“Music that we’re playing now is just the blues of all of
America, all over again, it’s just a different kind of blues. This is the
blues, the real blues, it’s the new blues, and people must listen to this music
because they’ll be hearing it all the time. Because if it’s not me it’ll be
someone else that’s playing it. The majority of the younger musicians I’ve
heard in New York, they’ve begun to play this way because this is the only way
left for musicians to play. All the other ways have been explored, in the time
In jazz’s Big Apple, the 13th annual Vision Festival is well underway at Clemente Soto Velez, a lower East Side community cultural center (the NYT mentions it’s “ventilation challenged), with concerts tonight (Friday the lucky 13th) by saxophonist Sonny Simmons, a ’60s survivor much in the unfettered tradition, AACM trumpet wiseman with a beautiful tone Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quintet (two high energy drummers — Pheeroan ak Laff and Famadou Don Moyé!), solo pianist Connie Crothers, a rarely heard acolyte of Lennie Tristano (comparably iconoclastic as Ayler), and bassist Henry Grimes (who played with Ayler, and whom I profiled in The Wire last April) in quartet with high energy, self-informed East Village reeds player Sabir Mateen.