Sunday, May 25, 2008

I Will Be Back In The Spring.

I discovered this in the basement. It bears resemblance to I Will See You In The Spring done by The Memphis Jug Band although it appears to be from another planet. It also bears resemblance to Fare The Well which I knew from Paul Rishell [or one of the other members of a one-time aggregation known as The J Band] which I have just learned was done by Bluesman Joe Callicott, but which I have heretofore incorrectly associated with Pink Anderson.

Which makes me think of the late Fritz Richmond but which lead me to note that Jim Kweskin played in Sommerville last week, and Geoff Muldar in Hingham last weekend. Darn but I missed both of them.

We have been disucussing/wondering about the name of the artists? Jr Vaughan has been suggested. Could it be Blind Lemon Pledge? What about Ramblin Arnold [The Oringal Louisville Bardic Lipster]? Thoughts and comments are appreciated. By the way

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Titanic Transmission Clothesline Saga

Our Memorial Day Special: When we were working on the Titanic Transmissions Monograph, spent some time in Jeff Hull's studio, where he had all these great drawings hanging on clothesline. Jacob took pics, I put them in a slide show, filmed that, put music too it, and posted via Blogger. If you can guess the names of the duo playing the music to accompany the video, you can go into a drawing to win a copy of Sunnyland Blues. Use the comment capability of the fabulous blog mechanism.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Jaki Byard Said

Jaki Byard was a significant player among many in the new music movement of jazz in the 1960s. Born in Worcester, a good-sized industrial town in the mid section of Massachusetts, he played for a number of years in Boston before he went on to New York. His work with Charles Mingus is most notable, but he created his own body of work that mixed strains from traditional jazz and avant garde elements.

I came to know of Byard through his solo work. He’d divide time between New York and Bosotn in the 1970s; he’d returned to New England to teach at The New England Conservatory of Music. He’d visit the radio station WBUR and Tony Cinamo.. I was finding out about jazz through those morning shows. And finding out about Boston as well. Was about done with undergraduate journalism. Found out Jaki Byard was living in my neighborhood, Mission Hill, on Wait Street, when he was staying in town.

I had a notion to investigate the Boston jazz history. Not much came of my notion, but whatever it was I did set me up for a point in 1978 when I met Sunnyland Slim, and had a suddenly easy entry into a music at a very significant level. Published ‘Sunnyland Blues’ in 1990.

Boston jazz was somewhat diffuse, not exactly a big deal, compared to New York.But there was Roy Haines. Serge Challoff, Joe Venuti. James Europe was killed here. Malcom X lived here. Boston players included Ray Santisi, Alan Dawson, Herb Pomeroy. I don’t do it justice in these small notes. For people here it was a real scene. Before the country became more national, less regional. Same thing happened with beers.

For Jaki Byard Worcester was a switch on the circuit. Boston too. As I said, we figured out somehow he was living in Mission Hill on Wait He was going to lunch at Newbury Steak House and some of the group waited there. He was leading a band of students – The Apollo Stompers – and they would play weekly at Michael’s Pub down near Northeastern University and the Conservatory. Somehow I hooked up with him for an interview. Where I saw him, at the conservatory seemed like a metaphor for the city. Many practice rooms that emitted many timbres, styles and degrees of talent. I pulled some of his conversation for the PDF notes for Titanic Transmissions, Jeff Hull’s art show accompaniment.

What we talked about where was the art came from. Jaki was open, after initial reluctance. He left a big mark on this town with his art and teaching.

In the day-o I talked with Mingus colleague and Son of Wooster Jaki Byard.
And asked him where the images emerged that informed that sound.
Might as well have talked to a fish about a helicopter, or so I thought at first.
How penetrate veil?
There aren’t words for this stuff.
Jaki was at the Conservatory, bug-eyeing me like I was a crippled crab without a crutch.
The sound?
Where’s it come from?

I stood my little plot of ground, probably empleading scowlfully.
Then Byard came around to the idea.
Where does this stuff come from?
It intrigued him, at least somewhat.
Back in Wooster I’d walk behind bands marching; digging on there rhythm, Jaki Byard said.
The rhythm of the Lunceford Band.
Movement was what he was about.

Featured Post

Backporch Poesy June 2016

Reading from three favorite poetry anthologies on the back porch on June 17 (anniversary of Watergate breakin!) The three tomes are 1-Th...