"[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day."
Robert Stone

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September 30, 2009


Though this blog is about 21st century visual culture, as explored in the book Watching the World Change, every so often I encounter a non-visual aspect of the culture that I feel I just have to write about….

On Friday evening, "free jazz" pioneer Ornette Coleman, age 79, made his debut at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, disgorging propulsive, mordant discordance from his sax, trumpet, and violin – often during the course of a single song -- in the premiere event of the new JALC season.

In 1930, the year of Coleman’s birth, novelist James Joyce was consumed with writing his last masterpiece, Finnegans Wake (published in 1939) – in some ways a literary precursor to bebop, modern jazz, and to Coleman’s circuitous, combustible, free jazz idiom. In the spirit of Coleman and Finnegan, herewith: an homage to Friday’s performance by Coleman, his son Denardo (on drums) and a double-bass tag team of Anthony Falanga (acoustic) and Al McDowell (electric)...

Bopgoblin moogoogle flugelhornettish coquettery. Cornettishistic scatterwalling poco loco rococo. Ornery orotund knottypine fandango. Ornate atonal contrapuntificat, all scatterscat, this swarm-snarling stacattornado hailspawning and tailspinning at, say, 300 Bird-Miles-an-hour.

Sated and satiated by that mood indigogo goo-spewed stew of gogobootilicioius ornetti orecchiette, with bacchanalli rabe. Festooned with a festering blistering fistulae of throbbing gristlewhistle. Try the combo-jumbo mumbo, that turbo-Trumbo mumble-gambol gumbo, those comafunktose piston-hissssin, valvoline-sheened crankcase flakes.

Hark the Googleplexiconstantinobalisque, oeuvreshadowcasting all. Check out that rhomboid porkpie-lidded Daddy-o, the balderdishdasha maharishi, the globo-boho oboe-toting hobo on that doom-domed dromedarian recalcitrantic mantis. Lisssssssin to the eardrumkitandkaboodle, the swoondoogled toggle-snuggled unpluggeried glug-glug-gluggery.

Fallopium tubularity recapostulates the phallogenie. The vortiginous oronoconnoiters with His Infinitessimillogical Fractallusiveness.

Parasolipsustenant percussteraneous bloody bleebop agitpop. Asymphonic tonic-and-Sapphire. Freakopediant cybelencyclical. Fever-dream, swine-fluted tympandemonium. Cymbalumbilicalifragilisticalifornication.

Relativoltaic Einsteinian steinwayfarers! Rosenclank und Guildensturm-und-dranglers! Cascading tjader-esque bags-groovin’ rassanrollin’ sonnyrollickin’ monkful birdybyrdian dizzydecorous coltransistored dexter-beiderbexterous, itty-bitty-ubiquititty-rhythmsticketty, massive-assive clavichordant ornithologists, All! Percussin’ cuzzins...Ayyyy, men.

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