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stop smiling #35Welcome back Caz Dolowicz! Thanks, glad to be back, lots to catch up with. First, ya’ll must go see Stitching, & not just because Meital Dohan is such a great interview. I confess, I’m mostly a be-bop, big band, hillbilly & old blues guy myself but The Music Director told me some of the cooler kids will get it if I compare Scottish playwright Anthony Neilson to a great, darkly comic Scottish band like Arab Strap. Consider it done! Also done is the new Gambling Issue of Stop Smiling magazine. Guest editor Annie Nocenti outdid herself with this one & there are three (count ‘em) different covers available, including Snoop Dogg, Oliver Stone & my own personal favorite, Brooklyn-born Elliott Gould. Brooklyn is also in the house with Brian Berger‘s interview with writer Nick Tosches, an excerpt of which can be read above. Nick has all sorts of connections to Kings County, by the way, including a close friendship with Hubert Selby, & a scene in his debut novel, Cut Numbers (1988), where a Dwight Street warehouse is, well… I don’t want to ruin any Red Hook surprises. In other crime news, even from where I type this warm Yellow Hook morning, no praise song is too loud to show our appreciation for Norman Oder‘s use of the verb “fluffing” in an Atlantic Yards Report subhed. While probably unintentional, Oder’s sly evocation of Brooklyn-born Jerry Butler (best known for the fairly awesome, totally ridiculous Raw Talent (1984)) adds a welcome touch of whimsy to an ongoing saga (the sham accountability of the government & real estate interests in the so-called Atlantic Yards project) that should infuriate all. Lastly, a passing which would sadden many if they knew: the terrific jazz pianist, Ronnie Mathews dies on June 28th at the age of 72; fuck pancreatic cancer. Brooklynites with even passing interest in jazz of the 1960s to present probably has some Ronnie in brooklyn split!their collection. I’m going to spin Max Roach Drums Unlimited (1966) now; others might dig up the Sterling Place All-Stars side from 1999 that Ronnie made with his Prospect Heights neighbors Richie Goods, Carl Allen & Vincent Herring. Oh, for those post-bop nights at the Up Over Jazz Cafe, especially when the awesome Billy Harper was playing! A proper Ronnie Mathews obituary will appear when when The Music Director returns from field recording in Brooklyn, Iowa (a real place).

Caz Dolowicz was born on Sands Street in 1923. A retired New York City Transit Authority Tower Operator, he has two cats to feed & a wife who’s a nurse over at Victory Memorial Hospital. With his boys over at the 5th Avenue OTB later today, Caz will say “Fuck cancer— $2 on Sun-Up, please.”

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