Nothing was so scary as the sense of certainty that drove his music like a stagecoach driver flashing his whip. Despite the clatter of instruments that seemed to be flying away from each other as if each song was its own big bang, there was almost always a deadly kind of gravity at the center. That gravity wore faces that changed almost as soon as you thought you’d caught them: Charley Patton or Charlie Parker, Howlin’ Wolf or Cecil Taylor, Asger Jorn or Bruce Conner, Aimee Semple McPherson or Lenny Bruce, tricksters all.
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