Forty Five years ago, yes FORTY FIVE years ago, Brother Giuseppi Logan's last record came out, called More Giuseppi Logan. It's hard to track down and I never heard it until I helped Giuseppi do an interview on WKCR sometime last year. Most people know about his prior record, with his song, Dance of Satan standing out. This record established him in the minds of musicians all over the world as a mysterious chapter in the hey-day of 60's Free Jazz in NYC.According to Giuseppi's son Jaee,.at a record party for Giuseppi around this time,.somebody gave G,.a humble quiet family man,and dedicated musician,.some bad acid.It was soon after this that Giuseppi was literally absorbed into the street,.becoming a true part of it.
I've been close to the street at times in my life,but I've never known anybody who took it far as Giuseppi did,(that includes Sonny Simmons who OWNS the street)The fact that he has returned from this other world and recorded his NEXT record has to be one of the greatest things to happen in Jazz since,..well,..when HENRY came back.The PROOF is in the record itself,.and I ask all readers to go ahead and check it out if they want to hear a true original who still has his sound after being through not one hell,.but SEVERAL.Tompkins square records is the label that had the FAITH and the COURAGE to step up.Giuseppi holds court in the park of the same name on the daily,practicing and coping some change.
Even the writers are Getting it,.blowing my mind.So far there have been at least 5 reviews by people who can really hear what went down,.and are actually being quite positive about the music.(Yeah,.I'm jaded).Giuseppi's comeback,.even if it ends today,.has already shown anybody that they should NEVER give up on the creative side of their lives.Brother G has been BAREFOOT on 5th ave,.and lived in a damn PHONE BOOTH,.and SURVIVED.
The record reveals some of the mystery of brother G as well,.as he shows that what he has always been is a musician who just wanted to be a better one,.something I can really relate to.His pursuit of his own version of bop on this record is because he feels that the bop masters had taken chops all the way,.and going through that was the best way for him to get his chops back and improve his concept at the same time.The record isn't anything at all like 40's bop though,.and he continues his journey as an original composer as well.The last track where he sings and plays piano trumps just about any singer I've heard in years,.because he REALLY means the lyrics.I love CONVICTION.Giuseppi,..is just DIFFERENT,.and his alto is him,.it's the sound of his soul.The sound of survival,.and triumph over adversity that would END most of us.It would have ended me for sure.It HAS ended many.
It wasn't easy to pull this record off,.but we did it.Having Dave Burrell and Warren Smith in the studio was HUGE.Beyond Huge really.Dave,.man,.he just became the GLUE right away.Two living masters of light.My great friend Francois and I went into the trenches with G,.rehearsing his music for months.Nobody would give him a shot,.and label guys started whispering that he was washed up.I knew better.I told Giuseppi I would do whatever I could to make his dream,.to go out playing,.come true,.and now it has.No matter what happens,.Giuseppi can hold his head up high from here on out having reclaimed his music and himself to some degree.He gets stronger by the day,.playing confirmation the other day in a way that only he could at a record signing at the Downtown music gallery.His story is NOT over,.Let's see what the next chapter brings.(concerts March 16th at the Bowery Poetry club on ESP night,.and April 1st in Philadelphia).Giuseppi is writing tunes and planning on his NEXT record as we speak.
Beyond all of this,.I have been blessed with a true friend.Giuseppi is Thirty five years older than me,.but we talk like we have been good friends for longer than that.We talk about the biggest mysteries in life,.God and woman,.and agree that maybe we'll never figure them out,.so we might as well keep playing until we do.
I told G the other day,..handing him a copy of his new record..
"When you get to the gates of heaven man,.just show them this,.and you'll go right in"..
Giuseppi smiled and went back into his world,.
There was a Light in his eye that told me he was planning to do just that.
Photo of Giuseppi Logan by Peter Gannushkin
Originally published at Brilliant Corners, a Boston Jazz Blog, Friday, March 12, 2010
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