Tag Archives: Ornette Coleman

Special women around us: “Finding Your Own Voice” Poet-activist Jayne Cortez, dies at 78.

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Jayne Cortez  was an African-American poet, spoken-word performance artist and activist of the Black Arts Movement. Yes, this great woman passed away in New York on December 28, 2012. I met her once at Ornette Coleman‘s birthday party last year. At that time I didn’t know much about her legacy. Yes, I knew she was my mentor’s ex wife. And I knew that Denardo Coleman was their son. And I knew he had been playing the drums in her band. Sorry that’s all what I knew about her.

But her death told me more about her…what she has been about for the last 78 years. Death has the power to bring people together. Death doesn’t mean that it kills a human life. No, on the contrary, death can give birth to life if the dead person got some s-o-u-l.

So I did some research of her and felt that some of you, my dear readers, would like to know about her. Continue reading

Soprano Saxophonist Steve Lacy Recalls the “Multifarious” Brion Gysin

An Interview by John Kruth

 

Brion Gysin was a Renaissance man in a century with a 15-second attention span. In a world where people are known for “doing one thing well,” Brion mastered a variety of disciplines which he employed to express himself at any given moment. Gysin was a painter, author, editor, musical anthropologist, inventor, philosopher, mystic and restaurateur. And to add insult to injury, he wore each of those hats with ease and remarkable panache. Surrealist ringleader André Breton, Beat novelist William S. Burroughs and Rolling Stone Brian Jones all recognized his brilliance, yet Brion’s work for some reason went virtually unnoticed by the public.

As an artist, Gysin painted otherworldly figures that danced around the canvas like cryptic Arabic and Japanese calligraphy. He was embraced and then quickly expelled (for vague reasons) by the Surrealists. In truth, Brion simply wasn’t the type to espouse the party platform, no matter how bizarre the doctrine. (Although he’s been associated with the Beats through his connection to Burroughs, Gysin would never claim to be one of that clubby bunch either.)

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