Audience Feedback

We have many great horn players to lament for having passed too soon.., Trane, Albert. I thank God for you. You are a vessel through which pure, ancestral and sacred melodies flow – Glenn White, Washington, DC USA

Dear John Tchicai, since 1994 when I discovered your album ‘Timo’s Message’ your music has been changing my life. Just a couple of days ago I heard you on ‘Sudden Happiness’ with the brilliant young musicians, and it was precisely that for me, sudden happiness. Thank you so much for your music. – Best regards, Pajari R.

Hi John,
It was great to finally meet you tonight—–,
Your music is a gift – and thank you for being such a beautiful person.
I listened to your CDs well into the night—–
€Have a safe trip back and see you when you’re in New York again—-
Looking forward to it !
Very sincerely, Jeff S.

Hello John
…..I very much liked your set at the Tank last night and I hope you come to NYC more. I thought you and Adam especially had a very strong rapport–it sounds like you’ve played a lot together and I’d love to hear more. And I think you have an expressivity through your horn that ¦, ‘Trane, Albert. I thank God for you. You are a vessel through which pure, ancestral and sacred melodies flow. glenn white Washington, DC USAis…what? hmmm…egoless! Your priority seems to be totally about the music. Your compositional imagination and personal voice come through so strong and seemingly effortlessly and without the ego I so often have to deal with that it was very refreshing and inspiring. So thank you for the inspiration!
By the way, I played in a band in Seattle in the 1990s for which your tune “Thrift Shopping” was basically one of our anthems, we loved playing it, and our audiences loved it. One of the band members may have gotten the chart from a workshop you did? It was a rare melody line that would actually make people laugh out loud (including the musicians)–familiar and surprising at the same time.
best regards, Andrew Drury

for John Tchicai

Breath bridge clear
the very very clear
past cadence
what d-e-v-e-l-o-p-s
augments our topsy-turvy
of diminished falls
as tides leap
evermost essences into the heat
smoulder smoulder s-m-o-u-l-d-e-r-i-n-g
cut the sharp
luscious moist breeze following
dance east
or southern
breath bridge clear
the varied always clear
gently part lips
as we bridge
and falling forth
Gerald S., January 2002

kindest regards from the UK and when are you coming to excite us over here? we are suffering withdrawal symptoms through continuous bland music AS MILES WOULD SAY YOU REALLY ARE “SOMETHING ELSE” Music should always be searching and invigorating and without doubt you are one of the masters of this genre. kindest regards and hope that we see you soon over hear – d edmondson

The cd arrived yesterday. I think I love it. My ears are so habit-bound. Once I realized that it was simply habit that stood between myself and a whole world…… was poof! gone. I found myself quite intrigued. There is no predictibility, so many surprises. It really keeps my attention, no lulling into a pattern. And I just grin at the image of the incredible fun you all must have in your musical “conversations.” The wit, the puns, the comments, the observations…all conveyed with notes rather than words. – Katy D.

Subject: Yoshi’s Mon Night
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999
Dear John: It was a tremendously healing experience hearing you and Ros play on Mon. I breathed a sigh of deep relief, and remembered how long it had been since I had heard/felt music played from the heart like that. Thank you – Steve

Date: Fri, 01 Jan 1999
From: Carl K.
Subject: hello
Hi John: My name is Carl K., and I live in Maine, USA. I just want to wish you a wonderful 1999, and tell you that your music has, over the years, become a treasured part of my life. I first learned of your music by reading LeRoi Jones’ Black Music about 18 years ago. Somehow I found used copies of two albums by the New York Art Quartet, which remain among my personal favorites in my large jazz collection. I had never heard an ensemble so original, moving and thought provoking as that band, and that perception remains true for me today. I also listen with great pleasure to your duets with Vitold Rek and the trio with Pederson and Dorge. Those recordings are so personal, so emotional and understated, and your particular sound is unique. A few years ago, I listened to a concert you gave in Portland, Maine, with a local group. I took a photograph of you playing your horn that hangs on my living room wall, and I use that picture as an excuse to recommend your music to guests and friends who happen to notice it in my home. I am an attorney and am planning to move to Washington DC in the near future to practice civil rights law. I hope that there I’ll have the opportunity to hear you live again. In the meantime, thank you for so many years of wonderful music and the joy and introspection it has brought to me. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year! Sincerely, Carl K.

One voice
One voice soars with beauty and power and tenderness:
Singing notes that are echoes of heavenly galaxies in mid-creation;
Mimicking shadows of a soul’s cry of pain;
Then joining countless other voices to weave layers of melodies,
A gossamer rainbow of colors and tones.

What am I when in their midst?
A soulful voice alone,
Or one of many voices singing as one;
Forming song-pictures of past loves, forgotten joys;
Revealing Spirit’s message of I am, You are, We are…
Melissa C. Wong

Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 22:18:55
Subject: Thanks For Last Friday John
Thank you very much for playing with young Ligeti last Friday. After we parted at Baker’s Square, Lukas spoke enthusiastically about playing with you. I could easily tell he was really excited about the session.
I finally got my hands on one of your CD’s. I got the work you did with Misha Mengelberg in Copenhagen in 1992. What beautiful music. I love the sound you get from your saxophone. Mengelberg’s piano playing is also beautiful. I’ve already listened to the disc 3 or 4 times all the way through. Now when one of the KDVS engineers asks me if your saxophone is sounding okay I won’t have to guess. I’m sorry I wasn’t more familiar with your sound so I could make informed adjustments as the music was recorded. I also got some Cecil Taylor. It’s the Cecil Taylor Unit live in Japan. Taylor’s piano lines spoke to me immediately. I listened to that disc 2 or 3 times straight through. I’m eager to hear the work you did with Taylor. Well, I look forward to hearing you play in the near future. Once again, thank you for providing me with an enriching musical experience. – Joe Botz

From: “Alex “
Subject: Regattabar Performance
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 01:43:17 -0400
Just returned from Regattabar, and its the first time I have listened to you in a live perfrmance. I hope you return again and again, because your music is hypnotic and healing and maybe even religious. The rest of the group was outstanding and your wife’s playing is haunting and she is very beautiful. I would love to get that band on CD. – Best to you, Alex Safer


Whirling of wordless
Rolling vibing on keyboard
Chromatic stepping Stepping
stones across
the void
The sparkling twinkling
The words are there
in the silences
Silences articulated
by surprises
Peekaboos with saxophone
Playing around
A sculpture in my ear
Measuring spaces
This is so hip
to embrace the silence
To dance around
the silence
Guitar steppin

Washy wah wah wah guitar
Roll out the tongue
These are words
from a voiceless language
of gesture
A long broad stroke
up and down the spine
of cacti
of mountains
Creatures in the night sky
Do you see them
Blinking in and out
Hip hoppin
across the craters
of the moon
Soon it’s morning
on the dark side
No jackrabbits
to run and hide
in craters
Named after
medieval scientists
more theory
han practise
This dreamy piece
but still rocking
the keyboard to sleep
under the arc light
under the dark light
of a troubled moon
looking over her shoulder
at Hale Bopp
Hail to Bop
a Comet of your own
Fabric softener
from the hearts of space the Face of Mars
the Face of Venus
the face of the Moon
It’s over too soon
The long eternal
endless ceaseless
lightless night
of dissonance
and rising patterns
All together now
A unison wail
A comet’s tail
The guitar chirps
and whimpers
and warbles
out of a beat up amp
The new craze
is to look so retro
A big old box
with sophisticated
digital innards
The keyboard
takin it down
back to town
All together
in a hansom cab
Isn’t this fab
A last stab
at moonlight dancing
and cruising
on the craters of the moon
Step easy now
Don’t raise
hat moondust too high
Wave it goodbye
Wave it goodbye
Wave it good bye
The pattern unwinds
The voices stutter it out again and again
To pain
It’s over
Dust swirls up
Over and out
Guitar lost in the dust
Kathleen Goss

The Dane of Free Jazz
for John Tchicai

Divisions of sounds slamdance in my ears
Decoying laughters arise in the smoke thickened auditorium
The solitary Dane prays, begs, mourns and cries
Imprisons his emotions in my osseous labyrinth
Scattered thoughts awaken in the attic of my head
Clarifying their long abandoned order
The lost silence is also mesmerized
Suddenly finding the meaning
That once was its perpetual voice
No moral, no mortality
The forgotten fantasy innocently defeates
The now powerless sadness and insanity
The clear mood of gentle violence widens my nostril
New, unheard fragrance enters my lungs
Coyly touches my tonsil creating a soft cough
I dive below
Into this bottomless lake of staccato melody
Moderato cantabile
Nothing will tear me apart
Gabor G. Gyukics