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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Guiseppi Logan, Performing in Tompkins Square Park

Giuseppi Logan, Tompkins Square Park
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.

Giuseppi Logan, Tompkins Square Park
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.


onlythejodi said...

I really enjoy your photos - hella jelly of the b/w ones especially. And the pup, mucho cute-o.

javi said...

genial kitty... agardable presentacion para este dia

Fashion Schlub said...

wow, girl, do you ever go home?? ha! seems you catch every interesting moment in the city!

Luis Gomez said...

What a great post! Glad you had the opportunity to photograph him. This is so New York. Great capture, beautiful images.

dianasfaria.com said...

This is a beautiful portrait Kitty, so sensitive & well done.
His story reminds me of the movie "The Soloist".

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Great photos as usual Kitty, but also really loved hearing about Guiseppi's story. Hope you've had a lovely weekend.

Theresa111 said...

I'll ask my husband if he is familiar with this gentleman musician. The photographs are brilliant and I am so glad you heard him playing.

Melanie said...

I walk through the park and am seranaded by Guiseppi Logan regularly. Lovely photos.