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Kathy Hendrickson's play Lock 10 is the story of a white guitarist in the 1930s seeking to leave the family business to go on tour with an integrated band. Staged as a period radio play, with actors playing actors voicing roles, it makes for an odd telling. The actors aren't tethered to microphones as they would be in an actual radio production, but they don't quite inhabit their meta-roles either. Strange as well was the score, performed alongside the actors by Ken Vandermark, Christof Kurzmann and Tortoise drummer John Herndon at Joe's Pub (Apr. 7th). The band was unabashedly anachronistic, playing loose, modern sounds while the actors name-checked Ellington, Beiderbecke and Robert Johnson.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.