depressing depressing depressing :-( another of my idols gone...
― Marcello Carlin, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:03 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 24 March 2003 14:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Marcello Carlin, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Dadaismus, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 24 March 2003 14:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
pete b: i am, as all ile regulars know, extremely depressed at the moment for lots of other reasons, so i am also extra-sensitive to people dying to whom i looked up in one way or another. that's just the way i am. can't help it.
― Marcello Carlin, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 24 March 2003 14:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
> Dear Cuneiform friends and associates;> > My apologies for breaking this news to you in an impersonal email.> > One of the most beloved members of the world of avant jazz, Paul Haines, > died of a massive heart attack on Wednesday, January 21, 2003. He died in > Ontario, Canada, his home for many years, where he leaves behind his wife, > Jo, and children.> > This is neither an obituary of Paul, nor a comprehensive compilation of his > works. This is merely a notice to those we know in the music community of his > passing. Paul's impact on the avant jazz world was wide-ranging, and I'm ill > equipped to give justice to his achievements. I leave that to those of you > who are professional journalists and music historians.> > In brief, Paul Haines was a writer (of poems) and a video artist, who both > documented (in prose & poetic writing, as well as film and video) and > inspired (his poems transformed into music) the jazz musicians around him. > Over the years he lived in New York City, New Mexico, India (8 yrs), Paris, > Kensington, MD (a town near DC, for 1 yr.), and finally Canada, where he > lived for years in Ontario province, far outside Toronto.> > In 1995, the Toronto periodical *Sub Rosa* published a special issue devoted > to the work of Paul Haines. The opening essay, written by Tom Sekowski, > focused on Paul's poems. In Tom's words: "Where do you begin in capturing > Paul Haines' life? On paper? On film? On Vinyl? The answer is all three. My > job, however, is to present the Paul Haines that I'm most familiar with - > the... central Ontarian, musicologist-extraordinaire, poem writer with steel > balls like no other. ...for starters, he makes it clear (beyond any > reasonable doubt), that he does not write poetry. He writes poems. No more, > no less, gorgeous little vignettes of life as he sees it at any given point > in time, wherever he might be.... Anything that can look itself in the mirror > and honestly say, I am I, is a poem of Paul's. ...Paul speaks the truth as he > sees it." > > Paul's poems have appeared in tradional printed formats: in books and > periodicals. In 1981, a collection his poems, called *Third World Two*, was > published by Alliance Press. (Another chapbook was to be published in Canada > in the 1990s.) His poems have been published in magazines in the US > (magazines such as First Person and Genesis West/San Francisco), Canada > (Evidence, MusicWorks, Only Paper Today, Sub Rosa Parachute/Montreal); in New > Delhi, India; and in France (on the cover of *Improjazz* !). > > But Paul is best known for his written works that have appeared in > non-traditional/non-literary settings, and especially in his numerous > collaborations with jazz musicians. Samples of his poetry and prose have > been printed on the covers or sleeves of jazz albums by Albert Ayler, Paul > Bley, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Larry Durbin, and Jazz Composer's Orchestra. > In turn, he has documented jazz musicians within his poetry, as well as > recording them on tape; biographers note that he was the recording engineer > of such significant 1960 works as *Spiritual Unity*, *School Days* (1961-63 > Steve Lacy Quartet) and *New York Eye and Ear Control*...> > Above all, Paul is known as the poet whose writings were set to music by some > of the late 20th C's most forward-looking jazz musicians, songs which formed > the core of some of the most seminal, significant avant-jazz releases of the > 20th Century. His first such collaboration with jazz musicians was *Escalator > Over The Hill*, a jazz-opera created with Carla Bley and released in > 1971(JCOA 1971; ECM/BMG). *Escalator Over the Hill* is a landmark work; it > broke down the boundaries between artistic disciplines, between musical > genres, between "high" and "low" art. In its brochure for Company Week 92, > the London Arts Board called Paul:> "..a serious but not solemn artist [who]... has considerably expanded the > traditional role of the poet. His longstanding artistic involvement with > music has produced some extraordinary rethinking of the relationship between > the word and sound and one of the most revelatory collaborations in > contemporary recording. Escalator Over the Hill, created with composer Carla > Bley, is widely considered the seminal work of the new music of the 1970's"> Paul's second work of poems set to music, also done in collaboration with > Carla Bley, was *Tropic Appetities*, released in 1974 (Watt/1).> > We at Cuneiform met Paul through composer and saxophonist George Cartwright, > who set Paul's poems to music for his band Curlew's performance with vocalist > Amy Denio at 1989's New Music America, then the premiere showcase of avant > music in the US. Paul made a video of their performance at the Knitting > Factory (see below for more on his videos). > > Several years later, in 1993, Cuneiform released *A Beautiful Western > Saddle*, a CD featuring music by Curlew (each Curlew member composed a piece > for the CD, with George contributing the rest), vocals by Amy Denio, and > lyrics by Paul Haines. The CD remains one of my personal favorites of all > times. It was the first Curlew CD that Cuneiform released that was not purely > instrumental, the first Curlew CD with words. Paul would do that to musicians > - his work inspired them to try things they had not done before, to explore > alternative paths, unexpected juxtapositions..... > > *A Beautiful Western Saddle" received an astounding amount of critical > acclaim, from publications such as the *New York Times*, *Down Beat*, > *Cadence*, *Coda*, *Boston Rock*, *Exclaim!* (Canada), *Musiche* (Italy), > *Esculpiendo Milagros* (Argentina), *Beat* (Norway), and *Opscene* > (Netherlands), among many others. *Down Beat* would later name this CD one > of the best CDs of the 1990s, in its issue at the end of the millennium. > Quite simply, the collaboration - like every such venture that Paul partook > in - uniquely worked. Stuart Broomer (*Coda*) noted that "Curlew articulates > the edge of Haines' work, the precision of his verbal outline. Their > settings.... feed off the ever increasing resilience of Haines' poems. Haines > has proceeded through the years to boil his poems down to less, until they > are crystalline flashes in which image and meaning merge, sometimes as comic > shards of the true light....miracles subtly contaminated with reality."> > George Cartwright had originally met Paul Haines through Kip Hanrahan in the > 1970s, when Paul was setting poems to music for a video. (George would also > contribute some music to the video.) In 1995, Kip Hanrahan's American Clave > label released *Darn It*, a double CD that had been over 6 years in the > making. It was the 4th release to feature Paul's poems set to music. A > tribute to Paul's work,*Darn It!* featured 33 songs by Robert Wyatt, Paul and > Carla Bley, Derek Bailey, John Oswald, Michael Snow, Roswell Rudd, Bornean > Drummers, Evan Parker, Andrew Cyrille, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Jack Bruce, > George Cartwright, and numerous others... Like *Saddle*, the CD received wide > critical acclaim. In the words of one critic: > "So what makes *Darn It!* so damn special? I could go on an on about its > stellar line up....The flow is never once broken, even though the songs seem > to break abruptly from blues, to jazz, to rock, to improvised fields. And it > works. The record is musically second to none, while lyrically it's a crafty > gem, dying to be found amongst the desert of (most of) the crap that's out > there in the record stores." [Tom Sekowski, *The Newspaper*, Toronto.]> > Following his *Beautiful Western Saddle* release with Curlew, George > Cartwright continued to incorporate Paul's poetry into two solo recordings he > released on Cuneiform: *Dot* (1994) and *The Memphis Years* (2000). *Dot* > featured Paul's lyrics in a single song, "Raw Bird", sung by vocalist (and > Curlew bassist) Ann Rupel. In George's second solo release, he collaborated > once again with Paul Haines and Amy Denio. A tribute to George's 5-year > involvement in Memphis' music scene, *The Memphis Years* also featured some > of that city's finest musicians. The resulting CD was a blending of strictly > composed songs sung by Denio, with lyrics from Paul Haines, and composed and > semi-improvisational jazz-oriented instrumentals. George's admiration for > Paul's work is underlined in his *Memphis* liner notes, which I excerpt here :> "You can't really see it or touch it, you can taste it from time to time and, > when blessed, you can hear it and it ain't going away tho you got to look > closely to not be fooled... In fact *It Came From Memphis*... I believe you > can hear a little bit of it here maybe not all maybe occasionally but always > in some stream or layer or veil of the truly undefinable it is there. ...It's > also in Seattle with Amy and up in Canada with Paul. Great singer, great > writer. ...Just listen and not particularly idiommatic crushed amalgam of > bits and pieces laid out and slapped back to a whole... post Ornette > (...really more likely pre-Ornette musics...) ...and what did I say about > Paul? Maybe the best we got folks. Hey see if ya can find any of his books... > So much with so little so check out *Third World 2*. Check out *Escalator > Over the Hill* and *Tropic Appetites* and and and *A Beautiful Western > Saddle.* Ha!" > > Paul was a joy to work with and a pleasure to know. We began communicating > while doing promotion for the Cuneiform *Saddle* CD, first via letter, then > fax, and finally by email. As our communications became less formal, Paul > unveiled his priceless humor. (Supposedly Jean-Paul Sartre claimed that > Haines was the only person who could pun in French and make Sartre laugh.) I > received xerox and fax objets d'art, surrealist images and newspaper > collages, on letterheads from the Council of Pet Ball Amnesty with return > addresses from Craig Stephen Stew Jr., Wardell Windeggs, Nausea Phil and > others.... These were followed by a suspect *Down Beat* poll listing > Jean-Paul Sarte as the #2 top male vocalist, and a cassette described by Paul > as "easy-listening gaslight" music....> > In a serious moment, on my request, he sent me a page of info on himself. It > included two press quotes:> from the *Boston Globe*, Fernando Gonzales, Dec 7, 1991:> "Actively associated with some of the most progressive musicians in jazz for > almost 30 years, Haines' writing moves in quirky, unpredicatable rhythms, > with a love for sound, surprise, and tart, understated humor."> and from *MusicWorks* #34:> "Paul Haines is a poet who writes about music. He has been for several years > a harbinger listener, someone who is always listening to the musicians > everyone someday will talk about. In recent years he has produced several > videos which read hearing, pictorially."> > In addition to being a writer (and recording jazz musicians such as Albert > Ayler, Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd), Paul was an active video artist. He told > me that his videos had been shown in London (Company Week, The Vortex > Theatre, and Canada House), Toronto (The Music Gallery; This Ain't the > Rosedale Library); Edmonton (Latitude 53 Gallery); New York City (49th > Paralllel); Amsterdam (The Holland Festival); Banff (Banff Centre) and > Peterborough, Ontario (Arts Space).> > He also sent me an annotated list of his video productions. I quote his > descriptioms directly from his 1993 fax to me: > > JUBILEE (1992 21 mins)> "Using as a shooting script an article on sound I wrote for Musicwroks, [The > Canadian Journal of Sound Exploration), JUBILEE features a visual chorus to > the Carol Taylor narrative and spoken or played contributions of Robert > Wyatt, Evan Parker, and Derek Bailey."> > OUR RUDD'S GOLDEN CURTAIN (1992 19 mins)> "Shot at Sharon Temple, Ontario and Woodstock, New York, the composition, > trombone, voice, feet and wardrobe of legendary trombonist Roswell Rudd are > featured."> > LEARNING TO COPE WITH HOPE (1992 3 mins)> "From the Sri Cud novel."> > AN ALL-ETHNIC ELECTRIC PROGRAM (1992 transfer from 1966 16mm., 25 mins)> "Perhaps the first 'absolute' sound film. A curious but very beautiful work." > -- David Curtis, Experimental Film> "Those who stayed to the end liked it." -- Michael Snow> > CURLEW: Paul Haines Set to Music (1989 44 mins)> New Music America Festival, with Amy Denio vocals, The Knitting Factory, New > York City> "A cycle of songs as a setting for the oblique, witty poems of Paul Haines. > CURLEW performs at its peak -- which is phenomenally high." -- The Nation> > RICE SCENTED IN OUR ABSCENCE (1983 33 mins)> "Premiere performance of the agfa maria. (This instrument's appearance of > capacities is conceived in part as respectful parody of Harry Partch's > chromelodeon. Physically resembling a glass harmonica, its three rows of > authentically-wired bottles creates (1) conventional musical notes, (2) > prepared sounds, and (3) prepared visuals.) A music for more than ears. > Improvisation is deregulated."> > THIRD WORLD TWO (1981 50mins)> "50 poems (French and English) read or sung by an all-star cast, with > original music by Carla Bley, Derek Bailey, Steve Swallow and Sheila Jordan."> > UNDERSTANDING AN INTERRUPTION; 16 MUSICS (1981 60 mins)> "20 years of collaborations, opening on the scoreboard of the Olympia > Stadium, Montreal. Paul Bley, Rudd-Lacy, Albert Ayler, Mike Mantler, Gary > Burton, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Larry Dubin-CCMC, Carla Bley, Monica > Zetterland, Stuart Broomer, and Kip Hanrahan."> > Paul and I remained in touch but communicated less frequently in the busy > years post *Saddle* and *Darn It!*. Then, in the spring of 2002, I opened my > snail mail and smiled with surprise: there was Paul and one of his poems > staring at me from the cover of the French jazz magazine, *Improjazz*. Paul > always had a habit of putting things in unexpected contexts, creating > juxtapositions that surprised and jolted like an electroshock to the brain > while revealing the truth. Now here he was, in a context I would have never > expected but which made complete sense.... We began communicating via email, > far easier than our past mail and fax communiques.... Paul's emails ranged > from serious commentary on the sorry state of American politics post > elections and post 9/11, to his distinctive oblique, insightful and humourous > texts. He talked of visiting DC with his wife in the winter, to see the > Pierre Bonnard exhibition, and possibly visiting with us. We moved our > offices into a building we were not embarrased to have friends see, and > looked forward to hearing from them. And then we received a phone call from > George Cartwright, Paul's very close friend, telling us of the bad news....> > Perhaps we should read Sekowski's comments on Paul's CDs in the context of > Paul's passing, substituting "life" for "music": "When all the music is > played, there's always Paul's poems. Honest, trying, sometimes hilarious, but > always dependable. Like an old friend, they'll forever be there when your > brain needs a meal." > > But I'm sure I speak for many when I say that our hearts that will starve in > Paul's absence.> > ---> For those who want to read about Paul's work, here's a partial bio:> *SUB ROSA* [Peterborough, Ontario, Canada], vol. 5 No. 1, Spring 1995 issue > devoted entirely to "Paul Haines: Poetry/ Video/ Jazz", by Tom Sekowski, > Stuart Broomer, Roswell Rudd and Michel Contat. > "Paul Haines" by Andrew Jones, *JAZZIZ*, November 1995> "Paul Haines / Now Can You Tell Me: An Article by Stuart Bloomer: Words and > Music: A Beautiful Western Saddle", *CODA MAGAZINE*, July/Aug 1995> "Paul Haines - The Musical Psychic", by Tom Sekowski. *EXCLAIM!* [Canada], > March 1995> "Paul Haines - Man with a Future Vision", by Tom Sekowski, THE NEWSPAPER > [Toronto, Canada], 11/23/94> > For info on Haines' poetic collaborations with Curlew, there are numerous > articles/ reviews, including:> "Bird on a Wire," Gene Santoro, *The Nation*, March 22, 1993> > ---> 2/3/03> Joyce Nalewajk> Director of Publicity & Promotion> Cuneiform Records
― t\'\'t (t\'\'t), Monday, 24 March 2003 14:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Marcello Carlin, Monday, 24 March 2003 14:38 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
I love "Darn It!," play it all the time. Have seen G. Cartwright a few times too.
Marcello, hang in there...I'm going thru some bad times myself these days...
― Jess Hill (jesshill), Monday, 24 March 2003 17:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Tribute to Paul Haines, 1933-2003http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/jazz/jon3/jon3030228fhaines.shtml
― DJ Martian (djmartian), Tuesday, 25 March 2003 12:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
he's the real Escalator over the Hill chronotransductorand Bley has proved herself as a great Ron Geesin type hired arrangerfixer
part two of escalator is a bit naughtyif you pick up one of those six Sandanista like sidesat random
then you wake up in the India of "Kashmir"
― george gosset (gegoss), Sunday, 21 September 2003 16:33 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― george gosset (gegoss), Sunday, 21 September 2003 17:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 24 June 2004 06:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
― george gosset (gegoss), Thursday, 24 June 2004 06:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink
GEEEZ! tori, i loved you so much, but maybe its a healthy step for me to learn that noone is god-like! not even you!!!
― lotte, Friday, 24 December 2004 19:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink
― that's so taylrr (ken taylrr), Thursday, 13 July 2006 18:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink
― cli0019, Monday, 30 April 2007 06:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink
― Tom D., Monday, 30 April 2007 12:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink