Celestial Cymbals for Charles Moffett



we thought you might enjoy this

4.14.2005 10:02pm


and we know you will enjoy these two selections from Codaryl (Cody) Moffett’s newest CD as a leader, My Favorite Things, released in Europe in 2002, but still generally unavailable in the united states, and many other countries

Jambalaya Suite



Cody’s most recent work can be heard, as they say, to excellent advantage in the very recently released cd by Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora (Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra), the opening track of which is the theme music of the White City

4.21.2005 12:19am

curtis powell:

this shit moves

no shit

4.22.2005 10:38am


and so does this poem of amiri baraka’s, recorded in newark in 1976 almost simultaneously with dizzy’s ‘swing low sweet cadillac’ above, and with which it has an uncanny resonance.

4.29.2005 2:35pm


Excerpts from Ahmed Abdullah’s unpublished memoirs of life with Sun Ra can be found here.
5.2.2005 4:43am


yesterday and for a good part of this morning i was engaged in an email correspondence with Dan Waber, a treater of texts in the manner of Tom Phillips and an artist of multiple dimensions.

it prompted the following ::

A conceptually altered text , for Dan Waber

Dear Dan,

A little while ago, and obviously in large part due to our recent correspondence, I was prompted into the following nice idea.

Take almost a random page from Miles Davis’ autobiography and eliminate all the words that are not ‘shit’ or ‘motherfucker’. I am certain the result would display each and every nuance that Miles (and Quincy) so clearly convey in the complete text simply by the placement on the page. Plus it could be made very beautiful to look at by mixing in some record jackets etc.

But, on my way to the bookcase to retrieve my copy in order to photograph a suitable page and begin to have some fun, I remembered that I no longer own one having given it to my daughter, Tara, 5 or 6 years ago when we could not find a copy anywhere in Berkeley or San Francisco on one of my visits when she was living there.

The ‘quick and dirty’ (as we once called gedenken experiments in molecular biology) alternative is this.

Hope you enjoyed.

Yrs in the Empyrean,


5.7.2005 1:45pm


In 1975, just before leaving for Nigeria, i gave Ornette Coleman a Willie Hoppe pool cue i had acquired for a song from a needy shark in Berkeley in 1967 or 8, because OC likes to play and had a table in the Prince Street loft.

Hard times temporarily befell The Coleman, and the IRS wound up with the Hoppe.

A few years ago, my 3 cushion billiard teacher, Pedro Flores, asked me if i wanted to buy a Hoppe Titlist cue that he had found in a junk bin in a room in DF. He wanted 1000 pesos. i contained myself and gave him 2000, and had the stick refinished in NY a year or two later.

While the artist (Joe Macagne) was bringing the beauty back to the wood, i photographed the process. Some of those photographs transformed into some of the earliest asiderials.

A little while ago, speaking about Ornette and the Nigerian painters who he has helped over the years, one thing led to another as Damon Runyon might have written, and my friend Michael Harold wound up sending me the email below.


The Willie Hoppe story my Dad told me:

When he was still young, a teenager, my Dad started playing pool for money. In Shreveport, there were two clubs. One was called The Spot Club. The other was called The Subway. (They were both basements.)

When my Dad married my Mom, he was 37 and she was 17. It was his third marriage and her first. When I was little, 7 or 8, my Dad would take me downtown to the Spot Club to visit my Mom’s great uncle, Alton Dial, who worked there. Uncle Alton seemed really old to me back then, older than my Dad who was born in 1909. They would park me on a stool at the bar and give me a Coke and peanuts. They had a couple of snooker tables that my Dad liked to play on once in a while. One day my Dad told me he had played Willie Hoppe in an all night pool game and walked out with hundreds of dollars in the morning. My understanding is that they started off playing straight billiards and went to three cushion and ended up playing something like a trick shot where they put a glass on its side in the center of the table and had to do a three cushion shot into the glass. Anyway, that’s what he told me. I did watch him play by himself on the snooker table and the regular pool table and he really was amazing, even when he was just farting around.


curtis powell:

shit motherfucker
this shit really is a motherfucker
no shit
5.7.2005 6:57pm



5.7.2005 7:48pm



Orpheus’ First Blindfold Test

Today i received by post the latest issue of Brilliant Corners (Vol. 9, No. 2), A Journal of Jazz & Literature edited by Sascha Feinstein, poet, hard-bop tenor player and godson of the painter Thorpe Feidt to whom several asiderials in the gallery owe their inspiration and to whom one is explicitly dedicated.

The issue contains the piece by Mikhail Horowitz reprinted with his kind assistance below ::

Blindfold Test: Orpheus

Although he’s yet to turn 25, Orpheus of Thrace has nonetheless established himself as the greatest musician of his generation, a player blessed by the Gods. His gig last winter at The Foul Spot in Hades, during which the club owner actually broke down and wept and the shades of dead barflies were momentarily refleshed, has already entered the annals of myth. His new solo CD, Thracian Vibration, has topped the Parnassian charts for most of the Golden Age.

This is his first Blindfold Test.

Greek Dolphin Street, Dionysius, drums; Triton, horn; assorted Maenads, tambourines and shrieks.

Wow, that drummer is crazy! He sounds like he’s totally in a trance, ecstatic. I’ve heard stuff like that in Egypt, you know, when Osiris used to play at The Blue Sarcophagus. But it must be Dionysius, ’cause he studied with the master, and nobody else on the Theban scene can handle that much vino and still maintain his chops. The horn player sounds like Triton; he’s got that big, wet sound. But whoever’s doing the vocals and tambourines is really bringing it down. I mean, I don’t really go in for that free-shrieking stuff. It’ll drive you right out of your head, and not in a good way. I’d give it only a couple of stars, but five for the drummer.

When Sunny Gets Flayed, Apollo, flute; Marsyas, flute.

That’s the man! Actually, I should say that’s the God, because nobody cuts Apollo. And this thing is the proof; I mean, I don’t recognize the other guy, and he’s not half bad, but he can’t really blow with Apollo. Nobody can! And what’s really amazing is, nobody cuts him on any axe! I caught him at the Delphi Festival a couple years back; he blew a tortoise-shell lyre (I think it was a Selmer), an electric kithara, panpipes, three or four different kinds of wood flutes, a rush harp, and drums, and he was the best I’ve ever heard on every instrument. So I don’t really know why he’d wanna cut this tune with a cat who can’t really challenge him . . . but, hey, I’d give it five stars anyway, because I don?t really want to incur the cat’s wrath, you know what I mean?

Take The Sea Train, The Sirens, a cappella vocals.

I’m sorry, man, I can’t really listen to this. No, it’s just . . . no, really, can you take it off? It’s having a very, very weird effect on my head . . . no, seriously man, take it off! now! No? OK, fuck it. I’m stuffing my ears with wax.

6.2.2005 2:20pm



A fuller Horowitzian treatment of the famous duel between the god and the pretender reviewed above can be read here.   It originally came to me with the instruction “To be read in your best Lord Buckley imitation.”
6.2.2005 2:52pm



Happy Louis Armstrong’s Birthday

They’d beat Jesus if he was black and marched.

Louis Armstrong

Louis changed the modus operandus of music by inventing the solo.

John Birks Gillespie


The Saint Louis Blues: Bessie Smith, Fred Longshaw (har.), NYC 14 Jan. 1925

Heebies Jeebies: Kid Ory (tb), Johnny Dodds (cl), Lil Hardin-Armstrong (p), Johnny St. Cyr (bjo), Chicago, 26 Feb. 1926 (The first recorded scat).

Cornet Chop Suey: (as above)

Hotter Than That: Kid Ory (tb), Johnny Dodds (cl), Lil Hardin-Armstrong (p), Johnny St. Cyr (bjo), Lonnie Johnson (g), Chicago, 13 Dec. 1927

Weather Bird: Earl Hines, Chicago, 5 Dec. 1928

West End Blues: Fred Robinson (tb), Jimmy Strong (cl, ts), Earl Hines (p), Mancy Carr (bjo), Zutty Singleton (dr), Chicago 28 June 1928

Tight Like This: (as above)


Want more Pops? WKCR.org, the internet radio station of Columbia University is presenting its annual, 24 hour Louis Armstrong Birthday Broadcast.

7.4.2005 12:06am


More Pops (courtesy WKCR)

i “tuned in” the broadcast this morning just in time to capture the session with Bessie Smith whose first cut begins the selection above, and the remainder of the recordings Louis and Bessie made together in NYC in 1925 when Pops was working with the Fletcher Henderson orchestra, including alternate takes from British issued 10 inch discs that are among the rarest of jazz records in existence. Fred Longshaw’s harmonium and piano are joined by Charlie Greene’s trombone after the first set.

The Louis Armstrong – Bessie Smith Recordings

7.4.2005 1:19pm


Monk and the City” :: Charnett Moffett at Lincoln Center (06.12.03)

7.19.2005 11:03am


Charnett Moffett, bass
Codaryl Moffett, drums
Mondre Moffett, trumpet
Scott Brown, piano

7.27.2005 5:44pm


Codaryl “Cody” Moffett & The Mexico Jambalaya Codaryl Moffett, Cypriano and Isobel of Mitote, Guillermo Gonzalez and “Sosimo” of Banda Elastica

1.28.2006 6:56pm






Where is Curtis Powell II?

recently i obtained a broadband phone with a beverly hills area code. a little while ago it rang and an african american woman asked for curtis powell. it turned out she wanted a 777 prefix and not 773.

i of course thought it was curtis saying hi in his inimitable fashion.

(see above [5.16.2005 2:16pm] for “Where is Curtis Powell (I)?”

5.15.2006 1:07pm


Monster Jam(balaya) in Old Mexico

On Tuesday, 30 de Mayo 2006, a near-dead tradition born on 59th Street in Nueva York was returned to vibrant and welcome new life in the heart of the “distrito historico” of Mexico City at a new club called Zincos which is quickly becoming the “Royal Roost” of this celebrated ciudad.

In the early morning hours, Codaryl Moffett (who apparently liked Mexico so well after the “improvised” concert above that he has become a resident of the city as well as the master musician host of Zincos) introduced the standing room only audience to a jam session such as had never before been heard south of the border (and infrequently north of it too).

Earlier that evening, his brother Charnett had performed with the new McCoy Tyner Septet at the National Auditorium to an audience of over 4000, afterward he and Steve Turre joined Cody and an assortment of Mexico’s finest players for a set that you can hear 18 glorious minutes of below (although compressed to a lousy 16 kbps mp3 for reasonable download times).

Midway through, Ray David leaves the keyboards and picks up the bone and Mr. Turee makes a rare (perhaps singular) appearance at the electronic ivories. Near the end they join for the closing chorus.


5.30.2006 2:39pm


Goodbye Dewey (1931-2006)/

NY Times Obit.

African Venus (1992, with Joshua)

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