Happy Birthday Bill Dixon, Wherever You Are.


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Image courtesy of Stephen Haynes.

“If you are you, 24 hours a day, then you do not have to remember who you are supposed to be in different situations—something that I imagine could be troublesome.Bill Dixon.

The Grand Old Man didn't make it to today and in the period that has followed his passing in June, there have been all manner of musical chairs shuffled in a back story spectacle of mixed appeal. On one hand I've seen a regular academic cred cottage industry arise from some who seem to need that. Only a few were much help when he was alive and we who cared about Bill owe them.

Laurence Cook lives the lingering reality of it well whenever he makes it to the gallery here and the younger players are starting to revere him in a very moving way. The other night, I joined an ensemble in carrying his heavy drum kit stuff to his car after the show. No one needed to be asked.

In another instance I've run into neurotic avoidance due to some need to individuate. The press half made a hash of it save for Ben Young and the list of things deserved that never came Bill's way is larger than the list of things he accomplished.

In many ways it is a story of a generational clash. Susan Faludi has many of the answers in Stiffed. One of the great generation survived depression and war to end up in quarrels with the younger parade who recoiled when the Grand Old Man gave them a piece of his mind.

And then we have Stanley.

“Mourning is over. Time to put on some big boy trousers and meet the world.

Lights are back on at the Dixon Society. Enjoy.

Since the 16th of June, I haven't been listening to much music. That's not entirely true. I've been listening to a fair bit of Peter Tosh during my commute as that CD is stuck in the player. Aside from that, not much music. Not much of this music, anyway.

While there was a conscious decision to cease and desist with the writing until today, I wasn't motivated to do much writing anyway. Do words mean anything? If blogging isn't the essence of saying things to make yourself feel better (which is a bad idea), then what is it?

Before responding to Dixon's passing, I wanted to wait and see what I missed most about Bill Dixon. Now that I've waited, it is clear that what I miss most about Bill Dixon was his zero tolerance for time wasting morons and the nonsense they generate.

Actually, zero tolerance might not be the best descriptor, as in many instances there was an active and hostile aggression towards said time wasting morons and their nonsense. Less than zero tolerance."

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This story appears courtesy of Brilliant Corners, a Boston Jazz Blog.
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