Academic journal article African American Review

In the Window/monk

Academic journal article African American Review

In the Window/monk

Article excerpt

we thought it would always be whoever woulda dreamed it wouldnt huh? whoever woulda thought a pizza/ hotdog/ souvlaki place would usurp our house of dreams & visions on the comer of 3rd avenue & 8th street major threshold to an exalted state of mind known as the lower east side a grand cooker of a scene which during those early coldwar days shot out strong steady surges of music writing civil disobedience painting anarchy dance free sex political organizing that changed the world? downtown east right at the threshold it stood the house of dreams & visions already in its second incarnation the 5spot right there at astor place when you got off the #6 train & you could get some of the best chinese food ever especially the ribs & it was owned by these 2 italian guys the tremini brothers joe & iggy when you didnt have no money to get in or maybe you had some money but no time you looked in the window you looked in one of the big floor-to-ceiling windows that faced across the front of the jazz club called the 5spot & the piano was right there by the window & when you looked in there was monk dancing! yea thelonious sphere monk himself the hi priest ultimate hipster in his hi-holy hat pressed to the bone in a shiny slick suit of italian origin & longtoed shoes dancing! by the time i started looking in the window on a regular basis he had already been on the cover of time magazine an unimaginable event cuz colored peoples never even made the inside pages of big white magazines in those days when even crime was still all white go to the library & see let alone the cover wow monk on the cover of time magazine can you dig it i mean can you really dig it? if your timing was right you might see him jump out the cab late & dash quickquick in the door of the 5spot straight to the bar & then dash over to the piano & come light in on the one of whatever tune the rest of the band was already playing all in a single motion it seemed like there always came a time in the tune when he laid out you can hear it on his records he laid out & danced! …

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