Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Just The Tickets: Art Blakey, The Art Ensemble of Chicago & Charlie Haden

Jazz ain't dead, it just smells funky, as Frank Zappa almost said. 
Sorting out stuff in the room today I came across a diary and in it were stuck these tickets from gigs I went to in 1987.
Yes, nineteen-eighty-f*cking-seven...that lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong ago.... 
Before you were even born, perhaps, but don't tell me, I feel old enough as it is. 
Old enough for what? 
peering down the time tunnel to nights such as these, when Jazz still felt alive and important.
Though, you know, what we were looking at were the few remaining examples of a dying species (Jazzias Legendarius).
There were more around then than now, now that Time's taken it's cruel toll...
What the hell, who wants to live forever, except those idiotic Fame dancers, and they deserve to die...

Art Blakey at The Electric Ballroom, Camden, London.
And the message still came across loud and clear after all his years spreading it.
The Word/Sound of Jazz. Powerhouse preaching of the highest order.
There was no Holiday For Skins when Art was around....

Every time the urban bushmen visited England we were there, staring in disbelief at the stage jaws on the floor ears wide open.
Lester Bowie in his white coat, calling Doctor Jazz.
It was the Art Ensemble of Chicago!
There, before our very eyes!
Funky Afro New Orleans Future/Past/Present and correct. 

Jazz was a liberation of sorts.
From Work and other worries.
From everyday life conformist expectations and so forth.
You know what I mean.
Punk liberation, Funk liberation...
...whatever sets you free for a while....

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