Jazz Is My Religion

Jazz is my religion   and it alone do I dig   the jazz clubs are my houses of worship   and sometimes the concert halls   but some holy places are too commercial (like churches)   so I don't dig the sermons there   I buy jazz sides to dig solitude   Like man/Harlem,   Harlem USA used to be a jazz heaven where most of the jazz sermons were preached   but now-a-days due to chacha cha and rotten rock'n'roll alotta good jazzmen have sold their souls   but jazz is still my religion   because I know and feel the message it brings like Reverend Dizzy Gillespie/ Brother Bird and Basie/ Uncle Armstrong/ Minister Monk/ Deacon Miles Davis/ Rector Rollins/ Priest Ellington/ His Funkness Horace Silver/ and the great Pope John, John COLTRANE   and Cecil Taylor   They Preach A Sermon That Always Swings!!!   Yeah jazz is MY religion   Jazz is my story and it was my mom's and pop's   and their moms and pops from the days of Buddy Bolden who swung them blues to Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman's extension of Bebop   Yeah jazz is my religion   Jazz is a unique musical religion   the sermons spread happiness and joy   to be able to dig and swing inside   what a wonderful feeling jazz is/  YEAH BOY!!   JAZZ is my religion and dig this: it wasn't for us to choose because they created it for a damn good reason   as   a weapon to battle our blues!   JAZZ is my religion   and its international   all the way   JAZZ is just an Afroamerican music and like us its here to stay   So remember that JAZZ is my religion but it can be your religion too but JAZZ is a truth that   is always black and blue   Hallelujah I love JAZZ so   Hallelujah I dig JAZZ so   Yeah JAZZ   IS   MY   RELIGION

     -Ted Joans



Cecil Taylor, Ted Joans, Laurent Goddet, Anthony Braxton, Dollar Brand... Deux photos de Marion Kalter trouvées en ligne, extraites d’un livre sur Ted Joans et prises à Juan-les-Pins en 1975.

À l’époque, je passe mon bac à Cannes et j’habite Juan-les-Pins, justement. Je n’écoute alors plus guère que du free jazz ou presque. Entre autres Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler et l’Art Ensemble Of Cicago, découverts à la radio. Mais aussi, il est vrai (je m’apprête à lire Atem) : toute l’école de Canterbury, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, The Music Improvisation Company (le disque ECM). La Monte Young m’intrigue, et si j’avais eu vent de la Los Angeles Free Music Society, j’aurais vraisemblablement plongé !

Chaque année, en juillet, à Juan-les-Pins, c’est le Festival du Jazz (d’où la présence des musiciens ci-dessus dans les rues de Juan en compagnie de feu-Laurent Goddet, alors rédacteur en chef de Jazz Hot). Je me rappelle d’y avoir vu Miles Davis (dès 1969, avec Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette), Human Arts Ensemble, Anthony Braxton, The Headhunters (avec Wah Wah Watson), Ornette Coleman Prime Time, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Don Cherry Organic Music, Weather Report (tournée Black Market avec Jaco Pastorius), Michel Portal en double-trio (François Jeanneau, Henri Texier, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Bernard Lubat, Daniel Humair), Lee Konitz, George Adams, McCoy Tyner, Cecil Taylor, Steve Lacy, Gil Evans, Carla Bley, Archie Shepp, François “Faton” Cahen, les Jazz Messengers d’Art Blakey, Martial Solal, les débuts de Keith Jarrett en trio avec Aldo Romano, Sonny Rollins, Egberto Gismonti & Nana Vasconcelos, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Sun Ra... Mais pas les Blue Notes de Chris McGregor, Charles Mingus avec Eric Dolphy, pas Ran Blake & Jeanne Lee, pas John Coltrane interprétant A Love Supreme en entier, Jef Gilson, car trop jeune (c’est ma grande soeur qui me traine à Miles en 1969)... Dommage !

A printed invitation to the birthday party of Beat artist Ted Joans, July 1959. The invitation, addressed to 'Girls of the Beat Generation,' reads, in part, 'You are invited to Ted Joans birthday party bit so be present with a present and bring other chicklets, chicks, and even hip hens. Only cats with written invitations with be admitted. But girls free.' The party was held on July 25th 1959


Sometimes he was cool like an eternal           blue flame burning in the old Kansas           City nunnery Sometimes he was happy ’til he’d think           about his birth place and its blood           stained clay hills and crow-filled trees Most times he was blowin’ on the wonderful           tenor sax of his, preachin’ in very cool           tones, shouting only to remind you of           a certain point in his blue messages He was our president as well as the minister           of soul stirring Jazz, he knew what he           blew, and he did what a prez should do,           wail, wail, wail. There were many of            them to follow him and most of them were           fair — but they never spoke so eloquently           in so a far out funky air. Our prez done died, he know’d this would come           but death has only booked him, alongside           Bird, Art Tatum, and other heavenly wailers. Angels of Jazz — they don’t die — they live they live — in hipsters like you and I


Ted Joans (1928-2003) poet, artist, and trumpet player. His artistic work was heavily influenced by jazz rhythms. A former room-mate of Charlie Parker’s, Ted coined the phrase “Bird Lives!” upon Parker’s death.