The interview conducted by William Parker for his recent book.

In the first person






asia   revolt

for patience   puppet theater

1.2.3.   nature’s joy  The gong



of  2  men  with women





out            are there many
more –   `








words may seem synonymous but they represent a climb up hill – in stages what
do many see a.need man asking a friend-in public

being rebuffed – he tries to find a friend and renew the plea c. when the door
is closed he knocks demanding help.we should be earnest and persistent

is here we encounter determination and free will

seems abvious because our please for a national leader were answered and there
is always the thought that we can make a difference-whether true or not. We
have to stay on the path regardless of failure or success because we cannot
know  - the time – of the answer…these three friends/

me excercising the athletics of the soul

everyday term

-  seek  knock .




I was playing seven
nights a week in shows in Boston and that really got me in and touch with
backing up singers and backing up dancers, keeping the momentum going.

That is what put me through school, that feeling,
that dwelling, that depth of sound it’s in me, it never left.  That’s the reason why I can admit I am the
way I am now.  When people say, “why do
you play so loud,” and I say, “I don’t play loud.”  But you just got to realize that I came up playing
in an organ group, I used to cart a Hammond B3 with a Leslie tone cabinet up
three flights of stairs.  That is what I
used to do and I was into it.  I was just
like “that’s the way I rolled.”  You play
up-tempo stuff, you play waltzes, you play the whole gamut of the music.

This group really gave me my formal education about
playing, they were very, very well-schooled older gentlemen who knew the Fake
Book in and out and knew what particular flavor and what particular rhythm to
put with a certain momentum that the music had, so it could last long periods
of time, everything from walking the bar, to strippers that were going to come
out there and do exotic dancing to singers. 
Be there either rhythm and blue singers or jazz singers for that







to the scheme of dreaming


the last eight years

I walked up the Hill /  purple greetings

:  what is this funk(again)

Where is this   entertainment mode

to the system  -  stuff..

a masterful solo

As Revenge


fuel to the scheme






“ I went to college man, and I was heavy into political
science.  Economics and a lot of
philosophy and one of the requirements that I had to do I had to study Spanish,
I had to learn Spanish.  Why?  I had no clue; I guess that this was what you
do to get educated.  So I walk in to this
room and I am getting ready, getting ready to actually learn Spanish.  I sat down and after like maybe two lessons
all of a sudden man, I didn’t learn any more Spanish because I fell in love
with this woman that was sitting right next to me and that is my wife
today.  She didn’t learn Spanish.  I didn’t learn Spanish.


We both probably kind of got a D.   It was ridiculous.  I knew nothing zero Spanish but also I
realized another thing.  She came at me
with like, “what do you think about this new record I bought?”  I said what do you mean?  She didn’t even know me, right.  She knew me from this whole boys situation in
Connecticut but not really know me as a person or anything.  She handed me John Coltrane’s record Expressions,
she said I kind of like this record.  I
said “really” this is right after my best friend had given me another Coltrane
recording  “A Love Supreme I gave it
back.  I said that “I can’t stand it get
it out of here”, she hands me Expressions, and then after that she comes up and
says “I got this other record,” I like this record, it was -- Thelonious Monk
Live.  The record that had Oscar T on it,


Donna is the reason that I went to California she
had been out there spending time with her friends, and I said -- when we
decided that we weren’t going to live in Connecticut anymore, we have had
it.  Where are we going to go?  I said “Ok” I’m a little parochial.  I am a little bit peevish, scary?  Where we going to go?  Let’s go ok, so we just got in the car man,
and just started driving.  We had like a
hundred dollars, and Donna said, “let’s go to California,” I said “do
what?”  I said “we only have a hundred
dollars,” how we going to get to California on a hundred dollars?  Are you crazy?  She said, “We will make it,” we made it.  Drove right across country just like that.
Through  New Hampshire, through Vermont
came back down, went all the way through Route 66, then came up through North
Dakota, then came back down and low and behold to California.  And that was the beginning of that whole
situation. And so, I can only say that was a major step in my life, because
obviously this woman changed my life, she changed my life. I had done crazy
things and had been involved in a whole bunch of stuff at a very young age, but
I was playing professionally at thirteen and fourteen years old.  So, I had seen a lot of things.  And I wasn’t interested in that stuff anymore.
We eventually rented a house and I began to play with a group of musicians that
were in San Francisco, we used to play every day at Seal Rock.  I lived on Fell street which was the heart of
the hood, it was right down just as you get off the bridge.  The group which I named and I will take
credit for was “Juju a message from a Mozambique’ with Plunky Nikabinde There
were three conga drummers.  Two of them
played three drums, one of them played two drums, and I played drum set. I just
really wanted to change my whole way of looking at things.  So, one day we were playing we got really,
really deep into the rhythms, the rhythms of Africa, the rhythms of the
drum.  It was almost as if things were
levitating and at that point it was like I heard my Earth mother, what I call
my Earth mother.  I heard a sound that I
had never heard before.  It was so
profound, it completely changed the way I was looking at playing the drums and
the way I was looking consciously at who I was playing with and where I
was.  When I say my Earth mother, I say
that in the since of seeing something invisibly as you are visualizing it but
hearing it speak back to me as the music was going around and around and
around, because that’s the kind of music it is. 
When you get it into music like that, you get into an almost hypnotic
state but you get into various deep rhythms inside the music. When that
happened, I said to myself that, I would never play anybody else’s music.  I just won’t do it.  All this time I am studying things like
Hazarat Inayat Khan,  Madam Blavatsky, I
am studying Rudolf Steiner, I’m studying Diop, and also Chancellor Williams.
I’m studying Alice Bailey, and Lucis Trust . I am studying all these things and
Donna has been with me throughout this, the whole time.  Meditating with me, studying with me,
practicing with me, waking me up in the middle of the night for us to be able
to find stability in our lives.  Because
what is going on out here is far from stable, you have to go someplace and you
have to meditate and find a center and she has been part of that center.  You got these stereotypes in your mind about
what you think a musician that plays this music are about and you don’t even
have a clue.  Many people don’t have a
clue.  I said “really” it’s never been
like this, it’s been like this has been a person I can bounce things off of and
has giving me so many ideas, so many ideas to flow with oh,


“I said to her I might have the opportunity to go to


“ Oh, really? 
Who you going to go with? “


“I don’t know who I am going to go with.”


 “ You should
go with Billy Bang. “


“ I said “what?”


“ yeah you should go with Billy Bang.”


  That was one
of the most profound things in my life,  who would have known?  I wouldn’t have thought of Bang as somebody
that I would have thought of as a friend. 
To be looking after me when I get into these situations, didn’t have any
money, didn’t know how to catch a train, and didn’t know how to dial anybody on
a phone.  I based this on her man, by
telling me that this is what I should do. And I did it and a lot of things in
my creative life and she has always rolled with me.


So that the way it was and then my son Yureesh
was born and we just make a trio and I am a lucky man, and I have been given a
gift from god, that almost brings tears to my eyes when I think about it, how
long this has been and what this is like and our souls on earth.  And in between there I have had friends man
that are deep, deep friends, that when I check them out man, I know there are
going to be some people there that are going to see me off properly when I
check out.  That’s the way I feel about
it, I feel about it because of any other reason other than the fact that you’re
a friend.  No other reason, it’s not
about like you know, I got this opportunity, I got this, I did that…no, no, no
these are people that you meet along the way. 





Silent unfolding


Button on the sacred wall


Left rounding

“our field of tog & go”

fear striking true here

fire’s madness

& stripped of its



Red lights



on.just joy!


Bass search






  I believe


hook-arrow to—me.





my veil-shows.

Love-the funk






the baskets

I read..conservative(word)


The death mask..

talk//the next comes a vibe

the bush—button



You got me.


the rage and rebellion

No tv


agrarian apples











I was not studying poetry; I was a philosophy major
studying Andre Malraux. I studied African writers and there was this whole
movement about abstract states how to be able to deal with a stream of
consciousness. So it wasn’t just like a stream of consciousness that everyone
talks about Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. 

It’s center is a piece of sculpture called sunrise,
it’s beat is a piece of clothing everything started melting together and that’s
what it was and then I figured out this way of thinking about music.


So what I would do is get out and start writing and
I just kept writing and writing. Before I knew what was happening man I had
this big stack of things like this so I tried to put groups together, I try to
use those poems which didn’t kind of make any sense; they did not make sense to
anybody, because there was no rhyme there was no light meter in it, but there
were expressions of what happened to me on a daily basis and then I realized
that this, this is the music.  This is
the music; everybody may not accept Life.  What you say is about life, if I put it out
there that’s what it is; I can define it, I can be free, I can be free
enough   to define myself.


So that presented another little problem.  Are you going to be a poet?  Or are you going to be a musician ?


  And then I started studying painting. This
woman came over,  she was introducing
Goethe’s color theory to the western hemisphere. I studied with her and I
started painting. . And then I had done a painting; so there was painting,
poetry and there were sounds altogether what are you going to do?  Are you going to paint are you going to do
poetry?  Are you going to play music?
Which are going to do?  You need to make
up your mind, what’d  you mean by makeup,
my mind.  I got a job I don’t have to
make up my mind.  I can do whatever I
want to do. I Understood Andre Malraux, and I understood a man’s fate and I
understood Japanese writers.  I
understood all of that, but there was something that was calling my black soul.
I’m not from Bedstuy I wasn’t going to come out like I am a gangster, I am not
from the hood, I am not.  I’m just this
dude who is a creative man who wants to use all that he has, to be able to do
what he’s going to do.

When I wake up I say to myself, today is going to be
the day that I could use this gift to make things better. If somebody could
hear this music, could see the beauty of a tree or of the universe, or talk about
string theory or whatever. I really feel as if what we are doing with that
discipline t has yet to be tapped. They’re not using us properly.  If they knew, if they knew what they had,
they might be able to use it properly some of the things that they have. All
the answers are based on materialistic things.

The heavenly and the earthly haven’t been matched
yet.  And that bothers me, seriously
bothers me.


And you take all of these elements, which you can
attribute, scientific elements to emotions. 
Certain colors. If you take some of these some of these elements some of
these colors, and you look at them if you have the eyes to see and you can see
them in an esoteric form you can see that there is a constant transmutation
happening. And not only feel it as a mystic thing but to know it. You can know
it as an occultist; you can actually know certain things that are actually
happening.  You see that is one thing
that I have always tried to think about. The world and the earthly or heavenly
reality.  It may just be my nature but I
like to know, I don’t like to just feel, I like to take it to the knowledge of
knowing.  Because then I feel, then I
feel little bit more. I feel a little bit more in touch with what my soul is
trying to tell reality, and where I am in reality.  That is kind of the way that I look at






Next to me(underfoot)





run high


Are they undone?

Life seems over

gather to collect the time’s phrases

ripe ones

try to be dramatic in approach

that is not real

present does define those times


are better off than our unsettled

Thoughts would(dramatically) lead


is the first bead of our




For the material

From the reigns

For the time outside

adobe connection of light colour

from wall to tree to me.

the clear blue


Lasting long

hot again.

did the snake go





  I walked
into the record store and this dude was behind the counter.  I didn’t know who it was, it is the trumpet
player Jacques Coursil.  I am standing
there and I am looking at this record and I pick it up. I look at it and it just has this dude with these sunglasses
on.  I am like, “what is this, what is
this, it’s crazy, what kind of record is this”. 
I turn it over in the back Hilariously, I said, “this is nice, Then this
dude that was across from me, he was just - you know the way record bins used
to be, somebody would be over there, you’d be here.  This dude looks at me and he says,  “Buy that record.”  I said, “What you mean buy this record.”  I said, “This is the craziest record I have
ever seen, what is this.”  The cover, the
language is different.  I don’t
understand this.  He said, “I’m on
it.”  I looked, I said “you’re on it,
what do you mean”.  He said, “Hi, I am
Byard Lancaster.  I am on this record.  Buy this record, you will like it.”


So I bought the record. I took it home and I heard
the drums and they were different, I said, “this is nice what is this.”  I knew that somebody else was playing that
freedom. Somebody else was playing that freedom.  Even though it wasn’t pristine clear.  It wasn’t like a Columbia 52nd Street
production, I said, “this is nice, these guys can play.

My friend Raphael told me, “I know some of the
things that you like and I don’t know what has been happening with you, I want
you to come with me.”  He was a super in
a building.  I said, “okay.  I’ll go.” In the building, was Pharaoh
Sanders I think Dave Burrell was in this building.  It was down there on like East 3rd
street the thing about it is down the street they had this motorcycle gang and   They were insane. So then my friend said,
“okay man you got to come with me and we got to talk.”  I said, “no, we are not going to talk, you
got to hear something.”  Then he took me
and that is when I was sold on the fact that I was in the right direction.  He took me to see Frank Wright, Larry Young,
Rashied Ali, and Sonny Sharrock.  I
walked in there and that was an evening I will never forget. My friend Raphael said,
“look man, this is what I want to turn you unto.”  In those three musical moments I got to say,
the moment of the Earth mother, which is the most profound moment.  That was the most in-depth moment, which I knew
that my life was different.  For some
reason after that point, I always had a problem playing straight ahead
music.  It wasn’t because that I didn’t
want to.  Something automatically in my
brain would just make me play free.  Even
though all this other history was behind me, I don’t know, I would just start
playing and I would just go off.  It
would just keep happening like that, therefore, no gigs.  There were these comments from many of the
older musicians.  What are you trying to
do?  Who do you think you are?  What are you doing?  Are you crazy?  All this kind of thing.  But okay, all right, I checked that out, but
something deeper than that was telling me that this is what you have to do. Those
moments substantiated the fact that I didn’t have to follow the course of just
meter.  I didn’t have to follow that
course.  I didn’t have to follow the
course of time, time was in me.  That is
what I realized I had been through things as a musician and you know what that
is about, it happened to me at a very early age.  I lived a life -- I lived this really early
so that when I came here I was prepared for a lot of things but I wasn’t
prepared for the energy, that’s why it was good that I went to California
because if I had come here the way I was when I left Connecticut, I would have
been seriously destroyed   I wasn’t even
ready for a lot of -- I wasn’t ready for the rejection.  I wasn’t ready for the rejection of somebody
saying to me “you know something the only way you will be able to do your own
music but I won’t call names…yeah, I will call names Sam Rivers looked me dead
in my face and said “you know what?” 
“  The only way you are going to
be able to do anything in this music you have to play underneath somebody and
if you don’t you're never going to amount to anything and you are never going
to do anything”.


You know what? 
I took that very seriously.  I
took that very seriously, because I was one of the dudes that created
Juju.  They were playing inside  I am outside driving a cab.

And luckily enough, luckily enough I had the stamina
enough to survive it.  In the music and
luckily enough I didn’t get sucked into the whole drug aspect of it because I
had friends that I grew up with man, who died on  Heroin overdoses, and aids. I survived like
man, Bootsy Collins and George Clinton riding up and down in the street on a
bicycle where I grew up buck naked, I survived that.  Because my best friend, my best partner  he went out with them man, But he died  along with many others I have lasted, and I
have a good family and I am happy, and I have good friends and life excites me,
that is what it is, life excites me.  I
really get off on life.  I really do man,
I am just like a happy dude.  I think I
have a serious problem, I really do.  I
am just a happy dude.  And I am going to
end it right there.















Time helped the current at
the ocean crest.
Made nice
Chrystal walk-away and viewing
Partially funded -
Groove nature/double
horizon -
Left clones.

rent room
Left to right
Horizon stripped/numbing temperatures in black
salty oceanic health Striking á note/pure c
Upper clother violence/pure

True trash,with no limbs
Sculptured in the sand
barking dogs)

Enamored of themselves - 2 of 1 / flat key region
Blunted space -
And violated / shore term…
Slap á tone…..We . 
Lost in
sight/mind delivered
Digging holes with gas drilled
Foudings and portions
Our time renegade treatises

In our desert of mind.

Making blue
Trappings with with hats. 
Tempted ladies with red and 
Fighting or playing with us
And knowing how it is to
Have ideas of
growth and
Art/Beauty and strength/
Fibrous blue water.. 
When it does its
dead and
The feeling against race discrimination and clean
Water/ with
Shoes-you need
Salt - you wander.



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