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Saturday, April 26, 2008

That Gutbucket Beat

Punk rock couldn't compete with the explosion in my teenage life of seeing Rahsaan Roland Kirk on stage at Carnegie Hall kicking beer cans off the stage, blind at birth, blowing three saxophones at once, and me young terrified young kid thinking, "This is what life is all about, a cool shit blind motherfucker blowing three horns at once!" Even real-time sex or superhype cocaine couldn't compete with this rush, baby.

One year later I saw Sun Ra, grizzled old spaceman drag genius with his big band, all ninety years old blowing nightmares and daydreams on their space horns and realizing God kissed them on their ear drums and they're sending it home to us Earthlings.

I remember Miles Davis pacing up and down the stage like a caged black panther at the Greek Theatre while LAPD helicopters were flying above trying to kill his frequency and failing, his electric trumpet sending messages to my cerebrum, "The frequency cannot be cancelled - you must submit".

The following year I saw Ornette Coleman with his double electric band playing harmolodics, which is like a mobius strip of jazz with a trash disco beat. Blowing a plastic alto saxophone, the hypnotic signal transmitting messages to my Earthboy mind, "The frequency will not be broken - you will join us and communicate".

After coping with losing my mother, an absentee father and Rabbis screaming at me all day in Hebrew school I knew I could find solace in my wise black hipster guardians from the bop dimension. For every day of my life, jazz has led the way towards my galactic salvation.


od said...

Awesome! Here is a story I have heard about Rahsaan Roland Kirk (it might not be true because I've heard about some other blind jazz guys too, but its a hell of a story): Rahsaan had some beef with either a club owner or guy trying to steal his woman, depending on whose telling the story...so whoever this guy was, Rahsaan went out and got a pistol and barged into the club where the guy was yelling and demanding that guy say something he would know where to shoot!

Did you ever see Horace Tapscott or Bobby Bradford and John Carter...the free jazz avant-guardians of LA?

Andy 7 said...

No, but I saw The Art Ensemble of Chicago at Schoenberg Hall at UCLA, which is a pretty tiny room. They were awesome.