Talking with Afifi

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#1 Thu, 1994-09-01 11:25
Patrick Gallagher
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Joined: 2010-12-22 23:35

Talking with Afifi

I send this earlier today, but I think I misfired. If this letter was posted, sorry.......

This will hopefully be of interest. Last night I had a long conversation will Afifi (Phillard Williams) in between sets with the Torque-Tet. He talked very fondly of his days with Sunny (as he calls him) during his Chicago and Philadelphia days. He never did record with the Arkestra, but he says gigged with the band down on Pershing Ave. in Chicago and he lived in the Germantown row house for a number of years in the later 70's. Some interesting bits of information:

  • John Gilmore and Phillard shared a room in the row house in Philadelphia for several years. He says John would try to imitate birds, that would sing outside his window, with a clarinet that he carried with him constantly. Many of John's ideas came from these private lessons.

  • Sun Ra ran daily marathon rehearsals with His band and was constantly working on new ideas that could be heard (sometimes all night long) throughout the house in Philly.

  • He talked about Coletrane and Wayne S. dropping by rehearsals on a fairly regular basis.

  • Afifi was a founding member of Earth, Wind and Fire in the late sixties.

  • He also says he owes everything he knows to Sun Ra. They played together for the first time when Afifi was 15 years old.

Afifi does play within a number a bands but has never led one, until now. He has formed a new 10-piece band (with 3 drummers/percussionists) called Afifi Big Ten. He says their music will be in the tradition of Sun Ra and is presently putting together a demo is Todd Colburn's studio. He is starting the process of shopping labels, so if anyone has any suggestions about where he should go, please E-Mail me.

Also he would love to document his experiences in the future.

Patrick Gallagher patguy.wwa.com