Academic journal article African American Review

Mohawk

Academic journal article African American Review

Mohawk

Article excerpt

for goat carson

let us not read too much into the titles of this session, june 6, 1950, bird & dizzy & monk

with curley russell on bass & buddy rich so out of place on drums, if max roach had been on hand

to make this band hit with a different edge on the music, but that's jazz & the way it has to play

with the specific individuals who be on the set that night, the music of the men on the stand

& what we call it just does not matter, bird told symphony sid in a radio interview

concerning these sessions, like he had no idea how these songs had got their names, he said "it's all just

gone music, man" and "i just call them 'rhythm' or 'blues' & they put

the names on them after i've left the studio." monk, on the other hand, composed his music

on his own progressions & fit the songs to the names he gave them, such precision

of rhythm & rhyme as we see so rarely, to take the hair off the sides of the head

& leave just a strip along the top, scalping all pretense for the baldness of statement,

building a new music on the bones of the old like bird, or like monk with a whole new structure

of sound, breathing life of its own, like nothing that had ever existed before -

mohawk, mo- hawk, monk & bird & dizzy creating a nation of music

& chopping away at the dead flesh & hair & muscle & bone of what had been left for them

athens, ohio march 1, 1986/ new york city april 3, 1986

John Sinclair is a poet, music producer, radio host, and producer. …

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