Dave Brubeck’s, Take Five, gets the Pakistani treatment

Fantastic! Just watch that tabla player go!



Cecil Taylor residency/retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, April 15-24

From the Whitney website: “This residency will feature a series of live performances amid a retrospective environment that will include documentation of Taylor’s career, including videos, audio, notational scores, photographs, poetry, and other ephemera.”

Curious as to whether, and hopeful that, Cecil will be joined by some former associates. Either way, I really wanna try to make this.




Blank On Blank animates Nina Simone

The most recent animation from the PBS Digital Studios series covers a 1968 Nina Simone interview conducted by Lilian Terry.

The definitive tome on the Sun Ra galaxy, Omniverse – Sun Ra, expanded and republished!

Originally published in 1994, with a $100 price tag (which has risen dramatically since, on internet auction sites), Omniverse is the quintessential reference guide for anyone interested in navigating the oft confusing spaceways of Sun Ra’s interstellar influence. The chronological discography alone, should be worth the price of admission. Available in the US, any day now,  via http://www.forcedexposure.com/home.html , though not currently listed.



Happy birthday, Don Cherry

Best known for his work with Ornette Coleman, and pioneering World Fusion Jazz, Don Cherry has also played with an impressive and diverse list of collaborators (see links below), including John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Dewey Redman, George Russell, Karin Krog, Terry Riley and Krzystof Penderecki, to name but a few.

Krzysztof Penderecki






It’s Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s birthday!

Everytime I listen to Fela, I completely lose track of time, and that is a damn fine thing! Here’s my Spotify playlist if you should feel like doing the same. Everybody scatter, scatter!

Happy birthday, Pharoah Sanders

An absolute colossus of the saxophone, Pharoah Sanders is the heir apparent to the Coltrane legacy, combining musical exploration and spirituality in a unified expression. Sanders work from the sixties through the mid-seventies, both as leader and with both Coltranes, speaks to me on a very personal level. It’s the kind of music that can make you feel part of a much larger whole, at least it certainly does for me. Of course, I did have an insane out of body psychedelic experience to Sanders’, Thembi, once, but I was playing it for it’s aforementioned properties to begin with…. so yeah, I may be a little biased.


This is an all too brief clip of prime Pharoah, in a quartet setting with Lonnie Liston Smith on Norris Jones, aka Sirone on bass, and Majeed Shabazz on drums. I need to see this whole set!

Tauhid is my favorite Pharoah record, and a huge influence on both the MC5 and THe Stooges, due in no small part to Sonny Sharrock’s ferocious guitar.

Izipho Zam, Pharoah’s only release with the highly collectible Strata East Records, also features Sonny Sharrock, and vocalist, Leon Thomas, and is one of the heaviest sessions in the Sanders catalog.

A couple of tracks from his Coltrane tenure…

And here’s one with the final member of the saxophone holy trinity, Albert Ayler.

Pharoah also contributed to two Don Cherry records…

Leon Thomas vocals also grace one of Sanders most recognized tracks, The Creator Has A Master Plan.

The album that took me, and my gf of the time, to heretofore unseen worlds, Thembi, which perhaps not so coincidentally features the song Astral Travelling.

And one of several Alice Coltrane records on which Pharoah is featured…

Pharoah cuts loose with the poet/prophets of Black Power, The Last Poets.

Pharoah reunited with Sonny Sharrock for the guitarist’s classic, Ask The Ages.

A stunning performance in an abandoned tunnel…

Let loving never cease…

Birthday Blakey on the beat!

The man whose polyrhythmic style helped to change the course of Jazz drumming, Art Blakey is recognized as one of the world’s greatest percussionists. With a career that spanned nearly sixty years, Blakey was an essential part of the flow of Jazz through the numerous stylistic changes that the genre underwent over those decades. Watching a Blakey drum solo is witnessing poetry in motion. His ability to maintain independent rhythm in each limb, while looking entirely at ease, is second to none.

A Night In Tunisia, at 43 minutes in, is a particularly impressive part of this 1958 set.

Cool footage featuring Sun Ra Arkestra’s, John Gilmore, on tenor sax.

Wayne Shorter takes the tenor here.

ending on a solo note

Happy birthday, Billy Higgins

Drummer Billy Higgins has an exhaustive resume, providing rhythm for everyone from John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Harris, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Sandy Bull, Don Cherry, and perhaps most notably, with Ornette Coleman. That barely scratches the surface of Higgins career collaborations. Through the sixties, it’s almost easier to find a Jazz record on which he’s not playing.

Love the quartet lineup on this session: Ornette, James Blood Ulmer, Sirone and Billy. I’m fascinated with the Coleman/Ulmer recordings.

Here’s another great quartet,from a decade earlier: Sonny Rollins, Don Cherry, Henry Grimes and Billy