In the fall of 1979 I moved to the Manhattan neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen, where I still live today. My apartment was on the corner of 48th St. and 10th Avenue; a corner described in a Village Voice article as “one of the 10 most dangerous drug corners in New York City.”
I assimilated myself into the neighborhood as all of us do who move to NYC in search of low rents and some sort of musical “Holy Grail”. I found myself becoming comfortable in my new surroundings, walking through the neighborhood of nefarious reputation and feeding off of the energy of the people, the culture, new music and youthful excitement.
As I walked past the corner of 9th and 48th one morning, I noticed some illicit activity in front of an abandoned pharmacy underneath a sign that hung from the building that simply said, “drugs”. I heard the repeated flute and harmon mute line that opens the chart in my head and went back to my apartment to begin work on the chart as it is today.
I’ve tried to capture that moment in a programmatic work featuring a simple angular melody supported by the intense, underlying sounds of the “hood”; sounds that remind us that there is a dangerous but familiar energy that lies just beneath the surface at all times. This is “Street Corner Supermarket”.
Trumpeter/Composer Bill Warfield has played with a long list of jazz greats from Ornette Coleman to Mel Torme to Randy Brecker.
Jazz Times says "Warfield's kind of music is a mixture of adventurous modernistic pieces, jazz tinged salsa, and post-bop hipness...as an arranger, trumpeter Warfield is a top-rate craftsman, perhaps one of the best on the scene."