Poem to be read at . . .

Mark Weber and Ratzo B. Harris: (Love & Music: A Celebration of Connie Crothers) 11-13-16 Roulette

 

Poem to be read at Connie Crothers Memorial in duet with Ratzo Harris — November 13, 2o16

Please click the red arrow on the left to listen to Ratzo B. Harris and Mark Weber.

 

Catamow   ko
kay  cee  ko,    yo
be
bamboo,    ka  ka  —  kay  kee  ko
ko  kah  ree
ree    —   reel       ree
AH      oh      ah     [breathe  — relax]
       Oh   [explore this mouth formation]
        Oh      ah        ah
Lo,    lo long eh
eh  it      it’s,   As
as long as oh,
      oh as long long way
long way long
as long as it’s real  [x2]
ko  ka  kay  kee   [x2 slower]
we are all floating in space
like the old poem says:  Are we
           climbing the mountain, or is
                 the mountain moving under us?
ka  ka  ko  kee,  connie
When a close friend dies you become super-sensitive to living things:
Don’t step on bugs, don’t pull even a weed in the garden, listen to the birds more closely
 
ka  ka  ko  kee, Connie
 
She first said that to me when I was explaining a text that
I was having trouble writing:  Mark, as long as it’s real
Every day I hear her saying this
Imagine a young woman leaving California by train to come to this city — 1962 — she had only
a suitcase when she arrived at Penn Station (the old Penn Station before it was tore down in 1964) —
she didn’t know anyone, had hardly any money to speak of, found lodging at the YMCA — Connie
had left college, left a marriage, left her family in the San Francisco Bay Area —
she was after meaningfulness
and needed to know if this jazz was going to be a part of who she intended to be — she came to
NYC to study with Lennie Tristano
ka   ka    ko    kee,    Connie
 
We were attracted to her uncompromising determination, her diligence, forthwith resolve,
her total commitment
          to that dream
                         we all aspired to in our youth
 
    It would be interesting to know more about Connie’s first ten years in New York City — I always
imagine a lot of time alone, a lot of time sitting watching out windows, a long gestation period, studying piano and thinking about music — I read somewhere that New York City will
give you the gift of loneliness  [E.B. White]
 
This long gestation period (she was 32 before taking her first public gigs)  gave her a certain compassion
for her student’s aspirations —-
 
You always sensed she went through a lot of trials in these early years in the city, that old selfsame
dark night of the soul — New York was a tougher place back then
 
Over the telephone some years ago I was remonstrating about how busy I was with various writing
projects and deadlines, so much so that I realized all those youthful yearnings to be a successful
artist had come to pass, and actually beyond expectations, I was even working with Connie
Crothers, but all of it somewhat overwhelming, I say to Connie to tell her students to be careful what you hope for you just might get it, and she corrected me, and this is pure Connie: “No, Mark, anticipate what you hope for!”
 
ka  ka   ko   kee,   Connie
 
Her piano could be like the ocean
                          deep green
the New York subway,     pressing on
Tornados or ships calmly settling into port
      loaded with lapis lazuli, electrum, wine, silk & clairvoyance
a gossamer dream

 

–Mark Weber
Sept-Oct 2o16

Connie at lunch in her neighborhood July 11, 2010 at The Diner, Williamsburg -- photo by Mark Weber -- That dream we all had of creating the best most honest music we could . . . .

Connie at lunch in her neighborhood July 11, 2010 at The Diner, Williamsburg — photo by Mark Weber — That dream we all had of creating the best most honest music we could . . . .

Connie Crothers at Sal Mosca's studio -- jam session -- Jimmy Halperin (tenor), Don Messina (bass), Bill Chattin (drums) -- Mt Vernon, New York -- December 4, 2004 photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers at Sal Mosca’s studio — jam session — Jimmy Halperin (tenor), Don Messina (bass), Bill Chattin (drums) — Mt Vernon, New York — December 4, 2004 photo by Mark Weber

Jam session at Connie's loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn -- August 24, 2012 -- Ed Schuller (bass), Roger Mancuso (drums), Connie Crothers (piano) -- photo by Mark Weber * For the record, I don't think I ever heard Connie say "jam session" -- she always referred to loft get-togethers as sessions

Jam session at Connie’s loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — August 24, 2012 — Ed Schuller (bass), Roger Mancuso (drums), Connie Crothers (piano) — photo by Mark Weber * For the record, I don’t think I ever heard Connie say “jam session” — she always referred to loft get-togethers as sessions

Session at Connie's with Roger and Richard -- July 11, 2o10 -- photo by Mark Weber

Session at Connie’s with Roger and Richard — July 11, 2o10 — photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers -- New York City subway -- December 7, 2004 -- photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers — New York City subway — December 7, 2004 — photo by Mark Weber

Connie & Jessica Jones -- September 10, 2o13 -- jam session at Connie's -- photo by Mark Weber

Connie & Jessica Jones — September 10, 2o13 — jam session at Connie’s — photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers and Nick Lyons -- September 10, 2013 -- photo by Mark Weber

Connie Crothers and Nick Lyons — September 10, 2013 — photo by Mark Weber

9 Comments

  1. The MC on the audio clip is Kazzrie Jaxen

  2. And thanks to Scott Friedlander, who was busy that day with projections and production
    who turned on a modest recording device . . . . . .

  3. Mark,
    Connie told me when she arrived in NYC she had $24 in her pocket…….

  4. joan jobe smith voss

    March 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    fun, Mark. Great pix of Connie. She looks so familiar. But i’m sure I’ve never seen her in person. I turned the audio of your reading on just as Fred entered the door home from work thinking he’d think Mark Weber was here in person to visit us. But he knew right off you were on computer. thanks for this–I’ve always loved your voice..

  5. Sheila Jordan

    March 1, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    WHAT A BEAUTIFUL HEARTFELT POEM. I WAS SO MOVED EMOTIONALLY. I FELT CONNIE’S PRESENCE AS I READ IT AND KNEW IN MY HEART AND SOUL SHE WAS THERE BESIDE ME AS I READ THESE INSPIRING WORDS WRITTEN FOR AN INCREDIBLE ARTIST. SHEILA JORDAN

  6. Connie’s right hand is turned around backwards in the photo with Jessica because she was cooking and
    her hands were wet ———- Her kitchen is directly in front of where they are standing, and to their right
    is her entrance door to the studio

  7. Thank you Mark, that’s so beautiful.

  8. carol Tristano

    March 2, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you Mark. I am moved hearing you express your poem for Connie. I love that last paragraph – beautiful imagery.
    And what a quote – anticipate what you hope for! Beautiful photos too.

  9. —————————–playlist——————————————
    Friday ALL THAT JAZZ radio show
    March 3, 2o17
    Mark Weber sitting in for John Breckow who tore up his shoulder lifting boxes of LPs
    KUNM Albuquerque

    1. Gloria Coleman Quartet “Melba’s Minor” — 21may63 w/Grant Green(guitar), and Leo Wright(alto) and Pola Roberts(drums) cd SOUL SISTERS (impulse!) — John had pulled my coat on this record last time we
    had a listening session at his place, so, good one to start the show
    2. Melba Liston + 4 trombones “You Don’t Say” — Melba, the subject of previous track — She wrote & arranged this tune and the whole album MELBA LISTON & HER ‘BONES (Fresh Sound reissue) –22dec58
    w/ Melba, Bennie Green, Al Grey & Benny Powell (trombones), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Charlie Persip (drums), George Joyner (bass)
    3. Lenny Popkin-Connie Crothers Quartet “Soul in Minor” April 1988 w/ Carol Tristano(drums), Cameron Brown(bass) cd LOVE ENERGY (New Artists Records)
    4. Connie Crothers solo January 27, 1984 CONCERT AT COOPER UNION “What is this thing called Love?” (Cole Porter) — I wonder if CC had her studio at 105 E. 9th Street at the time of this concert?
    If so, then she only had a short two block to her concert at Cooper Union on Astor Place (8th Street & 3rd Avenue) — Every time I see Cooper Union I always think of Lincoln giving his famous address in February 1860 during his campaign for Presidency in the Great Hall here at Cooper Union (I found out on Wikipedia that it was snowing the night of Lincoln’s address and that the Great Hall is in the basement) —– In an email from Carol Tristano (5feb2o17) she writes: “I’m learning Connie’s right hand line on What is this thing from Cooper Union. It runs through my head like a soundtrack. What a masterpiece! It sounds beautiful with mallets.” I read that over the airwaves before playing track.
    5.Ernie Andrews “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream” — Sept. 2005 cd HOW ABOUT ME (HighNote)
    6. Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio ” Swinging ’til the Girls Come Home” (Oscar Pettiford’s line) –1977 Lp DEDICATIONS
    7. Clora Bryant Quartet “Sweet Georgia Brown” — 1957 w/Walter Benton taking tenor solo and Bruz
    Freeman on drums — cd GAL WITH A HORN
    8. Bobby Shew jazz choir version his his “Blue” written for Blue Mitchell when he passed — this version
    has lyrics by Clora Bryant — mid-1990s session, private recording Shew sent me
    9. Ali Ryerson “Beatrice”(Sam Rivers) –1994 cd PORTRAITS IN SILVER
    10. Birgitta Flick Quartet “Song Without Words”(BF) –2012 cd YINGYING
    11. Lester Young “These Foolish Things” — Dec.1945 Los Angeles (Aladdin Records)
    12. Sheila Jordan “Inch Worm” w/ Alan Pasqua (piano) — July 1975 cd CONFIRMATION

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