Monday, September 28, 2009

Matthew Shipp / Justin Desmangles exchange on Bud Powell

Happy birthday bud-
even amoung jazz pianists I don’t think the knowledge of how transendent a poetic genius bud was has sunk in. beautiful poem by ismeal reed and while looking down the page I did not realize that anita oday had died.
anyway I put my new solo cdr in mail other day-be on lookout-release date is in january but we are looking to get some really early buzz.


I have a hard time understanding the lack of understanding about Bud, I mean this guy was it! You know that solo session for Verve, 1951? Oblivion, Dusk At Sandi &c. O U T ! Or the 1961 concert in West Germany with Pettiford and Clark, man that brother is just beyond beyond . . . I have yet to hear, on records that is, anything resembling the level of intensity on Cleopatra's Dream. Those compositions on the last two dates before leaving for Paris, The Scene Changes & Time Waits are ecstatic. I mean is the guy just too mercurial? You know that story Francis Paudras tells about how he and Bud are visiting New York, this is 63, 64 as I recall, and Ornette drops by after several attempts to reach them, and tells Bud that all his music is based on the 7th's in his left hand. Dance Of The Infidels.


To answer your question about how bud gets lost in the discourse-in jazz
piano now everybody views things through a post miles prism which means
piano is viewed through the -keith-chick and herbie prism with people seeing
bill evens as the father of that.other than that now it is hip to view monk
as a weird genius-and the marketing of that idea is easy because the
name-and the persona all fit together in a way where that idea can be
marketed. So bud just becomes a bebop pianist in a lot of people's minds and
to make matters worst when people think of bebop they think of bird and diz
who are the salesman of the idea of bebop and who most people think of the
founders of it. That is a paradox considering bud was the heaviest of all of
matthew shipp


I think a lot of Bud's neglect has to do with how starkly his life story reflects the institutional injustices and systemic violence of racism in the United States and it's defining role in the historical panorama of jazz in particular. It's vivid illustrations of the role psychiatry, and so-called medicine, has played in destroying human beings, creative people in general but black men and women in particular, does little to harmonize what I call the "celebrity jazz" exemplified by the post miles prism you spoke of.

Also he, Bud, may also be quite literally too deep for the type of vulgar feeble minded revisions exemplified by say a Jarrett Trio on ECM. Too deep in it's reflection of waters, still and unstill, in the sacred wound that was so often the wellspring of his improvising, composing, joy, pains, satisfactions, refusals, acceptances. Certainly Bud's music is far too black for say a Ken Burns, who scorches and torches everything til it becomes a blanched cinder, burns jazz, burns Jack Johnson &c.

Then there are those chords! Those right hand single note runs! Defying all means of categorization, all means of ordered recognition, "these into those into these, to this and finally that" NO!

Evans once said that Bud was the only musician he heard that gave him the same sense of the profound that he recieved while listeniong to Bach. It's on the CD that came with Randi Hultin's book of a few years back.

There is also Bud's humanity, which I think also frightens people, the sense of vulnerability which refuses to enclose itself in solipsism.


I agree wholeheartedly
Ps-these are the real deep reasons-I gave you more the musician type reasons

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Bud Powell

"Lake Bud"

Lake Merritt is Bud Powell's piano
The sun tingles its waters
Snuff-jawed pelicans descend tumbling over each other like
Bud's hands playing Tea For Two
or Two For Tea
Big Mac Containers, tortilla chip, Baby Ruth
wrappers, bloated dead cats, milkshake
cups, and automobile tires
float on its surface
Seeing Lake Merritt this way is
like being unable to hear Bud Powell at Birdland
Because people are talking
Clinking glasses of whiskey and
"Hey, waiter"

Ishmael Reed

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Day Jazz: Interview Schedule, Fall 2009

New Day Jazz airs every Sunday, 3-5PM, on KDVS, 90.3FM in Davis, and Here is a short list of some of the folks I will be speaking with on the 4 o'clock hour over the next month.

Lawrence DiStasi

Author of Mal Ocho (Evil Eye): The Underside of Vision, and editor of, Una Storia Segreta: The Secret History of Italian American Evacuation and Internment During World War Two

Sunday Septmeber 27th

Peter Gizzi

Author of, most recently, The Outernationale, a collection of poems, and editor, along with Kevin Killian, of the winner of the American Book Award 2008, My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer.

Sunday, October 4th

Ishmael Reed

Author of, most recently, Ishmael Reed: The Plays, Mixing It Up: Taking on the Media Bullies, and editor, with Carla Blank, of, Pow Wow: Charting the Faultlines in the American Experience from Then to Now.

Sunday, October 18th

Robin D.G. Kelley

Author, most recently, of, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.

Sunday, October 25th

A. B. Spellman

Author of, most recently, Things I Must Have Known, a collection of poems. Mr. Spellman is also the author of the classic, Four Jazz Lives.

Sunday. Nov. 1

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Goodbye, Anita.

A friend recently wrote to remind me of an obit-memory written for Shuffle Boil just after Anita O'Day's departure from our world. I had almost forgot about, and how much I liked, it. So, here it is, in "one take." Typos and all.

Special thanks, Karen.

Goodbye, Anita.
> Roland Barthes wrote us that we live in what he called
> the Republic of the Image. But of course the image
> had to come from somewhere. Jacques Derrida reminded
> us that in order for the image to be stabelized it
> must always-already be destablizing, thus obscuring,
> another. In this present moment where wearing the
> coat of arms that is Feminism or even Marxism has
> become too easy, a bit like the kid who likes to
> read the back of the book and then have a discussion
> of its contents (James Dean?), Anita O'Day was
> authentic. She and her image were united in the
> divine symbiosis of form and content. She was
> exactly who you heard and what you saw. No need for
> clever rhetoric one day and callus reason the next.
> Persona, personae and other cloak and dagger
> routines of indentity affected for the unwary and
> unwise? No way! A close reading of her autobiography
> High Times, Hard Times. See what I mean.
> Hip before hep, wearing the pants before it was in
> step. Anita was, as they say, The Man.
> In an era when sly inuendo and skillful double
> entedre made or broke the career of the jazz singer
> Anita mastered both. Her powerful use of subtle
> phrasing and breath line to modulate between melodic
> and speech like delivery continue to damn sure tell
> it like it is. Like it really is then and today
> without the chicanery and foolishness of faux
> spiritual and political sloganeering so prevelant in
> todays pop song. Her early work with Roy Eldridge
> broke the color and gender barriers simultaneuosly
> with finesse and courage as well and hipness and
> humanity. Try that litmus test on todays art scene!
> Ouch. As a longtime fan i've been both humbled to
> depths of self loathing and inspired to flights of
> egoistic grace by this singular artist. Her
> existential asides from the original recording of
> Anitas Blues will keep the love light on far past
> 'round midnight. I love you Anita, I love you like a
> school boy loves his pie!
> JD

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Jungle Line By Joni Mitchell

Rousseau walks on trumpet paths
Safaris to the heart of all that jazz
Through I bars and girders-through wires and pipes
The mathematic circuits of the modern nights
Through huts, through Harlem, through jails and gospel pews
Through the class on Park and the trash on Vine
Through Europe and the deep deep heart of Dixie blue
Through savage progress cuts the jungle line

In a low-cut blouse she brings the beer
Rousseau paints a jungle flower behind her ear
Those cannibals-of shuck and jive
They'll eat a working girl like her alive
With his hard-edged eye and his steady hand
He paints the cellar full of ferns and orchid vines
And he hangs a moon above a five-piece band
He hangs it up above the jungle line

The jungle line, the jungle line
Screaming in a ritual of sound and time
Floating, drifting on the air-conditioned wind
And drooling for a taste of something smuggled in
Pretty women funneled through valves and smoke
Coy and bitchy, wild and fine
And charging elephants and chanting slaving boats
Charging, chanting down the jungle line

There's a poppy wreath on a soldier's tomb
There's a poppy snake in a dressing room
Poppy poison-poppy tourniquet
It slithers away on brass like mouthpiece spit
And metal skin and ivory birds
Go steaming up to Rousseau's vines
They go steaming up to Brooklyn Bridge
Steaming, steaming, steaming up the jungle line

Joni Mitchell, from the album, The Hissing of Summer Lawns

Sunday, September 13, 2009

" . . . and I will play Oliver Lake, loud . . . "

New Day Jazz

Justin Desmangles

Jazz music for lovers and the lonely.


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Show Description for Sunday 09/13/2009

Track Artist Song Album Label

Oliver Lake Everybody Knows That Expandable Language Black Saint

Oliver Lake Hat And Beard (Dolphy) The Prophet Black Saint

Myron O'Higgins (read by Gloria Foster) To A Young Poet A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

James Vaughn (read by Roscoe Lee Browne) from Four Questions A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

Owen Dodson (read by Leon Bibb) Counterpoint A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

World Saxophone Quartet W.S.Q. W.S.Q. Black Saint

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Ntozake Shange (read by Laurie Carlos) Sorry For Colred Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf Buddha

Oliver Lake Zaki Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions Volume 4 Douglas

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Michael Gregory Jackson Clarity Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions Volume 3 Douglas

Leo Smith and the New Delta Ahkri Locomotive No. 6 Wildflowers: The New York Loft Jazz Sessions Volume 2 Douglas

Sterling Brown (read by James Earl Jones and Moses Gunn) Ol' Lem A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

Helene Johnson (read by Josephine Premice) Sonnet To A Negro In Harlem A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

Arna Bontemps (read by Leon Bibb) Southern Mansion A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

Langston Hughes (read by Ellen Holly) Mother To Son A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

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Olive Lake Lodius Shine Arista

Interview with Oliver Lake by Justin Desmangles

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Oliver Lake & Julius Hemphill Flesh Turns To Chi Buster Bee Sackville

Sterling Brown (read by Gloria Foster) An Old Woman Remembers A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

Richard Wright (read by James Earl Jones) Between The World And Me A Hand Is On The Gate Verve-Folkways

World Saxophone Quartet Bordertown (Hemphill) Live In Zurich Black Saint

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World Saxophone Quartet Fastlife (Murray) W.S.Q. Black Saint

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ask Your Mama!

Show Description for Sunday 09/06/2009

This week on the four o'clock hour we continue our explorations of the great poet, playwright, essayist and author, Langston Hughes. Featured this hour will be a very scarce recording of Mr. Hughes narrating, The Story of Jazz. This unusual recording was made for Folkways as a companion to Mr. Hughes book for children, The First Book of Jazz, published by Ecco and still widely available.

Throughout the program we will also listen in on Mr. Hughes reading from his masterwork, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.

Please join me in this special broadcast honoring one of the true masters of American art.

Track Artist Song Album Label

King Pleasure Diaper Pin (That Old Black Magic) Mr. Jazz United Artists

Wynton Kelly Keep It Moving Kelly Blue Riverside

Red Garland On Green Dolphin Street Bright & Breezy Jazzland

Sarah Vaughn You're Not The Kind Sarah Vaughn Emarcy

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Mabel Mercer Delovely Sings Cole Porter Atlantic

Lee Morgan Candy Candy Blue Note

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Langston Hughes Ask Your Mama The Black Verse Buddha

Sarah Vaughn Summertime After Hours Columbia

Sarah Vaughn Street of Dreams After Hours Columbia

Duke Ellington New York City Blues Monologue CBS - France

Duke Ellington Rock Skippin' At The Blue Note Monologue CBS - France

Duke Ellington featuring Lil Greenwood Walkin' & Singin' The Blues Primpin for the Prom CBS-France

Langston Hughes Bird In Orbit The Black Verse Buddha

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Langston Hughes The Story of Jazz The Story of Jazz Folkways

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Charles Mingus Ysabel's Table Dance Tijuana Moods RCA

Abbey Lincoln When Malindy Sings Straight Ahead Candid

Ernestine Anderson Sunny Sunshine Concord

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Mabel Mercer Experiment Sings Cole Porter Atlantic

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Lions Of Fire By Kenneth Patchen

The lions of fire
Shall have their hunting in this black land

Their teeth shall tear at your soft throats
Their claws kill

O the lions of fire shall awake
And the valleys steam with their fury

Because you are sick with the dirt of your money
Because you are pigs rooting in the swill of your war
Because you are mean and sly and full of the pus of your pious murder
Because you have turned your faces from God
Because you have spread your filth everywhere

O the lions of fire
Wait in the crawling shadows of your world
And their terrible eyes are watching you.

By Kenneth Patchen