No Point In Adding To The Clutter

I caught a lot of blues music in this joint on the weekends ----- Smokey Wilson's Pioneer Club at 88th & Vermont in South Central (altho, we didn't call it "South Central" in those days) -- February 28, 1980 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- Most of the post-war black blues musicians in Los Angeles came from the South, most of them from Texas

I caught a lot of blues music in this joint on the weekends —– Smokey Wilson’s Pioneer Club at 88th & Vermont in South Central (altho, we didn’t call it “South Central” in those days) — February 28, 1980 — photo by Mark Weber —- Most of the post-war black blues musicians in Los Angeles came from the South, most of them from Texas

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

February 18, 2o16 Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER KUNM Albuquerque, USA 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web KUNM.org Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)

NO POINT IN ADDING TO THE CLUTTER

I don’t have to write cold mountain poems: Han Shan
already did that
I don’t have to write crazy beatnik poems: Gregory Corso
already did that
I don’t have to write about rowing my boat to Bedlam: Anne Sexton
already did that
I don’t have to write about the charley chimneypots of San Francisco
whose rooftops are draped in clotheslines flapping in the wind: Lawrence Ferlinghetti
already did that
I don’t have to write spontaneous poems during lunch: Frank O’Hara
already did that

I say this because
every time I read a poem by Han Shan
or those others I get all fired up
to write some poems in their manner
but
what could I possibly add
……….to the majesty of their poems?

This occurred to me the other day in yoga class (when I should have
been focused elsewhere) that I could just coast along
and be happy with what already exists

Then I thought: by extension I’m sure glad musicians don’t jump
in the hammock merely content to listen to what has
already gone down

I suppose the argument follows: that everything
can stand to be recycled through the current filter of the present —–
Does that mean I have to climb out of my hammock
and versify forthwith with my quill?

2&3feb16

Johnny Otis and your Thursday KUNM afternoon jazz host Mark Weber at Watts Towers Jazz Festival ---- July 16, 1983 ---- Johnny was the emcee that day ----- Hal McKusick told me that when he worked for Johnny during 1945-1946 in Los Angeles that Johnny was an entirely decent and fair band leader to work for, and everything I've ever witnessed with Johnny bears that out . . . .

Johnny Otis and your Thursday KUNM afternoon jazz host Mark Weber at Watts Towers Jazz Festival —- July 16, 1983 —- Johnny was the emcee that day —– Hal McKusick told me that when he worked for Johnny during 1945-1946 in Los Angeles that Johnny was an entirely decent and fair band leader to work for, and everything I’ve ever witnessed with Johnny bears that out . . . .

R.I.P. Paul Kantner (that's his black Porsche) ---- 2400 Fulton Street, the (Jefferson) Airplane House ----- August 1978 San Francisco ---- I grew up in Southern California outside of Los Angeles and the smog was so freakishly bad those years that from 1975-1980 I always tried to find a way to summer-over in Frisco --- So, I just happened to be sitting in my blue Volks with a friend across from the Mansion when Paul Kantner emerged and got into that Porsche (Targa?) and I said Hi and he looked to see if he recognized me and didn't but said Hi, in return, just the same . . . . (Line drawing by MW 20may15)

R.I.P. Paul Kantner (that’s his black Porsche) —- 2400 Fulton Street, the (Jefferson) Airplane House —– August 1978 San Francisco —- I grew up in Southern California outside of Los Angeles and the smog was so freakishly bad those years that from 1975-1980 I always tried to find a way to summer-over in Frisco — So, I just happened to be sitting in my blue Volks with a friend across from the Mansion when Paul Kantner emerged and got into that Porsche (Targa?) and I said Hi and he looked to see if he recognized me and didn’t but said Hi, in return, just the same . . . . (Line drawing by MW 20may15)

Way back in time, Kazzrie and Bill are at Berklee, and somehow they find out about Lennie Tristano and they drive from Boston to NYC once a week for individual lessons with He Who Opens the Door ----- Meanwhile, Charley is studying with Lenny Popkin, who studied with Sal and Lennie and Warne------------------and slightly later Don is playing with Sal --------------and Virg frequents Lennie's salon, and studies with Connie, and Carol studies with Connie, (Connie studied with Lennie way back in the early 60s and before that with Lee) then Charley begins studies with Connie while Bill Payne was out on the Great Plains riding trains back & forth across the country with Barnum & Bailey (eleven years!) where he played a lot of complicated music, after which he took a break from the rails and took up with Broadway pit bands so he could study with Connie in NYC------------Eva looked across the Atlantic from Sweden where she had met Andy Fite, who studied with Connie, and so she flew over and still takes annual lessons from Connie------SO, things are interlaced, cross-pollenized, opened out ---------and as such, the music is interlaced in a Bach-like kind of way that turns in the mind like a kaleidoscope . . . . . PHOTO of Kazzrie Jaxen & Sal Mosca at Connie's loft in Williamsburg -- September 18, 2005 -- photo by Mark Weber

Way back in time, Kazzrie and Bill are at Berklee, and somehow they find out about Lennie Tristano and they drive from Boston to NYC once a week for individual lessons with He Who Opens the Door —– Meanwhile, Charley is studying with Lenny Popkin, who studied with Sal and Lennie and Warne——————and slightly later Don is playing with Sal ————–and Virg frequents Lennie’s salon, and studies with Connie, and Carol studies with Connie, (Connie studied with Lennie way back in the early 60s and before that with Lee) then Charley begins studies with Connie while Bill Payne was out on the Great Plains riding trains back & forth across the country with Barnum & Bailey (eleven years!) where he played a lot of complicated music, after which he took a break from the rails and took up with Broadway pit bands so he could study with Connie in NYC————Eva looked across the Atlantic from Sweden where she had met Andy Fite, who studied with Connie, and so she flew over and still takes annual lessons from Connie——SO, things are interlaced, cross-pollenized, opened out ———and as such, the music is interlaced in a Bach-like kind of way that turns in the mind like a kaleidoscope . . . . . PHOTO of Kazzrie Jaxen & Sal Mosca at Connie’s loft in Williamsburg — September 18, 2005 — photo by Mark Weber

"A camera gave me a way to be present in the world . . . One of my teachers was the anthropologist John Collier, and he said with photography you took but you also gave . . . there's a collaboration that I'm cooperating with something that exists . . . I've always been attracted to the idea that the camera records the light reflected off the surfaces of things, and I've been interested in a kind of decisive moment because I think it's the hardest thing to do . . ." ----Elaine Mayes extracts from an interview, Spring 2002 ---------------------------------------Jam session at Carol Liebowitz studio on 103rd Street -- Cheryl Richards, song; Virg Dzurinko, piano; Adam Caine, guitar; Ryan Messina, trumpet ---- September 4, 2o15 -- photo by Mark Weber

“A camera gave me a way to be present in the world . . . One of my teachers was the anthropologist John Collier, and he said with photography you took but you also gave . . . there’s a collaboration that I’m cooperating with something that exists . . . I’ve always been attracted to the idea that the camera records the light reflected off the surfaces of things, and I’ve been interested in a kind of decisive moment because I think it’s the hardest thing to do . . .” —-Elaine Mayes extracts from an interview, Spring 2002 —————————————Jam session at Carol Liebowitz studio on 103rd Street — Cheryl Richards, song; Virg Dzurinko, piano; Adam Caine, guitar; Ryan Messina, trumpet —- September 4, 2o15 — photo by Mark Weber

Cameron Brown ---- May 7, 2o15 sideman with Lena Bloch Quartet at Kitano Hotel, 66 Park Avenue (at 38th Street) swanky Manhattan it was very nice ---- and I found out Cameron speaks Swedish, he and Eva Lindal met and talked in that tongue as I imagined the voices of the Elder Edda and the Voluspa ---- photo by Mark Weber

Cameron Brown —- May 7, 2o15 sideman with Lena Bloch Quartet at Kitano Hotel, 66 Park Avenue (at 38th Street) swanky Manhattan it was very nice —- and I found out Cameron speaks Swedish, he and Eva Lindal met and talked in that tongue as I imagined the voices of the Elder Edda and the Voluspa —- photo by Mark Weber

The trio of Payne Lindal Liebowitz ---- We were traipsing around Greenwich Village that afternoon looking for ghosts ---- clarinetist Bill Payne, violinist Eva Lindal, pianist Carol Liebowitz, there had been a rehearsal over in Brooklyn earlier ---- May 7, 2o15 ---- photo by Mark Weber

The trio of Payne Lindal Liebowitz —- We were traipsing around Greenwich Village that afternoon looking for ghosts —- clarinetist Bill Payne, violinist Eva Lindal, pianist Carol Liebowitz, there had been a rehearsal over in Brooklyn earlier —- May 7, 2o15 —- photo by Mark Weber

ICP Set List by Han Bennink for May 15, 2o15 at Outpost Performance Space, as pianist Guus Janssen tries a Mexican lager backstage ---- photo by Mark Weber

ICP Set List by Han Bennink for May 15, 2o15 at Outpost Performance Space, as pianist Guus Janssen tries a Mexican lager backstage —- photo by Mark Weber

Thollem McDonas -- photo by Mark Weber downtown Albuquerque at The Roost -- August 9, 2o15 ---- I've caught this roaming traveler a few times in recent years as he & Angela have passed through Albuquerque, they spend much of their life on the road, (although, they have domiciled recently in Alcalde, in northern New Mexico of late) ---- Thollem comfortably resides in the realm of modernist "20th century music" utilizing EFX boxes on highly modified keyboards and so forth, entirely improvised, not exactly a "jazz" cat, at this performance he found this ancient upright hidden in a dusty corner and rolled it out front of the stage and proceeded to elevate himself into my top echelon of pianists, pounding out a mixture of ragtime and Gershwin and Misha Mengleberg and probably some Henry Cowell for good measure ----- If we could corral this guy to play jazz, he'd be one of the best, it was quite astounding ---- Presently they are out there on the road and won't be back this way until the end of the year when I hope to have him on the show . . . .

Thollem McDonas — photo by Mark Weber downtown Albuquerque at The Roost — August 9, 2o15 —- I’ve caught this roaming traveler a few times in recent years as he & Angela have passed through Albuquerque, they spend much of their life on the road, (although, they have domiciled recently in Alcalde, in northern New Mexico of late) —- Thollem comfortably resides in the realm of modernist “20th century music” utilizing EFX boxes on highly modified keyboards and so forth, entirely improvised, not exactly a “jazz” cat, at this performance he found this ancient upright hidden in a dusty corner and rolled it out front of the stage and proceeded to elevate himself into my top echelon of pianists, pounding out a mixture of ragtime and Gershwin and Misha Mengleberg and probably some Henry Cowell for good measure —– If we could corral this guy to play jazz, he’d be one of the best, it was quite astounding —- Presently they are out there on the road and won’t be back this way until the end of the year when I hope to have him on the show . . . .

Andrew Hill -- September 1, 1996 at Sweet Basil (7th & Bleecker) NYC ---- We sat at one of the front tables and I got to watch his fingers all night playing with his quartet (Rufus Reid, Bennie Maupin, Pheeroan AkLaff) Andrew Hill had a hesitant manner in placing his chords, he'd hover over the keys and only drop the chord in at the most oblique spots where it could float and drift with the mists---- photo by Mark Weber

Andrew Hill — September 1, 1996 at Sweet Basil (7th & Bleecker) NYC —- We sat at one of the front tables and I got to watch his fingers all night playing with his quartet (Rufus Reid, Bennie Maupin, Pheeroan AkLaff) Andrew Hill had a hesitant manner in placing his chords, he’d hover over the keys and only drop the chord in at the most oblique spots where it could float and drift with the mists—- photo by Mark Weber

Arlen Asher, Mark Weber, Cal Haines at our favorite restaurant post-radio-show lunch in Santa Fe: Tomasita's ---- snapshot on Cal's smart phone snapped by our waitress Jolene -- June 6, 2o14 ----- I'll fly some of Cal's adroit and consummate drumming today on the show and not just because it's his birthday (b. 18feb50 in Canton, Ohio) maybe some tracks with Arlen on one of the many woodwinds he has at hand (besides his mastery of jazz, Arlen has also worked in television and radio and interviewed Louis Armstrong circa 1958!) I do radio on KSFR with Arlen every few months and he is always interested in everything, when I got into yoga ten years ago he wanted to know everything about it, and when I started studying Anglo-Saxon he wanted to know which book to get, after my trips to New York and L.A. he gets me on the radio to give a full report, he's also a photographer, and built his own house out in the wilderness off the grid south of Santa Fe -----------------Cal's father was a saxophonist and Cal was a working musician by his teens, he studied with the same drum teacher as Joe Morello, every Saturday Cal would take the long bus trip from Canton up to Cleveland to The Arcade Building (401 Euclid) for his lessons with Charlie Wilcoxin, author of several indispensable method books (which Cal now gets his own students into) . . . . and the music continues . . . .

Arlen Asher, Mark Weber, Cal Haines at our favorite restaurant post-radio-show lunch in Santa Fe: Tomasita’s —- snapshot on Cal’s smart phone snapped by our waitress Jolene — June 6, 2o14 —– I’ll fly some of Cal’s adroit and consummate drumming today on the show and not just because it’s his birthday (b. 18feb50 in Canton, Ohio) maybe some tracks with Arlen on one of the many woodwinds he has at hand (besides his mastery of jazz, Arlen has also worked in television and radio and interviewed Louis Armstrong circa 1958!) I do radio on KSFR with Arlen every few months and he is always interested in everything, when I got into yoga ten years ago he wanted to know everything about it, and when I started studying Anglo-Saxon he wanted to know which book to get, after my trips to New York and L.A. he gets me on the radio to give a full report, he’s also a photographer, and built his own house out in the wilderness off the grid south of Santa Fe —————–Cal’s father was a saxophonist and Cal was a working musician by his teens, he studied with the same drum teacher as Joe Morello, every Saturday Cal would take the long bus trip from Canton up to Cleveland to The Arcade Building (401 Euclid) for his lessons with Charlie Wilcoxin, author of several indispensable method books (which Cal now gets his own students into) . . . . and the music continues . . . .

Vinny Golia's Mayan ocarinas with my cat Charlie ---- May 1, 1994 Albuquerque -- photo by Mark Weber

Vinny Golia’s Mayan ocarinas with my cat Charlie —- May 1, 1994 Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber

The West End features prominently in the annuls of Beatnik lore in the 40s as well as all the unstoppable jazz manifested there in the 1980s & 90s under the direction of WKCR deejay Phil Schaap ---- (KCR is across the street at 114th and Broadway) w/ such luminaries as Sonny Greer, Papa Jo, Buddy Tate, Wild Bill Davis (w/ young Doug Lawrence on tenor), Russell Procope, Lee Konitz, Joe Albany, Vic Dickenson, Doc Cheatham, Harold Ashby, Warne Marsh (w/ Joshua Breakstone on guitar) for 18 years --- photo by Mark Weber -- December 1988 ---- My wife's sisters live directly ten stories above the West End and we say there often, always getting up in time to listen to Phil's radio show Bird Flight at 8:20 weekday mornings

The West End features prominently in the annuls of Beatnik lore in the 40s as well as all the unstoppable jazz manifested there in the 1980s & 90s under the direction of WKCR deejay Phil Schaap —- (KCR is across the street at 114th and Broadway) w/ such luminaries as Sonny Greer, Papa Jo, Buddy Tate, Wild Bill Davis (w/ young Doug Lawrence on tenor), Russell Procope, Lee Konitz, Joe Albany, Vic Dickenson, Doc Cheatham, Harold Ashby, Warne Marsh (w/ Joshua Breakstone on guitar) for 18 years — photo by Mark Weber — December 1988 —- My wife’s sisters live directly ten stories above the West End and we stay there often, always getting up in time to listen to Phil’s radio show Bird Flight at 8:20 weekday mornings

37 Comments

  1. In 1990, 1991 and 1992 I lived at 106th and Broadway and used to hang out at the West End. I have a recording somewhere of a group we had that played there a couple of times playing the small group stuff of Duke Ellington, with me playing the Barney Bigard parts. Man those were the days; Augies was right down the street (now Smoke), and Birdland just a hop down from there. I know Warne lived at Bretton Hall in that neighborhood as well. I’m sure the ghosts of jazz from the past are still floating around that stretch of NYC. Thanks Mark for another great post…..Markos

  2. mark… thanks for brightening up, enlightening up and un-uptighting my otherwise egregious day.. this is one of your best poems and reflects, in content, idea, my personal opinion abt ME, why ME keep on writing poetry? when it’s all been said and done and you proved that there’s always something new to say or do…or think.. perceive and conceive and poetry makes the pathway to Get There.. how cool you met Johnny Otis.. he bent my ears with his Sunday night progressive jazz from the Lighthouse 1954-56… I saw him in person twice.. shook his hand once.. a good man.. and whatta voice… you gotta whatta voice, too… love… your devoted fan, joan jobe smith

  3. Hi Mark. I usually don’t make comments but just wanted you to know that I really enjoy your regular emails with all your great photos and insights on the jazz scene.

  4. It is someone else, but it is also us,

  5. Billy the Celloist

    February 12, 2016 at 3:51 am

    i’m not quite dead yet, and i never went uptown except to cop, but my ghost already walks the jazz streets of my home town, NYC. and that’s a fine poem right there, Mark

  6. Mark says that Mark Sowlakis is a very good reeds guy who lives in San Francisco and studies via skype with Ted Brown. ALSO – All his life Mark (W) has been pronouncing traipsing wrong and has been saying “traisping” until the computer straightened him out.

  7. Mark, There will never be another you. Oh no! someone else already wrote that song! I wonder sometimes what you’re up to in Yoga class, but I know better than trespass too often~ love the poem. Supriti

  8. Thanks, Supriti ————–I really do pay attention (relatively speaking) in class, altho, I suppose I space out now & again . . . . . . . sorry . . . . . (she’s my Tuesday & Sunday yoga teacher and she’s very special — she’s one of the Sixties visionaries that went to India to study with Iyengar)

    Hey, I just talked with Cal Haines on the phone and I asked details about his education on drums: He began lessons at age 5 and started lessons with Charlie Wilcoxin at “probably age 14.” Cal was up at Hummingbird Music Camp yesterday with some of his high school students (he’s a drum teacher) way up in the Jemez Mountains, says it was
    gorgeous.
    *The Arcade Building figures into the literary history of the great poet d.a. levy

    Joan Jobe Smith was a go go dancer in Southern California and danced at Whisky A-Go-Go for the Doors among others —– see her memoir TALES OF AN ANCIENT GO-GO GIRL and she’s co-editor of PEARL magazine

  9. I don’t know if it means anything, Mark, but the site of Smokey Wilson’s old Pioneer Club is now a pawn shop.

  10. —————————————-playlist———————–
    February 18, 2o16
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER

    1. Lee Konitz & Warne Marsh (Billy Bauer, Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke) — “Topsy” 14june55 (Mosaic box)
    2. David Sherr & Art Music Ensemble (Shelly Berg–piano; Joe LaBarbera–drums; Brian Swartz–trumpet; Harvey Newmark–bass; David Sherr–alto saxophone) “Sax Lines and Audio Tape” (based on Bird’s solo on
    “The Song is You”) —15july99 cd LOOK BOTH WAYS
    3. Andrew Hill Quintet (Charles Tolliver, Joe Farrell–sop.sax, Billy Higgins, Victor Sproles) “Yellow Violet” –11oct68 cd DANCE WITH DEATH (Blue Note)
    4. Billy Bauer Quartet (Andy Ackers, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson) “Lincoln Tunnel” –May 1956 cd PLECTRIST
    5. Art Pepper Quintet (Conte Candoli, Paul Chambers, Jimmie Cobb, Wynton Kelly) “Bijou the Poodle” –29feb60 cd GETTIN’ TOGETHER! (Contemporary)
    6. Ken Nordine w/Fred Katz Group (Paul Horn, Chico Hamilton, John Pisano, Jimmy Bond) “Hunger is From” –1957 cd WORD JAZZ (Dot)
    7. Mark Sowalkis duet w/Jay Jackson (bass clarinet & piano) “Second Prelude”(Gershwin) –circa 2004 from cd SINFONETTA
    8. Ted Brown Trio (Steve Lamattina–guitar; Dennis Irwin–bass; Ted–tenor saxophone) “Embraceable You”(Gershwin) — January 2007 cd SHADES OF BROWN (Steeplechase)
    9. Nelson Riddle Orchestra (Harry Sweets Edison–trumpet obbligatos; Red Norvo–vibes) “September in the Rain” –Feb.1957 (Capitol)
    10. Arlen Asher (bass clarinet) w/ First Take Trio (Cal Haines–drums; Michael Anthony–guitar; Michael Glynn–bass) “Scrapple from the Apple” –14feb13 private recording Live at Outpost
    11. Virg Dzurinko solo “What is this thing called love?” –1999 cd FUN CITY (New Artists Records)
    12. Charlie Ventura Septet (Conte Candoli, Benny Green, Boots Mussulli, Ed Shaughnessy, Kenny O’Brien) w/ Jackie & Roy Cain, vocals “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” (suggested by Tom Albach for airplay)–1949 concert at Pasadena Civic
    13. Charlie Mingus —12may59 “Open Letter to Duke” (Shafi Hadi, Dannie Richmond, Willie Dennis, Booker Ervin, John Handy) cd MINGUS AU UM (Columbia)

  11. R.I.P.
    Smokey Wilson (born July 11, 1936, died in Los Angeles September 8, 2o15)
    as reported in LIVING BLUES #240 (December 2o15)
    He was a good man
    and a rip-roaring blues cat

  12. Hey Mark – great poem – especially dig the last line – “Does that mean I have to climb out of my hammock
    and versify forthwith with my quill?” A humorous and poetic tongue twister. Your poem got me thinking about the correlation between how we study jazz and how that relates to other art forms. As you know, many of us learn great jazz solos inside and out on a feeling and literal level – thanks to Lennie I will add. So given the premise of the first part of your poem, what would be the equivalent for poets? I can imagine taking a poem that I love and learning it by heart of course – but then what about writing it as if it’s your own? Is that even possible. We play great solos to get close to what it feels like to improvise. I’m guessing it’s the rare writer who writes flowingly like an improviser. I have the impression that you do that. With writing it seems like a different discipline – combining words to convey the deepest shit in life – can’t be easy! Emily confounds me in that way.

    The photos are great! I love the one with your cat Charlie.

  13. Hi – I wanted to make a correction – Lenny Popkin never studied with Sal. They had a very long stretch where they were getting together weekly (even twice a week) for sessions. That was a meaningful time to Lenny.

  14. First off, thanks for the info on Lenny and Sal, whew. I got to get all this straight.

    And then about poem writing:
    I’ve been doing that for years: Getting a vibe off another writer’s poetry and got to get to the typewriter and take a stab at it myself. Same for photographs, too. I tell beginners to go to the library and get some of those big coffee table books of photos and look at them and see which ones get to you, and study what the elements are that you feel you need in your own shots. Damndest thing, and probably a good thing, is I have no talent for mimesis so for whatever reason everything comes out looking like my own thing. Altho, that’s not too surprising. Now, let me add that I only do this approach now & again, I have enough interior dialogue going on to write my own stuff. It’s just certain writers really get to you. I use Ezra Pound’s works to tune me up and get to the point and cut out the fluff. I use Brautigan’s work to remind me to take left turns, just to see what happens. I mostly just marvel at Anne Sexton and shake my head and wish I could do what she does (and the crazy thing about Anne is that she never studied the corpus of literature! she just took off stone cold after a few classes with Robert Lowell). I remember once in my days writing for CODA as Los Angeles correspondent I was on a Larry McMurtry kick (I’ve read all his books twice!) and I decided to try his narrative vibe for my column, and when I was done, IT LOOKED NOTHING LIKE McMURTRY’s! So, that was a learning experience. It still always comes out you! So, don’t worry about copying someone, it’s always going to be filtered through you. I suppose that’s providing you have a strong enough sense of self and your own headstrong vision. Lately, I’ve been trying to lock into the mytho-poetic vibe of JRR Tolkien, and just can’t get it right. That quick blip that has everybody studying with each other used in the caption for Kazzrie & Sal was an attempt at the Beowulf thing where you can feel (when you read Beowulf — I have a shelf of Beowulf renditions and research) you can feel great things in the background receding in & out of the mists, underpinnings, vast undercurrents & retrospection — it was written very fast. (Revision is a talent all unto itself, some writers are good and some aren’t —– you can drain the blood out of a piece of writing with too much tinkering.)

    Carol, I’ll add more later. I’ve got to get over to Janet’s office this Saturday where I’m doing a little painting (on walls). Last Saturday I was looking at Hellenistic bronze sculptures from 700-300BC Greece at the National Gallery in DC and today I’m into the paint buckets in Albuquerque.

    Oh, one last thing: That blip was originally written for a concert coming up May 5 & 6 at Outpost Performance Space —– go to the Schedule to see, at their website———– I hadnt actually intended it to be used in the announcement but Alicia Ultan (viola) writes the publicity for the club and I trust her and she wanted to use it.

  15. “We play great solos to get close to what it feels like to improvise. I’m guessing it’s the rare writer who writes flowingly like an improviser. I have the impression that you do that. With writing it seems like a different discipline – combining words to convey the deepest shit in life – can’t be easy!”——Carol Tristano (above)

    The only writer I know who could truly improvise and make it compelling was Kerouac. Writers like myself mostly work on our physical/spiritual/honest self and then bring that to the page straight from the heart. When I was in high school typing class I only focused on speed —- I skipped all that other baloney (that’s why I got a C or a D, hahahahaBLAH)———– was the fastest typer in class. I can type over 100 wpm, which helps. In one of my early bands the guitarist Stefan Dill asked me one time to improvise a poem, he reasoned that they were improvising so why shouldnt I? Well, just to keep things cool, I went ahead and told a story off the top of my head, and then explained that if I was going to be doing this performance thing at all, I had to be happy with it, and I wasn’t happy making up stuff like that. In my opinion all of that spontaneous jazz rapping; exquisite corpse; automatic writing of the surrealists; and so forth is only merely experimental and interesting in a student sort of way. It never lead anywhere, at least to me it didnt. YOU KNOW, I was asked a million years ago in a small lit magazine why I became a writer and my answer seems correct: Growing up, as a kid, in social situations I was never able to finish what I was saying or say it completely, what I was thinking. There are so many aggressive blabberfaced people in this world I could never get it out. AND I found out that with writing you could.

    It’s too bad I can’t make up poetry off the top of my head. When I’m performing with Connie’s band or Carol’s band or with Virg (we’re working on a prospective record!) or Kazzrie’s band —— they’re having all the fun because they get to improvise in the moment. My fun happened 2 or 6 weeks previous when I ripped the poem out of the typewriter —- I’m high as a kite after getting a good poem together. FOR example, you know my poem “Warne Marsh” (on one of the Connie’s quartet records) that poem bounced around in my head for 20 years and then the day it wanted to emerge I was here at Studio 725 waiting for a recording session to arrive and out of the blue I felt this poem formulating and knew I had to go type it up —— that is one of my best poems and it was written at white heat speed —- took less than 5 minutes to write.

  16. Carol,
    (Back from painting) As long as I’m blowing I’d like to take a few more choruses.
    Writing is a deliberate thing, as opposed to spontaneous. There are elements that are spontaneous but mostly it’s all in your head before you start. I could go on all day about my touchstones that I’ve picked up from various writers, like Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory, or Twain’s distinction between the right word and the almost right word, or Virginia Woolf’s ghost words, but I’d just like to add, briefly, that Conan Doyle’s clarity, succinctness, civility, decorum, dignity, are good medicine, and that his grammar is so precise that these120 years later his stories read as if they were written yesterday.

  17. Cool photos, Mark. Regarding your poem, I’m the same. For years, whenever I’d read a great poem (Creeley, O’Hara, whoever) I’d think “why don’t I write like that?” Now, finally, at age 75, I respond with “because I’m not them; I’m me.”

  18. Carol——————So, yes, writing is a very different discipline from making music. What are some of the touchstones for your own approach to playing the drums?

  19. When Kerouac would write spontaneously, like sitting on a park bench describing the scenery, he called it sketching —— not all of his writings were sketching, but most of them were first drafts . . . .

  20. Mark….. Not sure you know about my friendship with Warne. Long story……would you mind posting your poem with his name as title for those of us who had no idea such a cool thing existed? Mark Sowlakis

  21. Wow Mark – thank you for your in depth reply. It’s great hearing about your process and the people who have influenced you. I don’t know half the writers you speak of – lately just as I’m finally beginning to make better use of my time with music – I’m taking in that there’s just not enough hours in the day to explore everything else! But it’s still better to live on the edge of artistic hunger than to stew in lethargy! You know, I was never drawn to Kerouac…..do I hear the sound of you falling off your chair? So now I will have to check him out more thoroughly given what you said about him.

    I realized after reading your comments that no, in fact, jazz improvisation can’t really be compared in the same way to writing. I hadn’t even been thinking of the spoken word. That’s a whole n’other story. I haven’t heard of anybody doing that with a jazz feeling. After your poetry “experiment” on the other thread, does it make you think of trying it again?

    It’s interesting – when I learn a great solo, it’s coming literally from the desire to be that in it’s entirety. Which, seemingly contrarily, does not translate to copying. It winds up releasing one’s own originality. That blows my mind. L.T. knew that and there are hundreds of students who can attest to that.

    You asked me about my touchstones. It’s funny – I’ve played more solos of other instruments, on the drums, than actual great drum solos. But I did a ton of playing with great jazz records when I was coming up. That’s how I got to my time playing. As a drummer, here is a way that I was unbelievably fortunate when I was starting out. I heard, live, all the great, innovative drummers who were playing. I can remember the day I heard Max as a soloist – it was actually on TV. I heard and saw my own drum soul – it was incredible. All through the 80’s I was there sitting as close to the drums as possible at every gig I could get to. One time, I was sitting so close that at one point, a stick flew out of Max’s hand – as it fell in between the drums – I was so close that I just spontaneously grabbed it and handed it back to him through the drum set! I can still see the smile on his face. I’ve often thought there could be a whole thing about great drummer moments of sticks flying! Like – I was there when….. Actually – seriously – I have half a Roy Haynes stick that not only flew into the audience (like a fly ball!), but broke in half at the same time! Connie was with me – someone had gotten one half and I guess Roy was still holding the other half so he offered it – and thanks to Connie, who called out on my behalf – he gave it to me!

    With drum solos, there are some that have been a work in progress for me for years. Big Sid takes these beyond belief beautiful 4’s with Prez on “I Never Knew” (there are 2 takes – I’m speaking of the faster one – but of course they are both dynamite!). He’s playing a line with brushes of the likes I’ve never heard. I can play the first 4 – that’s it so far! What can I say – process – joy – ridiculous – I keep plodding – I can say that for myself.

    L.T. came up with something for drummers. Playing Prez solos in the left hand against the ride etc. This is innovative teaching. I’ve taken this idea to it’s natural conclusion – using Prez solos like scales for the drums. There are a million combinations of ways you can play Prez (or anyone you want) on the drums. I do this now with Billie – eye opening I can tell you!!

  22. “Writers like myself mostly work on our physical/spiritual/honest self and then bring that to the page straight from the heart. ” This is so beautifully said. I identify with this as well. These elements have to be in balance with each other – for me there is no other way to work.
    It’s wild about your 100 wpm! That’s part of your instrument!
    It’s very funny what you said about becoming a writer so you could – in effect -get a word in edgewise! That’s great.
    Speaking of “aggressive blabberfaced people”, here is one of my favorite Emily poems:

    I’m Nobody! Who are you?
    Are you – Nobody – too?
    Then there’s a pair of us!
    Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

    How dreary – to be – Somebody!
    How public – like a Frog –
    To tell one’s name – the livelong June-
    To an admiring Bog!

  23. Carol————–I’ll answer some of your thoughts in a day or two —– meanwhile here’s a few more odds & ends—————–This page is turning out to be my manifesto ( ! )

    Ezra Pound pointed out that there is a beauty to facts. That’s all you need when writing. Is fact. Keep the decoration down to a minimum and write straight declarative sentences. You’ll surprised how effective that can be.
    ————————————————-

    1. “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and the lightening bug” — Mark Twain

    2. Iceberg Theory of Ernest Hemingway goes something like this: You do not have to explain everything in your writing. If you carry enough truth in your words the rest of the story will be subconsciously conveyed to your listener in the same way that we all know that there is a lot more about that iceberg we see floating on the ocean, there is much more underneath the waves.

    3. Virginia Woolf’s ghost words: Words have accrued meanings over the years and these past meanings trail along in their wake. Every word drags in its wake all previous meanings from 20,000 years ago hence. Words are metaphors. “This is not a table!” as Korzybski has it, which has always cracked me up, (his tendency to get worked up over this dichotomy). Probably why one should (if yr a writer) keep an eye on the “language poets” such as Sheila E. Murphy, Mark Hartenbach, Michael Basinski, to see their experiments with reassigning words, giving them new jobs to do. SO, Virginia Woolf’s exact statement goes thus: “The power of suggestion is one the most mysterious properties of words. Everyone who has ever written a sentence must be conscious or half-conscious of it. Words, English words, are full of echoes, of memories, or associations –naturally. They have been out and about, on people’s lips, in their houses, in the streets, in the fields, for so many centuries. And that is one of the chief difficulties in writing today — that they are so stored with meanings, with memories, that they have contracted so many famous marriages . . . . Our business is to see what we can do with the English language as it is. How can we combine the old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell the truth?” — “Craftsmanship” from THE DEATH OF THE MOTH AND OTHER ESSAYS, 1942

    4. As a matter of course, I do like words, even as I am suspicious of them. I only use them as a way to convey thoughts. Once they have manifested thought into the reader’s mind I want them to dissolve, they are merely the conveyance. It is not so farfetched that words could be a virus that invaded the human brain and disrupted our telepathic abilities, which are everywhere evident even as words try to smother. Homo Ergaster (in the Homo Erectus lineage) 1 1/2 million years ago developed the whites of the eyes for communication. In the same way that dance speaks to us nonverbally. Words are nebulous. There’s a well-known Buddhist saying: Don’t believe everything you think.

    Try Anapanasati, it will lead you out of the morass.

  24. Carol—————-

    There’s probably a reason that you were not drawn to Kerouac and it’s probably because his writings are mostly bildungsromans for boys, or young guys——–coming of age stories. It’s probably heresy to say such a thing but most of the beatniks are for younger folks I’m afraid. Great great stuff, too.
    You can’t go wrong with ON THE ROAD, it’s spine-tingling masterpiece of writing — read the standard edition —– Kerouac bellyached for years that the editors wrecked his novel, being that it was written at white-heat speed (he was also a fast typist) over 3 weeks he didn’t want it touched, BUT Robert Giroux did him a big favor because the editing made it a masterpiece of the late 50s era (they recently published the unedited version). A lot of his books are experimental, like DOCTOR SAX you get the feeling that he and William S Burroughs were influencing each other. Bouncing off each other. I’ve read them all, and my favorite is DHARMA BUMS. But, even DHARMA BUMS can’t match ON THE ROAD.

    I could probably teach a class on WSB, I really delved into him in my 30s. Met him only once, and after I shook his hand I was so enamored I couldn’t talk! Obviously I never met Jack Kerouac, he died on my 16th birthday, broke my heart. Never met Corso. But, I spoke with Ginsberg on a few occasions when he visited the Coast and had slight correspondence with him — America needs more Ginsbergs.

    Regarding my spontaneous poem experiment (see The Is of Is Now thread) —– it’s interesting the things that are revealed, even with that. If you don’t reign in you can get flippant in that style of writing, so that was revealed about me, that I’m uptight to let things get goofy for goofing’s sake.
    You can still see the mind’s choices and avenues and rhythm. That’s something that always hits me about Frank O’Hara’s poetry, is that I can see that mine and his brain’s think alike and take the same avenues —- must be because we both listen to so much jazz?

    Also it’s apparent that I’d have to practice that spontaneous style more just to really let loose.
    That one was nowhere close to being completely off-the-cuff, even as I wrote it in less than 8 minutes, I’d say. So, it appears there’s even a modus operandi to being spontaneous. What’s that old joke—-my friend (drummer with the Grandmothers) Chris Garcia always tells me this one, about a saxophonist who says he’s spontaneously improvising, and Chris says: I don’t think so, here’s a trumpet, NOW you’re spontaneously improvising, dude!

    Regarding being physically/spiritually/honest and together to write —— that’s such the groovy thing about having all the technical stuff behind you (even as there is no end to how much grammar/linguistics, etc you can learn —— it’s like music harmony, there is no end to how much you could learn) and then, well, you leave that stuff behind you and work on being human, so that hopefully you have something real to bring to your art. In fact, that’s something Connie always underscores —– about 15 years ago I was remonstrating with her over some issue in my writing, I was having trouble reconciling something or other, and she kept saying: Mark, as long as it’s real.

    Some of the most revealing things that have come to me lately have to do with studying Anglo-Saxon (I persist in calling it that, even though, it is now more correctly known as Old English). I realized that individual words had more import in that language. Like the word/metaphor was almost the entire story. Like one word could be the phrase, even though, it wasn’t, in practice. Then I realized that they spoke much slower than we do now! We’ve speeded everything up. So, I’ve been slowing my writing down, as a result. Here’s a funny story, or a story about how hip New Yorkers are: I was performing with Connie in her loft a couple years ago, and in the middle of one of my poems I flipped into speaking Anglo-Saxon, and even though I vehemently do not memorize my own poems I had these sections memorized just because I had studied them so much, so, while I’m running along in Anglo-Saxon I’m able to look directly at the audience, AND all these New Yorkers are looking at me like they totally UNDERSTAND what I’m saying! That really shook me up!

    ……….more later

  25. ON Self-editing: Hemingway stressed that one needs a Built-in Shock-proof Shit Detector . . . . which brings me to something Robert Creeley pounded into my head when I had him on my radio show (17feb2000) He kept insisting “How can it be useful,” “What can we do to make it useful?” “it’s got to be useful” over & over straying dangerously out of the realm of “art for art’s sake” which is where all of us were located in the modernist 20th century and certainly Robert was, but, by 2000 he had apparently other thoughts about what poetry needs to be doing————–AND to this day his words ring in my head when I’m looking over a finished piece . . . . . .

  26. Carol Tristano

    March 2, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Mark – you have given us a wealth of information here! I’m printing this so I can easily use it as a reference. I love the quotes from the various writers – so far out – and funny – and your ideas are so original and so deeply thought out. And that thing about the Homo Ergaster- that is nothing short of mind blowing. To be an artist is to teem with creativity and curiosity – how fortunate we all are. But I’m beginning to think that all disciplines are at their core – art. Hopefully the evolutionary process is headed in that direction – there are compelling signs of it – if we can just outlast the barbarians.

  27. Carol Tristano

    March 2, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Mark, thanks for the info on Joan Jobe Smith. I really dig her – am going to order her book!

  28. RE:IMPROVISATION

    Improvisation is always relative
    i.e.,
    each culture, each music, each instrument has its own vernacular

    Improvising in each of these contexts is, and should be as different
    as the instruments used to improvise within them,
    e.g.,
    the music(s) of North India, South India, Mexican indigenous, Jazz,
    “Free Improv,” Afro Caribbean, Japanese, Chinese, etc…, etc…,
    have very little in common in regards to how improvising is done……….

    I have experienced many who try to improvise in these contexts with only their own vernacular
    i.e.,
    they play the same thing, ignoring all the other facets of the music they are immersed
    in at that moment – rhythm, timbre, time frames, melody, harmonic residues etc.,
    instead of trying to play what they can’t in order to transcend their limitations
    and LISTENING

    IMPROVISATION at it’s best is in the moment,
    at the moment,
    every moment
    and done with intensity, intention, intent and passion

    anything less is less

    why would anyone continue to have the same conversation
    over and over again anytime they met with different people ?

    PS
    one time, on a tour, there was a special guest,
    every time they played a solo,
    they played the same solo

    about 4 days into the tour the special guest told us,
    “You guys are playing something different,
    every night, every tune
    I better get with it………..”
    they did(!)

  29. Carol Tristano

    March 3, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Hi Christopher – I dig your prose about improvisation. Listening! Seems so simple! Can I add to that – listening intuitively? I thought this line was telling – “…instead of trying to play what they can’t in order to transcend their limitations
    and LISTENING”
    It’s a tall order – if musicians getting together don’t share the same vocabulary (vernacular as you say), it would be difficult to let everything go in the moment and hope for the best. I’m thinking about the myriad of subtleties in all these different musics – you know, really taking it to the limit (well – no limit!). Improvisation does come naturally to babies and children (our real starting point!), so it does seem that given feeling, passion and desire to share music – anybody could play with anybody. But I don’t take lightly the study of it. I was perusing your website and can really take in your passion for all these musics! Beautiful. You have done your homework! (and as you talked about – by ear – the only way in my opinion!) There’s so much out there to dig musically. I like the way you talk about rhythm – heartbeat – life. I feel all that. Being a drummer is an awesome thing! Of all the instruments – I think just about everybody – musician or not – associates the drums with fun! Fun is what propels our souls!
    I dug your story about the special guest – that shows the potential here.
    It’s interesting to see how the internet connects us all immediately with what’s happening in all our different cultures. I love that. Who knows where it will lead.

  30. MORE TRICKS OF THE TRADE

    1) Ironic conclusion ——- Rather than bring all the elements of a poem together at the end and tie them up with a pretty little bow, leaving the ending in this ironic conclusion where the view radiates in six different directions, where the right eyebrow is raised and an ambiguous smile crosses the face, or is that a smirk? The story ends with various possibilities depending on who you are and where you stand. Irony implies that there could be something else intentionally obscured behind it all. Irony is inscrutable (mysterious, impenetrable), dimensional, where reason and absurdity intersect, impertinent (insolent, obstructive, rude) impious, irreverance, (impertinence also implies a certain negativity), —— BUT never misrepresented. Never insult your reader. And never take up their time with ambiguity, even as irony opens up the world of doubles, where shadows arise. Shadows are real.

    Irony itself is of interest. Where did it come from? It’s a later development of human communication. I’m still researching it.

    2) I don’t like poems telling me what to do, so I steer clear of that. It’s presumptuous.

    3) I once said to a pianist (Paul Plimley) that I thought Beethoven’s symphonies were too long and he went bananas on me. Same as Beethoven I guess he had a lot to get off his chest. But, this says more about me than it does those two guys, and that is my emphasis on brevity. And all the things that make brevity work: clarity, succinctness, directness.

    4) Speak your sentences out loud. Test them out in the spoken realm. I used to do this more often than I do now, I’d go out for walks and repeat phrases until I made them feel right.

    5) Writer’s Block does not exist. That is merely your subconscious telling you that you shouldn’t be writing today. Yes, sometimes you do come up on a deadline and people like Duke Ellington always claimed he worked best with deadlines. A trick I have prescribed is to use photos in magazines to get you going: Look at a cigarette advertisement and write a story about the people in it. I’ve never tried this myself personally, but that’s never stopped me from prescribing it, and I hear it works. Mark Twain has some hilarious things to say about the fallacies of writer’s block, I think in his book FOLLOWING THE EQUATOR.

    6) Try using short and long sentences in your prose. It breaks things up. Be sure and test them against your breath. Like: Da da da da da da da daaaa. Da da da da da da da da daaaa da. Da da da. Da da da da da da da da ahhhh daaa da. Da da da.

  31. It’s Carol’s father’s birthday today

  32. Some poems are written out of pure inspiration, a heighten’d flash of awareness — this is the classic romantic idea of poetry, and others are constructions. I used to almost always write in the first way, and still do, when a poem overtakes me like a flood. But I have gradually come to really like constructions. This is a line-by-line bricks and mortar approach, and it still reflects all of the writer’s brain patterns and well-spring.

    “. . . . a story in which the deepest wellsprings of desire is for redemption of that which has been lost, both to memory and to life.” — David Lyle Jeffrey p56 TREE OF LIFE

    I usually start with what I call a gambit, an opening phrase and mix up the mortar and start laying bricks and the interesting thing is how complicated it gets as you lay down additional lines, each line has it’s own nuance and color and somewhat implies what should maybe probably come next, depending on how well you adhere to a moral balance — what Hemingway called your code. My friend JB was the first to introduce me to constructions, altho, he didn’t call them that. His method sort of reminded me of what John Lennon said about stuffing his pockets with various scribblings on little scraps of paper and pulling them out one day and see how they all could fit together.

    Here’s a poem that was written yesterday that is a mixture of both methods, mostly the first, for my yoga teacher Supriti who’s mother got away from us last weekend. (She was raised Catholic, then went on to study with Osho, who was her guru and I believe gave her the name Supriti, it must mean something . . . .)

    POEM FOR SUPRITI

    And now you’re an orphan
    like the rest of us
    adrift
    out on the Western Sea
    in your little boat
    with the tattered sail . . . .

    Those far distant lands
    where your mother went on Saturday
    the only telephone that can reach her now
    is called memory
    pumpkin pie, a novena, that spanking
    you got for refusing to do the dishes (or was it
    when you used your uncle’s tennis racket to
    bounce rocks?)
    and your mother never spanked
    you again because she cried
    and you didn’t . . . .

    adrift
    with the dust particles floating
    in the afternoon window light
    the bleak trees are beginning to remember
    their leaves
    something like tea
    that is memory in a cup, warm
    and slightly acerbic, or is that melancholia?
    something . . .
    something . . .
    you trail your hand in the water over the side
    of your boat, there’s a jet way overhead above the troposphere
    do jets fly this far over the Western Sea?
    maybe . . . .
    maybe
    the Buddha is up there?
    going somewhere in a jiffy

  33. Writing is a thinking man’s game, like a puzzle, one negotiates between forces. For instance, this web page: I have to balance my own perspective with that of a generalist objective historian’s view — How much of my personal journey can I toss in without losing the reader’s interest, or gaining their suspicion that I might believe that the sun revolves around yours truly? and what is truly useful (my Creeley Code) along side value in return for time spent reading the page?

    In the Grand Scheme of Things what will ease our way and what sustains. It’s a puzzle to be sure.
    Not to mention moral logic and balance which is another essay unto itself as regards writing.

  34. ANOTHER TECHNIQUE:

    in media res

    This is one of the easiest and coolest tricks in the book for writing a story: Start in the middle.
    And proceed forward in a chronological fashion using flashbacks. Movies and television use this technique quite a lot and they got it from literature.

    I’ve always said that writing a book is mostly digressions, which is not exactly true, but sort of.
    I love digressions and sidesteps. Always done to fill the story out.

  35. FURTHER ADVENTURES IN THE PRACTICE OF WRITING

    Parataxis.
    I first heard this word was when Joan Jobe Smith uttered it to me in Kansas as we sat in the large theater where the Great Bend Poetry Rendezvous was underway. I said I never heard of that one. She said, Mark, you use it all the time in your poems.
    I said, I do?
    She went on to explain what it was and over the years I have rearranged its meaning to suit my purposes, so this might not exactly be what Parataxis actually is, but it’s my Parataxis: Take two ideas and jam them together into one poem.

    So, I tried it. At the time I had two separate poems floating around in my head waiting to find the words. I was toying with the idea of a gardening poem, and at the same time a friend had died. It was written October 22&23, 1995. So, it had been August that Joan dropped this concept on me. This poem published in my chap EXISTENTIAL HUM (1996, Pearl Editions).

    WHEN WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS IS MORE KINDNESS ONE OF THE KINDEST LEAVES US

    i suppose
    that’s what gardens are
    what they are good for
    when
    you’re confused
    a friend has died before his time
    and you don’t know what to say
    what to think
    only
    pull a few weeks
    stake an over-grown tomato
    shore up a water course
    inspect leaves for bugs
    calculate the sun’s waning path
    past the equinox
    figure there’s at most a month left
    before first frost
    maybe less
    i actually asked Robert point blank
    if he was dying
    him being a Buddhist
    a direct question is welcomed
    he said No
    that his young daughter Isabel
    has been asking the same question
    his stomach coming apart
    the body frail
    skinny
    and then he told about how
    he brought Isabel into the radio station
    where he has a Saturday evening show
    thought maybe a child could
    smooth the heart of the battleaxe
    who nixed all expenditures
    and Isabel marched up to this lady
    put her little arms on her hips sternly
    and barked, “I’m Isabel and I’m a Jew!”
    just flat out, that’s all she said
    Robert chuckled remembering
    the air fat with that sound
    (please, dear Robert, forgive me
    but yes the version of this poem i read today
    during your memorial service
    at the Cerro Gordo Zen Temple in Santa Fe
    i hauled out that old well-worn cliche
    neophyte zen fool Okie that i am:
    . . . the air fat with that sound
    THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING (!)
    is that corny or what?

    (R.I.P. Robert Winson d. 20oct95)
    *Robert had a radio show on KSFR

  36. Hey Mark – taking in your posts and poetry.
    I’ve been thinking about my posts on learning great solos, and after reading everything you wrote about singing on the Dena DeRose posts, I wanted to add a little more about that to clarify. The way to really get everything out of learning a solo is to sing with it first. That’s what L.T. got students into. It’s singing that connects you to the very essence of another artist. Their sound, their soul…..their improvisation. I’ve noticed that when babies “talk”, it can sound like scatting/singing – insane.

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