Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Confessions: The Ballade of Linda Sharrock

By Eric Zinman.
First published in FEMEFICATIO UK in 2012.
(originally edited by Kamaria Muntu and Malkia Charlee Martin)

Linda Sharrock is sitting today in a wheelchair after having suffered a stroke. She is disabled from motion and words literally, without action, flabbergasted. She, however, is still on a mission. An eloquent, artistic, and authentic musician who began her career in partnership with jazz guitarist and husband Sonny Sharrock

Her impressive vocals on the album Black Woman produced by Herbie Mann on Atlantic Sub Vortex and released in 1969, heralded the arrival of a cutting edge talent to be reckoned with. She now finds herself embroiled in a complex domestic drama. 

In a fight for her own autonomy, property and the financial wherewithal to heal properly. But even in this tragic complexity which must be sorted if she is to survive. She is yet determined to work, to tour – to reclaim the artist in herself and her place in the world of avant-garde jazz.

Linda and Sonny Sharrock, 1970s
Linda and Sonny Sharrock, 1970s

“America always made it a point to keep the creative arts low down” was a 
phrase I heard during the 60’s ... But I never had a precise idea what the 
expression low down might actually represent until I learned more about it – 
witnessing closely the infamous fate of Linda Sharrock and her literal human, 
physical and artistic destruction ... Now I know.” (Mario Rechtern, musician 
and Linda’s caregiver).

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Once we had Liberace or the Jarrett problem.

Mr Jarrett stomping off from another concert.

"Liberace was old world, and so had to be able to play, or he'd be digging potatoes.He also had a very hip sense of design and style.  

Does Vijay Ayer have as many rings, robes or mirrors? I never spent all that much time listening to Jarrett...wasn't he on Windham Hill?"

The gracious, genial and Great Liberace showing how it's done. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vision Festival 19

After a tumultuous year Vision Festival seeks to imagine a world without Roy Campbell and Amiri Baraka.  

Arts for Art Presents
Studies In Freedom

Wednesday June 11 thru Sunday June 15, 2014
At Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Honoring Legacy of Amiri Baraka

Since the first Vision Festival, in 1996, Amiri Baraka has been an important presence at Vision. For many of the other artists and audiences who have participated each year, Baraka has been an inspiration. For the last five years Baraka helped organize the panel discussions.  This year, we not only wish to pay tribute to him by acknowledging his importance, but we also are looking to him for inspiration to continue the struggle and not become complacent.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11 Celebrating LifeTime of Achievement Charles Gayle

7:00 Charles Gayle Trio + Dance
Daniel Carter – reeds, Miriam Parker – dance + Guest
Charles Gayle – bass & piano, Michael T.A. Thompson – drums

8:15 Charles Gayle Quartet
Charles Gayle – tenor, Dave Burrell – piano
William Parker – bass, Michael Wimberly – drums

9:15 Quincy Troupe reading from the work of Amiri Baraka + his own poetry

9:45 Charles Gayle & the Vision Artist Orchestra
Charles Gayle – piano, conduction
Kidd Jordan, Hamiet Bluiett, Ingrid Laubrock – sax
Ted Daniel – trumpet, Steve Swell ­– trombone 
Jason Kao Hwang, Mazz Swift – violin, viola
Nioka Workman – cello, Shayna Dulberger – bass
Andrew Cyrille – drums

THURSDAY, JUNE 12   Celebrating musicWitness® Jeff Schlanger

6:30                  CHILE•NEW YORK•AfghanIRAQ by Michael Lucio Sternbach
                           FILM the work of Jeff Schlanger Music by William Parker & Roy Campbell

7:00                  Steve Dalachinsky reading from the work of Amiri Baraka + his own poetry

7:15                  Wimberly’s Harlem Ensemble ‘Signs & Rituals’                           Michael Wimberly – drums, percussion, Antoine Roney – tenor & soprano saxophone
                           Larry Roland – bass, Nioka Workman – cello
                           Dyane Harvey-Salaam, Soulemayne Bodolo – dance, choreography

8:15                  Mary Halvorson + Susan Alcorn
                           Mary Halvorson – electric guitar, Susan Alcorn – pedal steel guitar

9:15                  Cardinal Points
                           Ned Rothenberg – alto, clarinets, shakuhachi, Gamin – piri, taepyeongso                           Samita Sinha – vocals, performance, Satoshi Takeishi – percussion

10:15                Peter Br√∂tzmann + Hamid Drake + William Parker                           Peter Br√∂tzmann – reeds, Hamid Drake – drums, percussion, William Parker – bass

FRIDAY, JUNE 13   FROM SPIRIT TO SPIRIT – honoring Roy Campbell

4:30                  Panel: The Legacy of Amiri Baraka: Art in Action: Part 1
                          Cultural Identity / Self Empowerment / the role of Free Jazz
                           A retrospective in the First Person Moderator: Mike Burke Democracy Now                           Panelists : Oliver Lake, William Parker, Jason Kao Hwang, Mazz Swift,                           DD Jackson, Fred Moten

7:00                  Whit Dickey Quartet
                           Whit Dickey – drums, Mat Maneri – viola, Michael Bisio – bass, Rob Brown – alto

8:00                   Ramya Ramana Poet – reading her own work and that of Amiri Baraka

8:15                   Women with an Axe to Grind
                           Kris Davis – piano, Shayna Dulberger – bass
                           Mazz Swift – violin, Patricia Nicholson – dance, words, rhythm

9:15                   Jemeel Moondoc Quintet                           Jemeel Moondoc – alto saxophone
                           Steve Swell – trombone, Nathan Breedlove – trumpet
                           Hill Green – bass,  Newman Taylor Baker – drums

10:15                 James “Blood” Ulmer Music Revelation Ensemble revisited                           James “Blood” Ulmer – electric guitar
                           Calvin “The Truth” Jones – bass , Cornell Rochester – drums

SATURDAY, JUNE 14   A FUTURE OF VISION (Honoring the Next Generation)

12:30               Forum on : The legacy of Improvised Music
                          Dave Sewelson, Connie Crothers, T.A. Thompson, Lisa Sokolov, William Parker

2/ 4pm             Music Is Mine Music Program
3:45                  All students (70 musicians) under direction of Jason Kao Hwang + guests 

4:30                   Panel– The Legacy of Amiri Baraka: Art in Action Part 2
                           Part 2 - Decolonizing the Music: The conversation continues: 
           Moderator: Basir Mchawi                           Panelists: William Parker, Juma Sultan, Ahmed Abdullah, Brent Hayes Edwards,
                           Hamid Drake, Fred Moten

7:00                   Satoko Fujii New Trio +1                            Satoko Fujii – piano, Todd Nicholson – bass
                           Yoshi Shutto – drums, Kappa Maki – trumpet

8:00                   David Mills Poet – reading the work of Amiri Baraka + his own poems

8:15                   Matthew Shipp Trio                            Matthew Shipp – piano, Michael Bisio – bass, Whit Dickey – drums

9:15                   TarBaby                           Nasheet Waits – drums, Eric Revis – bass, Orrin Evans – piano

10:15                Sonic Projections                           Nicole Mitchell – flutes, David Boykin – tenor saxophone
                           Craig Taborn – piano,  Chad Taylor – drums

SUNDAY, JUNE 15  FREEDOM IS HARD WON (Honoring Amiri Baraka)

2:00                   Panel Discussion on The Legacy of Amiri Baraka: Art in Action
                           Part 3 – The Legacy of Art in Social Action – creating our Future
                           Naima Penniman, Daro Behroozi, Hamid Drake, Dave Burrell,                           Luke Stewart, Patricia Nicholson

5:00                   Angelica Sanchez + Omar Tamez                           Angelica Sanchez – piano, Omar Tamez – electric guitar

6:00                   Fay Victor + Tyshawn Sorey                           Fay Victor – voice, Tyshawn Sorey – drums, percussion, found instruments

7:00                   Jordan + Burrell + Parker + Drake                           Kidd Jordan – tenor saxophone, Dave Burrell – piano
                           William Parker – bass, Hamid Drake – drums, percussion

8:00                  Poet David Henderson reading the work of Amiri Baraka + his own poetry

8:20                    TIMES THREE                            Connie Crothers – piano, Henry Grimes – bass, violin, Melvin Gibbs – electric bass

9:30                   Roy Campbell Tribute Band led by Sabir Mateen                           Sabir Mateen – reeds, conduction, Rob Brown – alto saxophone
                           Daniel Carter – reeds, trumpet, Dennis Gonzalez – horns
                           Andrew Bemkey – piano, William Parker – bass
                           Hamid Drake – drums

WHEN                   Wednesday, June 11 thru Sunday, June 15, 2014
WHAT                   3 Panels Honoring The Legacy of Amiri Baraka June 13, 14, 15
     Each Night a poet will read from the words of the Great Amiri Baraka
     6/11 Quincy Troupe, 6/12 Steve Dalachinsky, 6/13 Ramya Ramana,
     6/14 David Mills, 6/15 David Henderson
WHERE:        ROULETTE, (509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)
TICKETS:           Daily Admission:  $30 per day / $20 students & seniors
                 5-day pass: $140 / VIP Pass $270
                 At the door or online vf19.bpt.me
INFO:                      Email info@artsforart.org / Call (212) 254-5420
URL:                  http://artsforart.org/event/vf19/schedule

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Open Letter to Howard Mandel or William Parker Has Had It With Hacks.

"An open letter to Howard Mandel.

"My first response upon hearing that you requested a press pass to write something about the evolving series was, No way. I said, make Howard pay, because I know what he writes is going to be more detrimental than helpful. Then I said good or bad, it is publicity for the series and the musicians. Lo and behold the review come out and it is, as usual, a display of marginalizing the music, the musicians and the taking stabs at the non-profit producer, Arts For Art. This article showed me that you are still a chop shop groupie who kisses the ass of those you think are important, and you associate with them to further your career and bask in Their glory. For those who can't or choose not to support your dream of self importance, you dismiss.

But as Sunny Murray says “The conquest has been Coned but not Won”. It is 2014. I would have thought by now you would have clue about how improvisational music works. Then again, some people live and grow and some people walk around with their head up their own ass.

There is so much more in the phrase, “play what you feel” then you will ever understand. It takes years and years of practice to develop a sound and language on one’s instrument, training oneself how to improvise and how to compose on the bandstand. Do you know what makes Daniel Carter special? Or why is Rob Brown called the epic poet of the alto saxophone? What are their innovations? Howard, your article showed your ignorance, sublime stupidity, and that big chip you have on your shoulder against Art For Art. It is obvious that you don’t understand or get the music you heard.

You have boosted over the years that you have helped us and helped the music. All I can say is you are definitely delusional. With help like yours the music would have died long ago. It is the musicians and music that sustains the music, not your lame writing, or periodic radio broadcasts from the past. Your efforts have always been blatantly self-serving. I have spoken with many well-known Musicians about you and the conclusion I get is they have no respect for you. The musicians from Chicago think you’re a clown. The St. Louis musicians think you’re a creep. The general consensus is that I shouldn’t even bother responding to anything that you have written.

I read your book on Cecil Taylor/ Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis/ the book was horrendous and uninformed unless it was supposed to be a form of science fiction comedic writing.

I want you to know that if you ever get assigned by any magazine to write about the Vision festival or any concert that is produced by Arts For Art. You will not be welcomed. You are banned from entering any event. And, if you see me at a social event, please stay away from me. Don’t write about me, or talk to me, or nominate me for your ridiculous jazz journalist award.

You don’t like what we do and we certainly don’t like what you do. you are blind, unable to see the darkness or the light.

I will be sharing this email with the public just as you shared your review ."

William Parker.

Good old William. The  Pudgy Dunce has been insufferable, glib and useless forever.

Astuteness from Stanley Zappa follows.

"The thing about this particular argument is that it is never accompanied by a solution, or even a direction in which the final solution to all the "problems" of this music can be found.  Is it to be found in written lines, well rehearsed, shoulder pads in the yellow jackets (jack-its)?  What does Howard like to listen to?"

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.