GUEST POST BY JOSH SINTON
GUEST POST BY JOSH SINTON
Is there anything you didn’t properly explain in our last conversation?
Well, lots. Most of it I’d say.
Can you keep it to just one thing?
Hmmm, I’d have to say it’s that the methodology the band’s following is one I observed Steve using.
And that would be?
A kind of concrete materialism.
Ummm, can’t say I’m following.
Well, consider it this way. Steve Lacy put a body of information out into the human universe. We can apprehend this information in several ways. The most common would be listening (to the music) and talking (about the music). But Steve (among others) demonstrated that there are other ways to apprehend.
Still not sure I follow.
Steve certainly listened to Thelonious Monk’s music and it’s a matter of record that he talked about it, but he also PLAYED it. That is, he worked on understanding Monk’s information in a different way, a way that can’t be put into words. By playing that music, by working directly with the materials themselves, he gained an insight unique to himself. This is what I mean by ‘concrete materialism.’ It’s a methodology where you work directly with the materials (playing it, rehearsing it, improvising on it) and in this way you arrive at an understanding that is substantially different (but not better) from a passive or verbal one.
Well how does this understanding differ from talking about it?
But that’s just the point. It’s an understanding based in music. In other words, this understanding is in MUSIC, not words.
So for you to express this difference…
…I’d have to pick up an instrument and start playing. And then perhaps follow that up with some talking.
So it’s the whole ‘music as language’ metaphor?
No, no, no. That is not what I’m saying (for the record, I think music and language are fundamentally different activities, else why would we have different words for them?). What I’m talking about is THINKING IN MUSIC rather than THINKING IN WORDS.
Huh, well I bet this’ll help you sell a hell of a lot of CD’s, this whole “concrete materialism” thing.
Thanks, I appreciate that. I’m hoping we can get a national tour of all the College Philosophy Departments in the U.S.
That’s gotta provide some better venues than the jazz club route.
Well, there’s a lot more of ‘em than jazz clubs. And I hear they got better chips and dip.
For this week's musical portion of our broadcast, I've uploaded another radio broadcast from the 1960's. 1965 to be precise. It was recorded at the Cafe Montmarte in Copenhagen, Denmark by Danish radio. The band includes Steve Lacy: sop. sax., Don Cherry: trumpet, Kenny Drew: piano, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen: bass and Alex Riel: drums.
Some personal favorite moments from the following include:
- Don Cherry solo on "Morning Glory"! (no Steve here)
- Kenny Davis!! gotta check out more of this guy. he's so completely on it here.
- A Cecil Taylor tune sandwiched between the Ellington and Monk! An inspired bit of casting on Steve's part here. You can tell it's a tune distinctly different from the Monk and Ellington, but it's so clearly part of that world.
Once again, I'd like to thank the inveterate record collector Charlie Kohlhase of Boston, MA. for providing me with this bit of audio excellence.