“The Hand of Man – Homage a Alfred Stieglitz” —- photo by Mark Weber —- Wickapogue Beach, Southampton NY July 3, 1995 —- see the Stieglitz shot of same title to see what I’m riffing off of
I’ve been thinking a lot about preservation lately. Not that I perceive that jazz is in any present danger of disappearing, but because of something Horace Tapscott (1934-1999) always stressed: We need to preserve all of this. He was seriously concerned about preservation of the African-American Tradition. Inasmuch as we know change is a constant, preservation of cultural history at least shows that we were here and we did good, and maligned politicos do not get to control the narrative. I looked up preservation in the dictionary: to protect from harm, to protect from damage, to keep safe for the future.
What do we keep and what remains? What becomes legend and what becomes a part of us? What’s so important about this idea of preservation? For example, what came out of Sumeria those thousands of years ago? Priest-kings, a priesthood, WHEAT, and a sort of ritualistic chant that became poetry. All of this is here now, foundational in some regards. I have 19 books on Beowulf. Don’t you think we should be asking our government legislators what books they read? Do they read? In many cases it’s doubtful. Books are so valuable, so incredibly beautiful the magic inside them.
Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra —- June 28, 1981: Horace Tapscott (piano), Clortnee & Linda Hill & JuGeGr (vocals), David Bryant (bass) Louis Spears (cello) Fritz Wise (drums), saxophones: Ufahamu Uweizi, Arthur Wells, Sabir, Dr James “Jimmy” Benson, Gary Bias, Herbert Callies (alto-cl.); Moises Obligacion (conga), Fundi (Fr-horn); and my field notes say Ernie Roberts (bass-clarinet) but is that him on baritone sax? All surrounding the angel Adele Sebastian (flute)—- photo by Mark Weber
Pan African Peoples Arkestra – 1980: David Bryant (bass), Linda Hill (piano), child choir + Adele Sebastian & JeJeGr, Billy Hinton (drums), Aubrey Hart (flute), Sabir Matteen (tenor), Ufahamu Uweizi (alto), Fundi LeGogn (Fr-horn) —- photo by Mark Weber
I didn’t know Fundi LeGogn played flugelhorn! Usually and always he was on French-horn —- Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra 1980 (possibly July 27) —- photo by Mark Weber
Aubrey Hart (flute), Billy Hinton (drums), soprano sax is not known to me, could be James Andrews? Except James was the tenor player that stepped into Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra after the two saxophonists Michael Session and Jesse Sharps signed up for the U.S. Army in March 1979 —- And that’s Ufahamu Uweizi (alto) at I.U.C.C. —- and I’m not too sure what date this is, other than 1980, could be July 27 —- photo by Mark Weber *[Note, this just in: Jesse Sharps says the soprano saxophonist is Kafi Roberts]
Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra —- Fritz Wise (drums), Fundi LeGogn (French horn), Ufahamu Uweizi (alto), Tom Albach (Levi jacket) producer of Nimbus Records —- April 26, 1981 —- photo by MW
Horace Tapscott and Linda Hill and Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra at Immanuel Church of Christ, 85th & Holmes, Los Angeles —- April 26, 1981 —- photo by Mark Weber —- I’ve been listening to a lot of PAPA lately, a pretty strong statement being made there, an indictment against injustice, economic push-down, hatred.
Dwight Trible, current & longtime member of Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra —- In this shot he’s singing Bobby Bradford’s lyrics to “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” at LACMA Los Angeles Country Music of Art with Bobby’s band Tete-a-Tete —- August 14, 2015
Horace Tapscott at Mad Hatter Studios during the Jesse Sharps sessions March 26, 1986 that produced the album SHARPS & FLATS (Nimbus West Records) —- Mad Hatter is Chick Corea’s studio in Silverlake District of L.A. —- photo by Mark Weber —- Preservation includes living examples of honesty, fairness, fair play, lovingkindness, decency, all of which sum up in the quality we know as Integrity
Horace Tapscott and John Outterbridge, the presenter of Watts Towers Jazz Festival every summer —- July 16, 1983 – photo by Mark Weber
Jim Ahrend at Bobby Shew’s Friday session every Friday (except since Covid-thing Lockdown) —- February 28, 2020 —- photo by MW
The master, Bobby Shew at home in his studio —- February 28, 2020 – photo by MW
One of the great scholars of Los Angeles music, Kirk Silsbee, at Bradford LACMA concert August 14, 2015 —- Kirk said that tear in the film (from the lab where I dropped it off for development) it improved it, haha —- photo by MW
Steven Isoardi & Vinny Golia after the Bobby Bradford concert at LACMA August 14, 2015 —- photo by MW —- I just finished reading Steven’s new book THE MUSIC FINDS A WAY (Darktree, 2020) and besides his exact eco-sociological analysis of Los Angeles tells personal stories about growing up in the 50s & 60s in South-Central
The four books of Steven Isoardi: THE DARK TREE (2oo6); THE MUSIC FINDS A WAY(2020); CENTRAL AVENUE SOUNDS (1998); SONGS OF THE UNSUNG – The Musical and Social Journey of Horace Tapscott (2001) —- I recently reread all four and came away even more impressed than the first time I read them (that’s a drumstick Han Bennink tossed away cracked that I had him sign) —- my bookshelf
Recent arrival in Albuquerque —- Matt Whitehurst hard at it transferring reels from the Nimbus West Records vaults —- May 18, 2020 photo by MW —- Coming up real soon is a 3-Lp release of Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra Live at Century City Playhouse 1979 and it’s a doozie —- Matt has many further discoveries from the archives to drop on us, I’ve been over there and my mind is sufficiently blown ———- NOTE: Please don’t support the bootleggers, there’s been some incursions into Nimbus in that vein. The only licensed company to release Nimbus is Pure Pleasure who are doing exact replications of already previously released Nimbus LPs. Nimbus West is still very much active and Matt is taking over direction while Tom Albach is still in the mix, and they’ll be releasing heretofore previously unreleased music from Horace Tapscott and others from his circle.