The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 29, 2004

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 00:54:31 -0400
From: Gerald Schwartz <gejs1@ROCHESTER.RR.COM>
Reply-To: UB Poetics discussion group <POETICS@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU>
Subject: Elvin Jones Gravely Ill

Dearest friends,

Wow! My heart is so heavy sending this out. Share a moment. May the great Elvin Jones be well and when he does pass on may it be as gracefully as he shared.

Respectfully, Bopa King Carre

>From: Arkady
>To: bopa king carre
>Subject: Elvin Jones Gravely Ill
>Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 18:52:30 -0400
>Pass this on... and pray for Elvin!
>Dear Vinnie,
>HOPEFULLY the collective prayers help, and the rest is up to God...
>I am passing this to my friends...
>YOU be SAFE, HEALTHY, and happy....
>God Bless.....
>� Arkady
>web site:
> > From: Vinnie Colaiuta
> > Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2004 18:13:53 -0400 (EDT)
> > To:
> > Subject: Fwd: Elvin Jones Gravely Ill
> >
> > To those who may yet not know, I just got this today; something that I did
> > not want to hear. May he be in all of our prayers, and may we be eternally
> > grateful to him; the legend.
> >
> >
> >
> > The following showed up today, April 27, 2004, on the "Jazz Program
> > List"
> > site from Larry Applelbaum.
> >
> > "I saw Elvin last night at Yoshi's here in San Francisco.
> >
> > He could barely make it to the stage, his wife helping him sit and
> > placing the sticks in his hand.
> >
> > Elvin had trouble hitting the drums but his time and sound was
> > impeccable.
> >
> > His wife made an announcement that Elvin was obviously very sick and
> > has been in the hospital for 3 months and she wanted him to spend his
> > last moments, at his wish, behind the drums.
> >
> > He looked about like he weighed 75 pounds and was truly was
> > one of the saddest moments of my life. I was so used to seeing him
> > look fit, happy and powerful.
> >
> > The last number was announced, Dear Lord, and his wife asked us all to
> > pray as she hugged him from behind the drums for the entire tune.
> >
> > I could not stop crying...
> >
> > Please send prayers to this legend, the great inspirational Elvin!"
> >
> >
> >
> > and this, from an unidentified doctor, is from the Latin Jazz site:
> >
> >
> >
> > "This might be beyond Latin Jazz, but this is the only egroup that I
> > think might be interested in the description of my experience during
> > a recent 4 days stay in the SF for a meeting. I was able to go to
> > Yoshi's to see Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. I am not that familiar with
> > his work, but knowing he was John Coltrane drummer and more recently
> > worked a lot with Candido with his poly-rhythm stuff that I wanted to
> > check him out. First of all, Yoshi's is a great modern place to see a
> > Jazz band, good acoustics, pretty big as well. The only problem is
> > that it is in the middle of a mall-like complex and after the last
> > set we were stranded, without a cab or even a person to help us out
> > to get back to SF. I tried to ask for somebody at Yoshi's to actually
> > call a cab for us or help us out, and he looked at me like "Are you
> > from another planet?" (and he was the last person there, once he
> > left, we were truly alone). Took us an hour to actually get back to a
> > BART (subway) station to head back to SF. But that is beyond the
> > point.
> >
> > I was really eager to see Elvin Jones, waiting to see the Black
> > Thunder pounding those drums. The scenario was perfect, no mikes over
> > the drums so I though "wow, he can really pound those drums, eh?".
> > Well, the band came out (2 saxes, pianist and bassist) and the place
> > went crazy Elvin...and no Elvin...and no Elvin. After about
> > 5 minutes of constant applause, Elvin Jones came out, couldn't walk
> > and had to be helped by his wife and the band members. We were a
> > group of physicians and nurses and we all looked at each other with
> > the same expression in our faces "he is dying of heart failure". His
> > wife gave him the sticks and the band started playing a bebop-like
> > tune. It was quite an experience seeing him playing that night. The
> > stick in his right hand (hitting the cymbal) kept slipping back and
> > he needed to reposition it. He was certainly off, considering the
> > timing of the tune. I couldn't see his left hand, but I could not
> > hear any beats. Similarly with the hi-hat, I did not hear it all
> > night long. As the performance continued, he looked more
> > fact, he closed his eyes once, and grabbed his stomach as if he was
> > in pain, and everybody in my group got up because we though that he
> > was going to fall. He finally woke up and continued playing. He took
> > one solo all night long, and basically what he did was to drop the
> > sticks on the drum one at a time, at a very slow speed. He did not
> > have the strength or energy to lift up the sticks from the drum fast
> > enough. The band sounded great thought. I guess he is like Art Blakey
> > and surrounded himself with the best young players available. The
> > bassist kept the rhythm going all night long, working super hard and
> > the pianist would take very long solos, as both sax players. Elvin
> > could still swing at a very low speed, but was well complemented by
> > the bassist and pianist. At the end of the performance, his wife
> > whose name I couldn't catch, came out and said that Elvin Jones was
> > very ill, dying from heart failure. She also said that he had not
> > eaten anything that day but that she had fired his prior 3 physicians
> > when they said that he was dying and decided to take care of things
> > herself, booking him continuously until July (she also went on and on
> > talking about medical insurances, doctors, etc) Elvin did not said a
> > word all night long, and I actually wondered if was still coherent
> > enough (which is a common, late event in patients with heart
> > failure). He stayed there, sitting by his drums for about 20 minutes
> > after the performance was over. We all gave him a standing ovation, I
> > guess is the way of thanking him for what he has done. He did wave
> > goodbye as he was helped out of the stage. We sent him our cards as
> > there are some options for patients with advanced heart failure
> > (which we happen to specialize in our group).
> >
> > I am not sure I can actually describe the feeling I had that night.
> > The music was good, and seeing him on the drums made me happy and
> > sad. Happy because I got to see him before the inevitable. Sad
> > because somebody like him should be at home, spending the last few
> > days of his life surrounded by family and friends. I know he also
> > needs our support (income as his wife put it). I haven't heard
> > anything about his health in the news, and patients with heart
> > failure have good and bad days, but I can actually say that he is in
> > bad shape, weakened by his illness (already cachectic). I will
> > forever have the image of an elderly Elvin Jones playing the drums
> > that night."
> >
> > Very sad! A wonderful person who it has been my pleasure to spend time
> > with
> > on a number of occasions.
> >
> >
> >
> > Len Dobbin
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 08:41:05 -0400
From: Michael Gurstein <>
Subject: [stuff-it] Baghdad blast claims intellectual ally of U.S.

Baghdad blast claims intellectual ally of U.S.

27 minutes ago  Add Top Stories - Chicago Tribune to My Yahoo!

By Evan Osnos Tribune foreign correspondent

When war arrived, 70-year-old professor Gailan Ramiz set out to protect
the small, refined world he cherished.

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Tall, reedy and avuncular, with a fondness for tweed jackets, he built a
brick wall around his prized possession, the elegant but timeworn
1930s-era yellow-brick home he shared with his wife and their decades'
collection of books from Princeton, Harvard and Oxford, where he
studied, and Baghdad University, where he taught political science.

Then the respected political scientist nurtured his intellectual
treasure--democracy--penning opinion articles that were unimaginable
under Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), meeting with foreign
journalists and heralding the dream, as Ramiz wrote in the International
Herald Tribune a year ago, of an Iraq (news - web sites) "whose
democratic values and institutions would be a shining example to the
entire Middle East."

This week, the chaotic and brutal world outside finally reached him.

While he sat with his wife and their daughter in their stately,
high-ceilinged drawing room Monday, an explosion tore through his home,
reducing most of it to rubble. Ramiz was killed, pulling one more member
from Baghdad's once-hopeful ranks of moderate thinkers and leaving a
bitter legacy for relatives who say their faith in America has worn
thin. His wife was injured.

U.S. soldiers had come to investigate a tip that munitions were being
produced in a perfume factory that rented the rear of the basement of
Ramiz' house. U.S. officials still do not know what caused the blast,
which left two Americans dead and eight wounded. But a U.S. official in
Washington told The Associated Press that it was believed to be
accidental, an ignition of poorly stored flammable chemicals.

Another AP report suggested the troops might have been lured there on a
false tip. But military authorities in Baghdad say they have no evidence
that Ramiz knew what was thought to be unfolding in his basement.

For the professor, it was the catastrophic end to a year of diminishing
hope that mirrored in many ways the feelings of the city and nation he
spent a lifetime analyzing.

By the next day, all that remained of Ramiz's rarified world were mounds
of broken bricks and scorched furniture, mixed with torn, yellowed pages
of international law journals and volumes of Russian history. The
house's facade, with its delicate wood arches, had survived, but a
bloody scarf lay on the spot where the family was sitting at the time of
the blast.

Children scampered over torn books and rooted through the ruins for
anything of value. Relatives said the jewelry, gold and silver were
taken before anyone thought to protect them.

Nervous-looking soldiers

Three U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicles arrived Tuesday afternoon with a
tow truck to remove the charred hulls of three Humvees, now swarmed by
looting children.

For the nervous-looking soldiers who fanned into the street, this was
the site of a tragic and mysterious incident. The two Americans who died
were members of the Iraq Survey Group, a government team that is
searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, an unnamed defense
official told the AP.

Soldiers stood with their guns at the ready as one ordered relatives to
get out of the house so the Humvees could be hauled from the rubble.
Ramiz's father-in-law, Qassim Murad, in a rumpled black suit, rose from
a bench by the front door of the ruined house and walked away, sobbing.

"This is democracy? Democracy sounds like that?" spat Jamaal Qassim, an
electrical engineer and Ramiz's brother-in-law, as the Bradleys rumbled
to a halt.

"Look, we are afraid of them, and they are afraid of us," Qassim said of
the soldiers. "We do not hate the Americans, but we hate the policy of
Mr. Bush. I see the young soldiers with their baby faces, and sometimes
I feel sorry for them."

Engineers, professors and other professionals, many of Ramiz's relatives
are just the sort of middle-class moderates who the U.S.-led coalition
has looked to for a bedrock of support. But these family members say the
U.S. military and civilian authority has failed them. The last straw,
they said, was that no one from the coalition had come to talk to them
about the deaths or the destruction of the house.

"In the beginning, when the Americans arrived, we were not happy and not
unhappy," said Murad, who studied English in London a half-century ago.
"But day after day, they take lives, and do nothing for us."

In the moments after the blast, local teenagers and young men flocked to
the burning building shouting "God is greater," celebrating and taunting
the U.S. soldiers evacuating their wounded. In the dark logic of Iraq,
their joy at the Americans' loss outweighed the fact that an esteemed
professor had been killed, said Nabil Emad, a 27-year-old neighbor, who
said he was among those posing for television cameras.

"I couldn't control my emotion," he said in English. "When you see the
people on television killed in Fallujah, that is the power of the United
States. We know that something is more powerful than the United States,
so we are happy. I have to say, `God is greater.'"

For Ramiz, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq had crystallized the lifelong
hope of modern political freedom in Iraq. In addition to Baghdad, he had
taught in Malaysia and Jordan and served 10 years as director of
research in the Foreign Ministry.

When American tanks rolled into Baghdad, he hid in the cellar of his
home and prayed that the regime had fallen, he wrote. On the day that
Hussein's statue came down in Firdaus Square, he screamed himself hoarse
with the crowds of cheering men, women and children.

Favorite of journalists

"The sociological foundation of political power that will sustain
democracy exists in Arab culture," he told CNN less than a week after
the fall of Baghdad. "If the Americans are true liberators, they should
not mind if people tell them `go' after liberation is done. But the
Iraqi people, I think, are realistic enough, and they expect that
American troops [will be] in Iraq for a temporary basis."

Witty and articulate, he fast became a favorite of foreign journalists
groping for keen-eyed analysis of a confusing country. But as the months
passed, Ramiz winced at what he considered American failings in Iraq.

"Life has become negative," he told the Christian Science Monitor in

As violence erupted this month, Ramiz apparently grew more despondent.
He lamented to journalists that pursuing the militant cleric Moqtada
Sadr had only elevated Sadr in the eyes of Iraqis who otherwise would
ignore him, and that the Marines' move to surround Fallujah may have
been an overreaction to the deaths of four U.S. contractors in the city.

In his last days, he seemed to believe that the situation was spinning
beyond control.

"All of this has triggered outrage against the Americans," he said last
week to a reporter from U.S. News and World Report. Iraqis were
alienated. They were dissatisfied. And they had yet to glimpse a
sovereign government.

The last two weeks of violence, he said, "was the straw that broke the
camel's back."

what was it - just a moment ago - some sort of
confusion - i forget what i was going to say -
just a minute - what was i saying - it's on the
tip of my tongue - did i say something like this
a while ago - write something like this - i could
look it up i think - maybe you could help me -
are you reading this - get back to me - what was
i saying - i'll get it in a minute - that's not
it - i've almost got it - it's a bit fuzzy - you
probably think i'm kidding - that this is some
sort of a piece - honestly it isn't - there's
something i wanted to tell you - something i
wanted to write - i don't know - i thought if i
started like this it would come back - i think
this happens a lot - maybe early memory loss -
dementia or something like that - now what would
happen  - i'll just send this along - it's my
thing for today - i bet you knew it all along -
something like that - i just completed my
assignment! - it wasn't that either -


mercy cry mercy
in the darkness of doctor z
1:1 - +
definition tinctures and iodines


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