The Squid's Ear Magazine

Mcphee, Joe / Ken Vandermark

Musings of a Bahamian Son: Poems and Other Words

Mcphee, Joe / Ken Vandermark: Musings of a Bahamian Son: Poems and Other Words (Corbett vs. Dempsey)

27 concise poems written and read by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, punctuated by 9 musical interludes between McPhee on soprano sax and Chicago reedist Ken Vandermark on clarinet and bass, fortifying McPhee's captivating words that mix life observations among jazz references to Dolphy, Monk, Brötzmann, Coleman, &c.; a truly embraceable "book" of poetry.
 

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Personnel:



Joe McPhee-voice, soprano saxophone

Ken Vandermark-clarinet, bass clarinet


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UPC: 759624575653

Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CVsDCD109
Squidco Product Code: 34822

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Experimental Sound Studios, in Chicago, Illinois, on October 15th, 2021, by Alex Inglizian.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

Joe McPhee is one of the great multi-instrumentalists of contemporary improvised music. "His instrumental battery has included saxophones, clarinets, valve trombone, pocket trumpet, sound-on-sound tape recorder, and space organ, but another arrow in his quiver is text. McPhee has been writing poems since the 1970s. He occasionally introduces one into performance, as an introduction or afterword to music, and in recent years he's been known to do full-on readings, text only, featuring his inimitable sense of dramatic timing intoned in his rich voice. The poems range from the observational to the political to the surreal. They're composed in rhyme or according to an internal rhythm, sometimes utterly prosaic, sometimes fantastic and flamboyant. A few of them capture the immediacy of improvised music more acutely than any critical writing on the subject, his half-century immersion in the craft of free music having given him a bottomless cup to draw on and his sensitivity to thenuances of language providing a host of palpable metaphors and metonyms, similes and strophes. The poems are marvels on the page, but they really take flight in McPhee's mouth. In 2021, during a flurry of pandemic-inspired poetic activity, he traveled to Chicago expressly to record a program of his poems. For the studio date, he invited saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark to play duets as interludes between groupings of the poems. Then Vandermark, engineer Alex Inglizian, and the CvsD team sat breathless in the Experimental Sound Studio control room as McPhee proceeded to perform his poetry nonstop and without repetition for nearly two hours. The result is Musings of a Bahamian Son, the first full-length release dedicated to McPhee's writing, with 27 poems interspersed with nine musical interludes and a postlude."-Corbett Vs. Dempsey


Artist Biographies

"Joe McPhee, born November 3,1939 in Miami, Florida, USA, is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, conceptualist and theoretician. He began playing the trumpet at age eight, taught by his father, himself a trumpet player. He continued on that instrument through his formative school years and later in a U.S. Army band stationed in Germany, at which time he was introduced to performing traditional jazz. Clifford Thornton's Freedom and Unity, released in 1969 on the Third World label, is the first recording on which he appears as a side man. In 1968, inspired by the music of Albert Ayler, he took up the saxophone and began an active involvement in both acoustic and electronic music.

His first recordings as leader appeared on the CJ Records label, founded in 1969 by painter Craig Johnson. These include Underground Railroad by the Joe McPhee Quartet (1969), Nation Time (1970), Trinity (1971) and Pieces of Light (1974). In 1975, Swiss entrepreneur Werner X. Uehlinger release Black Magic Man by McPhee, on what was to become Hat Hut Records.

In 1981, he met composer, accordionist, performer, and educator Pauline Oliveros, whose theories of "deep listening" strengthened his interests in extended instrumental and electronic techniques. he also discovered Edward de Bono's book Lateral Thinking: A Textbook of Creativity, which presents concepts for solving problems by "disrupting an apparent sequence and arriving at the solution from another angle." de Bono's theories inspired McPhee to apply this "sideways thinking" to his own work in creative improvisation, resulting in the concept of "Po Music." McPhee describes "Po Music" as a "process of provocation" (Po is a language indicator to show that provocation is being used) to "move from one fixed set of ideas in an attempt to discover new ones." He concludes, "It is a Positive, Possible, Poetic Hypothesis." The results of this application of Po principles to creative improvisation can be heard on several Hat Art recordings, including Topology, Linear B, and Oleo & a Future Retrospective.

In 1997, McPhee discovered two like-minded improvisers in bassist Dominic Duval and drummer Jay Rosen. The trio premiered at the Vision Jazz Festival in 1998 but the concert went unnoticed by the press. McPhee, Duval, and Rosen therefore decided that an apt title for the group would be Trio X. In 2004 he created Survival Unit III with Fred Lonberg-Holm and Michael Zerang to expand his musical horizons and with a career spanning nearly 50 years and over 100 recordings, he continues to tour internationally, forge new connections while reaching for music's outer limits."

-Joe McPhee Website (http://joemcphee.com/bio.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990's onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur prize for music."

-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Something 0:19

2. Interlude 0:56

3. A's New Day 0:19

4. Violets For Pia 0:20

5. Guitar 0:15

6. Baby, Baby, Baby 0:10

7. Please, Sweet Mistress, Kiss Me Once More Before I Die (for Duke Ellington) 0:34

8. Percussion Bitter Sweet (for Max Roach) 0:36

9. Interlude 2 0:35

10. Hat and Beard (for Eric Dolphy and Thelonious Monk) 1:46

11. Interlude 3 0:49

12. Homeless 1:49

13. Driva Man 2 (dedicated to Oscar Brown Jr.) 1:52

14. A Song for Beggars 1:45

15. Interlude 4 1:16

16. The Last of the Late Great Finger-Wigglers 2:15

17. Long Story Short (for Peter Brötzmann) 0:19

18. Vieux Vin Blanc 2:55

19. The Grand Marquis 1:19

20. Interlude 5 0:45

21. Invocation 0:53

22. Interlude 6 1:30

23. A Meeting in Chicago 1:01

24. I'm Just Saying (for the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet at Journey's End) 1:31

25. New Chicago Blues 1:19

26. Interlude 7 1:00

27. Rock 'n' Roll Lover 1:45

28. Interlude 8 1:12

29. Party Lights 0:42

30. Tree Dancing 0:17

31. Echoes of Memory 0:56

32. Magic Mirror 0:40

33. The Loneliest Woman (for Ornette Coleman) 2:38

34. Interlude 9 1:16

35. Tell Me How Long Has Trane Been Gone (for John Coltrane and James Baldwin) 2:21

36. The Ship with Marigold Sails 2:47

37. Postlude 0:57

Related Categories of Interest:


Spoken Word
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Joe McPhee
Ken Vandermark
Duo Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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Corbett vs. Dempsey.


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