Jazz trumpeter, Clora Bryant 

[The Girls in the Band]

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Happy Earth Day!!!

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John Coltrane - Ascension (Impulse!, 1966)
"The people who were in the studio were screaming," recalled alto saxophonist Marion Brown of recordingAscension with John Coltrane. “I don’t know how the engineers kept the screams out of the record.” For as much of a quest as it was to attain some higher understanding of improvisation, of music, of sound, Ascension was an aggressive, unpredictable free-for-all; a punk-rock nose-thumbing at what jazz should be. Following in the steps of Ornette Coleman, Coltrane explored the outer limits on Ascension, an album so subversive, so expectantly divisive that the original liner notes were basically a lengthy caveat from author A.B. Spellman. This was playing and thinking at its most free, and the 11-man ensemble who recorded Ascension held nothing back on its two takes. In the jumble, Ascension features some of the greatest, fiercest jazz solos of all time, notably tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders’ fire-tongued flutters on the second take, drummer Elvin Jones’ delicate cymbal rumbles and crashing snares on the first, and, of course, Coltrane’s own unpredictable runs on both. It’s a love extreme.

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Ana Mendieta, Silueta Works in Mexico, 1973-77

From The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles:

Ana Mendieta was born into a politically prominent family in Cuba closely affiliated with the Communist movement led by Fidel Castro. When the alliance between Castro’s factions and Mendieta’s father turned sour in 1961, she was sent to live in the United States. Her exile informed the development of her ensuing work; she did not identify with a particular homeland and adopted various sites for her performances and their documentation. The untitled works that comprise the Silueta series, which she preformed as she traveled between Iowa and Mexico, reveal her interest in the earth as a site to address issues of displacement by recording the presence of her body—or the imprint it left behind—within different natural environments. Mendieta often filled in the silhouette of her body on the earth with various materials such as rocks, twigs, and flowers, as well as blood and gunpowder.

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Sam Rivers Trio: 1979

The 1979 Sam Rivers recording Contrasts has just been reissued on vinyl by ECM. On this clip, recorded that year in Germany, the telepathy and subtle virtuosity of that group — here, Sam’s tenor saxophone, with Dave Holland’s bass and Thurman Barker on drums — is in compelling evidence.

-Nick Moy

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In a Sentimental Mood- Sarah Vaughan

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Sophie Calle on Take Care of Yourself (2007), first presented at the French Pavillion in the 2007 Venice Biennale:

I received an email telling me it was over.
I didn’t know how to respond.
It was almost as if it hadn’t been meant for me.
It ended with the words, “Take care of yourself.”
And so I did.
I asked 107 women (including two made from wood and one with feathers),
chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter.
To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it.
Dissect it.  Exhaust it.  Understand it for me.
Answer for me.
It was a way of taking the time to break up.
A way of taking care of myself.

As a “tour de force of feminine responses…executed in a wild range of media,” Sophie Calle orchestrates a virtual chorus of women’s interpretations and assessments of a breakup letter she received in an email. In photographic portraits, textual analysis, and filmed performances, the show presents a seemingly exhaustive compendium with contributions ranging from a clairvoyant’s response to a scientific study, a children’s fairytale to a Talmudic exegesis, among many others. Examining the conditions and possibilities of human emotions, Take Care of Yourself opens up ideas about love and heartache, gender and intimacy, labor and identity. 107 women (including a parrot) from the realms of anthropology, criminology, philosophy, psychiatry, theater, opera, soap opera and beyond each take on this letter, reading and re-reading it, performing it, transforming it, and pursuing the emotions it contains and elicits. - paula cooper gallery

Within the scope of the work:

The ex’s grammar and syntax have been torn apart by a copy editor, his manners rubbished by an etiquette consultant and his lines pored over by Talmudic scholars. He has been re-ordered by a crossword-setter, evaluated by a judge, shot up by a markswoman, second-guessed by a chess player and performed by actress Jeanne Moreau. A forensic psychiatrist decided he was a “twisted manipulator.” > read the rest of the interview here.

Video excerpt responses to the piece may be seen here. 

"To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility."

bell hooks (via hairypitsandtits)

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"People are getting so fragmented, and part of that is that fewer and fewer people are making a real effort any more to find exactly who they are and to build on that knowledge. Most people are forced to do things they don’t want to most of the time, and so they get to the point where they feel they no longer have any choice about anything important, including who they are. We create our own slavery. But I’m going to keep on getting through, and finding out the kind of man I am, through my music. That’s the one place I can be free."

Charles Mingus (1959)


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Björk // Like Someone in Love

"Bump into things like someone in love."

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