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Tag: John Berryman

Wednesday, October 24th

like nobody else

This world is not my home . . .

—Sun Ra (1914-1993)

Sun Ra Arkestra (SR [keyboards, vocals], John Gilmore [tenor saxophone, clarinet, vocals], et al.), live, Spain (San Sebastian), 1985

#1

 

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#2

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Appalled: by all the dead: Henry brooded.

—John Berryman (1914-1972 [MCOTD Hall of Fame]), from Dream Song 21

Sunday, December 10th

more

The Pure Heart Travelers, “I Like to Talk About Jesus,” live, Detroit, 7/12/17

 

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lagniappe

reading table: variations on a theme

History is approaching a speechless end,
As Henry Adams said. Adams was right.

—John Berryman (1914-1972, MCOTD Hall of Fame), “The Moon and the Night and the Men,” excerpt

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Never has human extinction seemed so richly merited . . .

—A.O. Scott, New York Times, 12/10/17

Tuesday, August 30th

MCOTD Hall of Fame

Today drummer Hamid Drake (1955-) enters the MCOTD Hall of Fame, joining saxophonists Von Freeman and Henry Threadgill; trumpeter Lester Bowie; gospel singer Dorothy Love Coates; composer Morton Feldman; poets John Berryman, William Bronk, and Wislawa Szymborska; and photographer Helen Levitt. Whatever the situation, he adds oxygen.

DKV Trio (HD, drums; Kent Kessler, bass; Ken Vandermark, baritone saxophone), live, Chicago, 2010

Saturday, July 18th

Here’s more of drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and reed player Ken Vandermark—this time together.

Live, Romania (Oradea), 2012


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lagniappe

reading table

These Songs are not meant to be understood, you understand. / They are only meant to terrify & comfort.

—John Berryman (1914-1972, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Dream Song 366

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random sights

last night
Columbus Park, Chicago

FullSizeRender (12)

Thursday, July 16th

In the right hands, a drum kit can be a kinetic orchestra.

Paal Nilssen-Love, live, Norway (Høvikodden), 2010

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lagniappe

reading table

The jane is zoned!

—John Berryman (1914-1972, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Dream Song 2

Saturday, January 31st

only rock ‘n’ roll

The Avantist, “Ramses,” live (studio performance), Hickory Hills, Ill., 2014


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lagniappe

reading table

I am obliged to perform in complete darkness
operations of great delicacy
on my self.

—John Berryman (1914-1972, MCOTD Hall of Fame), Dream Song 67

Tuesday, April 8th

alone

Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), “Stake,” live, Chicago, 2009


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lagniappe

reading table

Dream Song 1
By John Berryman (1914-1972)

Huffy Henry hid  the day,
unappeasable Henry sulked.
I see his point,—a trying to put things over.
It was the thought that they thought
they could do it made Henry wicked & away.
But he should have come out and talked.

All the world like a woolen lover
once did seem on Henry’s side.
Then came a departure.
Thereafter nothing fell out as it might or ought.
I don’t see how Henry, pried
open for all the world to see, survived.

What he has now to say is a long
wonder the world can bear & be.
Once in a sycamore I was glad
all at the top, and I sang.
Hard on the land wears the strong sea
and empty grows every bed.

Thursday, August 8th

There are all kinds of blues, too.

Joe McPhee Survival Unit 3 (JM, alto saxophone; Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello; Michael Zerang, drums), live, London, 2010


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lagniappe

reading table

Dream Song 40
By John Berryman (1914-1972)

I’m scared a lonely. Never see my son,
easy be not to see anyone,
combers out to sea
know they’re goin somewhere but not me.
Got a little poison, got a little gun,
I’m scared a lonely.

I’m scared a only one thing, which is me,
from othering I don’t take nothin, see,
for any hound dog’s sake.
But this is where I livin, where I rake
my leaves and cop my promise, this’ where we
cry oursel’s awake.

Wishin was dyin but I gotta make
it all this way to that bed on these feet
where peoples said to meet.
Maybe but even if I see my son
forever never, get back on the take,
free, black & forty-one.

Back in the ’70s, when I was in college, I heard John Berryman read his poetry, an experience that opened my ears and mind in all kinds of ways. He moved so swiftly, and gracefully, from one register to another, leaping back and forth between high and low as if nothing could be more natural. Today he joins a select group—tenor saxophonist Von Freeman, trumpeter Lester Bowie, singer Dorothy Love Coates, poets Wislawa Szymborska and William Bronk—in the MCOTD Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, 11/30/11

lunch yesterday

Could Van Morrison ever have imagined, in 1969, while recording Moondance, that “Into the Mystic” would serve, in 2011, as aural accompaniment for Wendy’s Natural-Cut Fries with Sea Salt?

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lagniappe

reading table

John Berryman, “Dream Song 14,” Ireland (Dublin), 1967

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

More? Here. And here. And here.

Sunday, 7/24/11

Last Sunday they sounded so good—let’s hear some more.

The Staple Singers, “On My Way To Heaven,” “Going Away,” “I’m Leaning,”
“I Know I Got Religion”; Uncloudy Day (Vee-Jay), 1959

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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lagniappe

listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• Muhal Richard Abrams (with Malachi Favors), Sightsong (Black Saint)

• King Oliver, Off the Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings (Off the Record/Archeophone)

• Beethoven, Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 (“Eroica”)/ Arturo Toscanini, conductor, NBC Symphony Orchestra (RCA)

• Bach, Cello Suites, Steven Isserlis (Hyperion UK)

Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Stephane Ginsburgh, piano (Sub Rosa) (available as a download from Amazon for 89¢)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
Afternoon New Music (Various, classical and hard-to-peg)
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)
Raag Aur Taal (Various, Indian music)

WFMU-FM
Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)

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reading table

Here are a couple cheery things (ha, ha) from a favorite poet.

John Berryman, Two Dream Songs

More? Here. And here.

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