Michael Lytle and George Cartwright

Various Later Pieces

Here we catch the 1979 – 1981 pieces we recorded here and there – the full recording sometimes lost. Not sure where always, but mostly we think we know.

The first three, the Hard Wood, Song for People Without Homes dedicated to Leo Smith (not that he didn’t have a home but that that sentiment reflected his sweet and pure concerns) and the estimable and piquant Cat Piss Waltz.

Ever had a cat(s)? Then you know that there is a waltz that goes with that…

Some Place Nice was the very first place we played in New York. We played maybe 4 sets there in 2 nights, probably to a total of 10 people. The guy who owned it was a very sweet and open man. He just wanted to have a place where people could come and play and listen to music or poetry or whatever. Simple, straightforward. Those were the days. Anyway, the recordings are lost, but somehow Monster survived. It should be in “Various Early”, but, well, it’s here.

We also played several concerts at the Iowa Theatre Lab in upstate NY. Wonderful group of people doing producing theatre, teaching, running sessions, much like a CMS for Theatre. They liked having us. We liked them. Again, the recordings are lost, but George’s solo TV Flute ended up on one of our demo tapes.

We did a concert in ’80 at the Ear Inn (nyc) with Garrett List on trombone. The Bone Trio is all I could find to save from it.

We were pretty well known for playing duck calls, so when David Moss got this radio gig to present short sound pieces, he asked up to do Duck Calls. This is one of the out takes. Not sure what happened to the kept take.

Michael had a storefront at 268 Elizabeth Street for several years. It was the home of Cornpride East Records. He shared it with Garrett List, Donnie Davis, Coby Batty, and Otto Control – people like that. Originally it was two store fronts joined at the back. It had a basement room he fixed up where there were lots of rehearsals of mostly Better Than Death and Dr. Nerve, but lots of jams, probably the one with Don Cherry and Bill Parsons being the most famous. Garrett and Michael rescued the place from a little old lady who died there with 20 cats. Before that it was an Italian social club. It was in bad shape. We removed the vinyl flooring from the front room with scrapers and a little blowtorch. We laughed and laughed that we would take the pieces to Chinatown and sell them as “cat piss chips”. (You had to be there) It’s a clothing store now. You can still see the wonderful old black and white tile floor if you visit. Lots of life was had at 268.

Anyway, that was a long intro to Had To Use Something and Sax Popping Drums that were recorded from sessions in the front room. Joining us were Leslie Dalaba, trumpet and Jim Meneses, drums.

One of the last gigs we had was at the East Coast Improvisation Festival. I think it was in Philadelphia. Fes jam and Fes String Jam are two cuts from the second day, but we want to end with Festival, a 7:27 piece, that was, as it turned out, sort of the last duet of our long run. Still sounds pretty damn good!