jul 4

Up at 6, felt restless, went out for coffee early and read through intro chapter, made some edits, need to find some excised sections and reintegrate. Back at 10, read to p. 120 of Art Ensemble book, off and on. (Extended analysis of A Jackson In Your House, which I should now dig out and listen to.) Still winnowing email - giving myself 1 week to get to inbox zero. Read 2nd 1/2 of John Holbo’s paper and replied (to his comments on my drafts as well). Left at 6, went to hear Lonnie Liston Smith Trio at Jazz Standard, 7 pm set. Fascinating command of Hammond registration and dynamics, and funky moments throughout, esp. on “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” of all things, but I imagine he was once a fleeter linear improvisor - he’s 79, after all. Solid younger drummer, guitarist a bit on the loud/pedal-happy side - most of his solos started interestingly but ended in showy arpeggiation and near-tapping. Back in JH, stopped off to see the Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet at La Terraza. Piazzola and originals by the bassist-leader, who’s also a beautiful player. All very composed, even-quasi classical — I thought, oh, yeah, I could hold down those piano parts, but then there would be these ridiculous runs. Great stuff. Back at home about 11, bed soon after. Read the rest of Johnston on trains over the course of day. Well-crafted and pointedly reticent but to me uneven - it’s still “quietist,” as Bernstein used to say and probably still does, even if knowingly so. I wonder if he gets along w/ Ange? I did end up liking the Ovid, and a poem about “Frankie and Albert” and the murder behind it held my interest. Johnson mentions the possibility that the bones of the song predate the case, and St. Louis street singer Bill Dooley, but I think that kind of speculation (by Leonard Feather, e.g.) doesn’t hold up.