Ngoma | Reflections(1964 - 2006)

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Reflections(1964 - 2006)

by Ngoma

Spoken Word with Jazz/Funk Fusion
Genre: Spoken Word: With Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Poem In Repsonse to the Question-What Kind of Music Do You Play
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2:50 $0.99
2. Real War Stories
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2:33 $0.99
3. When the Jazz and the Food and the Mardi Gras Stopped
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8:03 $0.99
4. I'm In a Recovery Program From Western Civilization
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7:46 $0.99
5. On the Day the Pope Died
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5:18 $0.99
6. I Wish I Did'nt Have to Write This Poem
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7:01 $0.99
7. Ode to the Black Belt South
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5:58 $0.99
8. Birmingham Sunday
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3:25 $0.99
9. Standing on the Corner of 59 Turning 60
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16:00 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Ngoma is a performance poet, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and paradigm shifter, who for over 30 years has used culture as a tool to raise sociopolitical and spiritual consciousness through work that encourages critical thought. A former member of the SPIRIT HOUSE MOVERS AND PLAYERS with Amiri Baraka and the Contemporary Freedom Song Duo, SERIOUS BIZNESS, Ngoma weaves poetry and song that raises contradictions and searches for a solution for a just and peaceful world.
Ngoma was the Prop Slam winner of the 1997 National Poetry Slam Competition in Middletown, CT and was published in AFRICAN VOICES MAGAZINE, LONG SHOT ANTHOLOGY, THE UNDERWOOD REVIEW, SIGNIFYIN' HARLEM REVIEW and 'BUM RUSH THE PAGE/DEF POETRY JAM ANTHOLOGY He was featured in the PBS Spoken Word Documentary, "The Apro-Poets" with Allen Ginsberg.

Ngoma has hosted the slam at the Dr. Martin Luther King Festival of Social and Environmental Justice Festival (Yale University-New Haven, CT) for the past 9 years.

His newest CD release"Reflections"(1964-2006)and his CD Movie Documentary "Ngoma:Alive and In Your Face from NYC", takes Jazz/Funk/Fusion and the Spoken Word to the next level. His CDs "Didgitation:Solo Didgeridoo Musik for Meditation" and "Ancient Future Meditational Musik" are must haves for those interested in altered states of consciousness.


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i was asked personally by ngoma 2 review his latest effort, entitled ''reflections: 1964 - 2006''. i was both flattered n determined 2 give my best possible review. and what can i say, the golden griot has once again given an offering that is both classic as well as historical. ngoma has been performing and musically inviting the world into his paragidm shifted universe for over 3 decades. and ''reflections'' takes the listener on a trip thru tha early years of anti war beat poets and leaves u stranded on a 21st century highway, waiting n wanting 4 more from his talented mind.

ngoma unleashes his entire instrumental arsenal, playing his favorite didgeridoo, along w the bamboo flute, accoustic guitar & a violin that races thru some of his early tracks. ''a poem in response to the question/what kind of music do u play'' is tha 1st track, & he answers it with that screaming violin as if it was a jimi hendrix song. and in his initial opening #2 song, ''real war stories'', ngoma whips us on a journey thru tha vietnam laced 60's, complete w agent orange, booby traps n no benefits. but his next jumpoff will surprise u because he leaps right into tha disco and dance-tech eras of tha 80's & 90's w ''when the jazz and the food and the mardi gras stopped''. i have heard katrina poems b4, but this simply is a delight, u HAVE 2 hear it performed live. in ''i'm in a recovery program from western civilization'', he ups tha ante w tha railroad work song, ala oscar brown and destroys tha track w metaphors and ancient rips at tha amerikkkan systems that have depleted tha economy & freedom. but tha track that best held me at bay was ''on tha day the pope died''. this here is tha entire cd, folks. ngoma sings all background vocals ala a gospel quartet group, easily blowin u over w ''by the rivers of baylon, as if he was sam cooke. this could b tha BEST poem he has ever written. and i remembered him reading it from paper when it was 1st created. it's a masterpiece, hands down.

but he is not finished, as he gives u gary bartz's famous rendition of ''uhuru sasa'' in his next song ''i wish i didn't have to write this poem''. ngoma is fiercely unrivaled in his ability to weave his way around traditional songs that have influenced today's and yesterday's culture. and he has a vast knowlege in creating ways to remind us in his guitar aided ''birmingham sunday'', originally done by richard farina. i could see freedom buses burnin' and 4 lil coffins from that church bombin' as i listened 2 this rendition n even though i was at work, i nearly cried from hearin ngoma's vocals bleedin' on this track. but just when u think tha master hasn't got anything left in his notepad he gives u tha jay-z/biggie gigantic ''ode to the black south/bring back segregation'', w tha 1 & only god mc----kasim allah. it's like teacher n pupil takin down tha evil empire w enuff verbal stones 2 build 49 cities. i played this one back 3 times, kasim rips tha didgeridoo laced track w a ferocity, and ngoma is no slouch either on this song.

he ends his cd w ''standing on the corner of '59 turning 60'', a blue note of cool funk proportions. this is tha one track where ngoma simply lays on tha track and floats until it seems like they had 2 drag him out of tha booth. cleary his most relaxed song. this entire project slides thru gospel, jazz, post modern hip-hop and lots of heavy rock hidden in his music. i found some of tha tracks 2 b a lil loud and drowned him somewhat, and his musical intros were alot longer than i wished for, yet he seemed more in control when he begins 2 speak. it's almost as if u don't care, because his subject matter is never tha same, and his diverse way of attackin tha bush administration didn't get tired one bit. this clearly is a top notch cd, an anthology u MUST have in ya collection.
i give it 4 1/2 ''RL's''

da gifted 1

John Book

While spoken word and hip-hop have two distinct histories, both are rooted in storytelling, partly an extension of the griots of Africa. It's not just the power of the words or the rhythm of speech, but being able to hear a unique voice tell a unique story which somehow makes the observer fell less alone. In the past it has been people such as The Last Poets and Gil-Scott Heron whose work during the late 60's and early 70's provided a guiding light for those who may have been blinded by other rays. Ngoma's own work may not be well known as his contemporaries but that should change with the release of his new disc, Reflections 1964-2006.

The title is slightly misleading, for it is not a retrospective of older recordings but rather a modern observance of civil and human rights issues from then to now. Ngoma is someone who deserves and demands respect, and when you hear the nine tracks on this CD you’ll know why. His poignant essays are spoken over instrumental tracks (with some of it played by Ngoma himself) ranging from jazz to funk, gospel to blues, and at times the music contradicts what the words are saying, which is exactly his point. You may hear music that may bring a smile to your face, but he’s speaking about the war or the state of education in the United States. A piece like “When The Jazz And The Food And The Mardi Gras Stopped” is direct and to the point, and anyone who is in the way of progress will be criticized for not moving to help.

There are also sharp criticisms of the hip-hop scattered throughout, one man’s battle with a younger generation taking advantage of their freedoms without knowing or caring what came before them. It’s less about keeping the music real, more about keeping heads above water so the undercurrent will not pull a community down.

One of the CD’s highlights is a 16 minute masterpiece he calls “Standing On The Corner Of ‘59 Turning 60”. In it he shares the hopes, fears and dreams that he once had, looks at a life full of struggle but one worth living. There is strength and dignity in his words and voice that only comes from living. Reflections 1964-2006 is the work of a remarkable human being.

– John Book/