30 - January, 2021
Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic Records, 1959)
Release Year: 1959
Label: Atlantic Records
Personnel: Ornette Coleman (alto saxophone), Don Cherry (trumpet), Charlie Haden (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
Tracks: 1. "Lonely Woman" 4:59
4."Focus on Sanity" 6:50
“Shape of Jazz to Come” had a deep effect on a completely different vein of jazz musician from the Miles Davis and Art Blakey camps. It was the precursor to Coleman’s “Free Jazz” album (released only two years later), which cemented that term as a subgenre that had to be dealt with in opposition to other streams in the field. Out of this approach came others, including those of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACAM) (see Malachi Favors and Art Ensemble of Chicago), and it encouraged younger musicians such as John Coltrane and Albert Ayler to stretch the limits of this music.
The political context of “Shape of Jazz to Come” is equally important, though. “Shape of Jazz to Come” is rooted in the Civil Rights Movement and is a commentary on the “Shape of Things to Come.” The titles of Coleman’s next albums also speak to the political upheaval of the time, well as the power and significance of Black American Music (“Change of the Century” , and “This is Our Music” ). It is particularly striking that the same year the genre-coining album “Free Jazz” was released, 1960, freedom fighters from the North went South to fight for the anti-segregation laws. Within mere months of the assassinations of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, Ornette released his album “Crisis” with a dramatic picture of the Bill of Rights in flames on its cover. 3 To understand Ornette Coleman’s music one must put it in the political context from which it emerged. " (Library of Congress - Stephen Rush, University of Michigan, 2012)
04 - Dec., 2020
"USA ARTISTS", Season 1, Episode 6: CLAES OLDENBERG (1966)
Oldenberg on his ideas about everyday objects when placed in new contexts (food, household fixtures, public art). Footage's locations include his studio and Sidney Janis Gallery. Narrated by Jim Dine.
: 20 - Nov. - 2020
JOHNNY GRIFFIN QUARTET LIVE AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD, NEW YORK CITY (The Jazz Life, 1981)
The Johnny Griffin Quartet:
Johnny Griffin (tenor sax)
Ronnie Matthews (piano)
Ray Drummond (bass)
Kenny Washington (drums)
01. Opening & Blues For Gonzi (a tribute to his friend, the singer Babs Gonzalez, the composer of Ooop-Pop-A-Da)
02. A Monks Dream (a homage to Thelonious Monk)
03. 56 & Closing (56 is the exact number of bars in this piece. This composition is based on The Masquerade Is Over)
“Like Gordon, Johnny Griffin moved to the continent in 1962, returning in 1978 after Gordon regaled him with stories of his own homecoming … Griffin was an exhilarating soloist renowned for a formidable technique that allowed him fast and feisty execution much admired by musicians, but his approach became more philosophical during the 1980s with less emphasis on speed and more on expressivity. With age he became a more commanding player. Together with Gordon’s resurgence, Griffin’s late 70s and early 80s albums … helped generate interest in the return to the hard-bop mainstream” Stuart Nicholson
WILLEM DE KOONING (1904-1997) - Drawings (1938 - 1954)
''You know, Bill's parents divorced when he was 3, and he was given to his father for custody. Well, his mother grabbed him and took him home. When the father got him back, she grabbed him again. That lady was formidable. She ran a bar and a restaurant frequented by sailors. Bill says she was a hysteric. If he laughed at her, or she got angry, she would grab a knife and raise it as though she was going to kill herself, yelling, 'Cora cannot stand this a moment longer!' ''
There was a childhood incident in Rotterdam - being thrown into a sewer by some boys, being rescued from death by an old woman, an encrusted memory of terror and humiliation, and of Woman as salvation in the end. In some way, Elaine felt sure, the episode contributed to the violent polarity of his feelings.
''So that ferocious woman he painted didn't come from living with me. It began when he was 3 years old.'' The lives of great artists often seem haunted by psychic demons that can drive them to heights of achievement or to depths of despair, or to both at the same time. In de Kooning's circle of friends, the self-destructive element vied tragically with the creative. Gorky was a suicide; so was Rothko. Pollock's end almost suggested a courting of death. Whatever the dark underside of de Kooning's genius, the torments he suffered took a heavy toll.
The escape was into alcohol. The disastrous effect of that became apparent after his marriage fell apart, and he and Elaine were separated in 1955. He began to live with Joan Ward, a commercial artist, who bore him his first and only child in 1956. Three years later, he left for Italy with Ruth Kligman. That was when I met him. By this time, he was having blackouts from his periodic benders, and an Italian doctor warned him that his drinking might affect his nervous system.
-The Indomitable de Kooning, by Curtis Bill Pepper (|The New York Times Magazine, Nov. 20, 1983)
Art Pepper Quartet at JAZZ CASUAL (Feat.: Strazzeri, Hamel, & Goodwin, 1964)
JAZZ CASUAL, May 9, 1964
Jazz author Ralph Gleason hosted and produced this TV series in San Francisco in the 1960's.
Art Pepper, alto sax
Frank Strazzeri, piano
Hersh Hamel, acoustic double bass
Bill Goodwin, drums.
“I guess it's like James Joyce when he was a kid, you know. He hung out with all the great writers of the day, and he was a little kid, like, with tennis shoes on, and they said 'Look at this lame!' They didn't use those words in those days. They said 'God, here comes this nut.' And he told them, 'I'm great!' And he sat with them, and he loved to be with them, and it ended up that he was great.”
Art Pepper, Straight Life: The Story Of Art Pepper
Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Bud Powell live at The Antibes Jazz Festival (1960)
Alto Saxophone – Eric Dolphy
Bass – Charles Mingus
Drums – Dannie Richmond
Piano - Bud Powell
Tenor Saxophone – Booker Ervin
Trumpet – Ted Curson
On “I’ll Remember April,” Bud Powell joins on piano.
Recorded live by Barclay Studios for Atlantic Records at the Antibes Jazz Festival, Juan-les-Pins, France, July 13, 1960.
"This is one of the great Mingus albums. It was recorded live at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1960 with a group many listeners feel was Mingus’ best, during one of the bassist/composer’s most productive and boundary-stretching periods. At a time when Ornette Coleman’s free jazz was just beginning to be heard and the avant-garde movement which would follow his example was still gestating, Mingus and his musicians, particularly the incandescent Eric Dolphy, were proposing a brand of freedom built on black folk forms and the skeletal remains of popular song structures. This album captures their freedom-with-order, which was to become a principal influence on Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and the other structuralists of the Midwestern avante-garde almost ten years later, at a peak of interactive intensity. There is nothing quite like it in the rest of the Mingus discography. This is the first complete and authorized release of the Antibes concert anywhere."
Jazz Notes: Agony and empathy of that night at Antibes (by John Sand - The Sydney Morning Herald, July 27, 2020)