Giuseppi Logan’s Brief Musical Renaissance

Although he recorded two well-received LPs for ESP-Disk and one sideman appearance during the so-called New Thing’s highest profile in 1964-1965, after years of substance abuse and psychiatric hospital stays, by 2008 multi-reed player Giuseppi Logan (1935-2020) was living on New York streets and busking for spare change. Then he met younger multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle at a music store. This piece from Lavelle’s No Sound Left Behind blog recounts what happened during the next few years. Knowing of Logan’s 1960s sessions with the likes of drummer Milford Graves. trombonist Roswell Rudd and others, Lavelle gave him a bass clarinet and began getting the older musician to gig with him as well as alongside other advanced musicians such as bassist William Parker, drummer Warren Smith and bassist François Grillot. Thanks to help from the Jazz Foundation of America Logan finally was able to rent a room on the Lower East side. He subsequently recorded a couple of new CDs with Lavalle as well as older players such as pianist Dave Burrell. and was even the subject of a documentary film. However a few years later Logan badly hurt his hip and ended up in the hospital. Later on he was transferred to a nursing home in Queens where he spent his final few years, still playing reeds and piano, but unable to take jobs. Logan died in mid-April, and this article describes Lavelle’s fond memories of Logan and his influence on the younger man on personal, musical and mystical levels.