Tuesday, October 25, 2016

She Took Off Her Dress -- Poetry by Tad Richards & Pictures by Nancy Ostrovsky

Lately Tad Richards sent me the following note:

On the weekend of October 29-30, the Gallery at Opus 40 will host an exhibit of drawings by Nancy Ostrovsky from the book that she and I collaborated on, "She Took Off Her Dress," poems by Tad Richards, drawings by Nancy.

On October 30, at 4 pm, there will be a joint performance: poetry reading by Tad, action drawing to the poems by Nancy. She is noted for her action painting and drawing to jazz, and has performed at jazz festivals in this country and abroad. He is a widely published poet in journals and anthologies.

For more information about the Gallery at Opus 40, see this link: http://www.opus40.org/

From the book:


She took off her dress
she stayed for an
indeterminate time
she faded
into a dense fog

he heard a sigh
perhaps it was a sob
then the swish
and slap of water
against pilings

that was the last of it
an old man
heard from a distance
the swish and slap of love

on a night
when the waves were him
and the pilings
were always his wife
in life it

had not always been
and all sounded
alike but when the fog
it was to her form


1. Sex With Poets

Begin with simple tunes, Gregorian
chants, minstrelsy, fluid
over a pleasing drone;
start listening for
familiar motifs.
you’ll warm to it.
It will set the tone for later.

2. Sex Among Poets

Playing more than one melody
line at the same time, we had to invent
rhythm. We sang parts:
“We are five young and
pretty shepherdesses,
who skip over the hillside
playing our bagpipes.”

3. Sex Without Poets

Women drink free
for the first hour –
bar shots only.
Music’s on CD,
not the best stuff.
You remember how he wrote it.
Etude for two pianos,
it bloated to a symphony.
eighty two pieces.
Too big. You asked him,
“What about the pianos?” and he
wrote one back in: concerto
for piano and orchestra.
Too noisy in here
for etudes anyway.
Piano and strings
trade crescendos,
ever briefer;
someone puts a hand on your thigh.

I wish I hadn't posted so many videos of Tommy Flanagan last time.  Let's try someone else this time around.

Walter Davis is another pianist born during the 1930s.  As his Wikipedia page points out, "Davis was known as an interpreter of the music of Bud Powell,[1] but also recorded an album capturing the compositional and piano style of Thelonious Monk."  So let's have a listen!

Here is his medley of Monk from 1986.  It was recorded in Washington, DC.  The name of the club is not listed.

This is his "A Son of Bud (Powell)."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7fet718ZUY

Davis' quartet plays "Be My Love":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axo7m3l2Ul0

Here he plays with Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxqVckeFTaE


  1. I loved Walter Davis. When I lived in NY in the 70s, I used to hear him at the Tin Palace.

  2. I was going to ask whether or not you had heard him live, Tad. :)