23. 12. 2017 - 20.00

»If we ever had to have a kind of psychological thing, I'd cry, I'd go trying to kill myself. This business is so corrupt and confusing, and I've been used by the corruption and the confusion. When I look back at this period, the history of how the new music was created and functioned, I equate myself with people like Herbie Nichols, because they forced him out with no work. It happened to Billie Holiday – she died from no work. You kill a genius if you don't let him function. You can't be a genius in the kitchen at home. You are a genius but you're dying. Now I work a festival a year, two festivals a year out of maybe a thousand in the world. Five hundred in Europe. It makes me a little crazy, because I practise so hard not to die... (Pause) I'm always here practising. I don't know why I can't work. I know I must die, but it's kind of a reverse psychology thing for me – I refuse to die because I don't work. I practise, I stay creative. Maybe people say “He's at the Studio des Islettes all the time...” but I'm here to practise or to do something spiritual with my life as a musician. I'm not here because I'm depressed or I don't have anywhere else to go; I'm here because I'm constantly training, fortifying, feeding my spirit so that the lack of work that society seems to discriminate against me with, the work society deletes where I'm concerned, won't beat me. I'm 64 now, and if it takes me till I'm 94 I'm going to continue to play and try for the new generation to hear me. I feel in some way the system refuses to let the new generation hear me, because I could become a force as a drummer, not as a rich one, but as a real direction for young drummers to follow to be good creative drummers instead of just listening to each other all the time. For me it's like the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre... there's a million prints but you have to go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. That's how I feel about me and all the other drummers. OK, they listen to Max as the father of bebop, to Elvin the father of swing, but when it comes to avant-garde there's no father figure... When I go to New York and see William Parker's thing, and see what they got going on the East Side, and the Knitting Factory, I feel totally excluded. They look at me like I'm an alien from space. The young cats look at me kinda strange, like I don't exist. But I'm there. 

And when I play they know I exist, and it leaves a space when I go.



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