Tuesday, December 17, 2002

It's a snack, techno & Oban sort of evening to finish the column. In lieu of some semblance of dinner.
All this following the gospel funeral of bebop pianist Al Tinney.
One of the uniformed church ladies on hand, all in crisp whites, asked if I wanted a seat but I said No, I want to move around and take photos and I don't want to bother anyone.
When the preacher was preaching another lady came over to tell me that no photos were allowed at that moment. I said I want the choir and then they noted my note taking and they understood and started saying Excuse me as they ferried others to seats and passed me.

The preacher talked about how life was hard for Al because he had music in him and heard all sorts of vibrations. I think he's right. Al had a placid zone about him, an enlightenment. I had two portrait sessions with him, one in color and one in black & white and it was hard to make Al laugh though I do think I have one image of him that is him. I shot him playing frequently and I can picture his wide open eyes always looking up at the other players, tunes interspersed with bars of classical or children's music.

Sip, sip, sip.
We all want, though do not deserve, a gospel funeral, or, for that matter, a New Orleans jazz funeral like the one I shot for Ernie K. Doe under the hot sun.

Onwards Al.

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