Pete Fountain is how I first learned of the existence of New Orleans. When I was a little kid, my grandpa took me to hear Pete Fountain and Al Hirt in concert. Then I got a double-cassette collection of Pete’s music and fell in love. I’ve heard a lot of great music from the Crescent City since then, but Pete will always have a special place in my heart for being first. Here’s my favorite Pete Fountain performance:
This band features three-fourths of the band Circle (the missing member is Anthony Braxton). Right out of the gate, the trio is forceful and free-flying in their take on Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti.” And then on the next track, it’s “gaze into one’s soul” time on Corea’s “Ballad For Tillie.” A fun outing by three supremely talented players.
Note: Listen to my 2012 interview with Barry Altschul.
Tonight I interviewed saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa about his forthcoming album Bird Calls. The album comes out on Feb. 10. It features Matt Mitchell on piano, Francois Moutin on bass, Rudy Royston on drums and Adam O’Farrill on trumpet. You’ll hear the interview soon on The Jazz Session. On Wednesday I’m going to interview Peter Apfelbaum. And then Akua Dixon next week. And then…lots more people.
how many times in how many bars
on how many napkins
text bleeding into the cheap paper
better suited for soaking up
condensation and mistakes
the band is playing “A Felicidade”
we are talking but not talking
text and subtext and saxophone
trying to avoid monkey clapping
loose lips sink ships
/ / /
28 February 2014
Zola, State College
Never heard “A Felicidade”? Enjoy.
A poem inspired by a conversation with saxophonist Sarah Manning..
/ / /
she goes each day to the ocean
to look for the whales, she says
that’s why she stays
despite the pull of the opposite shore
the all but inescapable magnet
tugging on the keys of her saxophone
of a morning she is crouched there
at the boundary, eyes narrowed
searching for shadows on the surface
a spray of spout-water above the waves
one day she knows she will hear them singing
on that day she’ll put lips to reed
feel the air move from her lungs
and she’ll join them in their song