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Everything posted by blajay

  1. I remember also being blown away the first time I heard Saxophone Colossus more because of Roach than Rollins, himself! Also, he's excellent with Herbie Nichols.
  2. A tune that's been in my head a lot the past week has been "A Little Max" on the Money Jungle album. He is showcased on that one. He might be my favorite drummer. All the Plus Four stuff is great. I like Percussion Bittersweet a lot.
  3. Sending a PM on John Patton Mosaic set and Freddie Roach--Brown Sugar.
  4. I had the political forum blocked for myself because it's annoying. It's not that I can't handle its substance, its that I can't handle its lack thereof. It fills up the list of new posts with crap. If I want to discuss politics, I'll do so elsewhere. I'm here to discuss music. I have found the option to block politics here helpful to gaining what I always wanted out of this place.
  5. Exactly my behavior and sentiments.
  6. I guess the simple thing would be to find out if he was in Paris then.
  7. He was from NYC, not the midwest, right? Was he involved in experimental music? I've only heard his organ soul jazz recordings. I'm wondering how in touch Roach would have been with BAG. His name is spelled "ie" not "y" usually, right?
  8. I did it for free. California state has a free e-file service, and H&R Block has free federal online service.
  9. Thanks Clifford. We are already short-handed with two women out on maternity leave, and we are protected by a union contract, so hopefully I'll stay on. We'll see. Well, after a long time in purgatory, today was D-Day here at the office, and it is confirmed that I am NOT LAID OFF!! I'm really sad that the sweetest old lady in my dept. is, though. Here's hoping that all Organissimites get through this crisis. -Jay
  10. Thanks Allen. Please do let me know if you find that footage. I'd be really interested to at least hear your impressions of it. Is the guy at Columbia you mention Brent Edwards, perhaps? Robert O'Meally has done things with Ralph Ellison's work, but I'd be somewhat surprised to hear he'd be that interested in Julius Hemphill.
  11. I'm curious if anyone knows more about this or if anyone has ever caught one of these performances live. Or if anyone knows of a recorded performance in film or audio format? I should mention first that I am a bit of a Ralph Ellison nut, well sort of--his jazz writings and especially the introduction of the book Invisible Man were basically my introduction to this world. While I don't agree with many of Ellison's perspectives after having written Invisible Man (his angry piece on Charlie Parker, his associations with Stanley Crouch and Wynton Marsalis, his own elitist social activities, his homophobic and chauvinistic tendencies, his indifference to the struggles during the Civil Rights Era, his support for the war in Vietnam, and a "Bledsoe" sort of behavior by publicly disparaging young Black writers), the implications of his writing and its beauty have left a profound impression, trying to understanding of the world from the Black modern lens. Beyond his writings themselves, though, this performance just sounds amazing to experience, and I already always thought that Julius Hemphill was a genius. OK, so to explain, I recently read "Point From Which Creation Begins": The Black Artists' Group of St. Louis (BAG) by Benjamin Looker, a PhD student in the American Studies program at Yale. The book has been discussed in previous threads. If you haven't already read this one, I highly recommend it as a follow up to George Lewis' book (even though it was written before it). Like Lewis' account of the AACM in Chicago, it is similarly inspiring in its narrative of an autonomous Black group of free jazz musicians, visual artists, dancers, and other poets and performers, but in St. Louis. Anyway, the book is great in general, especially by such a young scholar, but I'll reproduce the couple of pages that really caught my attention here (pgs. 228-230): "Julius Hemphill remained the collective's chief organizer of multimedia performance events. Ever since his return from Sweden, the saxophonist had been collaborating with Malinke Elliot whenever he could on such theatrical presentations. In New York, the two popularized an original and idiosyncratically personal concept of the "audio-drama" in the city's galleries and lofts.... The piece that attracted the most notice, however, was an audiodrama originally dubbed Ralph Ellison's Long Tongue, with Hemphill culling his title from an aphorism that he often heard as a child--'laying a tongue on somebody'--meaning that 'an elder had given an upstart a good dose of wisdom.' To the saxophonist, that phrase could equally well summon up 'the versatility of the saxophone, and its endless ability to dispense wisdom.' In its original version, the show borrowed text from Ralph Ellison's novel Invisible Man and, in particular, from the section where the unnamed protagonist delivers a disillusioned and fatalistic monologue at the funeral of the recently murdered Brotherhood leader Tod Clifton. The inaugural performance, a 1978 show at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., featured Elliot improvising on the Ellison monologue in various voices--a preacher, a professor, a carnival barker, a street person, an activist--while Hemphill 'tried to proceed with the rhythm of spoken language' in his accompaniment, often mirroring each syllable with a specific musical note. Elliot used the Invisible Man source materials, he remembers, to craft loosely structured, gallows-humor commentaries on both political apathy in the black community and the persistent repression of African Americans who attempted to 'assert their manhood.' Though reviewers criticized the initial presentation as 'elliptical' and 'verbose,' the two artists continued to rework and expand their audio-drama over the next thirteen years, eventually attracting funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and other nonprofit arts agencies. Within a few years, the concept had evolved into an entirely new show. In a 1981 presentation at the Kitchen, a leading SoHo venue for experimental jazz and contemporary classical music, Hemphill and Elliot solicited poetic readings from their St. Louis friend K. Curtis Lyle and integrated dancers as well as rear-projected snippets from their decade-old experimental film The Orientation of Sweet Willie Rollbar. By then, they had dropped the Invisible Man underpinnings in favor of a fictional nightclub setting..." In the endnotes, it says that "Ralph Ellison himself once appeared in the audience for a performance at Brown University. Acquaintances remember the older writer chastising Hemphill afterward for using Invisible Man materials without permission, though Hemphill quickly disarmed the older writer with conversation about their roots in neighboring Texas and Oklahoma." Links to related articles: NY Times--Using a Saxophone Opera to Recount Black Culture NY Times RALPH ELLISON IN MIXED-MEDIA SETTING NY Times Review/Music; Tour With Saxophones Through Black History Washington Post Evocations in Jazz; Julius Hemphill & the City Saga of `Long Tongues' And there are a number of other articles from the Washington Post and Downbeat that I can't access. Any further information is greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jay
  12. I went off on Chuck once early on in my participation here. I sent him a personal note and apologized. I was embarrassed. Glad to say we've gotten along great since, and I have the utmost respect for him.
  13. blajay

    Herman Foster

    Hmm. I wonder why BN never recorded him as a leader, perhaps with a horn, though.
  14. blajay

    Herman Foster

    He really caught my attention on Disc 2 of the Lou Donaldson Mosaic from the 1957 BN date Swing and Soul. I didn't have the discography handy. On a couple tracks I was pretty certain I was listening to Horace Silver with the locked-hands thing that worked so well with a latin beat, but then he sounded delicate as Teddy Wilson on a couple ballads. I looked it up, and it's Herman Foster. I know nothing about him, and I couldn't find any threads about him outside of his work on this Mosaic set. It looks like he was a sideman for Lou Donaldson for years, but he did make a few records as a leader in the early 60s for Epic and Argo. Anyone have those? How are they??
  15. I listen to his music and I read his book. Music is great and book is alright but over-rated. I don't hear/see genius anywhere there.
  16. Stan Getz and Art Pepper??? How? This is silly.
  17. I've always wondered why "drenched" is always the term for "has lots of" blues, aren't there many other suitable words for "has lots of?" Why always "drenched?" Maybe that also has to do with tinkling the ivories. Things to ponder for Allen Lowe's blues project.
  18. Just thought I'd follow up. The Electric Masada show on Sunday was great fun. Unlike the previous night, Zorn did actually play his axe (people were complaining a bit that he hadn't the night before even though it was billed that way). As I mentioned, thanks to their e-mail with the discount, they handed me a $50 gift certificate at the door. After the first show they offered the later 9pm show for $25 (half price), and I went. Plus I met a girl there and it ended up being an impromptu date! So in terms of value, I'd say it was a great deal after all was said and done. Much different crowd than most shows I've seen recently--young, white, relatively nerdy potheads mostly. But I did run into Roscoe Mitchell at will call (literally). I was hoping he was a "special guest" or something, but I guess he was just there to observe. Anyway, they were a tight band, especially considering there were three drummers on stage simultaneously.
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