Off to warmer southern climes in a couple of days so Stochasticactus goes silent for about two weeks. I'll miss every single one of you with great pangs of sadness tempered by monumental denial and beachside gloating. Bennie Maupin's spacey Ensenada will be on the car's CD player. The un and I toy with outlandish fantasies of never returning. Sure, Mexico has stolen elections just like here, but think of the cache resulting from being the white guy who "launched the Mexican improvisational music scene." (i.e., *stole* from the many fine Mexican musicians who are no doubt already launching all sorts of shit about which we have no clue....)
Thanks to Bagatellen's alert, I've visited Church Number 9 and Nothing Is, amazing sites offering complete album downloads of hard-to-find improvisational music. The only item I took the time to snag, for now, is Andrew Cyrille/Milford Graves, Dialogue of the Drums. My late friend Greg Kidd (who played trumpet in the first group I was ever in, 33 years ago at age 12)had a vinyl copy of this that we listened to after sharing some "mind expanding" substance, 23 years ago on a hot summer night in south Philadelphia. Somehow the album led to a marathon walk involving the Mummer's Museum and the catwalk over the Ben Franklin Bridge just until the Jersey line. You know how it is: "hey, let's walk to New Jersey!" har har. It's good to hear it again.
In other news, the arts/music community (and the rest of the community as well) here pulls together to support vocalist/composer/improvisor and bruja, Molly Sturges, diagnosed with tongue cancer last week. She and her husband Chris and daughter Quinn are already in Houston seeking the best oncologists in the West. Prayers and energies (and money) are needed and emerging from this small town's circles. There's a blog that will have occasional updates. Also on the blog eventually will be ways to support Molly and Chris as they deal with the realities of Molly's treatment.
Not to change the subject, but happy holidays. Is there anything worse than Christmas "jazz," by the way? Don't go there! Nat King Cole, sure. And remember: the best things in life and art are free....