Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Paris Apartment....

Here's a link to an article titled "Tenant protection laws are onerous."  By the title you may surmise that the laws are deemed "onerous" because they are very one-sided toward protecting the tenant.  Those of us who lack the means to buy Parisian real estate might well title the same article "Tenant protection laws are pretty darn sweet."

The two elements of these laws that caught my attention are these: all agreements between landlord and  tenant are for a minimum of three years (unless the tenant wishes a shorter lease), and it is impossible to remove a tenant - even for the non payment of rent - until the end of that term.

Let's review.

In a purely hypothetical example, let's say that my friends Mark, Greg and I were to draw straws and one of us were to rent an apartment in Paris. Something nice, maybe in the Marias, in the 3rd arrondissemont; not too far from the Picasso museum or this little Irish pub where the ex-pats hang out. We all pool our money to get the place rented, and then, well, see above.

Let's review.

At the end of the three years, we are (1) evicted and (2) next guy on the list rents a place and, voila*, three more years of life on whatever the French word for "dole" is.

Three guys, nine years for three months rent and some sort of deposit that, who knows, French law possibly says we still get back. In addition, since there will be periods when none of the three of us are visiting, we can rent the place out to tourists three to six months out of each year.

Not to mention the book deal.

* French for "then."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Creator Has a Master Plan

In 1969 Pharoah Sanders released his LP, Karma. About a year ago the blog Deadly Death: The Diening published a post on the album (including a download of the album that is still working).  Their description of the album's centerpiece, "The Creator Has a Master Plan" reads:

"Creator" comes in at 32:47 and wastes not a single note. Opening with a virtual rush of sound, it then quiets down and drops a brief riff from A Love Supreme. The tune then works itself into a groove that would later be known as acid jazz, working with Eastern percussion and allowing the bass to float close to the front of the mix. This first section relies on a modal two-chord structure that keeps the tone bouncy and meditative. At eight minutes Leon Thomas begins a chant-like vocal that varies lines from the mantra "The creator has a master plan, peace and love for every man." The vocals drop and the third movement becomes an unrelenting Coltranesque blitz that tears the mellow mood apart, only to combine the angst and mellowness in the next movement and settle back into a reprise of the first fourteen minutes.

In April 1998 I assembled a group of musicians in a studio and recorded an afternoon's worth of improvisations that later became the album In The Summer Of The Mushroom Honey. In the late fall of that year I brought together another group of musicians, some who had played on the earlier session, for recordings that became the album Waters Of Life, an album that is still unissued. During those sessions I decided to try and record a version of "The Creator Has a Master Plan" in which the sax is replaced by an electric guitar, played by Portland Oregon-based jazz guitarist and teacher, Daniel Noland. I don't have a complete list of everyone who plays on the track, however, I know that Mark Cutsinger played drums, Vess Ruhtenberg played bass, Barry McCabe played acoustic piano and I did the vocals and played percussion. The track is not part of the finished Waters Of Life album and is sort of a musical Ronin, homeless, wandering the endless plains of cyberspace. Give a listen.