Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Philadelphia Diary: One Day in the Life of Marvin X
Monday turned out to be Rehearsal Day. The first rehearsal was with my favorite Philly musicians, Elliott Bey and Alexander El, who performed with me on the DVD Live in Philly at Warm Daddies. Others on this DVD were the superman from Sun Ra's Arkestra, Marshall Allen, also Sun Ra strongman Danny Thompson, along with now ancestor Rufus Harley.
Elliott Bey picked me up, first, to connect with Sonia Sanchez. I lost her number so we went to her house. Her son Morani greeted me and told me Sonia was out of town but would be coming in within the hour. Her gave me her number and I departed. I knew better than to called Sonia within the hour or anytime today, let her rest. I already know she is tired--she's a workaholic and is always tired, God bless the Queen of BAM.
Since Sonia wasn't home, we made our way to Alexander El's house. "Salaam, Mo," El said to Elliott. El and I embraced, not having seen each other since the Warm Daddies's gig. We went inside and socialized. I didn't realize Alexander was a painter as well, with a room full of his paintings. After a couple of drinks, Elliott said let's do some music, so we went downstairs where is trap drums were and he and Elliott warmed up, then called on me to join in. There was a one woman audience, so I played to her. Elliott was upset because the way the piano was facing the wall, he could not see Alexander or me. I told him to be bad like Monk: turned around to face us and play the piano backwards. Marvin X you a crazy motherfucka. Felipe Luciano of the Last Poets said the same about me at NYU's tribute to ancestors Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka. Marvin X is a Motherfucka, he said. Kind words from a student at a theological seminary.
We started going through my poetry. Then Elliott asked me to do a story. I said, ok, motherfucka,
you want a story, huh? I got one faya ass. I looked through my Parables and Fables and found Parable of the Real Woman. I read it to Pam, our audience of one. She loved it.
It got hot in the house. The morning was cool so I had on a wool shirt. I asked Alexander if he had a shirt to fit me, since he is a tall, slim brother.He got me a shirt that I could put on but couldn't button. We continued with several more poems until we all were exhausted and I had to sit outside on the punch to cool off. It was a great rehearsal and gave me chance to see how my poetry works with their music. We were satisfied and ready to do a gig. I told them to accompany me on Thursday, May 1, at Maurice Henderson's Black Arts Week where I will be the Special Guest. Depending on his acting talent, we think a musical drama about Teddy Pendergrass starring George Foxx will be a hit. Who will write the play?
Marvin X is Special Guest at the Philadelphia Black Poetry Honors Ceremony, May 1st.
May 1st Philadelphia Black Poetry Honors Ceremony and Performance and TV taping at the Rotunda Theatre, 4014 Walnut Street on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.
Please check to see if your name has been listed as an honoree or presenter. You should also check out the website of NATIONAL BLACK AUTHORS TOUR (www.nationalblackauthorstour.com) and if you would like to have your biography listed please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of "include my biography on the NBAT website."
The All ACCESS pass will also include free entrance to the Reception/party at Azure Lounge, 15th & South Street, 9pm-11pm and open bar is from 10pm - 11pm. the entrance code is Moe Reecee.
Elliott and I departed Alexander's and he took me home so I could get ready to attend another rehearsal with Alfie Pollitt, pianist who has agreed to be the BAM 27 City Tour music director. He is music director for George Fox, a singer who is doing the tunes of Teddy Pendergrass. Alfie is directing the orchestra. My host, Nisa Ra, picked up Alfie and Sam Reed, a Philly living legend, and headed to George Fox's house in a suburb of Philly. All Negores or New World Africans don't live in the ghetto.
George's house was large enough to accommodate the orchestra. Enough said. George was a big tall brother who indeed favored Teddy. And after listening to him and the band rehearse, along with the backup singers, I am convinced George will do well performing Teddy's songs, especially with his band, several of them worked with Teddy, as did Alfie. George convinced us he wouldn't let the musicians drown him out, so he and the band should have a great show for Mother's Day at the Clef Club.
Marvin X and pianist, music director Alfie Pollitt