01 May 2012

Everybody Else But Me

By now we all know that Abstract Expressionism was a CIA front. No surprise there, because Jackson Pollock's work embodied American freedom (dammit). Which was why after 1956 Pollock lived out his life in luxury. He bought some property in Colorado, never had to so much look at paint can again, never had to agonize over dick for the rest of his days. Ornette Coleman, being an unwitting stooge to the program, would continue the operation -- going so far as to call one of his albums Free Jazz, with said album sporting a Pollock painting on the cover. Isht put a bug up Leonid Brezhnev's ass like you wouldn't believe. Unfortunately, Coleman was (pardon the pun) a "free" agent...a dupe. He was never on the payroll proper, he never realized that the same policy that covered inarticulate paint-slingers from Wyoming might not extend the same largess to a soft-spoken, non-caucasoid note-spatterer from Texas. The CIA didn't wasn't so enlightened about having it's EOE ducks in a row back in those days, so where else can a dude go from there but to Harlem? Here's to being ahead of your time, yet still being behind it...or something like that.

And those who claimed Coleman was a "charlatan" were actually part of a covert psych-ops campaign; one that supposed to throw people off and smokescreen the origins of the first (real) operation. It paid off handsomely, too -- because Brezhnev and his politburo didn't know to collectively shit or wind their wristwatches by that point.

Anyway, anyway, enough with the sarcasm. The clip above is new to me, though the person who kindly posted it cross-ref's it with the Roland Kirk/John Cage film (also by Dick Fontaine) that's been circulating (thank you internet) for several years now. I found the Who's Crazy? LPs many years ago -- back when I was in college -- but haven't revisited them in a forever. Coleman switching out between sax and trumpet and violin, to maximum deliriating effect. Executed as the soundtrack for some obscure European film that supposedly had some Living Theater connection. Coleman reworked some of the resulting material for his Blue Note album The Empty Foxhole less than a year later, letting his ten-year-old son Denardo step in to bang away on a drumkit at times. The latter outing being, if I recall, mostly an abridged and weaker version of the former.

Not that anyone noticed, except for Brezhnev and the apparatchiks in the politburo. Man, they hated it. Plus, The Empty Foxhole had even more of that slapdash "free"-style American paint-y stuff on the cover, and it came out when the whole Vietnam thing was building. Far from a subtle message, that. Plus it was all Chinese music to begin with, wasn't it? So what more evidence do you need? It all fits, once you think about it.

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