Sunday, July 03, 2011

Trane's LI House Needs $ + Roscoe Mitchell, Hidden Chi Treasure

Are you a music fan? A rich one? Or one blessed with carpentry and masonry skills?  Rich and skilled enough to help restore and preserve a ramshackle ranch house on Long Island where one of the greatest works of the jazz canon was written and first performed? Where its composer lived, raised a family, and recovered from personal struggles that threatened to overwhelm him, to ultimately create the most transcendant art?

The house has been empty for about seven years. Ravi Coltrane, the musician's youngest son, visited his childhood home.
Credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

If you are, please contact a jazz enthusiast named Steve Fulgoni, who in 2003 was able to purchase John Coltrane's former home in Dix Hills, which is falling down, saving it and its surrounding acreage from the jaws of local developers. The house has nevertheless continued in its state of dilapidation. Abandoned by human habitation for 8 years to raccoon residents, now gone, it still has termites devouring its timber and cracks snaking up its sides. "A Love Supreme" alone isn't going to revive it.

According to an editorial in today's New York Times, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has already put the home on its "Most-Endangered List." If it were to become a cultural site of importance, it would be among the few focusing on Long Island's long African-American presence. Fulgoni for his part is seeking assistance to turn the home into the sort of museum that Louis Armstrong's former home in Queens has become, and think needs about $1 million total to rescue it fully. I would imagine 10 times that amount, to ensure a small endowment as well, would be the way to go.

So, do you or do you know anyone who can help a jazz fan out?


Back in December I featured a photo of composer and musician Roscoe Mitchell from the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians' (AACM) 45th anniversary, which took place at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. I assumed J's Theater viewers would know who Roscoe Mitchell is. But if not, artist/archivist Plastic Crimewave at the Chicago Reader's Secret History of Chicago Music site has drawn a tight little graphic to clue you in. Click here to see the image at full size. I hope Roscoe Mitchell is hipped to it too.

Roscoe Mitchell is now the Distinguished Milhaud Professor at Mills College.  His university biography is here.  Mitchell's Art Ensemble of Chicago page is here. His AACM page is here.

1 comment:

  1. Table & Chairs Music and Roscoe Mitchell are putting on a concert at Seattle's Benaroya hall on June 7th, 2013. It will be the first ever concert dedicated to all different versions of Nonaah including Roscoe performing solo the world premier of his newest rendition of the piece. If you'd like to feature this event in your blog get in touch with us at