Don Ellis Haiku

I had the lp of horn player Don Ellis’s Haiku- purchase used at Cheapies because of the title. On the east coast I owned his live double lp Tears of Joy – which, at that time, was too jazzy for me – so I was tentative about anything else by him but the concept of jazz Haiku appealed to me. Each piece is based on, gasp, a Haiku (which were included on the liner). Very nice.

Tears of Joy was left behind when I moved from the east coast but some tracks stuck in my head so when I got high-speed I tracked it down.  But both have been replaced with mp3 versions. I quite enjoy Tears of Joy now: adventurous with wild time signatures & a lot fun. On another mp3 collection I have his How Time Passes which features the amazing pianist Jackie Byard: this is full force fine experimental nearly free form jazz & excellent but not for beginners 🙂 

How did I even end up with Tears of Joy? That is due to Chuck Mangione’s Friends & Love – a live double lp that was hugely popular & I guess still is. Another horn player with pretty good taste doing show with an orchestra. I was never impressed by the orchestra as it was merely jazz with strings. This in an lp to cd dupe so I edited out what bored me – the bulk of which was Friends & Love Suite: m.o.r. with tedious lyrics. I love the rest in particular Stanley Watson’s solo acoustic guitar work (which for some reason is dropped from the cd release). This is jazz for beginners.

 

I rounded out this cd with various traditional Chinese music recordings. Yin Biao: Tradition Chinese Melodies, Tradition Ensemble; WU Zhaoji: Wumen Qin Music. A fitting counter point to the Haiku. I enjoy this music with is odd harmonies, sonics & percussions.

Name

The ashes in the grate were cold. The room was cold. It smelled of sleep, someone sleeping there but who was not there now. That stale tired body smell. The bed was cold. The cupboards were bare.

‘There’s nothing here.’ The Officer Browne looked to his partner Sgt. Leaf.

‘Nothing.’ Leaf nodded. ‘Are you sure of your facts Mr. Axworthy?’

‘Yes. I mean there was … my mother-in-law was here only yesterday. My little girl saw her. Spoke with her.’

‘And where is this little girl now?’

‘She should be here too. Now I … we sent her out this morning with … ’ his eyes darted about the room to find the basket, ‘this. Food for Grandma Hubbard. Nothing much. Some preserves, bread.’

Officer Browne lifted the dish cloth off the basket. It was empty. Cold. ‘Nothing in it now. Seems to have been set here some time.’ He moved the basket off the bed. A clear spot in the dust remained where the basket had been ‘How long you think it takes dust to settle like that Sgt. Leaf? How long.’

‘Good question sir. Forensics will be here soon.’

‘Forensics? We have no evidence of anything. Yet.’ his large eyes turned on Jack. ‘So let’s hear this story once again.’

‘I was chopping wood. Just a couple of hours ago. Lunch time. The missus had called me in but I had this feeling in my gut, I sensed danger for my little girl. A wolf had been seen in these here parts.’

‘Wolf?’

‘Yep.’

‘First we heard of one of those.’

‘So I came to Grandma Hubbard’s cottage as fast as I could but …’ he began to sob.

‘This was all you found.’

‘Thanks, right. Nothing. Empty.’

‘And this?’ Sgt. Leaf held up the axe. The blade rimmed red with a flame of fresh wet blood.

‘I … I don’t know. I got here and saw … the wolf … I swung the axe at him.’

‘Again with this wolf. Funny there isn’t any sign of a wolf here now. Not even a drop of blood, fur. Nothing. Nada. Now this little girl of yours. What was her name? A description.’

‘Little Red Riding Hood.’

‘Yeah so much for what she was wearing. We need a name. What was her name?’

‘Name??’

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March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Workshop: 4 pm at Glad Day with D’Scribe.

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