ME: I was always in awe of Sonny Rollins. He's worked with many of the key figures in jazz. I arrived early since I had to setup my drums. When David arrived, I told Newk, "David's here. Newk was sitting down warming up on his horn. I touch him gently on his knee. Newk acknowledged but kept on playing. "He's totally into the music, I thought to myself. David, Gene and I really put on a show. Most of the members in Newk's band, save one, dug what we were playing. Ntozake Shange came and she wanted to read her poetry. David told her no. She and David fell out after that. There was a big misunderstanding. I have no idea how that happened. Shange went on to write a very successful play that ran on Broadway. The name of the play was For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf .
Max Gordon kept flicking the lights off and on, trying to get us to stop, but we kept on playing regardless. Max Gordon would do the same when David and I would join the Cecil Taylor Unit a few years later. When we started our set at the Vanguard, I began playing very loudly. Sonny Rollins immediately got up and went into the kitchen. After our short set, I was sweating very profusely as I entered the kitchen. A musician was talking to Newk. Both men seemed very pleased with our playing. Our eyes met while I was changing T-shirts. I said to Newk, "It's hard work to play this music. "That's what it takes, was Newk's reply. class="f-right"> Return to Index...
Cecil Taylor Unit
AAJ: Max Gordon kept flicking the light off and on? He did this when you were with Cecil Taylor?