Black-Magic Stealth Funk

From the NYT, one of the best descriptions I’ve come across in a long time: Spacious, Black-Magic Stealth Funk. As, “… in Bitches Brew Revisited, a septet led by the coronetist Graham Haynes, powered by the drummer Cindy Blackman and colored by the guitarist James Blood Ulmer, jazz became whatever it was Miles Davis intended in 1969: spacious, black-magic stealth funk.”

Now, I would love to think of myself in these terms, or to think of some personal quality as spacious, black-magic stealth funk, and I hope this will find its way into ordinary conversation within the coming months. Yet perhaps it’s already a way of thinking about graffiti and other sorts of clandestine activities.

Spacious, Black-Magic Stealth Funk as describing the solitary activities of the tagger or street artist:

  • Spacious: spreading its reach ‘all city,’ getting up, spreading seeds, tags spread and grow like wild vines
  • Black-Magic: How did he get up there?: this is the Sport-Character of graffiti: higher, faster, bigger, etc.
  • Stealth: act to avoid detection by authorities; creeping through the shadows do deliver the mark
  • Funk: what’s funkier than a graffiti-filled alley? What’s funkier than a writer’s shoes after running from the police?

So, graffiti as spacious, black-magic stealth funk. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. But the article does provide some information on a variety of current jazz musicians should you be interested, and I can personally recommend the Vijay Iyer Trio’s Historicity: definitely one of the best records of 2009, imo.

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