Milford Graves (drums, vocals) with Amiri Baraka (words), Roswell Rudd (trombone), Charles Gayle (tenor saxophone, piano), William Parker (bass), live, New York, 2013
As you get older, you ain’t afraid to say something.
art beat: yesterday, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago)
Douglas Ewart, George Lewis, Douglas Repetto, Rio Negro II, 2015 (The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now [through Sunday])
Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band,* live, Austria (Saalfelden Jazz Festival), 2012
Music, like conversation, war, baseball, and sex, gives us a way to interact.
Every year it comes as a surprise—first snow.
*Muhal Richard Abrams, piano; Henry Threadgill, alto saxophone; Roscoe Mitchell, alto & soprano saxophone; Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet; Amina Claudine Myers, piano; George Lewis, trombone; Leonard Jones, bass; Thurman Barker, vibes, percussion; Reggie Nicholson, drums.
Who wouldn’t want to go to such a heaven?
Soul Stirrers (feat. Jimmy Outler), “Listen to the Angels Sing,” TV show, early 1960s
listening room: (some of) what’s playing
• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide in Black (In the Red)
• Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio (Blue Note)
• Shabazz Palaces, Black Up (Sub Pop)
• Terrie Ex, Paal Nilssen-Love, Hurgu! (PNL Records)
• Anthony Braxton Quintet (Basel) 1977 (hatOLOGY)
• Miles Davis, Live in Europe 1967 (Sony Legacy)
• ICP Orchestra Performs Herbie Nichols & Thelonious Monk (ICP)
• George Lewis & The NOW Orchestra, The Shadowgraph Series: Compositions for Creative Orchestra (Spool)
• Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy, Goerge Lewis, Harjen Gorter, Han Bennink, Change of Season (Soul Note)
• Pharaoh Sanders, Karma (Impulse!)
• Charles “Bobo” Shaw & Lester Bowie, Bugle Boy Bop (Muse)
• Reverend Claude Jeter, Yesterday and Today (Shanachie)
• This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45 RPM (1957-1982) (Tompkins Square)
• J. Berg’s A Cappella Archives (Vol. 3), Royal Rarities (Vol. 3) (Rare Gospel)
• Congotronics 2: Buzz ’n’ Rumble in the Urb ’n’ Jungle (Crammed Discs)
• Pandit Pran Nath, Midnight: Raga Malkauns (Just Dreams)
• Nikhil Banerjee, Afternoon Ragas (Bhimpalasri, Multani) (Raga Records)
• John Luther Adams, Songbird Songs (Mode Records)
• John Luther Adams, Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing (New World Records)
• John Cage Edition—Vol. 23: The Works for Violin 4 (Irvine Arditti, violin; Stephen Drury, piano) (Mode Records)
• Morton Feldman, Trio (Aki Takahashi, piano; Marc Sabat, violin; Rohan de Saram, cello) (Mode Records)
• Tristan Murail, Gondwana, Desintegrations, Time and Again (Disques Montaigne)
• Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu (RCA/BMG)
• The Incomparable Rudolf Serkin (Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 30, 31, 32) (Deutsche Grammophon)
• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
—Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
—Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)
—Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
—Sinner’s Crossroads (Kevin Nutt, gospel)
—Cherry Blossom Clinic (Terre T, rock, etc.)
—Fool’s Paradise (Rex; “Vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf”)
—Downtown Soulville (Mr. Fine Wine, soul, etc.)
George Lewis (1952-), “Will to Adorn” (2011)
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Chicago, 2012
[W]hen writing “The Will To Adorn,” Lewis was especially “interested in this idea of adornment—color, color, color everywhere.” The piece represents Lewis’ current musical goal to get “more color energy into the pieces.”
In February, when I left this concert, which took place on a Sunday afternoon at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, I felt both exhilarated and wistful. This performance, which had been such a joy to hear, I would never be able to experience again. Or so I thought, until, just the other day, I discovered this recording online. Young people, many of them, anyway, would see nothing remarkable in being able, thanks to the ’net, to return to a musical experience whenever, and wherever, you want. To me it seems a small miracle.
I was trying to assert myself as the man in the house, taking charge of things no one could control.
—Richard Ford, Canada (2012)
Happy (Day After) Father’s Day
Nas (son) with Olu Dara (father), “Bridging the Gap” (2004)
(sampling Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy”)
Here’s more from the old man.
David Murray Octet, “Dewey’s Circle” (DM, tenor saxophone; Olu Dara, trumpet; Butch Morris, cornet; George Lewis, trombone; Henry Threadgill, alto saxophone; Anthony Davis, piano; Wilber Morris, bass; Steve McCall, drums), Ming (Black Saint, 1980)
Muddy Waters, “Mannish Boy” (Chess, 1955)
People are mysterious, unfathomable—like divinities: natural objects for reverence. But our habits of thought turn the people around us into objects, the means for our self-protection.
—Lama John Makransky, “Family Practice,”
Tricycle, Summer 2001
The world became a less interesting place the day Lester Bowie died.
Digable Planets with Lester Bowie (trumpet), Joe Sample (keyboard), Melvin “Wah-Wah Watson” Ragin (guitar), “Flying High in the Brooklyn Sky,” live
Part of the job of a musician is that of a messenger. If you ain’t ready to be a messenger, forget it. You need to get a job in the post office or somewhere. If you ain’t ready to travel, pack up your family, or pack up yourself and hit the road, you’re in the wrong business. Because that’s what music is about. It’s about spreading knowledge and education, and re-education. It’s about spreading. You have got to travel with it to spread the word. Like all the people in the past that have had to travel to spread the music.
It’s life itself that this [music] is about.
—Lester Bowie (in George E. Lewis, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music )
(Previously posted 10/28/09.)