LAST CALL AT THE TIN PALACE
You want to be Orpheus,
make trees dance, grass sing,
water a sustaining melody:
you refer to yourself
in the third person, saying
"Antonych moves" or "Antonych breathes";
you give the moon animal reflexes,
the sun a grace, like your own,
that looks for its intelligence
in everything it lights upon,
wants to grasp it where
it grows invisibly
I see you in Lviv
holding your ears as almonds burst
or late at night Mercury rains
that will rise and weep
when all things confess
they'd been distracted,
couldn't keep their meanings clear.
At 28, nearing the end,
you rush to keep pace
with your ghostly dictation:
in my mind
you're all ears,
listening to silverfish
eat your books
like a whole band of Carpathian tubas.
For most of the 1970s, Paul Pines owned and operated the Tin Palace, a jazz club that hosted figures like Kurt Vonnegut and Martin Scorsese, and gave expression to the most notable jazz innovators of that time. The club was honored by the Tribeca Center for the Performing Arts as a "lost jazz shrine," and featured in Perfect Sound Forever as a venue that "... paved the way for today's ... live music scene." The poems in this book rise from the improvisational impulse that produced not only Eddie Jefferson and Charlie Mingus, but painters Joan Mitchell and Larry Rivers, and many of the poets drawn to the corner of 2nd Street and Bowery. Like the music he championed, Pines takes on the personal and universal themes of love and loss, the ironies of shifting alliances and archetypal forces, destiny, and the gods who honor those they destroy, in Parker-like solos that leap into the moment to create an arc that moves with undiminished urgency.
This year, the annual celebration will focus on Tin Palace, bringing yet another legendary NYC venue temporarily back into the consciousness of the jazz world with a thorough remembrance and examination. This year's Jazz Shrines Series will encompass three concerts (Fridays, May 18, June 1 and June 15) featuring Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille, The Luciana Souza Trio, Giacomo Gates, George V. Johnson, Jr. and many others, performing some of the legendary music that was performed at Tin Palace during that unforgettable offbeat, post-hippy, pre-punk era of the East Village. In addition, all three concerts will be proceeded by a FREE Humanities Program with live interviews and films that showcase some of the celebrated figures associated with the venue, including Paul Pines, former owner and music booker.
BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center's annual “Lost Jazz Shrines" series is an exciting rediscovery of the hottest, hippest and legendary jazz venues in the Big Apple. This year's series celebrates Tin Palace, which opened in the fall of 1970 at Bowery and Second Street. Owner Paul Pines, presented an array of jazz, from classics and standards to fusion, and a series of Brazilian percussionists, some of whom used silverware and salt shakers as musical instruments. The club became recognized by the media and music industry as a serious venue and soon the seedy East Village backstreet was lined by limousines and Japanese tourists.
Paul Pines wanted to open a jazz club that captured the high energy of old downtown jazz clubs but not the hard drugs and doomed history set by Charlie Parker and Lee Morgan. Pines stated, “I knew I wanted a jazz room with the energy of Slugg's, but not the pathology--the doomed gestalt of hard drugs and raw emotion that had so deeply attached itself to the music since Charlie Parker, the poet maudit of jazz. I believed it was possible to turn that around, that a music which reached for transcendence as often as for a soul could find a more conducive setting." He opened The Tin Palace at 325 Bowery Street @ 2nd Street, New York in the fall of 1970. The first six months catered to the Bowery/Soho crowd, which included painters in the lofts, such as Mike Goldberg and Robert Indiana. The club opened with Murray Shapinski Quartet, Charlie Turyn, saxophonist, Vinnie Giangreco, guitarist.
Tin Palace experienced a new owner's gift by getting the same telephone number as the defunct Slugg's Saloon. Callers were invited to the new Tin Palace. With Murray Shapinski, flautist Lloyd McNeill, and guitarist, Allen Gittler as the featured artists for the first flurry of calls, looking for Slugg's the place started up smoothly. Lloyd McNeill assisted with the booking by bringing in Brazilian ensembles featuring Amaury Tristao, Dom Salvador, and Portinio. These Brazilian musicians kept the club packed with Brazilian percussionists using silverware and saltshakers as musical instruments. Soon the club was listed in the New Yorker and Village Voice and other players were calling and dropping by. The club became a tourist attraction, limousines were lining the streets and groups of Japanese tourists ventured into the seedy west village backstreet.
In 1973, Stanley Crouch and his protg David Murray moved into an apartment above Tin Palace. There Paul Pine and Stanley Crouch developed a friendship beyond music and shared ideas and opinions. Topics of discussion covered the book of Job, Fats Navarro, Proust, Spengler, and Aime Cesar. Stanley Crouch had proposed opening an avant-garde Sunday afternoon series, which was very successful. He brought in “Air"-the trio of Henry Threadgill, Fred Hopkins & Steve McCall, David Murray, James Blood Ulmer, Oliver Lake and many others. Paul Pine booked the musicians until he sold it in 1976, and the club continued for another three years, with Stanley Crouch booking the room. Although several artists appeared at the Tin Palace, Paul Pine notes Eddie Jefferson, Richie Cole, Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley and Steve Swallow as memorable for him. He also fondly notes the establishment of the World Saxophone Quartet which started at the Tin Palace.
For more on The Tin Palace be sure to go here.