Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Time, perfect or syncopated time, is when a faucet dribbles from a leaky washer. I'm more than sure an adolescent memory can remember how long the intervals were between each collision of our short-lived drip and its crash into an untidy sink's overfilled coffee cup with murky grime of old cream still clinging to the edges or a tidy rust stained enamel sink that the owner of such has given up on the idea that that maintenance man is ever going to change the rhythm beat of his dripping faucet by just doing his job and changing that rotten old rubber washer before time runs out of time.
. . .
"Dannie [Richmond] is me with his own sense of will. Instead of hands strumming or bowing he uses his feet, hands, skin, metal, and wood. When I met Dannie several young drummers had just about burned me out time-wise, and they were sound deaf and tone deaf. Also they did not know, as Elvin Jones and I discussed many years ago, that you don't play the beat where it is. You draw a picture away from the beat right up to its core with different notes of different sounds of the drum instruments so continuously that the core is always there for an open mind. While you make it live now and then you go inside the beat, dead center, and split the core to the sides and shatter the illusion so there is no shakiness ever. If one tries to stay inside dead center or directly on top of the beat or on the bottom the beat is too rigid on the outside where it is heard. The stiffness should only be felt inside the imaginary center of the exact tempo's core. The top, the bottom, the sides, the back are where my favorite drummers, Dannie and Elvin, play, though differently. They tease the mind by not telling you exactly what everyone knows - where one, two, three, and four are. For ensemble work before I met Dannie, Elvin fit my taste. He still does but it's Dannie who's with me and I'm lucky he has stayed with me. There isn't time to teach a lifetime of music to kids who don't know a drum is an instrument, not a donkey for freeloader, horn-happy soloists to ride tempo on because it's easier to listen to drums beat out tempo, wrong or right, than to think for yourself the tempo a musician like Dannie or Elvin suggests to you, yet not too obviously."
--Charles Mingus
liner notes for The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

O'Brien & Weaver, 4/17/11

Sunday, April 17
at 7:30 p.m.
Spare Room presents a poetry reading by

Geoffrey G. O'Brien
Michael Weaver

The Waypost
3120 N. Williams Ave., Portland

$5 suggested donation