Thursday, August 27, 2009

Maneri in the Blogosphere

It has been a pleasure to see obits for Joe Maneri pop up on so many different blogs from around the world.

A few writers really "got it," capturing the Joe that I loved.

"It would be hard to overstate how beloved Joe was by the students who took his microtonal improv class at NEC. It seemed he lit a fire in everyone who'd enrolled, through the sheer force of his outsized personality. ... [He was] an inspirational -- practically evangelical -- educator."
Darcy James Argue

"I have fond memories of the half dozen times I was fortunate to catch him in performance. The best was the first at the Chicago Cultural Center and a post-show hang at a downtown hotel with Bhob Rainey as our impromptu sponsor. In the bar, over a bowl of peanuts, Joe regaled us with tales of his past, present and future for hours, finally taking down my address and promising to write when it came time to count sheep. A month went by, two, and I forgot all about the pledge. Then, out of the blue, I found an envelope in my mailbox festooned with glitter and gold star stickers & post-marked from Massachusetts. Inside was a hand-written letter from Joe with an apology for his delay in reply and an effusive, stream-of-consciousness reflection on that magical Chicago night. I still have the letter and treasure it."

"[F]or all the saxists whose sounds have been compared to crying, Maneri was the one who sounded most like he was sobbing when he played. His lines were like hoarse, slow-motion laments. It was a devastating soundworld that his band created[.]"
Hank Shteamer

"Utter greatness. Pretty rare in these modern times for a guy to have a completely (and I mean completely as in NOBODY) unique sound. I've heard his sound on the saxophone compared to a cry but to me it always sounded like some strange language that only he knew how to speak but was easy to understand emotionally."
"me wag"

"I heard yesterday of the passing of my teacher Joe Maneri.
He was by far the most influential teacher I’ve ever had. ... [T]he most profound impact on me was his spirit. Joe so lived music it was part of everything he did, the way he talked, the way he walked, the way he drove a car, everything. And he wanted to share it with you because he dug it so, so much. I’ve never seen a teacher give so much of himself to a student, ever. [...]
He was a father figure for me and many other students. He gave us all permission to find our own music, and I will forever be profoundly grateful to him."

Greg Sinibaldi