In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Dawoud Kringle interviews William Parker; bassist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, performer, and music educator.
Poem by John Kruth, 1992
If Ornette Coleman was a Plumber
If Ornette Coleman was a plumber
The Dissident Arts Festival, the annual gathering of revolutionary creativity, will fete its 10th anniversary with a special weekend-long “2 nites/2 sites” edition. The event takes place on Saturday August 15 and Sunday August 16 at El Taller Latino Americano (Manhattan) and ShapeShifter Lab (Brooklyn), respectively.
A highlight of this year’s special anniversary Festival will be the reunion of free jazz master Daniel Carter’s 1980s hardcore/no wave band Dissipated Face. Other features include modern dance performance by Patricia Parker (producer of the Vision Fest/Arts for Art), neo-beat spoken word by Steve Dalachinsky, Downtown stalwart Trudy Silver’s solo piano, the Nueva Cancion of Bernardo Palumbo, liberation jazz by the Red Microphone, the expansive sound of the 12 Houses Orchestra (conducted by Matt Lavelle), poet Raymond Nat Turner’s Remembrance of the Victims of Police Violence, the “other-world art music” of Sumari, topical spoken word by Chris Butters, Safiya Martinez and Sana Shabazz, and Festival founder John Pietaro’s Literary Warrior Project. The event is sponsored by the Len Ragozin Foundation and endorsed by the National Writers Union-New York and the on-line magazine DooBeeDooBeeDoo NY.
Text by Matt Lavelle
My journey to deliver an alto saxophone to Giuseppi Logan began on my lunch break. I caught my breath from the hazardous selling floor and quietly made my exit towards Herald Square. I waded through the river of tourist consumer zombies. Three of them blew smoke in my face with their usual haughty vibe. Do you addicts even know how pernicious you are? I made my way up to John Baltimore Music on 46th street. John is one of the last men standing from the purge of the fabled Music Row at 48th street. When I arrived at his showroom of hornucopia, I was immediately greeted with a hug. John and I have history. Somehow we ended up talking about Miles son Gregory, and John told me a quick story.
Miles bought a brand new Red Ferrari at one point, right before he hit Europe for a tour. He left with explicit orders to Gregory that he would not touch the car. After Miles had left, Gregory took the car all over Canada. Afterward, Gregory was at Rod Baltimore’s shop. Rod was John’s Dad, and the king of music row at the time. Miles called Rod and said he had a trumpet emergency and was flying back to New York to fix it. Gregory heard the call and ran home to clean up the car. He thought he was in the clear until Miles looked for two-quarters that he had taped to the top of the front right tire. When Miles saw the missing quarters, he knew that Gregory disobeyed him, and he threw him out of the house.
Text by Matt Lavelle
Photo and video courtesy of Matt Lavelle and YouTube
The last we heard from Brother G he was still holding court in Tompkins Square Park with a tenor and a small batch of CD’s to sell. 9:30 every morning, like clockwork. Rain or shine, G was almost always at his post on the northwest corner. This last winter slowed him down though. Even the cockroaches, rats, and sky-rats were M.I.A. Despite my time crunch; I had lined up three concerts for him to play, two out of state, and one with bass player Eric Revis. Then G fell again and re-injured his hip. When he ended up back in the hospital, the state decided that G was no longer in control of his life, and they took over. G was dispatched out to Far Rockaway Queens, at the end of the A-train line. It took me a minute to track down Giuseppi Logan since I’m not a blood relative, but soon enough I learned he was on the fourth floor, and that he was in stable condition. Lawrence Nursing Home is a God-send, straight up. A place for folks who have reached the twilight alone, with no support system. Incredible stories and a few tragedies reside there. The folks at this home are all survivors. At some point, everybody has to come in from the cold.