Lateral Thinking

When did irony creep into the human mind? Did Neanderthal have irony? It occupies the area of consciousness where symbolic language came on board: words, circa 150,000 years ago. I’m a believer that children invented language, and irony is not anything a child’s mind can ascertain. So, part of understanding irony, is that you have to have some years under your belt. It is so much more than the dictionary definition: Saying one thing mockingly to mean another. If it was merely deceptive talk then the language of war could bear investigation, or Mother Goose for that matter. Then you have the psychoanalysts who assert that irony is a form of passive aggression. There is a school of thought in linguistics that believes that words come before meaning (took me years to grasp that one), that the meaning accrued around the utterance. Which is why the meaning within words changes over time. To me, this photo is ironic: The rueful juxtaposition of nature vs the industrial mechanical world, and the sadness thereof. In the old books, certainly the Greeks used irony; and the ancient Chinese used it very subtly, like a quiet breeze; I can’t think of any irony in Anglo-Saxon, certainly none in Beowulf or the northern myths; Aesop the Ethiopian, yes; (For the Greeks irony was more like three-card monte); in India? Is there irony in the Vedas or Upanishads, possibly in the Mahabharata, but nothing in the Dhammapada, Buddha was a straight shooter; Chaucer? O gawd, yes; The Decameron (1350) is an ocean of irony, irony as polite double-talk: Is there irony in the Pentateuch? I’ll have to look. Is irony pejorative? Can it be otherwise? Irony certainly betokens a less innocent time. I shouldn’t think parody is related to irony, that’s a little more overt. Irony hides in the wink and shrug. Nor is it satire or euphemism or burlesque. Irony is shadow, literally. Maybe all existence is irony? Not as a joke, but futile. The existential dilemma. -- Photo by Mark Weber --------- May 1978

When did irony creep into the human psyche? Did Neanderthal have irony? It occupies the area of consciousness where symbolic language came on board: words, circa 150,000 years ago. I’m a believer that children invented language, and irony is not anything a child’s mind can ascertain. So, part of understanding irony, is that you have to have some years under your belt. It is so much more than the dictionary definition: Saying one thing mockingly to mean another. If it was merely deceptive talk then the language of war could bear investigation, or Mother Goose for that matter. Then you have the psychoanalysts who assert that irony is a form of passive aggression. There is a school of thought in linguistics that believes that words come before meaning (took me years to grasp that one), that the meaning accrued around the utterance. Which is why the meaning within words changes over time. To me, this photo is ironic: The rueful juxtaposition of nature vs the industrial mechanical world, and the sadness thereof. In the old books, certainly the Greeks used irony; and the ancient Chinese used it very subtly, like a quiet breeze; I can’t think of any irony in Anglo-Saxon, certainly none in Beowulf or the northern myths; Aesop the Ethiopian, yes; (For the Greeks irony was more like three-card monte); in India? Is there irony in the Vedas or Upanishads, possibly in the Mahabharata, but nothing in the Dhammapada, Buddha was a straight shooter; Chaucer? O gawd, yes; The Decameron (1350) is an ocean of irony, irony as polite double-talk: Is there irony in the Pentateuch? I’ll have to look. Is irony pejorative? Can it be otherwise? Irony certainly betokens a less innocent time. I shouldn’t think parody is related to irony, that’s a little more overt. Irony hides in the wink and shrug. Nor is it satire or euphemism or burlesque. Irony is shadow, literally. Maybe all existence is irony? Not as a joke, but futile. The existential dilemma. — Photo by Mark Weber ——— May 1978

January 24, 2o19 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)

LATERAL THINKING

Come back to it
Some other time
Time being important, or rather:
Timing
Even as everything being in dispute
Time shapes it all, or
seems to, gawd don’t
stumble, like I did this morning
innocently, into “evolutionary
musicology” fat book, to refresh
memory on the origins of music,
Not a lot of agreement in that field,
and a whole lot of specialized jargon
one must decipher and/or disregard
I go outside for a minute and our
kitty cat comes over and rubs my legs
and I say “Are you enjoying this
cultural moment we’re having?” she keeps rubbing
hoping I’ll give her
her 3rd breakfast (not going to happen, I need
delve back into those anthro books)
the brain telescopes associative extrapolation:
. . . cultural moment? are we enjoying it?
Well, one hears talk of “checks and balances”
Isn’t it about time some of those kicked in?
Well, it all comes back to timing I suppose

1984 Albuquerque (Annapurna’s Vegetarian World Cafe at this location these days)

1984 Albuquerque (Annapurna’s Vegetarian World Cafe at this location these days)

Trombonist George McMullen had only recently relocated from LA to NYC when this photo was taken ----- I know him through our mutual friend Bill Plake (saxophonist) and Carol Liebowitz had run into him somewhere in town and invited him to Connie’s jam session ---- I introduced them and CC asked if George wanted to play something together ---- Studio 410 at 475 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn ---- November 16, 2o14 ---- Connie had told me how she so loves trombones and how infrequently she gets to play with them

Trombonist George McMullen had only recently relocated from LA to NYC when this photo was taken —– I know him through our mutual friend Bill Plake (saxophonist) and Carol Liebowitz had run into him somewhere in town and invited him to Connie’s jam session —- I introduced them and CC asked if George wanted to play something together —- Studio 410 at 475 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn —- November 16, 2o14 —- Connie had told me how she so loves trombones and how infrequently she gets to play with them.

Alison Miller – October 9, 2o14 ---- photo by Mark Weber

Alison Miller – October 9, 2o14 —- photo by Mark Weber

Nick Lyons & Birgitta Flick ---- November 16, 2o14 at Connie Crothers studio in Williamsburg NY – photo by Mark Weber

Nick Lyons & Birgitta Flick —- November 16, 2o14 at Connie Crothers studio in Williamsburg NY – photo by Mark Weber

Biggi Vinkeloe’s Desert Sweets Trio in Albuquerque – March 14, 2o13 – Biggi(alto & flute), Mark Weaver(tuba), Damon Smith(bass) – photo by Mark Weber ---- Biggi is what you’d call peripatetic, from what I gather off the web she doesn’t stay put very long, born in Germany, she’s consider’d a “Swedish musician,” but lived long years in France, and thereafter is anybody’s guess, having been spotted in Oakland, California, quite often, but also, Gothenburg (w/ violinist Nema Vinkeloe, daughter?), Stockholm, London, Rome, Copenhagen, Berlin, South Florida, Bangalore, Cologne, NYC, and FaceBook --- She’s an improvisor & composer

Biggi Vinkeloe’s Desert Sweets Trio in Albuquerque – March 14, 2o13 – Biggi(alto & flute), Mark Weaver(tuba), Damon Smith(bass) – photo by Mark Weber —- Biggi is what you’d call peripatetic, from what I gather off the web she doesn’t stay put very long, born in Germany, she’s consider’d a “Swedish musician,” but lived long years in France, and thereafter is anybody’s guess, having been spotted in Oakland, California, quite often, but also, Gothenburg (w/ violinist Nema Vinkeloe, daughter?), Stockholm, London, Rome, Copenhagen, Berlin, South Florida, Bangalore, Cologne, NYC, and FaceBook — She’s an improvisor & composer

Eva Lindal – May 29, 2o16 Stockholm – photo by Mark Weber

Eva Lindal – May 29, 2o16 Stockholm – photo by Mark Weber

Two Violins for Eva Lindal ------------------- line drawing my Mark Weber

Two Violins for Eva Lindal ——————- Line drawing my Mark Weber

Half of World Saxophone Quartet – David Murray and Julius Hemphill AND those crazy chicken wire music stands that Julius had made that afternoon before the concert on a double-bill with Vinny Golia Trio at U.C. Irvine – January 20, 1980 – photo by Mark Weber

Half of World Saxophone Quartet – David Murray and Julius Hemphill AND those crazy chicken wire music stands that Julius had made that afternoon before the concert on a double-bill with Vinny Golia Trio at U.C. Irvine – January 20, 1980 – photo by Mark Weber

Babatundi Olatunji at Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival – September 23, 1984 – photo by Mark Weber

Babatundi Olatunji at Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival – September 23, 1984 – photo by Mark Weber

Karen Borca ---- November 13, 2016 at Connie Crothers Memorial Concert at Roulette ---- photo by Mark Weber

Karen Borca —- November 13, 2016 at Connie Crothers Memorial Concert at Roulette —- photo by Mark Weber

Kazzrie Jaxen -------------- November 13, 2o16 at Roulette, Brooklyn – photo by Mark Weber

Kazzrie Jaxen ————– November 13, 2o16 at Roulette, Brooklyn – photo by Mark Weber

Did I already tell this story? Sitting backstage with Big Mama Thornton at San Francisco Blues Festival in the hour before she went on ---- I’m hanging out drinking beer from a can, the trick to taking photographs is not to be a pest, just be cool, there’s artists & stage hands milling about ----- So, I’m in back there behind the bandshell in Golden Gate Park and Big Mama is sitting in a folding chair with an over-sized suit coat, she’s very skinny by this time, she lives across the Bay in Oakland, it’s a typical summer day in San Francisco, not cold but not warm either ---- Next thing I know, Big Mama is pointing to me and motioning for me to come over to her, it was something of a command, I walk over and she pats the chair beside her and wants me to sit down, I sit there and she is content with that, I don’t remember her actually saying sit with me, but that was the message and I totally understood, I grew up among stoic people, and I realized she probably just didn’t want to be alone, and she didn’t feel like talking, only the comfort of abiding ---- If I took photos of her while we sat there, which I kind of doubt, they must be at my UCLA archive ----- I sometimes wonder if she could see my ghost, that she recognized, subliminally, we shared a similar fatal thirst ------ Photo by Mark Weber ---- Saturday, August 11, 1979 ---- Big Mama Thornton with Mark Naftalin on piano

Did I already tell this story? Sitting backstage with Big Mama Thornton at San Francisco Blues Festival in the hour before she went on —- I’m hanging out drinking beer from a can, the trick to taking photographs is not to be a pest, just be cool, there’s artists & stage hands milling about —– So, I’m in back there behind the bandshell in Golden Gate Park and Big Mama is sitting in a folding chair with an over-sized suit coat, she’s very skinny by this time, she lives across the Bay in Oakland, it’s a typical summer day in San Francisco, not cold but not warm either —- Next thing I know, Big Mama is pointing to me and motioning for me to come over to her, it was something of a command, I walk over and she pats the chair beside her and wants me to sit down, I sit there and she is content with that, I don’t remember her actually saying sit with me, but that was the message and I totally understood, I grew up among stoic people, and I realized she probably just didn’t want to be alone, and she didn’t feel like talking, only the comfort of abiding —- If I took photos of her while we sat there, which I kind of doubt, they must be at my UCLA archive —– I sometimes wonder if she could see my ghost, that she recognized, subliminally, we shared a similar fatal thirst —— Photo by Mark Weber —- Saturday, August 11, 1979 —- Big Mama Thornton with Mark Naftalin on piano.

You couldn’t separate these two: That’s my little brother Brian Weber and John Carter (Brian is actually bigger than me but is 4 years younger and therefore when he was much younger and smaller I always called him my “little brother”) ---- John is the renowned clarinet master, and Porsche aficionado (he was a regular listener to KPFK’s Saturday afternoon Car show), and my little brother was his mechanic ----- John’s main car was his beloved 1963 yellow Porsche 911 (where is it now?) which he had for years, then he added to that a 914 but it was a lemon and that’s when he found out Brian could fix anything, he’d leave it with Brian on a Saturday and Brian would fix it and then take his dates out that week (John was cool with that, and always laughed, what better way to have your mechanic get the bugs out than drive your car around) ---- I’d bring Brian along to concerts and he and John would talk mechanics ---- September 23, 1984 Watts Towers – photo by Mark Weber

You couldn’t separate these two: That’s my little brother Brian Weber and John Carter (Brian is actually bigger than me but is 4 years younger and therefore when he was much younger and smaller I always called him my “little brother”) —- John is the renowned clarinet master, and Porsche aficionado (he was a regular listener to KPFK’s Saturday afternoon Car show), and my little brother was his mechanic —– John’s main car was his beloved 1963 yellow Porsche 911 (where is it now?) which he had for years, then he added to that a 914 but it was a lemon and that’s when he found out Brian could fix anything, he’d leave it with Brian on a Saturday and Brian would fix it and then take his dates out that week (John was cool with that, and always laughed, what better way to have your mechanic get the bugs out than drive your car around) —- I’d bring Brian along to concerts and he and John would talk mechanics —- September 23, 1984 Watts Towers – photo by Mark Weber

Rest in Peace JOSEPH JARMAN

Rest in Peace JOSEPH JARMAN

11 Comments

  1. Thank you, Mark, very valuable insight! I think people who froze at the infantile stage of mind and are in fact overgrown 5-year-olds, are not perceptive of irony and even fear it. And many psychoanalysts are in that group, therefore they say that irony is a form of passive aggression (confusing it with sarcasm). Another funny observation is that people whose words come before meaning, have invented the theory that words existed before meaning!

  2. Thanks for including me in your jazz reporting my friend. Love and best …. I am on tour in Calif now with Cam. Sheila

  3. PS—————————the handbill of Sheila at EJ’s did in fact happen ————— I found it taped to the outside of an album in the KUNM Library so it was probably part of the promotion for the concert ———–Then, after it was over some boy scout decided to put an X through it.

  4. Sheila’s too much , and has always been !

    So _ _ thanks for this . mb

  5. I like your study of words and language. Lateral thinking – irony – timing – Mark’s poetry – I dig it all! Musicology could be irony…..or bullshit….
    Love your line drawings and photos and Sheilaness.
    Maybe Big Mama didn’t want you to be alone……but either way I think you’re right…your shared affinity resided there.

  6. Wow – John and your brother! John cut such a dashing figure, didn’t he? Dang… And boy do I remember Julius making those chicken wire stands! I miss him. What an astonishing human.
    XO
    N

  7. ——————————-playlist—————————————–
    The Computational Sciences Jazz Radio Show
    January 24, 2o19 ————-KUNM
    Host MARK WEBER
    1. Art Ensemble of Chicago “Dreaming of the Master” – 1979 Lp NICE GUYS (ECM)
    2. Charles Earland Sextet “Blues for Rudy” Lp INFANT EYES (Muse) –1978 w/ Bill Hardman(trpt), Frank Wess(tenor), Charles(Hammond B3), Jimmy Ponder(guitar), Grady Tate(drums), Lawrence Killian(percussion), Mack Goldsbury(2nd tenor, wrapping up the track)
    3. Jimmy Forrest Quartet “I Cried for You” mean & potatoes jazz w/ Jimmy(tenor), Clarence Johnston(drums), Tommy Potter(bass), Joe Zawinul(piano) – 18apr61 album OUT OF THE FORREST
    4. Henry Franklin Trio “Limehouse Blues” –8sept2o14 w/ Cecilia Coleman(piano), Henry(bass), Benn Clatworth(tenor) cd TWO VIEWS (SP Records)
    5. John Coltrane & Duke Ellington – 1962 “Big Nick” w/ Elvin Jones & Jimmy Garrison (Impulse!)
    6. Jack Wilson Trio “Margo’s Theme” w/ John Heard(bass); Jack on both Fender Rhodes & grand piano simultaneously; Joey Baron(drums)—1979
    7. Jack Wilson Quartet new cd JAZZ FROM THE PENTHOUSE in Seattle, 1966 “Harbor Freeway 5am” w/ Roy Ayers(vibes), Buddy Woodson(bass), Von Barlow(drums)
    8. Jack Wilson Trio “He That Murmureth” Jack on both keyboards as previous; Allen Jackson(bass); Clarence Johnston(drums)
    9. Sal Salvador – Eddie Costa Quartet “Yesterdays” w/ Joe Morello(d), Kenny O’Brien(b), Sal(guitar), Costa(vibes)—21july54
    10. Nat Pierce Nonet “Drop the other shoe” —28aug50 w/ Dick Collins(trpt), Dick Hafer(tenor), Jerry Coker(tenor), Jack Nimitz(bari), Nat(piano), Red Kelly(bass), etc
    11. Mark Dresser – Vladimir Tarasov – Larry Ochs trio “A Fist Full of Jones” –24may2o16 Lp JONES JONES (NoBusiness Records) bass, drumset, tenor

  8. ————————————-playlist——————————
    January 31, 2o19 ——- KUNM Albuquerque
    Host MARK WEBER
    1. Eric Dolphy & Richard Davis, bass-clarinet & contrabass duet “Alone Together” –1july63 cd MUSICAL PROPHET (Resonance)
    2. Nels Cline “Beautiful Love” cd LOVERS (Blue Note) large modernist ensemble arranged & conducted by Michael Leonhart –2013
    3. Oliver Nelson Quintet album STRAIGHT AHEAD w/ Oliver & Eric Dolphy opening on Bb clarinet & bass-clarinet, then Eric solo on bass clarinet and Oliver solo on tenor saxophone w/ Richard Wyands(piano), George Duvivier(bass), Roy Haynes(drums) –1march61 box set COMPLETE PRESTIGE RECORDINGS of ERIC DOLPHY
    4. Curtis Counce Quintet “Nica’s Dream”(Horace Silver) w/ Counce(bass), Frank Butler(drums), Jack Sheldon(trpt), Carl Perkins(piano), Harold Land(tenor) ———- COMPLETE STUDIO RECORDINGS (Contemporary/Gambit) —–29aug57 LA
    5. Jim Hall Trio “Tangerine” —-Jan.1957 LA w/ Carl Perkins(piano), Jim(guitar), Red Mitchell(bass) cd JAZZ GUITAR (Gambit)
    6. Nels Cline 4 “Temporarily”(Carla Bley) —- May 2017 cd CURRENTS, CONSTELLATIONS (Blue Note) w/ Scott Colley(bass), Nels(guitar), Tom Rainey(drums), Julian Lage(guitar)
    7. Horace Tapscott solo piano “Nica’s Dream” 22sept82 Vol.11 TAPSCOTT SESSIONS (Nimbus West)
    8. Kevin Norton Ensemble “Hammer or Anvil” —-1997 cd KNOTS (Music & Arts)
    9. Chico Hamilton Quintet “Miss Movement”(Dolphy) —- Feb.1959 cd THREE FACES OF CHICO w/ Eric Dolphy(alto), Dennis Budimer(guitar), Wyatt Ruther(bass), Nathan Gershman(cello), Chico(drums)
    10. Eric Dolphy “Blues in 6/8” –19aug60 box set COMPLETE PRESTIGE RECORDINGS
    11. Tony Scott Septet “Glad to Be Unhappy” —1956 w/Jimmy Nottingham(trpt), Billy Byers(trombone), Tony(clarinet), Eddie Wasserman(tenor), Danny Bank(bari), Osie Johnson(drums), Milt Hinton(bass) —-cd FINGERPOPPIN’(Fresh Sound)

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