Re: SATURN poetry

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#1 Wed, 1994-11-09 07:39
J Johnson
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Re: SATURN poetry

May I be so bold as to ask why folks are contacting Alton Abraham about publishing anything? He is not the legal guardian or owner of the Ra estate or his works. He may have helped Ra in the beginning, but the Ra estate and the members of the Arkestra no more owe Alton Abraham anything than you might owe a teacher from college part of your current salary. Ra moved on from their early dealings and despite the kind face he may have put on to others, Alton and Ra were reportedly not close friends after the Arkestra moved to New York up until Ra's death. Once Alton sells all the Chicago masters he owns, he should be out of the loop for good. He is capitalizing on anything he can and he has NO right to. If you want to publish Ra's poetry, do it like Peter Hinds has done the Immeasurable Equation: charge for it and send the money to the Arkestra. Or you could make an email magazine and distribute it for free on the internet. Please, understand that Alton Abraham has not been looking out for the Arkestra's best interests. Don't dare think that it's not about $$$$. The members of the Arkestra supported Ra for years through awful financial times and now have nothing: no health care plan, no retirement funds, no royalties from CDs, no money from the estate, ZERO. Just their musical talent and any support their fans can provide directly. They can only make money from live gigs or new CDs they make, both of which are not happening right now. Jazz musicians in America have always had this problem: the dead are immortalized but the living are left stranded and underappreciated. Meanwhile, club owners, record companies and anyone else who can grab a piece of the pie exploit the musicians, leaving them bitter and broke. Is it any wonder that they go to Japan and Europe to make a living?

Saturnally, JJ

Jim Johnson/jjohnson@alston.cba.ua.edu