Ngoma | Conversation with Esu

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Conversation with Esu

by Ngoma

Spoken Word with Jazz/Funk/Fusion and Blues
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Conversation with Esu
5:42 $0.99
2. Cross Roads (feat. Osunyoyin Alake Ifariki)
5:40 $0.99
3. Naked
1:18 $0.99
4. Music Is My Essence
6:01 $0.99
5. Bronx Poem
4:03 $0.99
6. Elerin Ipin
4:02 $0.99
7. Conversation with Harriet
6:25 $0.99
8. Lady Liberty
2:11 $0.99
9. Real Black Panthers Ain't in Wakanda
4:58 $0.99
10. Sitting on the Edge of Tomorrow
1:54 $0.99
11. Pick up Whatever You Can Pick Up
4:52 $0.99
12. Conversation with Esu (Instrumental)
5:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ngoma is a performance poet,multi-instrumentalist,singer/songwriter,Artivist and paradigm shifter, who for over 45 years has used culture as a tool to raise socio-political and spiritual consciousness through work that encourages critical thought.

A former member of Amiri Baraka's "The Spirit House Movers and Players" and the contemporary freedom song duo"Serious Bizness",Ngoma weaves poetry and song that raises contradictions and searches for a solution to a just and peaceful world.

Ngoma was the Prop Slam Winner of the 1997 National Poetry Slam Competition in Middletown,CT and his been published in African Voices Magazine,Long Shot Anthology,The Underwood Review,Signifyin' Harlem Review,Bum Rush the Page/Def Poetry Jam Anthology,Poems on the Road to Peace-(Volumes 1,2,and 3)Yale Press and Let Loose On the World-Amiri Baraka at 75.
The Understanding Between Foxes and Light-Great Weather For Media and New Rain/Blind Beggar Press 35th Anniversary Issue. He was featured in the P.B.S spoken word documentary The Apropoets with Allen Ginsburg
Ngoma was selected as the Beat Poet Laureate of New York for 2017 by The National Beat Poetry Poetry Foundation



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Warlock Asylum

Conversation with Esu by Ngoma:The Godfather of Spoken Word's Masterpiece
Conversation With Esu by Ngoma: The Godfather of Spoken Word’s Masterpiece!
As an Afro-Renaissance man of the ages, Ngoma’s immortal swag has illuminated his work as an artist, activist, multi-instrumentalist, poet, singer, songwriter, and writer for over four decades. Highly respected in the poetry community as a living legend, Ngoma uses his artistic abilities to raise political and spiritual awareness, often inspiring his peers and devotees to think critically about life’s struggles. He is an elder and mentor that leads by example. Included among his many academic honors and accolades is his recent selection as the Beat Poet Laureate of New York for 2017 by The National Beat Poetry Foundation. The Godfather of Spoken Word, as he is so eloquently coined by both academics and street scholars alike, has a sense of artistic continuity and stamina that is difficult for people even half his age to embody. Ngoma’s new album titled Conversation with Esu is a masterful testimony of his creative genius as a musician, poet, and singer.

Conversation with Esu is composed of twelve wonderfully inspired tracks that will surely bring delight to music lovers worldwide. Ngoma reveals his life experience and newfound joy as an ambassador of the divine world, international artist, and global citizen through a symphonic landscape of poem and prose. Conversation with Esu not only heralds a new era in Ngoma’s catalogue as an artist but also courageously explores the inner peace that many are able to find in their return to the faith of those that came from the world before time.


Conversation with Esu: Track by Track Review

Ngoma opens this body of work with the title track Conversation with Esu, quite an incredible way to begin this melodious journey as its placement on the album has a metaphoric meaning for those who know the way of the Yoruba faith. Esu is the owner and ruler of all the paths in the universe and of communication between the Orishas, Olodumare, and humanity. So it is in harmony with the Science of Ifa that Conversation with Esu initiates Ngoma’s audience for what is to follow. Ngoma’s creativity weaves this song’s atmosphere and organic overtones in a southern blues musical recipe that is transcendent and places the listener on the frontlines of the ancestral path.

Conversation with Esu’s rhythms continues to flow into the track Cross Roads. The track’s feature, poetess Osunyoyin Alake Ifariki, remarkably defines the importance of the crossroads, a place where “heaven touches the earth,” with a memorable psalm that illustrates how African spiritual technology survives in the music of its descendants.

Naked is Ngoma’s inventive acapella of raw consciousness. As its title exclaims, Ngoma captures the album’s theme of traveling to the homeland and back in order to resurrect that which we truly are in the mind of the universe. Naked’s structure allows the audience to sit in the same room with Ngoma, mind to mind.

Music is My Essence is an autobiographical piece that captures our attention with its funky bassline that is in a handsome dialogue with the background flute. Through symbolism of word, Ngoma describes his age-old love affair with music, something that we can all relate to as artists and fans.

Filled with the nostalgia that is often associated with the borough, Ngoma brings us a funky smorgasbord of lyricism and music in Bronx Poem. This trip down memory lane cleverly educates tourists of the Bronx in its history and culture prior to gentrification. Bronx Poem proves to be an antique subway token which will bring satisfaction to those struggling with a rewind-button addiction.

Elerin Ipin is another album gem that reads like a scene from a movie. It’s soft yet cinematic landscape adds to the track’s intensity. In Yoruba spirituality, elerin ipin means Witness to Creation. The expression has a deeper meaning in Yoruba faith which would take another article to define. But in brief, being a witness to creation means that you are able to see beyond the physical realm and into the ebb and flow of forces that are responsible for the world’s fates. Ngoma is able to present his induction into the citizenry of the divine world through a true-to-life folktale that is compassionately described in the poem.

Ngoma has fun with Conversation with Harriet. With a backdrop of Caribbean rockers music, Ngoma leads us into a conversation with Harriet Tubman, imaginably gaining insight into what she thinks about being on the $20 bill. Ngoma’s execution of the track’s theme is entertaining and musically witty.

The experimental approach to Lady Liberty makes this an awesome composition. Ngoma’s use of boat and pier sounds as the track’s instruments put the listener at the bay where Lady Liberty resides. This is a poem that cynically describes the threats and losses of freedoms and rights in an age where people are told otherwise.

Real Black Panthers Ain’t in Wakanda separates the wheat from the chaff and is a delightful spin on the topic of the movie Panther. Ngoma reminds his audience that there were many real Black Panthers that fought for freedom and became political prisoners due to their efforts. Meanwhile, the present generation is infatuated with a Hollywood film titled Panther, wherein the villain is born in the same hometown that the political Black Panthers originated. You can’t make this stuff up. Ngoma’s tribute to political prisoners of war is an essential element in the Conversation with Esu’s genius.

Sitting on the Edge of Tomorrow is a tantalizing treasure chest of proverbial wisdom. With its theatrical presentation set in the world of nature, Ngoma receives revelation in prose that the righteous will survive, definitely a source of encouragement for those who exercise faith in the spirit of life.

Pick Up What You Can Pick Up is a bold track about the injustices facing people around the world. The moving instrumentation of the track provides a perfect platform for Ngoma’s clear and concise message. Pick Up What You Can Pick Up is by any means necessary and an indispensable part of Conversation with Esu’s ingredients. Ngoma concludes this spectacular album with Conversation with Esu (instrumental). Ngoma lets the music speak, which allows listeners to absorb this powerful voyage of word and song.

Conversation with Esu by Ngoma is a masterpiece. This is an exceptional album from the Godfather of Spoken Word that clearly reflects the inner peace Ngoma has obtained from his spiritual journey. Conversation with Esu is a noninvasive and enlightening work that will hopefully be entered into the realm of academia and studied by scholars and students for its musical expression, lyricism, song structure, and a marvelous display of musical theory. There is something here for everyone as Ngoma successfully incorporates the elements of divine understanding that is essential for art to survive in life and for life to survive through art. Bravo brethren!

Bilal Sunni Ali

Conversation with Eshu
Conversation with Eshu-Review by Bilal Sunni Ali

CONVERSATION WITH ESHU. I heard about this CD while I was on tour. Too busy to relax
and listen. But before even hearing it I had recommended that copies be sent to WRFG
COMMUNITY RADIO in ATLANTA , the community institution that houses a number of
politically and socially, conscious and committed broadcast journalists, promoters, artists,
activists. Then I called the brother who engineers and often directs the weekly NEWS Digest
WHAT GOOD IS A SONG/THE FRIDAY NIGHT DRUM. NEXT in order of business was to see
that my personal engineer received a copy and put it in my file. I immediately moved to
technologically take care of business with this CD. That’s because I know and trust brother
Ngoma. Trust him as a comrade in struggle and as a committed artist . I know that based on
those two facts that any and everything he does gonna be everything it needs to be.
By the time the tour came to a close I had listened to it a couple of times on the dead run.
Finally relaxing, listening and letting it all soak in, one poem grabbed me by the ears, went way
inside and touched my sentiments exactly …. “Real Black Panthers ain’t in Wakanda … what’s
the call … free ‘em all ….” . You see, the tour I was on was the BLACKAUGUST TOUR. The
BLACKAUGUST TOUR is all about “ real black panthers” and freeing all of them, all that’s left
of them….political PRISONERS and PRISONERS of war ...bringing attention to their court
hearings, parole hearings,etc … political leaders... bringing attention to their programs and
campaigns that strengthen our movement for justice, and national liberation. Not just that track
but the entire CD could have been on this tour. CONVERSATION WITH ESHU is like listening
to a soundtrack to various scenes not only in my life but also in the lives of many many young
people who have now grown old, and grown into old (mature) revolutionaries. This is a period of
summing up and determining how do we pass this baton, this torch, this cannon of struggle to
the next age of revolutionaries. And this CD is a big part of that process. TRACKS ONE, TWO
AND THREE has us at the crossroads hearing the meaning of the songs and sounds in the
memories of our great musicializing/singing ancestors pointing out direction, helping us make
decisions . Ngoma convinces us that the blues is a total folk art form grounded in spiritual
understanding. Far from making you sad Ngoma’s playing, singing and poeticizing makes you
glad you heard it because now at least you know. The blues continues throughout the entire CD
to confirm our geographical and ancestral identity. The blues anchors us in, linking the Afrika in
us, linking the Deep South with the Global South. The Bible stories with the folk stories, the
grass roots with the spirituality. TRACK FOUR , tracing his own growth through the changing and
learning of instruments that lead from one stage to the next stage of understanding life had
me reminiscing about my own road to becoming a “multi”-instrumentalist. Each new instrument
creating a development of discipline and personality preparing you for a life of seemingly
divergent but not at all conflicting paths of struggle. TRACK FIVE , growing up in the Bronx my
self, I had to bear witness to and appreciate his critical narrative of programs of state oppression
interfaced with the cultural and social developments of the peoples’ culture, their honest efforts
to creatively resist. The threat and reality of gentrification darts in and throughout his narrative
as it does throughout all narratives of national oppression. From the ancient Mississippians and
the Washitaw, to the Cherokee and the Sioux, to the Cheyenne and the Apache to the Fort
Apache of the south Bronx, the south, south Bronx. TRACK SIX: has Ngoma poetically
narrating his introduction to, his love ❤ for and his understanding of IFA, its secrets, its
mysteries over a bed of some of that down home bluesy flute and fiddle. TRACK SEVEN . I'm
a tremendous fan of Harriet Tubman, so any tribute to Harriet is a tribute of mine. His poetic
response to the empty gesture of placing Mama Harriet’s face on a green ink and paper backed
twenty dollar bill is classic ….. “you may think we some kinda fool , it's too late for forty acres
and a mule, the debt is over four hundred years overdue …. tell me….Where’s the reparations?"

TRACK EIGHT: Although departing from “ the blues” as a musical/poetical form to the eerie
sound of tug boat and water Lady Liberty is an updated prose about the hypocrisy and
contradictions in the symbols of this red,white and blues society. TRACK NINE: As I earlier
mentioned speaks to many but definitely speaks to me directly. More than just to me as a real
Black Panther but speaks to me as a fellow committed artist it incorporates my own artistry,
words and legacy …. “ righteous soldiers”, “taking a stand”, “freeing the land” and “we don’t
need no uniform”. My hat comes off again and again as I personally say thank you to brother
Ngoma for such an honor. TRACK TEN: with only Mother Nature’s accompanying and
complimenting the WAR drums that Ngoma hears beating in his soul the eternal truth flows from
Ngoma’s clear critical identification with IFA , to live it and live with it, to embody it, to fight and
to win. TRACK ELEVEN: Ngoma again exposes you to the truth poetically again over a bed
of bluesy multi-instrumental collective improvisation. So please, in picking up whatever you can
CONVERSATION with ESHU, this TRACK and the entire album, uhh, I mean CD, is definitely
da bloos. Down home, nitty gritty, heart, gut and soul wrenching, rhythmically, harmonically,
poetically and philosophically everything the bloos is sposta be. I naturally loved Brother
Ngoma's contribution to the soundscape of music poetry and revolutionary expression. I will
spend a lotta time with this CD and this music. Gonna carry it on me as part of my personal
arsenal to use as weapon to fight off oppression , depression and loneliness, to share those
who just might dare to listen and dare to joyously join us. Thanking you again Baba
Ngoma, for this great work and for your insistence and reminder that revolutionary artwork is
revolutionary work. … asante , modupe’, modasi, Shuqran, gracias, merci ….. Mercy,


Ty Bailey

Conversation with Esu
Ty Bailey You got to check out the latest CD from Ngoma - "Conversation with Eshu"... The multi-instrumentalist , vocalist, poet takes you on a musical and cognitive adventure that is most informative and spiritually uplifting...

Ty Bailey-WVST/FM Radio

Anthony Harris

You Should Hear This

We met in the sixties. Ngoma was playing double bass with a jazz band on our college campus in Petersburg, Virginia. On his newest album, “Conversation with Eshu” he is playing violins, a 12 string guitar, bamboo flute, yidaki, banjo, hang hand pan drum, singing and performing spoken word.
Growth and Study!

The sixties, was an era of change-there were sit-ins, smoke-ins, love-ins, march-ins, protest-ins and the Music was expanding with every cultural element. Jazz was exploding with Coltrane, Monk, Miles, Ornette, Haynes, Pharaoh, and so many others. Ngoma was there too. The events of those many years are still bearing fruit today. Listen!

So, now comes “Conversation with Eshu” that blends Yoruba, Africa with the soul and

mind of Ngoma through brilliant music and verse. “Cross Roads”, track 2, is vibrant spoken word with violins that speak from Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Africa and the Mississippi delta; “Music is My Essence”, track 4, is a beautifully written historical and musical narrative about Ngoma’s origins and development in the African American culture- it helps describe where he is today with his vast array of musicianship. And yes, there are artfully written pieces written about Harriet Tubman(“Conversation with Harriet”, track 7), the Black Panthers(“The Real Black Panthers Aint in Wakanda”, track 9), and Hip Hop and the South Bronx(“Bronx Poem”, track 5). The 12 track album concludes with “Conversation with Eshu”, the instrumental version, a humble, soothing, melodic piece that comfortably and succinctly summarizes all of his original tunes.

So, you will hear Amiri Baraka, Oscar Brown, Jr, Gil-Scott Heron, The Last Poets, Nina

Simone, Sonia Sanchez, Harlem, Newark and Richmond-all within in Ngoma’s journey - creatively woven into this current events, ahead of the curve, aimed straight at your heart album. You will listen to it, you will dig it and you will share with your friends.

Anthony Harris Jazz Programmer
WDNA-FM, 88.9 Miami
July 24, 2018