voices I miss
Von Freeman (1923-2012), tenor saxophonist, MCOTD Hall of Fame
“Oleo” (S. Rollins) with Clifford Jordan (tenor saxophone), Willie Pickens (piano), Dan Shapera (bass), Robert Shy (drums), Chicago (Chicago Jazz Festival), 1988
With John Young (1922-2008, piano), et al., live (radio broadcast), late 1970s
“A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” (E. Maschwitz & M. Sherwin) with Jodie Christian (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), live, Harrisburg, Penn., 1994
“I Can’t Get Started” (V. Duke, I. Gershwin), live, Belgium, 1992
“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” (R. Rodgers, L. Hart) with Mike Allemena (guitar), Matt Ferguson (bass), Michael Raynor (drums), live, Chicago (Mandel Hall, University of Chicago), 2011
my back pages
On this night forty-three years ago, at a church thirty miles north of Chicago, my wife, Suzanne, and I were married. Outside it was cold and snowy; inside Von Freeman was playing, with pianist John Young. All of what they played that night, before, during, and after the ceremony, can be heard here (0:15-) (before: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “It Never Entered My Mind,” “More”; during [as Suzanne walked down the aisle]: “In a Sentimental Mood”; after: “My Favorite Things,” “Song for My Father”).
This voice I could listen to all day, even if I didn’t understand a word of English. He doesn’t speak—he sings.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), “I Have a Dream,” Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963
Another take, with Max Roach (1924-2007, drums).
yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.
One-word review: Wow!
Fay Victor (vocals), Baba Israel (vocals), Marc Ribot (guitar), Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Kris Davis (piano), live (Celebration of the Life of Steve Dalachinsky), New York (Winter Jazz Fest), 1/11/19
other day, Chicago
I speak across the vast
Dialogues in which we go
To clench my words against
Time or the lack of time
Hoping that for a moment
They will become for me
A place I can think in
And think anything in,
An aside from the monstrous.
This is no other place
Than where I am, between
This word and the next.
—W. S. Graham (1918-1986), from “The Dark Dialogues”
27 years later
Art Ensemble of Chicago (Roscoe Mitchell, 1940-, reeds, flute, percussion; Famadou Don Moye, 1946-, drums, percussion) and Guests (Hugh Ragin, trumpets, flugelhorn; Tomeika Reed, cello; Silvia Bolognesi, bass; Jaribu Shahid, bass; Dudu Kouate, percussion), live, Italy (Cormòns), 2018
other day, Chicago
like nobody else
Art Ensemble of Chicago (Roscoe Mitchell, 1940-, reeds, flute, percussion; Joseph Jarman, 1937-2019, reeds, flute, percussion; Lester Bowie, 1941-1999, trumpet, flugelhorn, MCOTD Hall of Fame; Malachi Favors, 1927-2004, bass, percussion, vocals; Don Moye, 1946-, drums, percussion), live, Germany (Hamburg), 1991
other day, Oak Park, Ill.
from the heart of the country
—Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), from Narrow Road to the Interior (translated from Japanese by Sam Hamill)