I had a dream. At the time, I was happily leading my first significant group, Blacklist. It was a great time! A time of exploration, rebellion, searching and finding our voices, and understanding the meaning and power of this art form. This was also, the first of many collaborations between Eddie and myself. He being older, was the guru and I did my best to execute along the parameters he provided through conversations and listening sessions while playing video games. In the midst of all of this, I had a dream.
This dream wasn't like other dreams. I had grown accustomed to seeing things. The drums. They do that to you if you listen. This dream was different. It was post-apocalyptic, like something straight out of a sci-fi flick or anime. This dream was a sign from the Ancestors of what was to come, and most of it didn’t make sense! It took almost 20 years for me to interpret and it’s all come true!
The strangest part came when I found myself in a dark room playing in a way that I’d never heard myself play before, and all I could see was the stage lights reflecting off the bell of a saxophone. There were no other instruments. As we played, I saw the elevation of consciousness and optimization of humanity taking place in the audience. We were all transformed after the performance.
When Eddie and I decided to perform as a duo, it was the decision that led to the manifestation of a vision I had almost 20 years ago. We decided to call ourselves the Ogún Meji Duo to reflect our understanding that the purpose of music is to heal, uplift, and inspire others toward their greatest selves.
This performance, the first of the Holler31 series that took place in March of 2017, captured our process, our thinking, and the conversation we have with our audiences which ask “who are you,” “who are we” and “how can we help each other be better so we can make the world better?”
1) Alkebulan (Bayard/Lomax)
2) Ornette’s Theory (Bayard)
3) Griot Love Song Pt. 2 (Lomax)
4) Love (Bayard)
5) Resurrection (Lomax)
6) Nutty (Monk)
7) ‘Round Midnight (Monk)
8) That’s The Idea: Homage to Kidd Jordan (Bayard/Lomax)
Total run time: 72 mins
The Ogún Meji Duo:
Edwin Bayard - ts
Mark Lomax, II - dr