The Soprano Saxophone And A Poem By Dick Barnes

Allow me to indulge myself a minute, I just stumbled across this photo, and thought you'd get a kick out of seeing your radio host in 1956 Southern California ----- that's my two brothers, Craig is still blond to this day, and Brian barely a year old, and that's me looking at the photographer thinking to myself I can do that . . . . .

Allow me to indulge myself a minute, I just stumbled across this photo, and thought you’d get a kick out of seeing your radio host in 1956 Southern California —– that’s my two brothers, Craig is still blond to this day, and Brian barely a year old, and that’s me looking at the photographer thinking to myself I can do that . . . . .

The Thursday Jazz Radio Show

August 10 & 17, 2o17 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)

 

The Rub Board Tutor

When you play the rub board your main job
is to listen so well the others hear better
telling their stories, and tell them true.
You can’t listen that well unless
you’re telling your story too.
Don’t regret a mistake, take
responsibility, make it in retrospect
an amazing possibility:
if Bunk Johnson could do that
why can’t you. If you all listen well enough
you’ll hear a story someone else tells
hey Bob that may be for you, or you think so —
playing the bells. Never mention that.
Charlie Parker did once and Leonard Feather said:
“Take this man back to Camarillo.”

 

Dick Barnes (1932-2000)

That's my writing mentor Dick Barnes on washboard playing a house gig in my home town Upland, California ---- September 13, 1979 ------ Dick was deep into the traditional jazz scene of Southern California and had his own group, variously called 12th Street Mini Band or The Real Time Jazz Band, but this I think was an ad hoc ensemble for the occasion w/ Vic Loring(banjo), Mike Fay(bass), Al Cronn(trumpet), John Smith (soprano saxophone) -- photo by Mark Weber

That’s my writing mentor Dick Barnes on washboard playing a house gig in my home town Upland, California —- September 13, 1979 —— Dick was deep into the traditional jazz scene of Southern California and had his own group, variously called 12th Street Mini Band or The Real Time Jazz Band, but this I think was an ad hoc ensemble for the occasion w/ Vic Loring (banjo), Mike Fay (bass), Al Cronn (trumpet), John Smith (soprano saxophone) — photo by Mark Weber

Sonny Rhodes who lived in Fresno, California, in the 60s and worked the blues clubs on the Rt.99 circuit before moving north to Oakland where I caught up with him at Gaspar's (Fillmore & Union) in San Francisco on August 29, 1978 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- those are his band mates ---- He had a regional hit with his 45 "Won't Rain in California" around this time on the jukeboxes (there was a drought in California those years)

Sonny Rhodes who lived in Fresno, California, in the 60s and worked the blues clubs on the Rt.99 circuit before moving north to Oakland where I caught up with him at Gaspar’s (Fillmore & Union) in San Francisco on August 29, 1978 — photo by Mark Weber —- those are his band mates —- He had a regional hit with his 45 “Won’t Rain in California” around this time on the jukeboxes (there was a drought in California those years)

Jane Ira Bloom Trio ends the set -- old Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque -- October 28, 1996 ---- Jane Ira Bloom(soprano saxophone), Cameron Brown(bass), Bobby Previte(drums) -- photo by Mark Weber

Jane Ira Bloom Trio ends the set — old Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque — October 28, 1996 —- Jane Ira Bloom (soprano saxophone), Cameron Brown (bass), Bobby Previte (drums) — photo by Mark Weber

Joe Darensbourg & His Dixie Flyers jumping at Marina Del Rey, California -- June 7, 1981 ---- Left to Right: Phil Gray(trombone), Bill Stump(trumpet), Phil Stevens(bass), Nappy Lamare(banjo), Chuck Conklin(cornet), Ray Hall(drums), Bill Campbell(piano), and the master of the slap-tongue soprano saxophone Joe Darensbourg ---- photo by Mark Weber

Joe Darensbourg & His Dixie Flyers jumping at Marina Del Rey, California — June 7, 1981 —- Left to Right: Phil Gray (trombone), Bill Stump (trumpet), Phil Stevens (bass), Nappy Lamare (banjo), Chuck Conklin (cornet), Ray Hall (drums), Bill Campbell (piano), and the master of the slap-tongue soprano saxophone Joe Darensbourg —- photo by Mark Weber

John Carter solo soprano recital at The Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California -- Sunday April 17, 1977 these photos could be showing the last time John played soprano in public or anywhere ---- He made the switch to total concentration on the clarinet (the photos the following Sunday show him only with clarinet) ---- for five years he had been playing both soprano and clarinet equally ---- He wrestled with the soprano's well-known intonation issues, always, but that's not why he went to clarinet ---- He went to clarinet at age 48 because he felt like this was the vehicle that completely worked for his expression, saying that it took a long time to figure that out (John talks about this in my CODA interview) ---- photo by Mark Weber

John Carter solo soprano recital at The Little Big Horn, Pasadena, California — Sunday April 17, 1977 these photos could be showing the last time John played soprano in public or anywhere —- He made the switch to total concentration on the clarinet (the photos the following Sunday show him only with clarinet) —- for five years he had been playing both soprano and clarinet equally —- He wrestled with the soprano’s well-known intonation issues, always, but that’s not why he went to clarinet —- He went to clarinet at age 48 because he felt like this was the vehicle that completely worked for his expression, saying that it took a long time to figure that out (John talks about this in my CODA interview) —- photo by Mark Weber

Lewis Jordan and San Francisco -- on the roof of his apartment building in the Haight -- September 1, 1978 (before we tripped over to KPOO) -- photo by Mark Weber ----- Lewis has a long-awaited new cd THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN (www.musicatlarge.org) that we will be spinning in much of the near future

Lewis Jordan and San Francisco — on the roof of his apartment building in the Haight — September 1, 1978 (before we tripped over to KPOO) — photo by Mark Weber —– Lewis has a long-awaited new cd THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN (www.musicatlarge.org) that we will be spinning in much of the near future

Lewis Jordan, jazz radio host and social activist at KPOO San Francisco -- September 1, 1978 -- photo by Mark Weber

Lewis Jordan, jazz radio host and social activist at KPOO San Francisco — September 1, 1978 — photo by Mark Weber

Poster for Lewis Jordan's radio show circa mid- to late-70s (I wonder who designed this gem?) and that's Bari Scott, renowned jazz disk jockey at KPFK Berkeley at trumpeter George Sam's place on 26th Street in San Francisco -- early September 1978 -- photo by Mark Weber

Poster for Lewis Jordan’s radio show circa mid- to late-70s (I wonder who designed this gem?) and that’s Bari Scott, renowned jazz disk jockey at KPFK Berkeley at trumpeter George Sam’s place on 26th Street in San Francisco — early September 1978 — photo by Mark Weber

John Zorn playing a curved soprano with a tennis ball in the bell -- November 28, 1977 in duet w/ Eugene Chadbourne at Century City Playhouse, Los Angeles ---------- AND Evan Parker at same venue on October 29, 1978 ---- photos by Mark Weber

John Zorn playing a curved soprano with a tennis ball in the bell — November 28, 1977 in duet w/ Eugene Chadbourne at Century City Playhouse, Los Angeles ———- AND Evan Parker at same venue on October 29, 1978 —- photos by Mark Weber

Julius Hemphill during his solo Roi Boye & Gotham Minstrels tour playing at Studio Z, 2409 W. Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles -- either March 22 or 23, 1977 (he played this audio drama two nights running) -- Photo by Mark Weber ----- Julius played alto saxophone, flute, and soprano saxophone along with pre-recorded tapes, mostly of NYC subway sounds . . . . . .

Julius Hemphill during his solo Roi Boye & Gotham Minstrels tour playing at Studio Z, 2409 W. Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles — either March 22 or 23, 1977 (he played this audio drama two nights running) — Photo by Mark Weber —– Julius played alto saxophone, flute, and soprano saxophone along with pre-recorded tapes, mostly of NYC subway sounds . . . . . .

You can't have a show about the science & art of soprano saxophone without talking about the guy who spent his entire life studying this complex and difficult instrument: STEVE LACY ---- photo of Steve Lacy & Irene Aebi at Outpost Performance Space -- March 20, 2000 by Mark Weber

You can’t have a show about the science & art of soprano saxophone without talking about the guy who spent his entire life studying this complex and difficult instrument: STEVE LACY —- photo of Steve Lacy & Irene Aebi at Outpost Performance Space — March 20, 2000 by Mark Weber

Was this a Joe McPhee Trio? I'm not sure there was a designated leader this night -- That's Michael Bisio on bass, and Paul Plimley on piano, both and all three amazing ----- at old Outpost October 24, 1998 -- photo by Mark Weber ---- (Joe on soprano) ----- Afterwards we were over here at our place and he was so touched that I had (among others) his early Hat Records LP in my collection THE WILLISAU CONCERT ---- We found out that night that Joe is a cat person and has a dozen cats at home in Poughkeepsie and when he found out we had a litter of little tiny baby kittens stuck away in a closet toward the back of the house (we were all sitting in the living room) Joe started communicating with them making a high mewling cat sound with his mouth and out of the back room came all the kittens, I've never witnessed anything like that before -- I'm still hoping against hope that the string quartet that Michael Bisio performed in with Connie Crothers, Eva Lindal, and Tomas Ulrich at The Stone, August 22, 2o14, sees the light of day (it was recorded by Ben Manley)

Was this a Joe McPhee Trio? I’m not sure there was a designated leader this night — That’s Michael Bisio on bass, and Paul Plimley on piano, both and all three amazing —– at old Outpost October 24, 1998 — photo by Mark Weber —- (Joe on soprano) —– Afterwards we were over here at our place and he was so touched that I had (among others) his early Hat Records LP in my collection THE WILLISAU CONCERT —- We found out that night that Joe is a cat person and has a dozen cats at home in Poughkeepsie and when he found out we had a litter of little tiny baby kittens stuck away in a closet toward the back of the house (we were all sitting in the living room) Joe started communicating with them making a high mewling cat sound with his mouth and out of the back room came all the kittens, I’ve never witnessed anything like that before — I’m still hoping against hope that the string quartet that Michael Bisio performed in with Connie Crothers, Eva Lindal, and Tomas Ulrich at The Stone, August 22, 2o14, sees the light of day (it was recorded by Ben Manley)

Three poets: Michael Hathaway (publisher of CHIRON literary magazine out of St Johns, Kansas), Clifton Snider, and the late dearly departed Catherine Lynn (we once published a book together) ---- at a PEARL magazine publishing party at Marilyn Johnson's house in Long Beach, California -- September 18, 1993 -- I haven't seen Clifton Snyder since that day, so it will be fun to reconnect as he's visiting New Mexico and will read his Beatle poems on the show August 17 and I'll play jazz renditions of Beatle songs -- photo by Mark Weber ---- I think of Clifton as part of the English Dept faculty at Cal State University Long Beach during the years it included Gerald Locklin, Marilyn Johnson, Ray Zepeda, Charles Stetler, Charles Webb, Elliott Fried, a killer's row of West Coast Literary Masters ---- I first became acquainted with Clifton's poetry through PEARL magazine

Three poets: Michael Hathaway (publisher of CHIRON literary magazine out of St Johns, Kansas), Clifton Snider, and the late dearly departed Catherine Lynn (we once published a book together) —- at a PEARL magazine publishing party at Marilyn Johnson’s house in Long Beach, California — September 18, 1993 — I haven’t seen Clifton Snyder since that day, so it will be fun to reconnect as he’s visiting New Mexico and will read his Beatle poems on the show August 17 and I’ll play jazz renditions of Beatle songs — photo by Mark Weber —- I think of Clifton as part of the English Dept faculty at Cal State University Long Beach during the years it included Gerald Locklin, Marilyn Johnson, Ray Zepeda, Charles Stetler, Charles Webb, Elliott Fried, a killer’s row of West Coast Literary Masters —- I first became acquainted with Clifton’s poetry through PEARL magazine

The virtuoso Meg Okura will be visiting on the show today (August 10) and she is very eloquent so I look forward to asking her about the nature of chamber music in jazz ---- Meg Okura is an American violinist who was born in Tokyo (1973) and has been in NYC since at least 1992 (when she studied at Julliard) ----- she is the musical director of her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble and the music they have produced is so beautiful it defies mere words ----- photo by Taka Harkness ----- Maybe Meg will bring her erhu, which will  give me an excuse to tell my erhu story ---- The erhu is an ancient Chinese 2-string instrument that is bowed, legend has it that the poet LiPo traveled with a troupe of erhu masters as his backup group.
The virtuoso Meg Okura will be visiting on the show today (August 10) and she is very eloquent so I look forward to asking her about the nature of chamber music in jazz —- Meg Okura is an American violinist who was born in Tokyo (1973) and has been in NYC since at least 1992 (when she studied at Julliard) —– she is the musical director of her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble and the music they have produced is so beautiful it defies mere words —– photo by Taka Harkness —– Maybe Meg will bring her erhu, which will  give me an excuse to tell my erhu story —- The erhu is an ancient Chinese 2-string instrument that is bowed, legend has it that the poet LiPo traveled with a troupe of erhu masters as his backup group.
Sam Newsome is married to Meg Okura and is on staff at Long Island University, Brooklyn, in the music department, and a well-known New York soprano saxophonist ------------- His latest CD release SOPRANOVILLE reveals his studies into prepared soprano (think John Cage and his prepared pianos) thus, Sam will be bringing his horns to play LIVE, always the best way to explain anything --------- We greatly look forward to his return to the KUNM studios (his previous visit to the Thursday jazz show was with Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet on April 7, 2005 w/ Fred Ho(baritone), John O'Gallagher(alto), David Bindman(tenor), Sam(soprano))----When you get a minute, check out Sam's intelligence at his on-line music journal (I'm not overly fond of the term

Sam Newsome is married to Meg Okura and is on staff at Long Island University, Brooklyn, in the music department, and a well-known New York soprano saxophonist ————- His latest CD release SOPRANOVILLE reveals his studies into prepared soprano (think John Cage and his prepared pianos) thus, Sam will be bringing his horns to play LIVE, always the best way to explain anything ——— We greatly look forward to his return to the KUNM studios (his previous visit to the Thursday jazz show was with Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet on April 7, 2005 w/ Fred Ho (baritone), John O’Gallagher (alto), David Bindman (tenor), Sam (soprano))—-When you get a minute, check out Sam’s intelligence at his on-line music journal (I’m not overly fond of the term “blog“). Both photos of Sam Newsome taken by Salvatore Corso — July 3, 2o17

Sam Newsome is married to Meg Okura and is on staff at Long Island University, Brooklyn, in the music department, and a well-known New York soprano saxophonist ------------- His latest CD release SOPRANOVILLE reveals his studies into prepared soprano (think John Cage and his prepared pianos) thus, Sam will be bringing his horns to play LIVE, always the best way to explain anything --------- We greatly look forward to his return to the KUNM studios (his previous visit to the Thursday jazz show was with Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet on April 7, 2005 w/ Fred Ho(baritone), John O'Gallagher(alto), David Bindman(tenor), Sam(soprano))----When you get a minute, check out Sam's intelligence at his on-line music journal (I'm not overly fond of the term "blog") .Photo of Sam Newsome taken by Salvatore Corso -- July 3, 2o17

12 Comments

  1. Mark,
    Enjoyed this post especially since I have been seriously considering, and trying out several sopranos these last few weeks…gonna get one, but its not as simple as one might think…..charley

  2. Great post. And I loved seeing the picture of you and your brothers.

  3. I’ll stick with the clarinet. Thanks for coming to the show last Thursday.

  4. don’t forget to worship Charlie Haden’s old bass, now for sale at Robertsons for 750,000 buckarooki !

  5. Here’s what Julius Hemphill told me about “Roy Boyé and The Gotham Minstrels”:

    “I’ve been doing this piece; it’s called ‘Roi Boyé and the Gotham Minstrels.’ It consists of prepared tapes and live playing. On the tapes and live I play flute, soprano sax and alto sax. The idea is that, oh, it’s two forty-five minute segments; it served a few purposes. It was a way of approaching the solo context, and I thought this particular treatment kind of would allow me to make use of some other aspects of my work in music. Namely, to have as many instruments, but I limited it to three. That seemed adequate to cover a lot of orchestral ground. So I was able to explore that aspect of the thing.” –Julius Hemphill, March 23, ’77

  6. That’s a great photo of you Mark.
    I like Dick’s poem except for the Leonard Feather crack.

  7. You the man, Mark.

  8. TWO THINGS

    1) That photo of me and my brothers just exudes my fortunate upbringing of a close-knit family of Mom & Dad, uncle (one), grandparents, great aunts (3), and even my great great Grandma Seaman — I was lucky to be raised by such good people, all of the of Ulster-Scot bloodlines (ie. Okies out of the Dustbowl migration into California)

    2) Regarding Dick Barnes ——— Leonard Feather used to have a column that appeared, at least twice a week, in the Los Angeles Times and it was pervasive how much the jazz world of Southern California hated Feather, so that
    sort of leaked into Dick’s poem

  9. I’m a proud hater of Learned Father. The Enemy of the People. Or, all that is wrong with the music biz. On a happier note, I must report that John Carter played soprano, alto, and clarinet in Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orch. West in the eighties. The rest of the reed section was Ernie Watts and myself. But John never soloed on them, they were just for parts. And I was the featured soprano soloist in that outfit.

  10. i am in the proud possession of an unstuck bumper sticker which reads: “Leonard Feather claps on one and three.”

  11. ——————————playlist—————————————
    the cleopatra memorial jazz radio show
    August 10, 2o17
    KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER
    Guests MEG OKUNA & SAM NEWSOME
    1. Sam Newsome “An Afransian Occasion” –2001 cd GLOBAL UNITY w/ Meg Okuna(violin), Sam (soprano saxophone), Kahil Kwame Bell(kalimba), Gilad(gourd), Adam Cruz(caxixi)
    2. Meg Okuna reads Wang Wei poem “Deer Park”
    DEER PARK
    Empty hills, no man in sight —
    Just echoes of the voice of men.
    In the deep wood reflected light
    Shines on the blue-green moss again.
    3. Meg Okuna & her Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble “Echo of Voices” –2o10 cd NAIMA
    4. Lee Konitz w/ Axis String Quartet w/Meg Okuna “Seaul a La Maison”(Satie)–16jan2000 cd PLAY FRENCH IMPRESSIONIST MUSIC FROM THE 20TH CENTURY
    5. Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet “Fishing Song of the South China Sea” — Live on Thursday jazz
    show April 7, 2005: Fred Ho(baritone), John O’Gallagher(alto), David Bindman(tenor), Sam Newsome(soprano)
    6. Sam Newsome Live in-studio solo soprano saxophone “In a Sentimental Mood”(Ellington)
    7. Sam cd SOPRANOVILLE “Giant Steps” 3 overdubbed sopranos — summer 2016
    8. Sam Newsome live in-studio solo “Mysterioso”(Monk)
    9. Meg Okuna “Lu Chai part 4: Green Moss” ibid. cd NAIMA

    *Cleopatra died on this day 33BC Alexandria

  12. —————————–playlist———————————
    Sitting On a Cornflake Waiting for the Band to Come Jazz Radio Show
    KUNM Albuquerque USA
    August 17, 2o17
    Host MARK WEBER
    Guest: poet CLIFTON SNIDER

    1. Organissimo “Taxman” — 2017 trio B3TLES: A SOULFUL TRIBUTE TO THE FAB FOUR
    2. Clifton Snider reads from his new book THE BEATLE BUMP “Liverpool” — p.4
    3. Ron Eschete (guitar) “El-eanor Rigby” –c.2000 featuring Ron Stout (trumpet) on this track
    cd THE BEATLES: Instrumental Jazz Tribute
    4. poem “Let it Be” — p.36
    5. Count Basie Orchestra “Fool on the Hill” –15dec69 — arranged by Bob Florence w/ flute by Bobby Plater
    6. poem “Hunting Beatles” –p.59
    7. Bud Shank “Blue Jay Way” –Nov.1967 w/Chet Baker — Lp MAGICAL MYSTERY (Pacific) arranged & conducted by Bob Florence
    8. Nicki Parrott “Ticket to Ride” cd YESTERDAY ONCE MORE — Feb.2016 w/John DiMartino(piano), Frank Vignola(guitar), Alvin Atkingson(drums, Nicki (vocals & bass), Ken Peplowski(producer)
    9. poem “George” — p.9
    10. Bud Shank & the Sax Section “And I Love Her” –Dec.1966 arranged by Bob Florence w/ 5 saxophones: Bud(alto), Bill Perkins(alto), Bob Cooper(tenor), Bob Hardaway(tenor), Jack Nimitz(baritone), John Lowe(bass sax) + Larry Bunker(drums), Dennis Budimer(guitar), Ray Brown(bass), Bob Florence(piano & conductor)
    11. John Pizzarelli Trio “I’ve Just Seen a Face” — 1998 cd JOHN PIZZARELLI MEETS THE BEATLES
    12. poem — fan letter — p.15
    13. Paul Horn(flute) w/ Oliver Nelson Orchestra “Girl” arranged by Oliver Nelson — 2june1966 Los Angeles (RCA)
    14. poem — fan letter — p.16
    15. Wes Montgomery “I’ll Be Back” — 7may1968 scratchy Lp ROAD SONG (A&M)
    16. Sonny Criss “Eleanor Rigby” –23march67 NYC w/ Eddie Green(piano), Bob Cranshaw(bass), Alan Dawson(drums) cd ROCKIN’ IN RHYTHM (Prestige)
    17. Don Randi & The Music Company (aka The Wrecking Crew) “It’s Only Love” — 1966 Lp RUBBER SOUL JAZZ (Mirwood) w/ John Clauder(drums) Don Randi(piano), Tommy Tedesco(guitar), Gary Coleman(vibes), Putter Smith(bass)
    18. poem “Beatlekarma” — p.67
    19. Sarah Vaughan “You Never Give Me Your Money” –1977 cd SONGS OF THE BEATLES (Atlantic)
    20. poem “The Beatles Record” — p.22
    21. Oliver Nelson(alto) “Michelle” –14apr66
    22. poem “George Practices the Sitar” — p.20
    23. Dave Kikoski(piano) w/ 2 basses: Larry Grenadier & Boris Koslov + drummer Brian Melvin — cd BEATLE JAZZ WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS — 2005

    *all dates refer to the recording sessions

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