Stanley, 35
Ennis Labaux, 37
Warren Robinson, 16
Christopher Jones, 30
Icarus Randolph, 26
Jacqueline Nichols, 64
Jerry Dwight Brown, 41
Nyocomus Garnett, 35
Rodney Hodge, 33
Paul Ray Kemp Jr., 40
Dennis Hicks, 29
Samuel Johnson, 45
Lavon King, 20
Antoine Dominique Hunter, 24
Samuel Shields, 49
Juan May, 45
Denzell Curnell, 19
Ismael Sadiq, 30
Devaron Ricardo Wilburn, 21
John Schneider, 24
Jason Harrison, 38
Frank Rhodes, 61
Roylee Vell Dixon, 48
Broderick Johnson, 21
David Latham, 35
Lonnie Flemming, 31
Steven Thompson, 26
Thomas Dewitt Johnson, 28
Frank McQueen, 34
Sandy Jamel McCall, 33
Quintico Goolsby, 36
Dominique Franklin, Jr., 23
George V. King, 19
James Renee White Jr., 21
Devante Kyshon Hinds, 21
Pearlie Golden, 93
Jerome Dexter Christmas, 44
Armand Martin, 50
Dontre H. Hamilton, 31
Joe Huff, 86
Emmanuel Wooten
Matthew Walker, 55
Daniel Christoph Yealu, 29
Adrian Williams, 29
Gregory Towns, 24
Jameel Kareem Ofurum Harrison, 34
Zikarious Jaquan Flint, 20
Raason Shaw, 20
DeAndre Lloyd Starks, 27
Douglas Cooper, 18
Winfield Carlton Fisher III, 32
Deosaran Maharaj, 51
Daniel Martin, 47
Emerson Clayton Jr., 21
Rebecca Lynn Oliver, 24
Treon “Tree” Johnson, 27
Gabriella Monique Nevarez, 22
Marquise Jones, 23
Kenneth Christopher Lucas, 38
Keith Atkinson, 31
Yvette Smith, 45
D’Andre Berghardt Jr., 20
Stephon Averyhart, 27
Anthony Bartley, 21
Earnest Satterwhite, Sr., 68
Anneson Joseph, 28
Alton Reaves, 31
McKenzie Cochran, 25
Cornelius Turner, 19
Eldrin Loren Smart, 31
Henry Jackson, 19
Jordan Baker, 26
Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr., 30
Paul Smith, 58
Jeffrey Ragland, 50
Kendall Alexander, 34
Fresh Air Gallery    May 26    Beyond the Visual   Christiopher B. Appel

Improv Poetry Peace written during BlackLivesMatter sonic visual presentation.

As gentle drums
sums of parts starts

Wins with work
able bodied
to believe

Tick talk tremble crash
cymbal symbol
bass in place between stars
and stripes

Broken promises
heal feel better
letter A for All
she wrote West to me
best to C east sez I
cry Ras Ta far
i hear clear
present danger

safety valves voices
choices choosing choice
choosing voice
compassion fashion fold into me
Brother Tree
Earth belongs to We
the People

ours is green mean
to an end game

Give back Black
epitaph to excuses
noose loose
Love above
beneath uncertain human

In Motion
of fact this
attract this

All One
Dark Space
between Sun n Soul
Roll on Redemption Song
sword n shield from sir spent
another day
in prayer
spirit answers cancers contrast
fast move meant flow ferocious

Gentle elemental Grace
pace of Pure poss a bill a T
10 9 8 3 1
more word heard
in hollow get O

Beyond the Visual
Vocal Local Matters
Uni Verse
All in All
he wrote was a song
for fallen he rose
Memorial Day
D Side

Determined Dance
Chance choose
lose inhibition
embrace legacy
to shining sea

Light fantastic
finishing touch
thy neighbor
with a smile
while we break bread
with waterdrops

Stand sharing
caring creating Art
in motion pictures
worth a thousand words ups

Freedrum and Sax
stacks odds in our favor
struggle song
remain calm
downtown street song                          
                                                                                     brother love
lesson best served

Hold On
time tickles
trickles to collective unconscious
baritone of truth

Black Men
are people too
we to U
One Love Less
Son Bless Sun