voices I miss
This drummer never fails to lift my spirits.
Ed Blackwell (drums, 1929-1992) with Mal Waldron (piano), Charlie Rouse (tenor saxophone), Woody Shaw (flugelhorn), Reggie Workman (bass), “The Git Go” (M. Waldron), live, New York (Village Vanguard), 1985
David Leon (alto saxophone, compositions) & Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), live, New York, 11/29/18
The Constructed Space
by W. S. Graham (1918-1986)
Meanwhile surely there must be something to say,
Maybe not suitable but at least happy
In a sense here between us two whoever
We are. Anyhow here we are and never
Before have we two faced each other who face
Each other now across this abstract scene
Stretching between us. This is a public place
Achieved against subjective odds and then
Mainly an obstacle to what I mean.
It is like that, remember. It is like that
Very often at the beginning till we are met
By some intention risen up out of nothing.
And even then we know what we are saying
Only when it is said and fixed and dead.
Or maybe, surely, of course we never know
What we have said, what lonely meanings are read
Into the space we make. And yet I say
This silence here for in it I might hear you.
I say this silence or, better, construct this space
So that somehow something may move across
The caught habits of language to you and me.
From where we are it is not us we see
And times are hastening yet, disguise is mortal.
The times continually disclose our home.
Here in the present tense disguise is mortal.
The trying times are hastening. Yet here I am
More truly now this abstract act become.
March 3, 1941, New York: Waiting for Benny Goodman to arrive for a recording session, the engineers are checking the equipment, the musicians are warming up, the tape is rolling.
Charlie Christian (1916-1942, guitar) with Cootie Williams (trumpet), Georgie Auld (tenor saxophone), Johnny Guarnieri (piano), Artie Bernstein (bass), Dave Tough (drums), “Waiting for Benny,” 1941
Helen Levitt (1913-2009, MCOTD Hall of Fame), New York, 1940s
voices I miss
Art Pepper (alto saxophone, 1925-1982) with Hampton Hawes (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Shelly Manne (drums), “Lost Life” (A. Pepper), Living Legend, 1975
. . . that Ethereal Gain
One earns by measuring the Grave –
Then – measuring the Sun –
—Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), from 288 (Franklin)
voices I miss
Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy (LB, 1941-1999, trumpet, MCOTD Hall of Fame; Steve Turre, trombone; Frank Lacy, trombone; Bob Stewart, tuba; Phillip Wilson, drums, et al.), “Saving All My Love for You,” live, Berlin, 1986
Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers, “Jumpin’ Jive” (Stormy Weather, 1943)
other day, National Museum of Mexican Art, Chicago
Altar for Raquel M. Ontiveros by Victoria Tapia, Monica Cisneros, and Estella Cruz (Día de Muertos: A Spiritual Legacy, through December 9th)