22 ene. 2003

Ron Silliman writes in his blog this morning ".... in addition to Camille Roy, Jonathan Mayhew, Heriberto Yepez & Nada Gordon have all kept me awake at night, rethinking my assumptions about the world.
That’s the point, isn’t it?"

I think it is very much the point. Thanks Ron! Every time I'm mentioned on Silliman's blog my own stats get a major bump.

Ron suggests Anthony Braxton and Steven Lacy for my saxophone list. Good choices. I think Braxton is definitely a good candidate. If he is missing it is more because of the limitations of my own listening. I listened to Braxton quite a bit in the 1970s but somehow never acquired very many of his recordings. I am attracted by his intellectuality, as I've mentioned before on this blog. Lacy, as well, is someone I need to listen to much more. I'd probably put Johnny Hodges at number 9 and Anthony Braxton at number 10, but this might change on a daily basis.


Number One, of course, is Charlie Parker. I usually don't go in for the concept of "genius." There is something in Parker's playing, though, that defies definition. For me, as for Julio Cortázar, it is that infinitely elastic sense of time. That sense of phrasing that noone else has been able to reproduce, despite the fact that Bird was so enormously influential. As with Coltrane, he transends the horizontal/vertical distinction.

Coming next: the American poetry list. I will not rank my choices in order, since I don't want to rankle. And the poets are simply my own preferences, so the omissions will quite glaring. I wouldn't seriously argue that William Bronk is clearly superior to, say, Ezra Pound. A list of poets who irritate the hell out of me would also be quite interesting. That's a different sort of relation, equally productive in the long run.

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