David Moss’ kit — February 19, 1999 Outpost, Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber
The Thursday Jazz Radio Show
March 1, 2o18 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)
GROWING UP AVANT-GARDE
In my mind the central figureheads of the 1960 New Thing advance guard avant-garde were Ornette, Cecil, Albert Ayler, Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Dolphy. I was way into that scene. The first Ornette album I owned was THE EMPTY FOXHOLE. That tells you everything you need to know about me: I’m in high school and I’m listening to probably the whackiest record Ornette ever made. I found it in the used bin at Aron’s Records (on Melrose near Fairfax)(in L.A.)(I have to write about Manny Aron someday, he pointed me toward a lot of great music when I was a kid, every time I see my Honegger Pacific 231 I think of him, among others). Anyway, at the time I was into Capt Beefheart, so EMPTY FOXHOLE was not a complete left turn, and of course Zappa. And those long free-form jams of the Grateful Dead. It wasn’t long after that I started in on the ESP catalog —- Manny would special order them for me. They’re such austere records, they sound like cold-water flats in Greenwich Village, these ESP records were never warmed up with reverb, they are the cold hard truth of uncompromising modernists that I aspired to. Everything I knew about New York was gleaned from Jackson Pollock and the abstract expressionists, and Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, WSBurroughs and the Beatnik scene, and all the MacDougal Street folkies like Joan Baez (who I was in love with), when Maynard G Krebs on TV took his date out to listen to the train go by under the moon I totally related to that. Here was Hollywood poking fun and minimizing the Beatnik worldview but it backfired on me, I either missed their mockery, or didn’t care: Take your girl (Joan) out to listen to trains sounded like IT, baby!
Anyway, I’m getting off track here. Where were we? The avant-garde, and my first goatee, beret, and shades, baby. No wonder the cops pulled me over all the time in my turquoise tie-dyed-curtain VW bus.
Jazz is a continuum. And as scholar Bill Shoemaker points out in his new book, the free jazz movement had it’s immediate predecessors in four ground-breaking albums of 1958: 1) Sonny Rollins THE FREEDOM SUITE 2) Max Roach WE INSIST! FREEDOM NOW 3) Ornette’s first album SOMETHING NEW!!! 4) Randy Weston’s UHURU AFRICA —- toss in some Mingus, and that’s the general picture of the times, We’ll explore some little bit of that on today’s radio show.
The Untempered Trio — April 1, 1993 at Outpost Performance Space (the old Morningside location) —- Warren Smith (vibes & percussion) and Bill Cole (double-reeds & flutes) — photo by Mark Weber —- I have procrastinated so long to interview Warren Smith over his work with Max Roach’s M’Boom (I ran into him at Roulette at Connie Crothers Memorial Nov. 13, 2o16 and he agreed to an interview on my radio show but with one thing and another I have dragged along)
Two of my favorite people I haven’t seen in a long time — poet Cheryl CAT Townsend and impresario Suzanne Degaetano at her bookstore Mac’s Backs in Coventry, Cleveland, Ohio — November 13, 1994 — photo by Mark Weber —- Cheryl was the publisher/editor of IMPETUS literary magazine all through the 1980s and 90s
Don Alias & Oscar Brashear — June 16, 1984 Playboy Jazz Festival — photo by Mark Weber —- Don Alias worked on Joni Mitchell albums 1977-1980 including MINGUS, as well as Miles BITCHES BREW, as well as Jeremy Steig, Tony Williams Lifetime, Airto, Chick, and 351 recording sessions listed at Tom Lord Discography
Alan Lechusza, Anthony Braxton, Chris Jonas — three saxophonists — during Anthony’s Composer Residency at University of New Mexico — April 2, 2003 — photo by Mark Weber
George Cables and Sonny Fortune in Albuquerque outside the Farmer’s Market on Coal — I was driving them around on their day off on tour with Frank Morgan — March 24, 2003 — photo by Mark Weber — George Cables needs your help
Two saxophonists: Richie Cole and Stan Getz, never the twain shall meet — Hollywood Bowl — June 20, 1981 — photo and line drawing by Mark Weber
George Cables needs our help — That’s George with Janet Simon and Bobby Shew — (George only knows me as Dr Simon’s husband, she’s a podiatrist and has advised George for years regarding his feet) — October 4, 2o14 at the Outpost show for The Cookers — photo by Mark Weber —- For details see > https://www.gofundme.com/team-george-cables —- both Janet and Bobby have already donated
Linda’s giving me that look like she’s either going to kick my ass, or hug me. She was special. And L.A. is a tough town, I wish she could have conquered her demons, but it didn’t work out that way. I had bugged out and was living in Cleveland when I got word that she had passed. There’s a lot of sadness in this world. Even though we were friends (she was always after me to do a session together: piano & poetry) I wish I knew more about her. Where did she learn to play piano like that? Was L.A. her home town? Earliest story I know about her was how Horace met her — She was a nurse in the hospital (early 60s) where he was recovering from I forgot what and one day he opened his eyes and there was this beautiful nurse towering over him. Photo from April 25, 1980 — Everett Brown Jr and Linda Hill at United Western Studios, Hollywood, recording her one and only album under her own name —- photo by Mark Weber
Etta James singing her salvation at Johnny Otis’ church Sunday morning — October 14, 1981 — photo Mark Weber
Every jazz historian needs make pilgrimage to New Orleans. First time I went was Spring 1978 and I stayed six weeks and slept in flops and roominghouses ($2.50/night! I still have receipts). Summer of 1982 was my only other visit and I was a little more flush this 2-week trip, also, my brother Craig was working as a roustabout on the oil derricks in the Gulf so I had a place to stay. One night I took a cab to see the legendary James Black —- I get in the cab and tell the (white) cabbie my destination —- He pauses, then turns around and says: Are you sure? He figures me for an out-of-towner — I say: Yup, shore am —- He says: You’re not exactly the right color to be in that ward (he’s tipping a fellow member of the white race) —- I say: It’s cool —- He says: It’s your funeral —- We arrive at the address, which is a converted wood frame house in a residential neighborhood: Alice’s Keyhole Lounge (2214 S. Clairborne) —- Cabbie turns around and says: Okay, I’m going to tell you one more time, I wouldn’t go in there if I were you —- I reassure him that the white race is not imperiled and pay him —- I grew up in scrappy Cucamonga (Okies are crazy) and spent my weekends in the blues bars of Watts, “Dicey” was my middle name —- And just as I knew it would be: All was happy-to-see-you handshakes and come-right-in (after Alice checked me out through the keyhole). One of the truisms of us music nuts is we’re a small club, color is secondary. Ears and a brain are the only requirement for membership. James Black (drums), Mary Bonnett (vocal), Warren Bell Sr.(alto), David Torkanowsky (subbing for Eddie Collins on piano), Rusty Gilder (bass) — July 3, 1982 photo by Mark Weber
An enlarged version of this photo hung for years in Dwain’s bookstore The Magic Door in Upland, California —- that’s Art Pepper and Dwain Kaiser (who I spoke about in my previous JFM posting) at Donte’s, North Hollywood — January 16, 1982 — photo by Mark Weber
Jay McShann visits Los Angeles! and brings Claude Fiddler Williams(violin) and Paul Gunther(drums) from Kansas City, and they pick up Angelinos Larry Gales(bass) and Eddie Cleanhead Vinson(alto) — September 23, 1980 — Parisian Room — photo by Mark Weber
Vinny Golia & Bobby Bradford — March 30, 2o17 Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber
Han Bennink — March 23, 2006 — (those are the Outpost Performance Space drums — I don’t think Han ever travels with a drumset? doesn’t he just grab whatever’s laying around?) — photo by Mark Weber at soundcheck
Bill Shoemaker’s latest book JAZZ IN THE 1970s: Diverging Streams (Rowman & Littlefield, 2o18) is a monumental contribution to scholarship — The 1970s needs be articulated by those of us that lived it, before it all fades away —- photo of Bill at Studio 725, Albuquerque — April 20, 2o13 — line drawing & photo by Mark Weber —- We will speak with him this day over the telephone, always interesting perspectives and insights, he is the editor of the on-line journal Point of Departure and has published widely over the years on jazz —- It is important that public radio give voice to these “divergent” endeavors, a sorting through all the ideas, covering an already unpopular art form (jazz) and an even more tendentious variety of the art form (free jazz). A lot of times you can’t see the forest for the trees, which is why a book like this is so valuable, Bill Shoemaker takes the time to outline the evolution of the what became free jazz that found its flowering in the 1970s —- He’s astute enough to ground it all in the gestalt of the times, the socio-economic temper, and the concepts of what is art. He situates the early beginnings in the late 1950s with the Freedom civil rights movement, which sort of explains why I always thought the music had leanings more toward politics than it did music. In the 1950s I was still on my pogo stick so a lot of this was only felt later, rather than lived, as I did in the 1970s (I wrote for the avant jazz magazine CODA). I’ll have to give him a good-natured hard time why he follows in the footsteps of Gary Giddins fat book VISIONS OF JAZZ: THE FIRST CENTURY(1998) and never mentions Connie Crothers. (The truth about Connie and her work will survive.)