I got the call from the universe, or a feeling from deep inside, that it was time to go see my buddy Giuseppi a few days ago. I tried to get other folks to join me, but it looked like it was me and G again. I found him in his room wearing a fly hat that had his name on it, a gift from his angel. G was in a good mood when I stepped in with my surprise visit.
We quickly got into what we both exist for:
First up was the tools we use to get it out. G told me the flat five on his piano was broke! Sure enough his E and Bb keys were out of commission. He told me it was all about piano now. That sound from his horns still exists, through we may not hear it again. I immediately flashed back to a gig we did at the Stone when I asked him to only play piano which went great. G has his own unique comping language besides his own piano voice and touch. That gig always stands out because G asked me what key a tune was in and I said “every key”, to which he then started running all the keys. I recall another gig with Bern Nix and Giuseppi playing on a Fender Rhodes. Long after the gig, Bern was talking about how effective G was, listening and responding to him. Next we listened to his piano piece Curve Eleven from his second disc on ESP. Then we listened to his piano playing on his quintet record that we did. I talked with his angel about replacing his keyboard.
Next we just went on a Giuseppi Logan deep dive on my phone. I read him his Wikipedia to see it was accurate. We did that before, but this time he wanted to listen to Archie Shepp and Bill Dixon which we did at length. I told G that Archie told me to send his regards, which brought a smile and some happiness laughter. We watched 3 videos we did together on YouTube, then G asked to listen to some Milford Graves and some Don Pullen. I told him I almost crossed paths with Eddie Gomez, but missed him by a day. G played Laura on piano which led to us listening to Bird. He asked who wrote the string parts. Then came his surprise request, Stan Kenton. Finally G hit me with what hadn’t happened before, and said “let’s listen to your music.” I played him cuts from my new trio. He asked me how many records I had out and I said, 5 or 6, not sure how to explain how much that side of music has changed. His energy was different, and we spent a lot of time laughing. There seemed to be a lightness to him, as if a burden had been lifted.
After a couple hours we headed downstairs to check in with Giuseppi’s angel. G was running down a list of names, asking who was living and who had risen. As I was checking out, G stopped me which was unusual and then told me to keep playing. He didn’t say not to stop, he said to keep going. He made eye contact with me which was also not typical.
Keep playing man.
As I headed back out to my MTA journey I thought back to a quote from Sonny Rollins that I read yesterday on his 89th birthday.
“Greetings, everybody. ‘Sonny Rollins is alive and well and living in upstate New York!’ Not only living, but learning. For instance, in this world there is a big picture and a little picture. I’m all about the big picture, and therefore it’s all good all the time. See you later. –Sonny”
Giuseppi is 84. I’m 49. In truth, little pictures don’t mean much. The BIG picture is what’s up. G made music the focus of his life, and it still is. He’s lived and living his truth. He told me to keep living mine. In today’s day and age someone can feel guilty living their life as an artist. I believe that those who get the call and fight to be themselves in a world of conformity may be the only reason that the world is still allowed to exist. I’ve written many times how art and music may be the only true human things we have left to hold on to. Giuseppi Logan lived and is living his life as an artist. His mission might be over from in person delivery, but he’s still the person who made that music.
In his own way, Giuseppi Logan did what he could for life itself, and..
If you ask me,
Giuseppi Logan saved the world
Dedicated to G, Ramsey, Joe, and Juan