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Adam Pierończyk – soprano & tenor saxophones
Anthony Joseph – voice
Nelson Veras – acoustic guitar
Robert Kubiszyn – double bass, electric bass
John B. Arnold – drums

Here is a project by saxophonist Adam Pierończyk, in which the artist reveals his fascination for combining improvised music with spoken word. This time around, his special guest is Anthony Joseph, an imaginative British poet and performer of Caribbean descent. The quintet is made up of splendid musicians from Brazil, Poland and USA. Prime and premiere lyrics, music, and band.

“Krik?”, a Caribbean storyteller calls out before they begin telling their story. “Krak!”, the audience responds if they want the storyteller to begin. If they do not respond with “krak” the storyteller cannot begin. “Krik” means, I have a story I want to tell, I will do it to the best of my ability and with all my heart. “Krak” means, we will help you tell the story, we will give you all our attention and we will listen deeply. A story born in such interchange is a living experience that expands everyone.

Anthony Joseph, this Creole griot who has been writing poems since his boyhood, was born in Trinidad – on an island full of troubadours, calypso music and oral traditions. Before he reached the age of twenty he moved to London where in the course of years he became a significant innovator of the English language. His stories stem from the Caribbean soil and are shaped by surrealist practices and revitalizing approach to language, providing vignettes of the culture which Europeans can only intuit and access in a limited depth. Nevertheless, to connect to what is being told one just needs to open one’s senses and say “krak!”. We are given images to behold. A meeting of a son with a father who had been absent long enough to become a myth and who now comes back from the sea “broke but handsome”, hiding sadness in his home’s unfinished rooms. A man who pauses on his way out of a city exhausted by hopeless misery to receive a parting gift: some tenderness and music of Fela “Anikulapo” Kuti, or the one “who carries death in his pouch”. Scenes from a native village, nostalgic miniatures of a world one has left, all written down from a flagging memory. A memento about Franklin Rosemont, an American surrealist who was an inspiriation for Joseph. Noah’s Ark voyaging from continental metropolises to the most distant islands of the Earth with titans of the musical universe on board...

Krik?

credits

released May 6, 2015

All poems by Anthony Joseph

All tunes composed by Adam Pierończyk

Recorded live November 4th, 2014 at the headquarters of NOSPR (The Polish National Radiob Symphony Orchestra) in Katowice (Poland)

Recording engineer: Piotr Grabowski
Mix: Wojciech Marzec, Adam Pierończyk
Master: Wojciech Marzec
Design: For Tune®
Cover photo: Adam Pierończyk
Other photos: Iza Lechowicz (p. 2, 11), Małgorzata Fatalska (p. 12)

The first recording by a jazz group to be realized at the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra's new headquarters in Katowice.

Anthony Joseph appears courtesy of Heavenly Sweetness.
Adam Pierończyk uses Lion Cases.
John B. Arnold endorses UFIP cymbals and FACUS INNOVATION sticks
Robert Kubiszyn uses Ernie Ball strings and instruments made by: Fodera, Nexus, Marian Pawlik, Jerzy Wysocki

The copyrights of this record are owned by For Tune® LLC.
Unauthorized duplication of this record is strictly prohibited.
1st edition. Previously unissued.

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Track Name: The Kimberley Hotel
Please do not scoff when I spit at the fruit of freedom
because maybe, maybe my bong was the sound of a wail,
and my voice, the anger of distance.
-Way Back Home - Sandile Dikeni
As we were leaving the Kimberley Hotel,
that last night in Cape Town, Brother Ntone
held my hand – ‘Wait’, he said; he had a gift.
And re turning to the turntables
like a priest
with his Ethiopian scarf and his boots of brogues
and his ringed finger on the fader
he played: Fela. Anikulapo. Kuti/who carries death
in his pouch.
Because that is what we people
go thro ugh everyday. Like the poet Sandile
who lost his memory
and with it a homestead of revolutionist poetry.
Who f orgot
he was a poet
but remembered enough to recite his poem
at 4 am that morning, at the Kimberley Hotel.
Like the vendors in Green Market Square
who were willing to sell us their masks and gourds
for nothing. To barter them down was easy.
Their resistance was bleak. I turned to go
and they called me back - from 10 to 2.50.
Each dusk from my room on the thirteenth floor
I watch them push their wagons home
through old colonial alleyways
like poets returning to some corrugated jungle
after dancing all night, at the Kimberley Hotel.
How did we spend a week in Cape Town
and not see a woman carrying water
in a straw basket
from yard to stinking yard.
Must be Town ship jive and township rain,
slippery like mud upside that hillside village
where my own fathers’ kin and my blood runneth
among the lilies and the lizards there.
‘Wait’ he said. And returning
to the black cloth of his altar,
the DJ plays....
But this was not. This was not.
This was not the fifteen minute 12 inch mix.
This was not the DJ mix, the 7 inch single mix.
This was not the abridged, the edited, the faded
to fit on one side. No. This was the full thirty five minute
symphony of ‘Shuffering and Shmiling’
and we danced till dawn at the Kimberley Hotel
that last Cape Town morning.
Track Name: Conductors Of His Mystery
for Albert Joseph
The day my father came back from the sea
he was broke
but he was handsome
I s aw him walking across the savannah
and knew at once it was him.
His soulful stride, the grace of his hat,
the serifs of his name were
~ flu ttering ~
in my mouth.
In his bachelor’s room in El Socorro that year
he played his 8-tracks through a sawed-off speaker box.
The coil would rattle an the cone would hop
but wo men from the coconut groves
st ill came to hear
his traveller’s tales.
Sh op he say he build by Goose Lane junction.
But it rough from fabricated timber string.
Picka foot jook wood
like what Datsun ship in.
And in this snackette he sold red mango,
mints and tamarind.
Its w ire mesh grill hid his suffer well tough.
Ti ll the shop bust,
and he knock out the boards and roam east
to Enterprise village.
Shack he say he build same cross-cut lumber.
Wood he say he stitch same carap bush.
He kin da grew ambitious with wood
in his middle ages.
And th at night I spent there,
with the cicadas in that clear village sky,
even t hough each room was still unfinished
and each sadness hid. I was with
my father
and I would’ve stayed
if he had asked.
Brown suede,
8 eye high
desert boots. Beige
gabardine bells with the 2 inch folds.
He was myth. The legend of him.
I reme mber once I touched the nape of his boot
to see if my father was real.
Beyon d the brown edges of photographs
a nd the songs we sang
to s ing him back
fro m the sweep and sea agonies
of his distance.
Landslide scars. He sent no letters.
His sm all hands were for the fine work of his carpentry.
His fingers to trace the pitch pine’s grain.
And the raised rivers of his veins,
the thick rings of his charisma,
the scars–the maps of his palms–
were the sweet conductors of his mystery.
Aiyé Olokun.
He came back smelling of the sea
Track Name: The Golden Shovel- Four Poems
In the golden shovel, the poet choses a line from another poet and writes a new poem in which each word of the borrowed line appears at the end of each new line.

1.
My wife with the back of a bird fleeing vertically
- Andre Breton - Freedom of Love
She threw verbs and arrows at my
skull till I broke like water in her peninsula, a wife
who breathing deep, murmurs, coy-like, with
the nape of a question for a neck. The more the
heat from the galvanise slapped back
and the red dirt blew up, I thought of
how hard she suffered on that gospel plough, w/out a
suffocating word, with the exact patience of a bird
in flight, piercing the web of time, fleeing.
I broke her back with an axe of sin.
To be buried, vertically.

2.
all their syllables of living colour & career thru the water
- Kamau Brathwaite - Dear PM
gust of sound and sea blast and all
the windows are rattling like teeth in their
jaws. then the sky lid shifts to dim and syllables
of stone are chasing colour from the earth. Fear of
thunder like a child, like black dada in their roar of
living.The blood in the road below was the colour
of molasses; thick black with love &
this too, shall be the arc that frames the devils career.
Sudden so the junction got hot. Siren rip thru
and the sound tears straight to the
solar capital, like sorrow, leaving wounds in the water.

3.
fling of his wish have caught the sea
- Kamau Brathwaite - Master of the Mary Jones
Far flung from the fling
and the rip and the fever, grass in the scar red hills of
these islands. Cut across with cuss until his
imagination grew sombre. Wash under wash and wish
away from the grief of it, fish and bug and mollusk, to have
bliss of it, the dreamscape so tenderly caught
In the folds of terror, like a drowned man weeping in the
dark abyss of the sea

4.
In this night I moved upon the territory with combinations
- Charles Olson - The Librarian
What changes: limestone strata in
the earth.The heat pulse of birds, the drone bee in this
tree, the firefly in the litmus of night,
terrestrial objects of the heart? I
moved
upon the air as a leaf to dark waters
leapt from the roof to the
plum tree, dew wet was the bough: my territory:
the landscape, now seemed decreased, and dry with
its process of combinations.
Track Name: Poem for Franklin Rosemont
Beyond words or destinations,
visual and multiplying,
intricate and persistent,
they found a faraway place in Paris.
Its potential splendour hid sequels and contrary sex
in the early hours of 1960.
Proclivities of struggle and synthesis
within the most complete utopia
of fire and speed.
Dream letters were drowned in invisible stars.
Silent suburbs of Jazz and primitive hell
were spontaneously glimpsed
in rigid cities in which
these souvenirs were read
at t he Chicago Public Library
shu ddering
loosely
on the avenue between
Greene and Zion.
These are the definitions of the palace of signs.
These are the masks with which
I hitchhiked across the wonderland
and travelled by radio to resemble that mask
eccentric and boundless
in the image of you.
Past stairs and doorways,
past Afro-American ruins,
bamboo by the dozen
among those denizens of marvellous film.
Dead
yet actually distant. Exhilarating
like dissident blues swung from the Zydeco
to the brutal suburbs of Pharaoh Sanders.
Emerging from light
into some literary response.
Track Name: The Ark
Sun Ra was on the ark. Prince Nico Mbarga, he was on the ark. So was Art Taylor and
Sonny Simmons, Bessie Smith and Superblue, all on the ark and Joe Tex and Mitty
Collier, Leon Thomas and the Roaring Lion, even Robert Aaron and Lou Ciccotelli were
abdominally on the ark. The original Defosto himself was also on the ark, beat rivers of
song upon the omele drum, just a cutlass carpenter, no skill with timber, four eyed fish
were on the ark. Who playing war and fraid blood? Who playing mas and fraid powder?
Who prevaricate and ruse, throwing holi powder as ritual upon the ark, but don’t want
ink or powder to touch their clothes? Who else was on the ark? Max Roach was on the
ark, and Chick Webb and Buddy Rich, Ras Shorty I and David Rudder, Belafonte and
Eric Dolphy, them was high up upon the ark. Babatunde was on the ark, Olatunji, mama
drum, say you coming to come and you never reach as far the leader house, his records
and sawed off speaker drum, to boom dub roots box all round the village, bachelor life,
and then you hear he bulling some woman in the congregation, and then your hear the
shepherd sanding crook-sticks, and tapping his foot when the hymn swing, but is suffer
he suffering in silence, because the woman bulling is and he don't need to be a see-er
man to see, so he burn his own house down, he was on the ark and the ark was almost
full. Iron tete was on the ark, and Railway Douglas, the wild moon, fever in his throat.
both were on the boat, the ark was full, but more was to come and coming still. Ethel
Waters was on the ark singing ‘Carib Gold, Octavia Butler, hip good, high up on this
boat. Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow, robed in African wax print and dancing as
man, Eric Williams, dead and living same time in secret, also wrapped in kente cloth,
Larry Lee, masked and southern drawling, Fats Waller, Art Pepper, Sonny Criss, Miss
Bobbye Hall, Gang Gang Sara, blown from Guinea to Les Coteaux Tobago, who climbed
the great silk cotton tree in Culloden with intentions to fly back to Africa, but fell to
stony death because she had eaten salt, she was on the ark, as was The Mighty Spoiler,
The Mighty Terror, The Mighty Broclax, in proper soft pants, same dead living among the
dead, as taxi driver or stevedore, leaning into a cacophony of whores, and when the ark
had two days to go before it reach Southhampton, here come John La Rose, here come
Charles Mingus, here come Woody Shaw and here come Rashaan Roland Kirk, Jean
Michel Basquait, Bo Diddley, Beryl McBurnie, even Olive Walke could walk upon that ark.
This was years long since the firearm ban, when the river washed down and cleansed the
city, and who eh drown waterlogged, and who not dead, badly wounded. Jan Carew was
on the ark, and Dominique Gaumont, as was Milton Cardona and Rosetta Tharpe,
Odetta, Mandela, Biko, Toure, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, all upon the ark. but not
Kamau Brathwaite, he was not on the ark, instead Baba, the great teacher had long since
evaporated into air, into language, into sound, into the sex fruit of poetry; oil does not dry
upon his tongue, nor honey on the tips of his fingers. And I saw Steven Samuel Gordon,
stood high upon the bow, and the ark drove down to Bristol, Birmingham and
Manchester too, it swooned to Alaska, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Haiti,
Cuba, Jamaica, Barbados, Suriname, it moves like a crown upon a board, it care which
way it chose to go. Look, it pass through Aruba, Trinidad, and Grenada, up the Orinoco
river, and never wear neck tie yet. It come up from the southern Caribbean all the way up
to Pascagoula bay in New Orleans. Yes, I saw the brother Spaceape, he was on the ark,
and he was blowing the big abeng!
Track Name: Written From Memory
I am in the land of iguanas and buzzing heat
of Joh nny Babwah, Ice Cold Coconut
since nineteen,
leaning
in the culvert, savannah side,
while the dread with the bandaged thumb hacks my nut
with t he edge of his blade and says,
‘How long you been gone, red man,’
like you losing your skill to suck.’
And how did he find the gap in my tongue
that slip in my language, the twang long gone.
He sell me three mammy apple,
remind me how to eat them,
wait two or three days, till it get soft.
Peel off the husk. But in 24 years
I have forgotten how to keep up with a place
where everything happens at once.
Today I watched my aunt coming
down through the coruscating light of her village;
cumin scent and the water truck, the new road still coming.
At seventy three she takes wise steps, avoids
gulleys and thorns, she only goes to the beach,
she says, when I fly down.
And all of this written from memory.
And all of this made more luminous with distance.
I have lost touch with my own people,
I have forgotten the heat.
And all of this written from memory
and all of this written of an island
which has long ceased to exist
except to the poet on his way east,
pickin g out places and saying :
This h appened here,
that happened there.
In the white heat of mid morning
two iguanas are passing on the hotel wall
To see them I must stay completely still
and then I can see them
between the hibiscus tree.
But if I move too suddenly
or if I reach for a camera,
I turn away
and they are gone.