Photo by myself in Tompkins Square Park, around 8th Street and Avenue A.
The other day I was walking about Alphabet City. I hadn't hadn't much luck with taking photos of people, and Mark and I were about to go home. Then I heard the sound of a saxophone.
A man was hunched over, improvising in Tompkins Square Park. I asked if I could take his photograph.
The man was friendly and played rapidly, the notes tumbling forward. He said he's played in New York and Philadelphia but didn't have any gigs at the moment. He carefully spelled out his name and asked me to look him up on youtube.
It turns out that Giuseppi Logan was something of a figure in the free jazz world in the late 60's. According to Wikipedia, Logan is 75 years young. He's made records. He studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
Sadly, Logan's story is one that movies are made of - a precocious youth, loads of talent, drug use and a mysterious disappearance from the music scene. There were queries on messageboards about Logan's whereabouts and rumors of his death.
Guiseppi Logan once lived near Tompkins Square. He was born in Philadelphia.
There are loads of talented people in New York. Why was I so surprised by Logan's history? I must say it was a little like stumbling upon Bobby Fischer playing chess outside in Washington Square. I could have easily walked by and missed the opportunity.
Here's a page devoted to Logan by one of my favorite radio stations, WFMU.
Related posts: All That Jazz, Performing Free in Bryant Park and On Music and Elephants, Underground.