Sunday. The day of rest. The day you check in with deeper reality, or perhaps reaffirm your spiritual beliefs. Certainly a good day to go see Giuseppi Logan since we both practice the same religion.
Last time I spent time with him I found his horn hurting. I asked him to let me take it and have it fixed. On the way back I thought maybe fixing the horn could be a group effort as I’ve always seen a lot of Love for G online. Sure enough, within 2 days folks from all over the world chipped in. I took the horn to Roberto Romeo and he had the horn purring just like his shop cat, the great Micio. Saxophonists in particular took helping G seriously and sent mouthpieces. Will Connell always told me that the mouthpiece was the number one problem facing G. Today, team Giuseppi solved this problem and I brought his horn back to him with more supplies than he has ever had. Hey guys- THANK YOU. Truly.
Of all the time I’ve known Giuseppi, today was the most lucid I have ever seen him. I started to understand him on the deepest levels. What I realized, thanks to my wife Sue who joined us, is that when Giuseppi sees me, he sees music. When I appear in his room out in Far Rock his whole musical life is awakened to an extent. Though he hasn’t had a horn for a couple of months now, when he took his alto back into his hands, I witnessed a transformation take place. He paused. He took a breath. He closed his eyes and plugged his heart into his soul. His eyes are not 100%, but his fingers slid into position on the keys without any sight needed.
I watched Giuseppi shapeshift right into himself.
He’s 83 now and as he tells me, he might not be around much longer, but that’s one of the first things he said to me when we first met over 10 years ago! Part of our connection is the horn player thing. That’s what we do, and as such, we understand each other as souls more than people. The thing about him that I’m understanding now, is that through his entire adult life, no matter what he was going through, music was, and still is, his prime directive on a level that may be beyond most of us. At this level, everything you see, everything is secondary to the music. Music is, on some level, behind everything he has done in his life. A guiding light that has never gone out, no matter how bad the visibility might be.
He reminded me of Daniel Carter today when right after he met Sue, he wanted to know what instrument she played. When I mentioned 2 of his sons, his first question was how was their music going? We had a bright moment when his son Joseph called and spoke to him. We had another bright moment watching a jam session on YouTube we had at Francois Grillot’s kitchen with G playing My Favorite Things with his son Jaee on keys playing a great solo
Giuseppi really got to me today by almost traveling back in time. I felt like I was talking to him in 1965. I could see who he was back then. He stood most of the time and asked me about his brothers Milford Graves, Don Pullen, Eddie Gomez, and Ornette. Where were they? What can we do to somehow get him hooked back up with them and then somehow reignite the fire, and get back to the reason all of us are here –
That’s the thing. Giuseppi is still the music man who made those records back then.
Then, and now, he remains more devoted to music than anyone I have ever seen.
That’s his message. He’s lived it. I hope people will remember that music connects us to forces beyond us that are greater than ourselves. With music then having so much to give us, it seems natural to feel a need to give yourself back in return. I hope musicians can learn from Giuseppi and the life he’s still living, and someday far into the future, learn from the life he lived.
What it’s all about.