Thursday, January 30, 2014

The 1% Jazz Invasion or How I Helped to Kill Roy Campbell. Part 2. Guardians of Gates to Nowhere.

One of the more pernicious problems afflicting the core community turns on certification. On the surface this is easily ridiculous and should be. Beyond traditional peer review, most musical idioms outside the purview of formal institutions aren't subject to much of a credentials process involving six figure price tags.

This credential fabrication is a connivance of gate keepers on the 'commerce' side and the educational side. Old media maintained a retinue of credential makers now increasingly bypassed by the ability to just click on a You Tube of the artist in question and decide for your own damned self.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The 1% Jazz Invasion or How I Helped to Kill Roy Campbell. Part 1 Contours of the Problem.

Roy Sinclair Campbell Junior essentially gave his whole life to the music of his home community, the African American community, from his early days as a community college student with a Fletcher Henderson alumnus, Dick Vance.

From there he learned more trumpet craft from Lee Morgan. And so it went across the bright arc of his moments.

Roy was the ultimate musical working stiff and roamed New York to find work in stage and show bands, parade gigs, probably even a fashion show or two, (it's an actual gig description item in the musician's union rate book).

And through all that he kept faith with his world and participated to the greatest degree he could. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Steve Dalachinsky: For Billy Bang

a hero’s welcome 2 / the rainbow gladiator
for Billy Bang

america is unkind to its heroes
few streets with plaques
few obscure country roads renamed
i being ignorant historian
will not even bother to name even one
used to be that things used to be that way
like being in a storm with no clouds to blame it on
sketching perfect stories
flag folded into a neat triangle
      beckon / become these strings
                  that thought: lament
    remaining full / brought toward your chin
             blown away
                   expelled / womb
   emptied out of guts & self

& now American hero you are in someone else’s hands
in a system far far away yet connected always to HERE
& the thirst one feels of apprehension when apparitions appear
the thirst one feels / the thirst one has for comprehension
              the death of metaphor but not of soul

if everything we do is in the past then all our conversations are memories about to happen
& though you are gone your spirit has not even begun to touch down rest & reside here in
the present in the past in the future which is your music & your passion your occupation
                                         & your light
so it would seem then that we have unlimited time in the past which is now to gather
& to speak / to make music & to sing
illuminating – warrior – translator of emotions - to those who knew you – soldier
now M.I.A. – unpredictable big sadness awaits us – big joy from your SOUND
your art a postcard of the world – its beauty – its horror – its tenderness - its ferocity
you had a way of opening up the silences from within – cluttering them with form –
                  taming then unleashing language – twisting it in & out –
      your train of thought never drifting from your purpose - the hardship of battle
                                        & the spaces between things

          you no longer wait to be pulled away – the deities claim you now
welcome home hero – to a new birth every day - the clouds & birds possess you now
     all manner of clouds & birds to praise the great upheaval that your music brings
           bottled the way our dreams are - the way things reach us
                    the way we inhale & exhale the lyrical night

the way the music so sweetly assaults us from so many different directions
     surrounding us with an aura of freedom that seeps into our blood
   beyond ailments / pain &; bones - inside our life - as we grow “older”
                      sometimes weeping for the happy crowd

i could sing all day about the passing storm
tiny explorations of the horizon
the way the wind pronounces its name during the aftermath
limping home at war’s end / this never ending war

so march on / march on
a city is only as good as its music
your music filling the city’s voids & chaos’s
city boy from the country this will always be your home
    & the song that sometimes comes out wrong
               is always right -
so you do it your way
                      & i’ll do it my way
               & this way it becomes a thing. mine. yours.
                         ours. memory’s. time’s.

Bonus clips: