Jazz beyond Jazz: July 2010 Archives

The Siena Jazz Workshop has me present my book Miles Ornette Cecil - Jazz Beyond Jazz (buy it for your Kindle!) Sunday, July 25 at 10 am (yes, in Siena, Italy). Can you suggest unmissable music in Tuscany (or Vetirbo through July 31?siena square.jpeg

July 21, 2010 1:48 PM | | Comments (1)
Hot weather, cool venues through July 30 is theme of my latest City Arts column. Yes, many headliners are on summer European tour, but those who remain reward a hearing . . 
July 18, 2010 9:30 AM | | Comments (0)
Tuli Kupferberg, the wispy hipster comic social critic of ol' boho downtown NYC who died at age 86 on Monday, will be buried with a public service Saturday 7/17 at St. Mark's Church in the East Village. According to his family, "There will be no religious element . . Fugs Coby Batty, Steve Taylor and Ed Sanders will be the main speakers, after which anyone who cants can talk, sing, recite poetry, or whatever they like." This seems eminently sensible for a man who preached a kind of wised-up utopian socialism in goofy "parasongs" with his band the Fugs and with stick-figure cartoons, as he detailed at some length in yesterday's post. My 2004 article which drew on that interview has more on The Fugs Final CD (Part 1), background on the tumultuous '60s (for those who need it) and lets Ed Sanders have his say.

Also: My error to characterize Harvey Pekar, the comic-book writer and music journalist who died at age 70, also on Monday, as essentially a trad-jazz fan (though there's nothing wrong with that). Yes, he collected 78 rpm records, but he also listened hard to and wrote seriously about mid '60s Miles Davis, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and other improv far from the music's origins. A sampling of his articles is here and here (Wynton Marsalis alert!). Doug Ramsey's piece on Harvey at Rifftides is also rewarding.
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July 15, 2010 6:41 PM | | Comments (3)
Fug Tuli Kupferberg and comic-book depressive/trad jazz fan Harvey Pekar dying the same week thins the ranks of American refuseniks, those Bartleby-like individuals who didn't drop out of society so much as dive in by insisting on their contrarianism, right or wrong. In my book (or blog) they join Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Harry Partch and William Burroughs in the pantheon of unapologetic warts-and-all individualists, cultural heroes who speak their truth, regardless of consequence, and offer devastating critiques though from often dysfunctional points of view.
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I never met Pekar, though we talked once or twice and I dug the film about him, American Splendor -- in which he participated -- for getting some of the texture of life of U.S. bohemians of a certain small success closer to right than anything else I've ever seen. 

Tuli I became aware of decades ago, as a teenager amused by his greatest hit, "Nothing."  I got to interview him in 2004 for an overview of the first (only?) genuine don't-give-a-damn-art, poetry & truth band, the Fugs, prior to the release of The Fugs Final CD, Part 1. That story was published in Signal To Noise magazine. 
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Below is a slightly edited transcript of my hour with Tuli Kupferberg. I clambered upstairs to his dark, dusty loft on Sixth Avenue in New York City on a cold day in February 2004. To my polite opening "Nice to meet you, how are you?" Tuli answered, "Pretty good. Still above room temperature."
July 14, 2010 9:27 PM | | Comments (5)

Visionary saxophonist Albert Ayler liked to stare at the sun, which may have led to his drowning at age 34 in 1970. An upstart 7-hour outdoor festival celebrates the heedlessly ecstatic spirit of his music tomorrow, July 10, at Riverwalk Commons of Roosevelt Island, in the very waters where the man-beyond-jazz breathed his last.

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July 9, 2010 4:03 PM | | Comments (1)



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