It’s great to see after so many years a Reader column for music, even if it carries the rather narrow subheading Rock Etc. Perhaps since jazz is only 2 percent of the so-called buying public beneath the large alternative toenail of rock, antirock, pre and post Steve Albini rock, and Rock Etc–jazz and new music subjects tossed in for intellectual filler are rather nice–after all, the jazz, Latin, and blues clubs have paid for advertising within the listing section far beyond the 2 percent level.

So thank you Reader. The poetic and loaded fight between writers Neil Tesser and John Corbett [Letters, June 3] almost seems like two generations at odds–Generation X and Generation Bop. Having worked with Neil on both professional and musical levels for over 20 years, I have never felt any hint of racism in the way he perceives the world of music. After I got my dictionary out and looked up all the postgraduate words that Corbett put down, I felt that he did imply that Neil used race as a musical social clause with regards to free music. In the future the editors at the Reader should map these things out, is that not the job of editing? A veteran writer of Neil’s caliber deserves at least master degree type editing and a phone call or fax. The editor’s question–Hey, Neil, are you a member of the NRA or a white power person?

With all the concentration of rock in the Reader, Neil, along with John Litweiler have been the only champions of jazz and new music. Like weeds in the cracks of old sidewalks jazz persists. John Corbett is the new generation of writer. His words hit the point and he tries to offer new social perspectives. So fellow bop and X people, have a quiet beer and talk these things out. Remember, as jazz become more obscure and new alternative rock bands never learn how to tune up, get signed, go to Paris, invest in fancy furniture, add members to their ensembles based on the sex and look of the member, not the sound–we will need both of you guys trying to figure out just what us “Free” jazz cats are doing.

With Music,

Bradley Parker-Sparrow


Southport and Northport Records

Real Music Made in Chicago