Tag Archives: Charles Simic

“Sundays at Slugs'”: Charles Simic Interviews His Brother About the Mid-’60s Downtown Jazz Scene

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Poet Charles Simic interviews his brother Milan in the New York Review of Books about attending avant-garde jazz shows up until 1965, particularly at the Alphabet City spot Slugs’. Milan’s favorite players at that time: Ornette Coleman and Jackie McLean, both of whom he befriended. He seems to have crossed paths with just about everyone who played modal or free jazz at that time and gives a great oral history of the scene.

James Tate’s Paris Review Interview

I just read it today, and I feel uplifted. Sometimes when you read these interviews, you get this feeling of stilted language or ideas, whether from the writer or the interviewer. In this case, there’s none of that (fellow poet Charles Simic is the interviewer). Probably because Tate has such a great sense of humor. I went to school in Amherst, where he lives and teaches, and I regret now never having taken a class with him.