Boundaries is a tune written by Bern Nix. Celebrating his life and music last week has me musing once again on musical identity. It has occurred to me that I have been trying to figure out my musical identity for many moons. Bern was a straight ahead Berklee graduate when he joined Prime Time. His […]


49 trips around the sun is not just a quick skip through the park. My older friends are quick to tell me that I’m still young. It seems that as long as someone is older than you, then you’re still young. It goes right to the top. My father, in his mid-70’s, was telling me […]

OM at 43

Back in the early 90’s on my nights off from my night shift at the Bodega I had time to kill.I was improvising my sleep pattern,and with bad sleep apnea at the time I was kind of like Spock that one time the transporter couldn’t fully phase him in.My life became a full time OBE,Out […]

Seeds of Truth

Back in the day Sonny Rollins and Jackie Mclean were playing together in Harlem.Place was packed in anticipation of hearing them do what they do. In walks Sonny Stitt with an alto in one hand and a tenor in the other.Sonny walks right up on stage.He points at both of them. “I’ve been waiting to […]

Meant to be

March 28th 2013 Brooklyn New York.The Firehouse Space. Solidarity Fellowship arising from the common Love of music.The name of the first piece as well,one I wrote for Brother Ras Moshe and I to play on a live Brooklyn Radio station called Free 103.9 about a solid decade ago.Later on in the concert I had an […]


Butch. . . . . The first time I encountered Butch Morris was at a Jump Arts festival in NYC at the original Brecht Forum in Chelsea.I had no knowledge of him or his process.I watched several friends of mine set up and was intrigued by the music that transpired having never seen conduction like […]

The Coda

To escape the cold that makes me feel old this week I took another trip up to Trumpet Mountain.I walked into the main hall and heard Clifford Brown practicing in a room inside.I stood outside his door and listened.The stuff he was playing was way,way past running down chord changes. “Brownie’s been hanging out with […]

Walter Polite-A Bayou Working Man & Musician

I wrote this article about Walter Polite (pronounced Po-leet) for the Christian Science Monitor in 1997 and Walter died soon after. I reprint it here because I’m going back to N.O. and the memory of this bayou working man sitting on his front porch, grandkids running in and out while he played for me for […]

Unions-Bah! What Are They Good For?

This past weekend, the motley musical crowd I play with-The Second Line Social Aid Pleasure Society Brass Band (SLSAPS)– played at a rally at the MA State House in support of Wisconsin unions-and unions everywhere(put into decent context here) and at a rally for the Student Farmworker Alliance and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Maybe […]

“Boston Jazz Radio and Government Funding” by Steve Provizer

Looks like the NEA will cut the Jazz Masters program and government funding for PBS and NPR is in jeopardy. How will such cuts effect jazz? I’ll just bite off a small piece of it and focus on Boston media. There’s little jazz on TV. Public television has a small stake, carrying awards ceremonies at […]