Tag Archives: jazz

BEATNIK HIWAY-TIMES SQUARE N.Y.C.

Standard

 images (7) images (3) images (2) images (1) images New-York-Time-Square Times_Square_New_York_City_HDR

THE HISTORY OF TIMES SQUARE

Humanity Not at its Best, or Worst – but

at its Most

Times Square is the intersection of spectators and performers, tourists and locals; all the diversity of the city, the country, and the world interacting. Times Square accommodates many activities both planned and spontaneous, and connects streetscapes, underground passages, and penthouses. Finally there are the layers of history that lie under the streets and behind the facades of theaters, diners and stores. The density and the congestion are part of what is authentic to a place where art, life and commerce quite literally collide.

Much of what constitutes modern American culture has been invented and reinvented, tested, and displayed in the few blocks that make up the Times Square district. This is where Americans devise new ways to entertain themselves. By 1928, some 264 shows were produced in 76 theaters in Times Square. These theaters showcased not old-world opera, but the new popular culture born of America’s immigrant stew – vaudeville and musicals, jazz and the movies. Today it remains the busiest theater district in the world, and is also home to MTV, ABC, B.B. Kings, Hard Rock Cafe, Best Buy Theater, and Madame Tussaud’s.

The most popular spectacles of Times Square have always been free – the dazzling electrical signs that gave Broadway its reputation as “The Great White Way.” Over the course of the past hundred years, Times Square has become an outdoor laboratory for new ways to communicate and advertise.

Times Square is also where American news was made. It was here that writers like Walter Winchell and Damon Runyon perfected their punchy reporting style, the gossip column, and the use of slang, that redefined what news was – how it was to be written and reported, and what counted. Now ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Reuters, Viacom, Condé Naste, and of course the New York Times are all here.

Prostitution and sex theaters defined the area for much of the post-World War II era. In a larger sense, Times Square was a place where boundaries could be pushed, and broken, and desire expressed. It is no accident that, in Times Square, women could challenge the rules of dating, and gays and lesbians could find a greater level of freedom than they found elsewhere in the city.

Times Square blossomed in the first third of the twentieth century, only to slide into notorious decay in the face of the post-1945 world of television, suburbs, and racial strife. Times Square has returned in the past two decades. The crowds that first made the place have also returned, contributing to the unique mix of creativity and commerce, energy and edge that makes Times Square both an international icon and a universe in miniature, reflecting the obsessions, desires and priorities of a changing world.

Paul McCartney Pops Up in Times Square

The star plays four songs from his ‘New’ album at unannounced New York performance

Paul McCartney
Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Paul McCartney performs songs from his new album “New” at Times Square in New York City on October 10th, 2013.

BY | October 10, 2013

Just 24 hours after playing a surprise show at a Queens high school auditorium, Paul McCartney gave another impromptu performance in New York’s Times Square today, delighting tourists and Midtown workers with four songs from his upcoming album New (due out next week).

McCartney alerted his fans around noon with a tweet: “Wow! Really excited to be playing New York Times Square at 1pm this afternoon!” By 12:45, a sizeable crowd had already gathered at Broadway and West 46th Street, where a large truck was parked blocking pedestrian traffic. Many of them were there to see McCartney, but more than a few could be heard asking what, exactly, was about to happen.

A few minutes after 1:00 p.m., McCartney and his band pulled up in a caravan of yellow taxicabs. The star emerged to huge cheers and climbed up into the truck – where a curtain had by now been pulled away to reveal a bare-bones stage, set up with instruments. “OK, we’re just going to do a few songs from my new album,” McCartney said as he took a seat at his multicolored piano. “Ready?”

Read All About ‘New’ and 25 More of This Fall’s Most Exciting Albums

A sea of cameras, phones and iPads followed McCartney as he began to sing the album’s lead single, “New,” smiling bright enough to make everyone forget the gray afternoon weather. “Well, this is something, isn’t it?” he said when it was done. “Let’s stay here all day!”

McCartney switched to his Hofner bass for “Save Us,” a fast-paced number that recalled Wings at their most rocking. Album promotion is a chore for some artists, but not for McCartney, who looked like there was nowhere else he’d rather be. “I’ll be putting a little hat out here later,” he joked. “We’re basically busking.”

His wife, Nancy Shevell, could be seen off to the side of the crowd dancing to the next song, “Everybody Out There” – a jangly anthem with McCartney on acoustic guitar. “There but for the grace of God go you / and I,” he sang. “Do some good before we say goodbye . . .” By song’s end, he’d broken into his trademark Little Richard howl.

“We’ve just been told we’ve only got one more,” McCartney said. “We’ve only got 15 minutes!” The crowd booed heartily, but he was in a goodnatured mood. “Mr. Andy Warhol predicted I’d get 15 minutes of fame,” he added with a grin. “This is it.”

With that, he returned to his piano and launched into one last song from the new LP: “Queenie Eye,” a psychedelic pub singalong. The song featured a sly wink to Beatles superfans: At one point, McCartney sang, “O-U-T spells ‘out’!” – just like on “Christmas Time (Is Here Again),” a fan-club exclusive recorded by the Beatles in 1967 and first released to the wider public as the B-side to 1994’s “Free As a Bird.”

And then, alas, it was time to go. “See you next time!” McCartney said brightly as he vanished back into the Manhattan crowd.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/paul-mccartney-pops-up-in-times-square-20131010#ixzz39ijThPVf
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

HOW TIMES SQUARE WORKS

Adam Clark Estes

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

When we stepped out onto the roof, the wind whipped me sideways, and it took me a second to get my bearings. I was nine stories above Times Square, staring at the back of its biggest LED sign, and it was thrilling.

Of course, standing on a dirty rooftop shouting over the cacophony of Midtown Manhattan is not thrilling in and of itself. I was with an engineer from D3 LED, one of the leading digital display manufacturers in the world, who was explaining to me how the sign worked. Gizmodo’s photo savant Michael Hession was wandering around, shutter snapping, and I was staring down into the guts of the 100-foot-wide LED display. As the engineer explained how the modular LED panels could be swapped out in seconds and the entire display switched with just a few key strokes, I straightened up.

“So you’re saying it’s just one big huge computer?” I asked.

He thought for a second and then nodded, “Pretty much.”

How Times Square Works

This is the back of the largest continuous surface LED display in Times Square. The blinking green lights mean that everything is working!

New York City’s Biggest Gadget

Times Square is one big, busy machine. Powered by American ingenuity and more than a few megawatts of electricity, these six square blocks stay bright 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’ve seen Times Square in movies and on TV a million times. A lot of you have probably seen it in real life, teeming with chaos and glowing with capitalism. But how exactly does all that work? The shops and restaurants are one thing, but what exactly makes Times Square such a functional, perpetual spectacle?

That’s a complicated question. Obviously there are the workers themselves. Times Square supports some 385,000 jobs, a little over half of which are in that bright sliver of Midtown, while the other half are strewn across the country supporting Times Square operations from designing the content on the signs to keeping the power plants that power them on line. All together, they help generate about 11 percent of New York City’s economic output, or about $110 billion annually, according to the latest figures. These are the men and women who man the ticket booths, who sell the T-shirts, who clean the hotel rooms, and who keep everyone safe. And since about 350,000 pedestrians pass through Times Square on an average day—that number jumps to 460,000 on the busiest days—that’s no small task.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

We actually got to climb inside the sign that sits on top of the Double Tree hotel. It was as precarious and scary as it looks.

But then there’s the technology. Times Square is home to countless billboards, many of which are now digital, that make up some of the most expensive advertising real estate in the world. These signs are so central to the area’s identity that there’s actually a zoning code that requires all buildings on that stretch of Broadway to have at least one illuminated sign of a certain size. And while the buildings themselves aren’t too different than those found throughout the rest of Manhattan, Times Square does have that big ball.

Put simply, Times Square works thanks to a productive marriage of labor and technology. And what better manifestation of these two things than those countless billboards that turn night into day in the middle of Manhattan? They bring in tourists. They drive up real estate prices. They fuel innovation in media and advertising in a manner unlike any other place on Earth. Put simply: Times Square works as long as those signs are shining.

It Wasn’t Always Like This

Times Square was still considered countryside when John Jacob Astor started buying up real estate in the first half of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 20th century, the area—then known as Longacre Square—had been considerably built up, having become home to The New York Times as well as a subway stop (in that order). On April 9, 1904, the paper announced the new moniker with a bold headline: “Times Square Is the Name of City’s New Centre.” Three years later, in 1907, Times owner Adoph S. Ochs lowered an illuminated ball down a pole on the roof of One Times Square in the last minute of the year, a tradition that endures today. It was, arguably, the first electrified advertisement in Times Square.

A few decades later, Times Square had become the center of New York’s sin city. The theater district that had made the area an entertainment hub was eclipsed by the seedy strips of sex shops and adult cinemas. This, along with an ever-growing crime problem, is part of why the Timescalled the area around its former home “the ‘worst’ in town” by 1960. The slide into seediness continued through the 1970s and 1980s, eventually slowing with the election of Rudy Giuliani and an aggressive push to boost security and encourage tourists. That eventually meant those porn theaters had to close.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

“Seedy” is almost too gentle a word to describe Times Square in the 1980s.

Times Square was properly “Disneyfied” by the mid-1990s. While it’s widely believed that aggressive urban planning caused the rebirth of Times Square, the former head of New York’s Urban Development Corporation says that’s not quite right. “The changes in Times Square occurred despite government, not because of it,” wrote William J. Stern a few years ago. “Times Square succeeded for reasons that had little to do with our building and condemnation schemes and everything to do with government policy that allowed the market to do its work, the way development occurs every day nationwide.”

What better beacon of progress than a bunch of blinking—and eventually glowing—billboards. By the 2000s, Times Square had been transformed into a sort of shrine to capitalism, with mansion-sized signs beaming down onto pedestrian walkways that steered out-of-towners into chain stores and scared locals into staying downtown.

Times Square is safer than it’s ever been, safe enough to slurp a bowl of gumbo at Bubba Gump Shrimp well past midnight and then stroll onto brightly lit sidewalks without fear of getting mugged. Businesses are clearly thriving, and even the empty pedestrian walkways turn a tiny profit. It wasn’t just real estate developers, or extra security, or even Guy Fieri that transformed Times Square into the well oiled machine it is today. It was the millions of LEDs.

How LEDs Killed the Billboard

The thing about the signs in Times Square is that they never stay the same. Like the rest of America, the place is constantly reinventing itself through various innovations and a perpetual quest to grow bigger and become greater. So in the late 1990s, as LED technology was finally becoming affordable, Times Square became a testing ground for a revolutionary approach to display advertising.

D3 LED managing partner Meric Adriansen was one of the mad scientists in charge. Actually, he’s an engineer who was working in Disney’s fabled research arm before he got recruited to help design a new kind of sign for ABC in 1998. The network was preparing to move the fledgling Good Morning America franchise from Lincoln Center for Times Square, and it wanted a bright, splashy sign to announce the show’s presence to every passerby. The vision was to create a ribbon of sorts that wrapped around the corner of the the new Times Square Studios at the corner of West 44th Street and Broadway, where they could broadcast breaking news and the like. It was not an easy place to put an interactive display, especially with the state of technology at the time.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

While the ribbon-like bands of LEDs panels looks like an obvious hardware challenge, writing the software that keeps everything in sync was the really difficult part.

Meric found a way to make it work. The challenge wasn’t so much getting the displays to curve. That was the easy part. The hard part was keeping the image on the screen in sync as it traveled across an uneven surface at various speeds.

The solution was smarter software. Using a series of morphing algorithms, Meric managed to program the display to move at varying speeds, so slightly out of sync that it looked completely in sync to the people on the sidewalk. The effect was spectacular, and Meric quickly realized that everybody in Times Square would want to one-up ABC with their own dancing LED creations. So he went into business.

Turning Times Square Into a Video Show

When you walk into Times Square today, there are no fewer than 55 giant-sized LED displays blinking and begging you to look at them. (It’s hard to keep count because new ones are going up all the time; D3 alone operates 27 of them at present.) That’s just a fraction of the 230-odd total billboards sprinkled throughout the Square.

The most prominent sign is certainly the skyscraper-high Walgreens display that D3 recently installed on both sides of One Times Square.Developers figured out that they could make more money selling advertising real estate on the outside than maintaining an office building inside, so they kicked out all the tenants and started basically minting money. That’s right. The former home of The New York Times is now just one big billboard, with companies like Toshiba, Sony, and Budweiser on display. Now the bright beacon of industry looks less like a sliver of Gilded Age grandeur, as it did when it was built in 1903, and more like the set ofBladerunner. In total, there are a staggering 17,000-square-feet of signage on the skinny old building.

How Times Square Works

On the left is the (still pretty new) One Times Square building in 1919. On the right is the (now completely empty) One Times Square building in 2012 as seen from the same vantage point.

The Walgreens sign is clearly a source of pride for D3, and it should be. It’s very impressive! When I first met Meric on an unusually cold early spring day earlier this year, he pulled out all of the plans to show me how all of the display’s 12 million LEDs were arranged so that the sign looked uniform to tourists passing by on the sidewalk, who remain the primary demographic for Times Square display advertising. He explained that the LEDs were denser on the bottom for higher resolution and spread out a bit towards the top. I still can’t see the difference.

“Content is king,” Meric kept saying. The signs, he explained, only looked as good as the images you displayed on them. And much to my surprise, they were just basic video files, run off of hard drives that were stored in any of D3’s facilities sprinkled throughout Times Square in buildings where the company either owns real estate or operates signs.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

It’s hard to tell from photographs just how towering the Walgreens sign at One Times Square is, but it is. The diagonal slash is 30-stories tall, in fact.

Like Lego for Lights

At this point, you’re probably wondering exactly how these LED creations work. The answer is actually very simple. Each large LED display is actually an array of smaller LED displays that are connected to each other both physically and virtually.

The Walgreens sign is D3’s largest installation, with 29 separate displays that are lit with 16 miles of electrical cables and held together with half a million nuts and bolts. But the images themselves start out as regular old Adobe After Effects files that are then rendered into video. Clients need to supply D3 with just a single video file to get their dynamic ads in front of the 100-million-odd pedestrians who pass through the square annually. Well, that and a ton of money. An NYU study last year found that it costs a stunning $368,291,070 a year in water, electricity and green house gas emissions to run Times Square.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

D3’s modular sign at the Quicksilver store in Times Square is one of the more creative uses of the LED module technology, with multiple displays forming a mosaic of moving images.

While the Walgreens sign looks impossibly vivid compared to its neighbors, it will fade over time, just like its painted and vinyl ancestors. LED technology is certainly much better than it used to be, but it’s still not invincible. An individual LED works by sending electricity through a semiconductor, or diode, but over time, heat causes the wires to degrade and the light to fade. The signs in Times Square, Meric told me—which stay on 24 hours a day, seven days a week—typically have a lifespan of about 10 years.

As the D3 technician told me, the LED displays are effectively giant computers. In fact, each of the individual modules is equipped with its own processor that coordinates with the rest of the modules to create one huge seamless image. The whole thing is internet-connected, too, so it can be controlled remotely. Meric told me that he gets push notifications on his phone if a sign has a problem, and no matter where he is in the world, he can troubleshoot on the fly.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

The LED modules come in several different sizes and resolutions. The pixels on modules for outdoor signs are spaced between 10 and 24 millimeters apart, while they’re usually six millimeters apart on indoor displays.

The modules also each have their own MAC address, which makes it easy for technicians to identify exactly where the problems are. This is a big improvement over the old incandescent signs that required daily checks to see if any bulbs had burnt out. While Times Square was certainly impressive back when it was coated in incandescent light, the introduction of LED technology not only transformed the types of content that could be displayed, it made maintenance so easier which encouraged more people to build the futuristic-looking displays. Dynamic billboards used to be a thing of science fiction. Now it’s the de facto standard, thanks to LEDs.

Of course, no technology is perfect. Errors don’t happen often, but when they do, fixing them is sort of a cinch. As if they were big electronic Lego bricks, the broken modules can simply be swapped out for functional ones, and they’re good to go.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

The modules (pictured from behind here) are completely, well, modular and can be swapped out in a matter of seconds.

The software that runs the whole system is also smart enough to route around problems whenever possible so that the whole sign doesn’t go down like a string of Christmas lights with a bad bulb. Meanwhile, the video files are all stored on hard drives in control rooms around Times Square, and D3 keeps backups on hand. While each sign has its own controller and control system, many of them have dedicated real estate where the hardware can live. In total, D3 operates 35 separate control rooms in Times Square.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

All of the control panels and server towers are custom built for D3. On the right, above, you can see the hard drives displaying previews of the live content.

Obviously, security is an issue when you’re running several dozen giant, internet-connected displays in one of the most conspicuous places on Earth. “It’s a sobering thought that you’re always vulnerable,” Meric said. “If there’s anything that keeps me up at night, it’s the security aspect.”

As such, D3 follows very rigorous protocol to ensure that the whole system doesn’t get hacked. That includes routing signals through VPNs and running intrusion detection systems at all times. And if someone wanted to physically break into one of the control rooms, they’d have a damned hard time finding them. When I visited, we walked through the bowels of some pretty nondescript buildings, ducking under pipes and climbing over ventilation ducts to find a tiny unmarked door with a bunch of servers inside. It felt like a game of hide-and-seek.

The Spectacle of Darkness

It’s not until you gaze at the backside of the largest LED display in Times Square that you can finally get a sense of perspective. First of all, these things are huge. That particular sign spans over 100 feet and weighs a whopping 82,000 pounds. It’s filled with five million LEDs that produce a resolution thats four times denser than standard definition.

While LED signs are a relatively new addition to Times Square, they’re becoming more and more popular. They’re also getting better. While the resolution of existing signs is good, the technology is starting to get great. Some of the latest D3 creations almost look like high definition displays from afar, despite the fact that the individual pixels are spaced a few millimeters apart.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

An up-close look at the modules reveals how much black space is between each pixel, but you can’t even tell when looking at the displays from the ground.

As smart companies tend to do, D3 is constantly looking ahead and trying to predict the next big innovation. Believe it or not, they think it’s 3D displays. The technology isn’t quite there to support glasses-free 3D images that passers by would enjoy, but Meric and friends built the this particular LED sign with 3D in mind, though they don’t currently display any 3D content. This basically means that they’ve built in enough resolution and back end support that 3D could be possible with the right content. It’s outfitted with 16 state-of-the-art SSD hard drives and enough processing power to handle 5 gigabytes per second of data. (3D video requires a lot of data.) The sign is also capable of playing video at 120 frames per second, so it looks smooth as can be. Oh, and it can handle live video, too.

All of this inevitably requires a lot of electricity. New York’s main utility company, ConEd, estimates that it takes at least 161 Megawatts at any given time to keep Times Square and the surrounding theater district glowing. A large chunk of that power goes to the signs themselves. That’s enough juice to light 161,000 American homes, and twice the amount of electricity required to power all of the casinos in Las Vegas.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

While the Earth Hour event makes the majority of the signs in Times Square go dark, there’s always a light on somewhere in New York City.

You almost never see Times Square go dark, and when it does, it’s quite a spectacle. It’s also a great way to make a statement about our bad energy habits. Earlier this year, (most of) the square went dark from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in observance of Earth Hour, organized by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about energy use and conservation. One Times Square has participated in the protest (of sorts) for five years now, and Jamestown, the company that manages the building, has vowed to reduceits carbon footprint by 20 percent before 2020. Others have made similar efforts, and one of the signs in Times Square is even powered completely by solar panels.

The Crossroads of the World

Times Square is obviously a busy place, and again, it’s an impossibly complex piece of technology in its own right. But before bright lights and the stores and the stupid naked cowboy, it was a gathering spot, not just for Americans but for people from all over the world. That’s why people call it the Crossroads of the World.

How Times Square WorksEXPAND

Some call this bombastic little spot, America’s Town Square. There’s even stadium seating.

While the signs don’t tell the whole story, they exist as living proof that Times Square is evolving machine, always on and always adapting to whatever the future brings. Companies like D3 make up a multimillion dollar industry that revolves simply around these ever-changing displays, a business so curiously impactful that some tourists come to New York City just to see the signs.

Perhaps most profoundly, however, is the fact that the signs stand as tribute to the unabashed glory that is American ingenuity. A hundred years ago, Times Square was just a little piece of real estate halfway into the relative countryside that was Uptown back then. A visionary newspaper owner, careful urban planning, even more careful urban renewal efforts, millions of visitors, and of course, some pretty awesome signs have now helped Times Square become one of the most iconic places on Earth.

And if you really think about it, without all those signs, Times Square would be just another messy Manhattan intersection.

Top image by Jim Cooke, photo via stockelements / Shutterstock.com

Photos by Michael Hession / Wikipedia / AP

Jazz and the Beat Generation

Standard
Jazz and the Beat Generation

cartoon-saxophone-player-ai-5316311
Jazz and the Beat Generation
As the Beat movement was getting underway, bebop was already going strong, especially in New York City, where 52nd Street was bustling with activity in jazz clubs up and down its length. Bebop was an innovative style of jazz which saw its heyday in the ’40s, characterized by smaller combos as opposed to big bands and a larger focus on virtuosity. Bebop’s renaissance came about in the heart of New York City, where musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Max Roach and Miles Davis were ushering in a new era for jazz music.
Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and friends spent much of their time in New York clubs such as the Red Drum, Minton’s, the Open Door and other hangouts, shooting the breeze and digging the music. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis rapidly became what Allen Ginsberg dubbed “Secret Heroes” to this group of aesthetes.

Why did jazz suddenly become such a driving force behind the writings of the Beat authors? What similarities can we find between jazz musicians and the Beats? Perhaps the most obvious comparison we can make is indicated by the very word “beat.”

“The word ‘beat’ was primarily in use after World War II by jazz musicians and hustlers as a slang term meaning down and out, or poor and exhausted”. Kerouac went on to twist the meaning of the term “beat” to serve his own purposes, explaining that it meant “beatitude, not beat up. You feel this. You feel it in a beat, in jazz real cool jazz”.

The Beat authors borrowed many other terms from the jazz/hipster slang of the ’40s, peppering their works with words such as “square,” “cats,” “nowhere,” and “dig.” But jazz meant much more than just a vocabulary to the Beat writers. To them, jazz was a way of life, a completely different way to approach the creative process. In his book ‘Venice West’, John Arthur Maynard writes:

Jazz served as the ultimate point of reference, even though, or perhaps even because, few among them played it. From it they adopted the mythos of the brooding, tortured, solitary artist, performing with others but always alone. They talked the talk of jazz, built communal rites around using the jazzman’s drugs, and worshipped the dead jazz musicians most fervently. The musician whose music was fatal represented pure spontaneity.
In his only successful book, ‘Go’, Beat author John Clellon Holmes wrote:
In this modern jazz, they heard something rebel and nameless that spoke for them, and their lives knew a gospel for the first time. It was more than a music; it became an attitude toward life, a way of walking, a language and a costume; and these introverted kids… now felt somewhere at last.
Perhaps the best model to explain the artistic ideals of both the jazz musicians and the Beat writers would be the late 19th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Rimbaud’s attitudes towards the artist’s duty to create was quite similar to that of the jazz musician and the typical Beat poet (though it is likely that the Beat poet would purposefully imitate Rimbaud while the jazz musician would be unaware of any similarities).
Rimbaud drank heavily, wrote poetry at a young age, and “burned out” much like a number of drug-using jazz musicians. Rimbaud’s dedication to his art was so fervent that, around the age of 21, he arrived at the point where he could do no more. Beats claimed Rimbaud as another “Secret Hero,” much like Parker or Davis. The “Rimbaud complex” was an attitude that both the jazz musicians and the Beats shared.

Many Beats used heroin, Benzedrine and other drugs in adulation of the jazz musicians which used them, hoping that the drugs would do for them what they supposedly did for greats like Parker. Kerouac wrote his most famous book On the Road, frequently heralded as the definitive prose work of the Beat era, on a three-day stretch fueled by a Benzedrine binge. William S. Burroughs used his dependency on heroin as an inspiration for books such as Junky and Naked Lunch.

Not only did the Beats foolhardily try to emulate the ways of life of bebop greats, they used the principal ideas of bebop playing and applied it to prose and poetry writing, creating a style sometimes called “bop prosody.” Beat prose, especially that of Jack Kerouac, is characterized by a style submerged in the stream of consciousness, words blurted out in vigorous bursts, rarely revised and often sparsely punctuated for lines and lines. “No periods… but the vigorous space dash separating rhetorical breathing (as jazz musician drawing breath between outblown phrases)” wrote Jack Kerouac in his “Essentials of Spontaneous Prose,” one of the few pieces he wrote which explained his method of writing. In a 1968 interview with Michael Aldrich, Ginsberg said:

Yeah. Kerouac learned his line from–directly from Charlie Parker, and Gillespie, and Monk. He was listening in ’43 to Symphony Sid and listening to “Night in Tunisia” and all the Bird-flight-noted things which he then adapted to prose line.
One of the governing maxims of the Beat style of writing was expressed by Allen Ginsberg when he paraphrased an old Zen Buddhist philosophy in his words, “First thought, best thought.” Ginsberg called this improvisational technique applied to writing “composing on the tongue,” and it was used in one way or another by many of the Beat writers. Gregory Corso wrote a poem about the sun which was entirely spontaneous. “Sun hypnotic! holy all protracted long and sure! firey goblet! day-babble!”, and so forth.
The rhythm, meter and length of verse was also distinctly more similar to jazz music than it was to traditionally European styles. Ted Joans, a poet and friend of the Beat authors, once said, “I could see that [Ginsberg] was picking up the language and rhythm of jazz, that he wasn’t following the European tradition”. Ginsberg fancied himself a poet in the style of a bebop musician because he lengthened the poetic line to fit the length of his own breath, paused for air, and launched another line, sometimes starting with the same word as the last line. Jazz music is distinct in its stressing of the second and fourth beats, as in traditional African music, as opposed to the stressing of the first and third beats, as in Western music. Beat poetry frequently has a much looser, more syncopated rhythm, similar to jazz.

This technique is perhaps best exemplified in Ginsberg’s classic poem ‘Howl’, which was to Beat poetry what Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ was to Beat prose. “I depended on the word ‘who’ to keep the beat, a base to keep measure, return to and take off again onto another streak of invention,” Ginsberg said in a 1959 essay about his approach to poetry. The verbal technique of ‘Howl’ can easily be compared to a Charlie Parker song, in which Parker plays a series of improvisational phrases upon the same theme, pausing for breath and starting another. But Ginsberg said, “Lester Young, actually, is what I was thinking about… ‘Howl’ is all “Lester Leaps In.” And I got that from Kerouac. Or paid attention to it on account of Kerouac, surely–he made me listen to it”.

Perhaps the Beat who felt the strongest racial empathy with the jazz world was Leroi Jones, who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka. Baraka was a very different sort of Beat poet, and he was never a big part of the previously discussed group of core writers. Baraka was primarly set apart from the other Beats due to his attitudes derived from his African-American heritage. Most of the Beat authors were white. Baraka used his race as the fuel for much of his poetry, and he was very extreme in his political and racial viewpoints.

In his poetry, Baraka achieved levels perhaps closest to the goals of jazz musicians, especially John Coltrane, whom Baraka admired deeply. Baraka even contributed writing to the liner notes of a recent Coltrane anthology, using elements of scat to write lines such as “aggeeewheeeuheageeeee.aeeegeheooouaaaa”. Baraka took note of Coltrane’s “inversions” of tunes written by whites, such as “My Favorite Things,” and their transformations in works such as Jack Kerouac’s ‘Desolation Angels’ or ‘On the Road’.

Kerouac was particularly into the bop scene, even outside of his works. In his book ‘Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis’, Jack Chambers writes:

Kerouac was even booked into the Village Vanguard to “play” regular sets, reading poetry with jazz accompaniment… on his better nights, he dispensed with the poetry and took up scat singing, including a faithful rendering of a Miles Davis solo that… “was entirely accurate and something more than a simple imitation.”
According to Ted Joans, Kerouac “knew lots of jazz musicians”, and befriended musicians such as Zoot Sims, Al Cohn and Brue Moore.
As Ginsberg said that ‘Howl’ was all “Lester Leaps In,” Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ was partially inspired by Dexter Gordon’s and Wendell Gray’s “The Hunt”. From ‘On the Road’:

[Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) stands] bowed before the big phonograph listening to a wild bop record… “The Hunt,” with Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray blowing their tops before a screaming audience that gave the record fantastic frenzied volume.
Kerouac even tackles the role of jazz historian in another part of ‘On the Road’. Triggered by a jazz club performance in Chicago, Kerouac launches into this ambitious paragraph:
Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; before him the mad musicians who had paraded on official days and broke up their Sousa marches into ragtime. Then there was swing, and Roy Eldridge, vigorous and virile, blasting the horn for everything it had in waves of power and subtlety–leaning to it with glittering eyes and a lovely smile and sending it out broadcast to rock the jazz world. Then had come Charlie Parker, a kid in his mother’s woodshed in Kansas City, blowing his taped-up alto among the logs, practicing on rainy days, coming out to watch the old swinging Basie and Benny Moten band that had Hot Lips Page and the rest Charlie Parker leaving home and coming to Harlem, and meeting mad Thelonious Monk and madder Gillespie–Charlie Parker in his early days when he was flipped and walked around in a circle while playing. Somewhat younger than Lester Young, also from KC, that gloomy, saintly goof in whom the history of jazz was wrapped; for when he held his horn high and horizontal from his mouth he blew the greatest; and as his hair grew longer and he got lazier and stretched-out, his horn came down halfway; till it finally fell all the way and today as he wears his thick-soled shoes so that he can’t feel the sidewalks of life his horn is held weakly against his chest, and he blows cool and easy getout phrases. Here were the children of the American bop night.
Kerouac was also a poet, and he used his poetic abilities to eulogize Charlie Parker upon his death in his book of poetry Mexico City Blues. Choruses 239 to 241 are dedicated to Parker.
Charlie Parker looked like Buddha
Charlie Parker, who recently died…
“Wail, Wop” Charlie burst
His lungs to reach the speed
Of what the speedsters wanted
And what they wanted
Was his eternal Slowdown.
New York beat Gregory Corso similarly eulogized Bird upon his death in a poem called “Requiem for ‘Bird’ Parker, Musician,” published in his 1955 book ‘The Vestal Lady on Brattle’.
first voice
hey, man, BIRD is dead
they got his horn locked up somewhere
put his horn in a corner somewhere
like where’s the horn, man, where?

second voice

screw the horn
like where’s BIRD?
Corso’s 1958 book ‘Gasoline’ also contains a poem entitled “For Miles.”
Poet whose sound is played
lost or recorded
but heard
can you recall that 54 night at the Open Door
when you & bird
wailed five in the morning some wondrous
yet unimaginable score? (Corso, 50)
But of all the Beats, it is probably John Clellon Holmes who admired jazz musicians the most. He dedicated an entire book to the story of a down-and-out tenor sax player named Edgar Pool, entitled ‘The Horn’. Holmes also extrapolated an incredible amount of meaning from the aforementioned Dexter Gordon song, “The Hunt,” saying “listen there for the anthem in which we jettisoned the intellectual Dixieland of atheism, rationalism, liberalism–and found our group’s rebel streak at last”. Holmes’ ‘Go’ is full of religious imagery linked to jazz; his use of words such as “testament,” “sacrament,” “holy,” “mystery,” “prophecy,” “ritual” and “altar” assign a divine quality to jazz.
All of this is rather ironic when we read a journal entry of Holmes’, written on December 15, 1948:

As far as bop: I have stayed up very late with Jack [Kerouac], listening to Symphony Sid (“the all-night, all-frantic one”), who plays six solid hours of bop “at your request and in our groove.” I’m still puzzled by it as music, although I hear plenty of fine things in Dizzy and Parker, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a…response to this post-war period.
Not only does Holmes seem not to “get it,” he incorrectly dubs bebop a “reaction,” when in fact it slowly evolved from late swing and transition period jazz. Still, Holmes was undeniably influenced by the bebop musicians.
West Coast poets were so influenced by the jazz movement that they made radical strides in synthesizing the two for the sake of live performances. The two primary poets responsible for this movement were Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Kenneth Rexroth, who attempted to liberate poetry from the clutches of the academics “who wouldn’t know poetry if it came up and buggered them in broad daylight” in Ginsberg’s words. Incorporating jazz, they believed, would attract a wider audience and bring poetry down to the level of the average jazz-club patron.

Many of these poems were recited with jazz accompaniment at the Cellar, San Francisco’s foremost jazz club. The results were tape recorded and released on the Fantasy jazz label, with the music of an ensemble comprised of tenor saxophonist Bruce Lippincott, drummer Sonny Wayne, pianist Bill Weisjahns, bassists Jerry Goode and Bob Lewis, and trumpeter Dickie Mills. Rexroth performed his 20-minute poem “Thou Shalt Not Kill” with a free-jazz accompaniment. Ferlinghetti wrote seven poems published in his ‘A Coney Island of the Mind’ with the intention that they be read with jazz. The introduction to the “Oral Messages” section reads:

These seven poems were conceived specifically for jazz accompaniment and as such should be considered as spontaneously spoken “oral messages” rather than as poems written for the printed page. As a result of continued experimental reading with jazz, they are still in a state of change.
With this new wave in performance, jazz musicians also found a new challenge in assimilating to the vocal and emotional element of the reciting poet. “…[I]n the words of Lipppincott… “We… respond with our instruments as emotionally as possible to the words of the poem and also the pre-arranged form. Such as… for this many lines we will have the drums swelling and rolling and the bass will enter at the bottom and play bowed”.
Very few of the Beats were jazz musicians to any extent. Similarly, the jazz musicians of the time did not often have literary aspirations. Thus, the inspirational connection between the Beat authors and the musicians was not exactly a two-way street. There are some exceptions; Charles Mingus’ “Fables of Faubus” was occasionally performed with poetic accompaniment, and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” was released with a poem penned by Coltrane himself in the liner notes. There was also a degree of interaction between the two artistic fields; as previously stated, Kerouac interacted with quite a few jazz musicians, including Miles Davis.

Thus, without the Beats, the jazz movement would probably have rolled right along. But, as we have seen, the Beat movement relied heavily upon the genius of great such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis for the inspiration that produced such valuable works like Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ and Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’. How fortunate that the two movements coincided at just the right time.

— mike_janssen

Daniel Radcliffe, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Darlings reblogged from LIterary KIcks by Levi Asher

Standard
Daniel Radcliffe, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Darlings reblogged from LIterary KIcks by Levi Asher

killyourdarlings..

Literary Kicks
Intellectual Curiosities and Provocations
Daniel Radcliffe, Allen Ginsberg and the Beat Darlings

Levi Asher on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:29 pm

Beat Generation, Biography, Film, Indie, Jazz Age, Love, New York City, Reviews, Transgressive
.
There are two great cinematic jokes in the new film Kill Your Darlings, two sly references to the dilemma of self-consciousness that this movie about the Beat Generation struggles to overcome. First, it must overcome the suffocating celebrity of Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the poet Allen Ginsberg, and the movie smartly tackles the “hey, there’s Harry Potter” problem right away. The movie opens with teenage Allen cleaning up his parents’ house, jamming to a song on the Victrola, and dancing merrily with a broom.

Kill Your Darlings toys with its literary legacy as well. As several people pitch in to help a mischievous and manipulative Columbia University student named Lucien Carr write a paper about the historian Oswald Spengler, we see a typewriter tapping out immortal words that remind us of another recent Hollywood film: “On … the …”. But then instead of “On The Road”, the words turn out to be “On the Decline of the West”.

Directed by John Krokidas and written by Austin Bunn, Kill Your Darlings is a clever, knowing film about the early exploits of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs. It’s lively in the same way that Baz Lurhmann’s Great Gatsby was (though, of course, it’s nowhere near as bombastic), and it whips up a cinematic frenzy of literary inspiration that goes even deeper than Walter Salles’s On The Road or James Franco’s Howl into the ecstatic and Dionsyian mission of the early Beats. The movie has frustrating flaws, but perhaps succeeds mainly through the dedication of the excellent cast, which includes Jennifer Jason Leigh as Ginsberg’s schizophrenic mother, Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr and Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs. Daniel Radcliffe’s Allen Ginsberg also works very well, which goes to show that Daniel Radcliffe is good at playing divinely inspired fervent innocents.

I like Radcliffe’s earnest, heartfelt Ginsberg — even though I don’t think he quite captures the weird, powerful presence the famous poet always had (James Franco and other recent Allen Ginsbergs have also failed to capture his strong vibe). Having met and talked to Allen several times, I’ve sometimes struggled to describe his presence and have ended up resorting to the word “froggy”. Allen Ginsberg had a croaking voice, bulging, peeking eyes, a jumpy, crouched stance. His improbable demeanor added to the considerable urgency of his presence. I wish some actor could capture his heavy presence, his odd charisma, but if Allen Ginsberg’s spirit animal is a frog, Daniel Radcliffe’s in this movie turns out to be more like a chameleon or a cute lizard. It’s not the same thing.

The movie is about the early Beats as students in upper Manhattan, and about a murder (Lucien Carr stabbed and drowned an ex-lover) that shook all their friendships and left them all feeling guilty of one crime or another. The murder is less interesting than the blooming friendships, though some long scenes of campus pranks become frivolous and phony (a long sequence involving a library break-in descends to cartoonish storytelling, for no good payoff). At a couple of bad moments, the movie feels like a “Little Archies” of the Beat Generation — familiar faces, but younger and chubbier, with bigger smiles.

But this movie isn’t afraid to be cute, and its brashness is appealing. Kill Your Darlings may someday become a popular midnight double feature with Little Darlings, which presented a parallel vision of teenage girls flirting with danger.

There is much excitement to this movie, but little suspense or revelation. Kill Your Darlings is certainly not a mystery or a thriller. It’s a good college drama like A Separate Peace or Hitchcock’s Rope, or Dead Poets Society or History Boys — like the amazing movie of Donna Tartt’s Secret History which never has been made but hopefully someday will.

The movie stretches too many historical facts in order to wrap up too many psychological angles too neatly. But some of the twists manage to score. Unlike Marc Olmstead in Sensitive Skin, I don’t mind that Kill Your Darlings shows William S. Burroughs and Lucien Carr going wild with cut-ups on a wall years before Burroughs supposedly discovered the cut-up method with Brion Gysin. I like the idea that the idea might have echoed in his head for years. Any historical movie has the right to cut a few facts up in the name of good cinema.

But I do agree with Brian Hassett that the actor who played young Jack Kerouac fails to do much with the role, and that it makes no sense for young Lucien Carr to say “I’ll go to jail for the rest of my life” when in the real life story Jack Kerouac was known to have said “You’ll get the hot seat for this”. Why substitute a boring line for a good one, especially if the good line was historically accurate?

Well — maybe just to piss off cranky old Beats like me. That’s fresh.

TED JONES

Standard

joans1

tamang-27

untitled (23)

TED JONES

By Alex Novak

Ted Jones – Self Portrait

Ted Jones was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1927. He attended Augusta Military Academy in Virginia between 1942-1944 and then joined the Army Air Corps in 1944. He became a sergeant-ECO and left after the end of World War II in 1946.

After his stint in the service, Jones traveled through Mexico, in particular through the Yucatan during 1946-1947. He then settled down to academic studies at Penn State University, where he received a BA in Journalism and Advertising with a minor in Theater and Art in 1951.

He became Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s information specialist in 1951, but then moved on quickly to television at WRC-TV, an NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. He worked in live TV production, directing and producing shows, and worked as film editor on various NBC network news projects.

In 1954, he received the prestigious Sylvania Award for Television for the first water pollution special on television, called “Our Beautiful Potomac.” Jones also received an Emmy for his work on the cinematography and editing of the program “Urban Sprawl.” He then won a Peabody Award and Governor’s Award for producing and editing “Science in the Schools”, which was the first TV series used in public schools. Jones produced, edited and photographed “Chosen Country”, the first film on noted American author John Dos Passos, which earned him a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. His list of film and video credits also includes “I Touch the Future–I Teach”, a video production on Christa McAuliffe, the teacher-astronaut aboard the ill-fated Challenger, for the Prince George’s County School System where she first taught.

Among these many awards, he won a Special Jury Gold Medal at the Atlanta Film Festival for his time-lapse film on his own stone carving. Jones was also an accomplished sculptor, who had had seven one-man shows of this work. Over 200 of his sculptures are in private and public collections worldwide. He conducted a demonstration of stone carving on the White House grounds at the invitation of the National Park Service and the District of Columbia Government.

Ted Jones – Susan, 1999
Ted Jones – Susan, 1999

In 1960, he began work at Stuart Finley Films, Inc., where he worked as an independent film producer. The company and Jones spent the next 17 years producing films in the environmental field.

In 1977, Jones began to freelance, making videos, films and black and white photographs.

He had many picture credits, including Time, Fortune and LIFE magazines. He photographed and printed a traveling exhibition entitled “People of the Northern Neck”, which portrayed the work ethic of the watermen of historic tidewater Virginia for the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation.

Jones was well-known for his work in 19th-century non-silver photographic printing processes, particularly the gum-dichromatic process, but he took a contemporary approach. He even applied modern computer technology to a number of these 19th-century techniques.

A retrospective show of Jones’ gum process contemporary photographs was curated by Leif Preus of the Preus Fotomuseum, Norway, and was exhibited throughout Scandinavia during a two-year traveling show.

The work is simply astounding for its virtuosity. Jones often used multiple color passes and an artist’s brush (used to manipulate the image while still wet) to create images that often have more in common with fine art graphics than photography. Yet these images are still grounded in the world of the real, albeit often overlaid with a strong dose of fantasy.

Jones often printed in large sizes (some larger than life-size) that are very rare for this medium, which has to be worked quickly before a print dries. His images range from urban landscapes that share much with Edward Hopper’s desolate vision to portraits and nudes that that take as much from Demachy’s classicism as from Nan Goldin’s personal sociology and contemporary feel.

His photographs are in the collections of the St. Louis Art Museum, the University of New Mexico Art Museum and the James A. Michener Museum of Art. A large body of his work is in the personal collection of photography dealer Alexander Novak.

He passed away quietly at his home in Falls Church, VA on August 23, 2007.

Ted Joans, 74; Beat Poet’s Work Reflected Jazz and African Culture

Some Poems from WOW
Here are a few poems from the book, WOW. You can order WOW (signed or unsigned) here.

TED JONES POEMS

ABOVE HIM
I saw Senghor
I was above him
Not hovering
Like a cloud
or a helicopter
but just a
High-lofty-observing
Poet
Looking down
At Senghor the poet
Who hovers high
Like a cloud
or a heavenly
helicopter
filled with leaflets
that shame butterflies’ wings
And rainbows end
I saw Senghor
the poet
Dressed in contradiction

DON’T LET THE MINUTE SPOIL THE HOUR
for the little white poem, the big painting blue, and the swinging
music in hot red
SHE WAS HIS MUSE…YET REFUSED HIS HUMBLE BED
for a jug of wine (black), a few slices of cheese (yellow), and
a long lovely loaf of brown bread
for that she gave him money…BUT STILL REFUSED HIS BED!
for faraway trips, or making snobbish social scenes, or even
in the parks holding hands (while pigeons were fed)
SHE SAID SHE DUG HIM (to hear it bugged him) ’cause she
STILL REFUSED HIS BED!
NOW HE DON’T PAINT, NOR WRITE A POEM, NOR PLAY HIS
SWINGING MUSIC IN HOT RED
BECAUSE HE IS A B E A T N I K
AND THUS THE lovesick ARTIST IS DEAD!

OKAY, YOU ARE AFRAID OF AFRICA
…to those who live by their enslaving sword
Okay, you are afraid of Africa!
you with the long dark overcoat
” with the wide trouser cuffs
” with the Moscow autumn wind
” with the DC cracker grin
” with the rag waving pride
” with a cougar’s drop of dung
” with a thimble’s innocence near dawn
” with a plaid tablecloth’s obscenities
” with a lost mustache of wax
” with a column of Louvre trembling
” with a flabby belly of British beer
” with the blood of two kings on your boots
one living one dead
intensifying the fear you fear
the guilt you grow from year to year

Obituaries

May 13, 2003|Dennis McLellan | Times Staff Writer

Joans, an expatriate Beat generation poet whose work reflected a strong black consciousness, a surrealistic sense of humor and the rhythms of avant-garde jazz, has died. He was 74.

Joans, who for many years divided his time between Paris and Timbuktu, a city in the West African nation of Mali, was found dead Wednesday in his apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia. Police in Vancouver, where Joans made his home in recent years, determined that he died April 25 of complications of diabetes, said his daughter, Daline Jones-Weber.

The self-described “jazz poet” came of literary age in Greenwich Village in the 1950s, the heyday of fellow beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

Joans’ “irreverent writings” are characterized by “celebrations of sexuality, jazz music, African culture and social revolution,” according to “Dictionary of Literary Biography: Afro-American Poets Since 1955.”

“I think he’s got a place in several genres,” said Gerald Nicosia, author of the Kerouac biography “Memory Babe,” who edited “Teducation,” a 1999 collection of Joans’ poems.

“He was absolutely an important member of the beat generation and the Surrealist group,” Nicosia said.

“The French Surrealists always considered him an absolute peer.”

Indeed, Andre Breton, a French poet known as the leader of the modern movement in literature that attempts to portray the workings of the unconscious mind, once hailed Joans as “the only Afro-American Surrealist.”

Joans is also considered an important writer of the black experience, Nicosia said.

“A lot of his poems deal with racism, the problems of being black in a white society,” he said.

“Ted very consciously made an effort to connect the dots between the African experience itself with the African American experience.”

Nicosia said that poet Langston Hughes, Joans’ Greenwich Village mentor, “was a great encourager not only in his personal life, but Hughes’ poetry gave him encouragement in terms of writing about the dignity of being black and also being able to mine the richness of his black heritage.”

Joans was born Theodore Jones on July 4, 1928, in Cairo, Ill. According to some biographical accounts, his father, a riverboat musician, gave him a trumpet at age 12 and let him off the boat in Memphis to go on his own.

An amused Jones-Weber said Monday she had never heard that story before her father died, and, if true, she wondered how long he could have been on his own because he graduated from high school and went on to college.

Joans — he changed the spelling of his last name in the 1950s to set himself apart — earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Indiana University in 1951. Then he moved to Greenwich Village.

At one point, Village Voice photographer Fred McDarrah ran a Rent a Beatnik ad as a joke and found himself getting requests for the service. So, McDarrah recruited his friend Joans, who earned rent money reading his poems at parties.

After his friend, jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker, died in 1955, Joans took credit for scrawling “Bird Lives” graffiti around the city.

Though best known for his poetry, Joans’ abstract portrait of Parker, “Bird Lives,” hangs in the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco.

Joans explained his decision to leave the United States in his 1961 book “All of Ted Joans and No More”: “I hate cold weather, and they will not let me live democratically in the warm states of the United States, so I’m splitting and letting America perish.”

Joans had about 30 books published by small presses, including “Jazz Poems” (1959), “The Hipsters” (1961), “Afrodisia: New Poems” (1970), “A Black Manifesto in Jazz Poetry and Prose” (1971), “Black Pow-Wow: Jazz Poems” (1969) and “Our Thang” (2001), a collection of his poems and paintings by his longtime companion Laura Corsiglia.

But most of his published works were chapbooks, small, inexpensively produced books of 20 to 30 pages.

Joans was never interested in submitting his poems to major magazines and publishing houses.

“As a poet, I cannot cash in on the system because I’m not interested in being a part of the system,” he told the Seattle Times in 1990.

In 1998, the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley purchased the first batch of Joans’ papers: 24 boxes of manuscripts, correspondence, notes and clippings.

The income was welcomed by Joans, who supported himself primarily with his writing.

To describe it even as a modest living, his daughter said, is a stretch.

“He lived a Bohemian life,” Jones-Weber said. “He was never destitute; he always had a place to live, although some of what he called his nests [in Paris] were truly nests: tiny, tiny places — 200 square feet — but filled to the brim with nothing but books, old jazz albums, paintings and some artifacts and things he collected on his travels.

“He didn’t own furniture or material things other than his clothing. But he was rich in other ways. That sounds corny, but he was blessed with many friends and fans all over the world.”

In addition to Jones-Weber of San Leandro, he is survived by nine other children: Ted Jones of Santa Monica; Teresa Jordan of Whittier; Jeanne Marie Jones of Rialto; Robert Jones of Long Beach; Lars Jones and Tor Jones of Oslo, Norway; Russell Jones of Scotland; Sylvia Jones-Johnson of Louisville, Ky., and Yvette Jones-Johnson of Stafford, Va.; and 12 grandchildren.

At Joans’ request, there will be no memorial service.

BOB KAUFMAN

Standard

imagesF91P9BXS

imagesYBVSX229

jjgcover

Bob Kaufman Photo: Ira Nowinski. Courtesy of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Bob Kaufman: The Enigmatic Beat Poet

Bob Kaufman once declared, “I want to be anonymous . . . my ambition is to be completely forgotten,” as Raymond Foye recalls in his introduction to The Ancient Rain: Poems 1956-1978, a collection of Kaufman’s poetry. A leading figure in the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance of the 1950s, Kaufman’s poems, politics, and, perhaps most importantly, his embrace of the oral nature of poetry informed and influenced a generation of poets. However, no definitive study of Kaufman’s work exists, and, given the ambling details of his life, perhaps no complete study may ever be possible.

Remembrances, essays, and tributes by and about the man credited with coining the term “beatnik” are scattershot through Beat histories and memoirs. There are a few volumes of his poems still in print, including Ancient Rain and Cranial Guitar: Selected Poems by Bob Kaufman. Still, much of Kaufman’s alternately ascetic and highly public life remains a mystery. Even what is known about Kaufman is not all certain; he was born into a large family in New Orleans, to a Catholic African American mother and a father of German Orthodox Jewish heritage.

Kaufman left the Merchant Marine in the early 1940s for a brief stay at the New School in New York City, where he met Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. The three left for San Francisco to join Gregory Corso, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Jack Kerouac in the city’s North Beach neighborhood, where the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance took root. Kaufman’s work soon became popular in France, where he helped create an audience for the Beats, and was known as “the black American Rimbaud.”

After the assassination of President Kennedy, Kaufman took a legendary vow of silence that ended ten years later, the day the war in Vietnam ended, when he walked into a coffee shop and recited his poem, “All Those Ships That Never Sailed.” His life cycled through periods of poverty, methadone addiction, and extended creative periods until his death in 1986 from emphysema.

Modeled on the rich tones and structures of jazz, Kaufman’s poems were built on melodic assurance and vibrant sonics. He claimed close friendship with many of the pioneering figures of be-bop, including Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus, and Charlie Parker (for whom Kaufman named his only son, Parker). Calling Kaufman “the quintessential jazz poet,” Foye pointed to his ability to adapt “the harmonic complexities and spontaneous invention of be-bop to poetic euphony and meter.”

This understanding of jazz, of its adherence to tight compositional structures that made possible freeform improvisation, shaped Kaufman’s essential ideas about poetry, namely that invention and recitation were of supreme importance, and the sound of the poem is as much the subject of the poem as any observation or story it contained. In the short poem “Cocoa Morning,” Kaufman created a pattern that matches words to sounds in a jazz-inspired manner, as in the second stanza:

Drummer, hummer, on the floor,
Dreaming of wild beats, softer still,
Yet free of violent city noise,
Please, sweet morning,
Stay here forever.

This jazz influence sparked the Beat generation in significant ways. Following Kaufman’s example, many of the Beats desired to free the poem from the printed page to bring it directly to the audience. Embracing this bardic tradition of orality, the Beats borrowed from jazz the qualites of improvisation, muscular musicality, and direct transmission. The performance of the poem became the reason for the poem, explaining, in part, the significance attached to the first public readings of Ginsberg’s “Howl.”

Much of the difficulty editors, scholars, and admirers have in putting together Kaufman’s poems and life is that he was an oral poet, and embraced the anonymity of the role. For Kaufman, the public space had no boundaries; he would recite to people stuck in traffic, patrons of restaurants, audiences gathered in one of San Francisco’s hot-spot coffee houses or bars–it didn’t matter. The poem, not the poet, was what mattered. To that end, many of his poems were lost, with the odd fragment often jotted down on a scrap of paper or cocktail napkin. His editor, Foye, recalls discovering manuscripts of Kaufman’s poems in his burned apartment, astonishingly surviving a fire that damaged the building beyond repair. One poem, included in Cranial Guitar, was found on the floor of a North Shore diner Kaufman frequented, a fitting emblem of the poet’s indifference to the trappings of fame.
– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5810#sthash.CbxBMeCr.dpuf

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/…/5810

BOB KAUFMAN POEMS

Online  Source


Jazz Chick
Music from her breast, vibrating Soundseared into burnished velvet. Silent hips deceiving fools. Rivulets of trickling ecstacy From the alabaster pools of Jazz Where music cools hot souls. Eyes more articulately silent Than Medusa’s thousand tongues. A bridge of eyes, consenting smiles reveal her presence singing Of cool remembrance, happy balls Wrapped in swinging Jazz Her music… Jazz.

Online  Source


On
On yardbird corners of embryonic hopes, drowned in a heroin tear. On yardbird corners of parkerflights to sound filled pockets in space. On neuro-corners of striped brains & desperate electro-surgeons. On alcohol corners of pointless discussion & historical hangovers. On television corners of cornflakes & rockwells impotent America. On university corners of tailored intellect & greek letter openers. On military corners of megathon deaths & universal anesthesia. On religious corners of theological limericks and On radio corners of century-long records & static events. On advertising corners of filter-tipped ice-cream & instant instants On teen-age corners of comic book seduction and corrupted guitars, On political corners of wamted candidates & ritual lies. On motion picture corners of lassie & other symbols. On intellectual corners of conversational therapy & analyzed fear. On newspaper corners of sexy headlines & scholarly comics. On love divided corners of die now pay later mortuaries. On philosophical corners of semantic desperadoes & idea-mongers. On middle class corners of private school puberty & anatomical revolts On ultra-real corners of love on abandoned roller-coasters On lonely poet corners of low lying leaves & moist prophet eyes.

Online  Source


O-Jazz-O
Where the string At some point, Was umbilical jazz, Or perhaps, In memory, A long lost bloody cross, Buried in some steel cavalry. In what time For whom do we bleed, Lost notes, from some jazzman’s Broken needle. Musical tears from lost Eyes. Broken drumsticks, why? Pitter patter, boom dropping Bombs in the middle Of my emotions My father’s sound My mother’s sound, Is love, Is life.

hobohippie

counterculture,alternative news,art

euzicasa

Share something you learned everyday!

Under the Counterculture

Where dead fingers talk

Kenny Wilson's Web Site

The home page of musician, songwriter, blogger and photographer Kenny Wilson from Leicester U.K.

John Walters

thoughts on writing, travel, and literature

jsb: Getting Healthy

Holistic Wellness: Your Health, Your Life, Your Choice

Formentera Blues

Back to the island...

Revolutionary Musings

My everyday thoughts as they come to me

The Godly Chic Diaries

BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

Allegra Sleep Fine Art

Taos, New Mexico

deep fotografie

deep fotografie

Be ▲rtist - Be ▲rt Magazine

GLOB▲L - M▲G▲ZINE

concretebologna

the world of art

Psychedelic Traveler

Your psychedelic travel guide around the globe

SherayxWeblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Welcome To My World

A World Where Fantasies Are Real And Dreams Do Come True

PT Boat Red

The WWII US Navy career of my father, Red Stahley, PT boat radioman.

All Thoughts Work™ Outdoors 5

Hiking with snark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest 2014 - 2018

In the Zone

Photos, art, and a little bit of lit....

power of h Weblog

I wish I'd been born seven hours earlier

Paint Your Landscape

A Journey of Self-Discovery & Adventure

India Destinations

Exploring Best Indian Destinations for You

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

Feuersteincomics

Comics und andere Werke des Künstlers Denis Feuerstein

rahulkumar961

Bit of this, bit of that

Rants, Raves and Random Thoughts

Diary of a Shipwrecked Alien

papergong

Music In The Key Of See

THE RUSTY PROJECT

Fe2O3.nH2O photographs

-GET YESTERDAY’S NEWS TODAY-

Jon Wilson’s 1920’s and 1930’s - a unique time in our history.

rabirius

photography and other things

Bohemian Butterfly

Beautiful gardens, garden art and outdoor living spaces

Art by Ken

The works and artistic visions of Ken Knieling.

Canadian Art Junkie

Visual Arts from Canada & Around the World

andrei plimbarici

Calatorind Descoperi

Edward R. Myers Photography

Captured moments of life as I see it

Kathy Waller

~ Telling the Truth, Mainly

TrappersWildWest

Historian. Artist. Gunmaker.

On The Road Again 2018

Touring the USA on a Moto Guzzi Breva 750.

Cavalcade of Awesome

All Pax. All Nude. All the Time.

phototexas

Welcome to My World......

johncoyote

Poetry, story and real life. Once soldier, busnessman, grandfather and Poet.

Gypsy Road Trip

Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

All Thoughts Work™ Outdoors

Hiking with snark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest 2011 - 2013

膜龍工坊

光華商場筆電,手機,翻譯機,遊戲機...等3C產品包膜專門店

%d bloggers like this: