Matt Lavelle, November 20, 2020

Deeper Reality - Tales from the Front

Broken   Part 1 Many moons ago (I just learned that Earth may have had a second moon) I experienced my first knee dislocation. I was in Little League in the late 70’s. I just went down hard to the ground and didn’t know why. I came to recognize the feeling, when your kneecap slides out of place and you just fall wherever you are. It didn’t stop me from running around back then, though each time it happened more damage was done. Both my knees would dislocate. In high school the backwards diagnosis was for me to wear knee braces with metal bars on both sides. In theory, if the kneecap dislocated and slid out of place, the metal bars would hold me together somehow. The braces were something out of the movie Forrest Gump but smaller. The other kids called me things like robo-knees.   I had knee surgery on my right knee in 1985 I think, and to this day it’s holding on with just the barest amount of cartilage as I understand it. The dislocations in my right knee stopped. My left knee was worse and I didn’t help when I tried to play with the football team without pads on a dare. (The guys in the band were supposedly soft) I carried a few guys a few feet before they piled on. Sometime after this I woke up one day and went right to the basketball court outside and tried to bust some moves. My knee popped and I went down hard and couldn’t get up. I laid there until my father found me. I went to the hospital for surgery number 2, which worked.

Matt Lavelle, July 7, 2020

Deeper Reality - Tales from the Front

What do you see? Ras Moshe Burnett & Music Now!   One thing I like to do is listen to live music sourced in free jazz/improvisation and try to answer my favorite question when looking at artwork or listening to music-what do you see? I've done this many times, but for the first time I wrote it out at the request of writing linear notes for an album that I truly love. A very interesting thing about this record is the balance of 3 women and 3 men. Below are the track markings and what I saw.   You can hear the record here: http://nendodango.bandcamp.com/album/music-now   Brother Ras Moshe and Music Now! with Ras Moshe, Matt Lavelle, Lee Odom, Anais Maviel, Paula Shocron, and Pablo Diaz.   First Part We climb the mountain. We climb the trees that grow on clouds. We descend into the volcano and boil the lava. We ascend to paint the sky 4:36 The Earth grows. We’re all getting older now. I remember farming near the pyramids. Wet dew leaves. Heading out to sea. Water horizon. 7:00 High pressure. We release the steam. We float in the sky. Soul grip. We open our hearts and burn. Soul BRIGHT. SUN QUAKE! Churn. Burn. Skyfire. Fire wind. Fi-RE FI-RE FI-RE 11:41 Humanity. Transform become or end. NOW now NOW now. Earth blues. We can see EVERYthing. The Birds know what we forgot long ago. The water remembers. Water never forgets. Water. Never. Water never forgets. Water. Never. Water never forgets. Water. Never. Water never forgets. Water. Never.

Matt Lavelle, July 5, 2020

Deeper Reality - Tales from the Front

This is it Photo: Reuben Radding Last week I was in Washington Square Park in NYC to march with Artists for a free world that was joining up with a massive group with the message to end police murder of Black people and to defund the police. I marched a couple weeks before that, but on this one music was a major part of it, and in fact music led the march all the way downtown. I just brought my blue pocket trumpet that had his own Corona mask. I knew there were other musicians leading this one and I saw myself as a clarinet player in a dixieland group, except harmelodic and free. Before we started though, I witnessed what I believe was a sign from God. Several speakers had spoken with several more to go when the skies just opened up and began the deluge. The wind swept up to hurricane level and on most occasions I think people would have broke out to seek shelter. Not today. As the thunder cracked the horizon, the crowd roared back at it in wave after wave. Soaked but mad strong. Unbreakable and unshakable. Then as the storm and protest speeches continued, here came the sun. The sun was as bright as I have ever seen, and right during a true violent thunderstorm. The protest only became stronger, and the march was on. I thought to myself that this was it, the moment when the human race decided to fight to become itself. Art and music are a big part of the way we're fighting for truth and justice.

Matt Lavelle, April 21, 2020

Deeper Reality - Tales from the Front

Giuseppi Logan rises to the stars   The very first time I met Giuseppi Logan, I didn't know it was him. He was an older guy looking to get a reed at Sam Ash in Times Square where I worked. I thought I knew all the street musicians in NYC at that time. A name popped into my head though. In an act of mysticism, I asked him if he was Giuseppi Logan. I had never seen a picture of Giuseppi. In response G said: "That's right, I'm Giuseppi Logan. I'm here because I want to end my life playing music." As I recall I immediately tried to get him to go to the Vision Festival and find William Parker. This was in 2008 I believe. A few days later I saw WP and Giuseppi was with him, he got G an Eb real book. G kept coming by the store and we started hanging out more. We decided to partner up and try to get some music happening by any means. The next stop for us was Francois Grillot's kitchen in Hell's Kitchen where bassist Francois Grillot and I played hundreds of sessions. I told Francois about Giuseppi, and he immediately said to bring him by. We started helping G get his chops back. I gave him an old low C Bass Clarinet. It was during this time that Giuseppi played with Steve Swell's Nation of We at Roulette in an incredible alto section with Darius Jones, Saco Yasuma, and the late great Will Connell. G was reluctant to play and at first declined to solo. Steve asked him again and at that moment the orchestra seemed to go through a window into a different universe where time just stopped.

Matt Lavelle, March 26, 2020

Deeper Reality - Tales from the Front

Epicenter Yesterday we reached over 15,000 cases of Corona here in NYC. We're now the epicenter of the virus. Why wouldn't we be? It's certainly nothing to be proud of. Long term NYC dwellers and survivors sometimes find unity looking at all the things we've gone through as a group. Tragically that always leads us back to 9/11. I was at my day job at Tower Records running the shipping and receiving department at Lincoln Center when my boss came in and told me a plane crashed into one of the twin towers. We both thought it had to be an accident. A few weeks later I rode my bike down to ground zero late at night. It felt like I was looking at a tear in the universe. There was a hole ripped open that I couldn't see but could feel. There was an overwhelming feeling that death had visited this place. Fellow New Yorker's will reel off other times when we got served, on a far lesser scale of course, but still enough for a memory. The transit strike, and the Blackout both come to mind. When I look around at NYC on virtual lock right now from Corona, I'm forced to see the biggest difference: The Corona pandemic is not just NYC, it's the entire world. What absolutely kills me is when 45 takes credit for saving thousands and thousands of lives. The very idea that he believes he has .1% of spiritual power on this level has me baffled to no end. Seeing him with his eyes closed pretending to pray is quite a sight. The so called leader of the free world asleep at the wheel.