Ken Pickering & Malcolm Parry's Curved Soprano Saxophone
Saturday, August 11, 2018
|Ken Pickering - 1992|
Curtis Daily the Portland baroque bass player is gone back
home this morning. He played in a program of Bach Cantatas for Early
Music Vancouver’s Bach Festival which closed last night at the Chan.
Daily is the kind of man that if you put any jazz record he
can ID the stand-up bass player in seconds. And so today I went from memory of
last night’s Bach Cantatas to jazz.
I learned of the passing of Vancouver’s Jazz Festival
man, Ken Pickering today from a Gavin Walker posting on social media and that makes it
all, while sad, interestingly interconnected. Somehow Bach takes us to jazz and
(yes) Malcolm Parry.
In the late 70s and early 80s Vancouver Magazine was on
Homer Street just south of where Robson Square’s Law Courts are today. Sitting
in his office overlooking a view of the Century Plaza Hotel on the west I would
sometimes find editor Malcolm Parry (a usually busy man) doing either of two
things. One of them was to look through his monocular at the windows of the Century
Plaza Hotel. The other was to play tunes with a bent soprano saxophone.
The story he told me is that back in England before he moved
to Vancouver he played saxophone (a tenor, too) for a band that had a lovely
and shapely blonde jazz singer called Diana Fluck. Some years later she became
the film bombshell actress called Diana Dors.
In 1992 a very good local magazine (sadly gone a long time
ago) Step assigned me to photograph Ken Pickering. The idea of using Parry’s
bent soprano saxophone immediately came to me. And so it was.
Saxophone (alto) and flute jazz artist Gavin Walker has informed me that the correct term is "curved soprano".
Linda Lorenzo on the Vermillion Psychiatric Couch 3 Ways
Friday, August 10, 2018
For our upcoming show
at the Vermeer Gallery on Sept 20 in
Buenos Aires I sent Nora Patrich a scan of a transparency of Linda Lorenzo on
my vermillion psychiatric sofa. She asked me to leave room in the background
where Rosemary and I have a Chickering baby grand so that she could somehow
draw a piano player (a very Argentine piano player).Leaving room involved me doing some questionable (in quality) Photoshop work that you see above.
The results were splendid. This is what we call a colaboración which sounds a lot better
that shared media.
It would seem that on an idle day Patrich (who never has
idle days) was fidgeting and this is what came out of it.
La Doctora Argentina
Thursday, August 09, 2018
La Grandes Mujeres – Alfonsina Storni
En las grandes mujeres reposó el universo.
Las consumió el amor, como el fuego al
a unas; reinas, otras sangraron su rebaño.
Beatriz y Lady Macbeth tienen genio
De algunas, en el mármol, queda el seno
Brillan las grandes madres de los grandes
Y es la carne perfecta, dadivosa del daño.
Y son las exaltadas que entretejen el
De los libros las tomo como de un escenario
fastuoso -¿Las envidias, corazón
Son gloriosas y grandes, y eres
nada, te arguyo.
-Ay, rastreando en sus alas,
como en selvas las lobas,
a mirarlas de cerca me bajé a
y oí un bostezo enorme que se
parece al tuyo.
The Black Glove
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Because my mother was born in the beginning of the last century
she wore gloves to parties and other functions including film screenings. Her
choice most often was the black glove. She had leather ones, silk ones and lace
ones. Because she stored them in a camphor-wood chest they had a scent to this
day reminds me of my mother just like Chanel No 5 does.
When I was in the Argentine Navy as a conscript I was
often sent to deliver documents to a big navy building that was called El
Elefante Blanco. One day I decided to play a little trick. I told the chauffeur
of my boss, the Senior US Naval Advisor, Captain Onofrio Salvia USN to allow me
to ride in the back of the black Chevrolet Impala that was the captains’s car.
He agreed. At the time I had a beautiful black leather brief case and a lovely
pair of very expensive and close fitting black leather gloves. I finished my
modified uniform with a pair of handsome sunglasses.
When we arrived at the Elefante Blanco, the chauffeur got
out and opened the door for me. As I walked up the stairs the guard all saluted
me as did a few non-commissioned officers. I felt like a million bucks!
By D.A. Powell
April 15, 2016
There she was we said
flat on her back on the sidewalk
outside Burdick’s like a lost crow
in the snow, splayed
open as a
mark, the time,
you said, like it was dead
and picked it up
Who would have missed this bird
on their fist or their dainty wrist
it seemed she could have been anyone’s
but no one claimed her on the street
where fingers extended begged for change
to invest them with humanity again
a simple hand inside a hand
but you took the entire night on
with a warm stranger. And it fit you.
—In Memoriam, C. D. Wright
The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
I am often asked a double-barrelled question when people
find out I am a photographer.
One of them is, “Who is the most famous person you have
The problem with answering the above is that in my years as
a photographer many of the celebrities are now dead. Or in cases like Liv
Ullmann I may be asked, “Who’s she?” No I have never photographed any of the
The second question is this one, “Which is your favourite
That one is difficult to answer without using the word “depends”.
It is the same as asking me which is my favourite rose in the garden. It could
be one that is in bloom or one that bloomed.
In this 21st
century, since I am a product of
that last one, I miss the style of photographers like Helmut Newton and RichardAvedon
. Now with the millions of photographs taken every day I rarely see one
that I like or one where I can identify the photographer.
The hardest aspect of photography is to have a personal
style that is identifiable by others. That was not so hard to accomplish in the
20th century. Now it is truly hard to stand out in that crowd.
I adored and admired Helmut Newton’s approach to the erotic.
For me even though in that past century his photographs sometimes shocked (they
would not do so now) I could discern an elegance and subtlety that is now
Newton was famous (to me!) for closeting himself in a
Parisian hotel room and taking photographs of beautiful women. My faves are the
ones he took of Charlotte Rampling.
Here in Vancouver as a struggling free-lance magazine
photographer in the 80s and 90s the closest I could get to Newton was to
photograph beautiful women in sleazy hotel rooms. My sleazy hotel of choice was
the Marble Arch on Richards Street.
One woman in particular, Claire Love (she now resides in
France) was easy to photograph in that hotel. I have many good photographs of
her. But there is one that is special for me. It is special and yet today I
notice I shot it twice!
There is something erotic about a woman wearing a bra and no
I was not hindered by lights and I was shooting (as they
say) from the hip with a Nikon FM-2 and Kodak TMZ 5054 ISO 3200 film. Looking
at these pictures again gives me nostalgia for doing this again and soon.
Not soon after I took this (these two) I immediately
connected the image to the first sentence/paragraph of William Gibson’s
The sky above the port
was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.