Another music criminal 

Did you ever think about the increasingly repressed state of the social collective around you, and the self-destructive moves that so many individuals are making in response? Did you ever wonder, awe-struck, about the way those who dare to choose creative, positive options (without selling out their talents to the corporate insect) so often get squashed for their mindfulness? Well, the forces of order in the City of Brotherly Love have smacked art upside the head again (Tyree Guyton, take note).

Due to appear in court in Philly this Thursday is Byard Lancaster, one of jazz’s finest originals, a soloist who has played with the likes of John Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Bill Laswell, Herbie Mann, Lee Morgan, Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, McCoy Tyner and many, many others. This world-renowned musician and educator has been charged with “playing music on the street” in that fair (?) city. He faces a possible jail sentence of up to 90 days and/or a fine of $400. Those who aren’t inclined to yell out “if you’re so creative, why ain’t you rich?” and who want to help with Lancaster’s legal defense, can fax a letter of support (preferably on letterhead) to his attorney, Jules Epstein, Esq./ Kairy, Rudovsky, Epstein, Messing & Rau, LLP/924 Cherry St., suite 500/Philadelphia, PA 19107, or call 215-925-5365.

The Hot & the Bothered is edited by MT arts editor George Tysh. E-mail him at

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