Location: Floor Five, Neil Bluhm Family Galleries
The performance program for Open Plan: Cecil Taylor continues as giants of the free jazz and poetry worlds come together in duo and solo sets to pay tribute to Taylor in this afternoon event.
About the program
A New York poet and avant-garde jazz devotee, Steve Dalachinsky performs and records regularly with free jazz musicians. His book, The Mantis (Iniquity Press, 2011), was written while the author listened to Taylor perform in New York venues from 1966 to 2009.
Clark Coolidge is an experimental poet associated with the Language movement and a jazz drummer whose poem, “Comes Through in the Call Hold (Improvisations on Cecil Taylor)”(1989), was first published as an excerpt in the Village Voice. He will be accompanied by Michael Bisio, an acclaimed bassist and composer praised for the physicality of his playing.
The third set will feature Nathaniel Mackey, a lauded writer and winner of Yale University’s Bollingen Prize for American Poetry (2015). He has published interviews with Taylor in Hambone, which he edits, and has written on Taylor and “new thing” jazz in his experimental text Splay Anthem (2006), which won the National Book Award for Poetry. He will be joined by virtuoso double-bassist Henry Grimes.
Free with Museum admission. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of guaranteed seats are available for advance purchase; tickets include admission to the galleries.
Poet/collagist Steve Dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book The Final Nite (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His book the Mantis (Iniquity Press) consists of poems written exclusively for Cecil Taylor spanning almost forty years. His most recent books are Fools Gold (2014 feral press), a superintendent's eyes (revised and expanded 2013/14. unbearable/autonomedia) and flying home, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schmidt (Paris Lit Up Press, 2015). His latest cds are The Fallout of Dreams with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart, 2014) and ec(H)o-system with the French art-rock group, the Snobs (Bambalam 2015). He has received both the Kafka and Acker Awards and is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D'le Ordre des Artes et Lettres. His poem "Particle Fever" was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. Forthcoming from Overpass Press "The Invisible Ray" with artwork by Shalom Neuman.
Born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, experimental poet and jazz musician Clark Coolidge has been connected to both the Language movement and the New York School. His poetry utilizes syntactical and sonic patterns to engage, and generate, meaning. In a 1968 poetics statement, he noted, "Words have a universe of qualities other than those of descriptive relation: Hardness, Density, Sound-Shape, Vector-Force, & Degrees of Transparency/Opacity." Reviewing Coolidge’s collection This Time We Are Both (2010), Olga Zilberbourg observed, "[It] is not a work of a cultural tourist, and neither is it a work of an artist whose sole interest is in creating wordscapes. In this long poem, Coolidge is a mature poet who is aware not only of the deep cultural contexts of his words, but also is aware of his poetry being read in political contexts." Coolidge’s numerous collections of poetry include This Time We Are Both (2010); Sound as Thought (1990), which was chosen for the New American Poetry Series; Own Face (1978); and Flag Flutter & U.S. Electric (1966). His work is included in An Anthology of New York Poets (1970) and The Young American Poets (1968).
Nathaniel Mackey is the author of six books of poetry, the most recent of which is Blue Fasa (New Directions, 2015); an ongoing prose work, From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, whose fourth and most recent volume is Bass Cathedral (New Directions, 2008); and two books of criticism, the most recent of which is Paracritical Hinge: Essays, Talks, Notes, Interviews (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005). Strick: Song of the Andoumboulou 16–25, a compact disc recording of poems read with musical accompaniment (Royal Hartigan, percussion; Hafez Modirzadeh, reeds and flutes), was released in 1995 by Spoken Engine Company. He is the editor of the literary magazine Hambone and coeditor, with Art Lange, of the anthology Moment's Notice: Jazz in Poetry and Prose (Coffee House Press, 1993). His awards and honors include the National Book Award for poetry, the Stephen Henderson Award from the African American Literature and Culture Society, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, and teaches at Duke University.
Henry Grimes (upright bass, violin, poetry, illustrations) celebrated his 80th birthday in 2015. He is one of the very few surviving founding fathers and architects of avant-jazz from back in the late '50s and early '60s, today revered by countless musicians and music lovers throughout the world, and he is playing today at the very height of his powers and continues to surpass himself and all expectations each time out. One of the most influential jazz bassists in history, Henry studied at Juilliard for three years at a time when only "classical" music was taught there, and African-American students were very seldom accepted. But soon after leaving Juilliard, Henry rapidly evolved into a progenitor and architect of the "avant-jazz" or "free jazz" movement of the 1950s and '60s, creating new music alongside Albert Ayler, Amiri Baraka, Coleman Hawkins, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Cecil Taylor, and many more. Then, after thirty-five years away from the music world, Mr. Grimes was rediscovered in 2002, nearly destitute and without a bass, was given a bass by William Parker, and very soon was back in full force! Since then, Henry has played/toured/recorded with Rashied Ali, Marshall Allen, Marilyn Crispell, Bobby Few, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Nathaniel Mackey, Roscoe Mitchell, Amina Claudine Myers, Marc Ribot, Sekou Sundiata, Wadada Leo Smith, Cecil Taylor (in renewed collaboration), and many more. Since his return in 2003, Henry has played more than 640 concerts in thirty-one countries, made his professional debut on violin at age seventy alongside Cecil Taylor at Lincoln Center, has seen the publication of the first volume of his poetry, "Signs Along the Road," and illustrates his new recordings and publications. He can be heard on ninety recordings on various labels.