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Meet…Ezra Letra: The Last Ancients (Part VI of VI)

October 18, 2013

I “met” Ezra Letra in Spring of ’13 when he was called… 


Al Basics . . . or was it Al Scholar . . . or Scholar.

My good friend Isaac Kirkman put me on to him, directing my attention to a video called “Resurrection (Queens is Back).” After I watched it, I was hooked. Queens was the first place I migrated to after graduating from Bard College in 1995. I settled in Flushing that June. Worked a couple of between-you-and-me jobs in Woodside & Jackson Heights. One had me selling glass (the laminated, sheets-of-pane kind). I loved the area and wound up doing all the promo photos for “Z-Bonics” on that same Jackson Heights platform—15 Years before “Resurrection.” And people tell me there’s no such thing as serendipity . . .

82 Street

Then I discovered Ezra was also a lit poet. And a Low Writer. And had a vibrant intellect to match his intense creativity—filmmaker, photographer, graphic designer . . .

But let me stop there. This is not an endorsement post. What it is, is the Final Part (VI of VI) of the “Meet…” series for The Last Ancients. And it’s the final day of 30-Days-of-Support posts that I wrote on our private group thread. See, I’ve been the unofficial Leader of TLA from Day 2 on. But today, the baton shifts—not handed off; see below—to my Ancients brother Cliff Brooks. Time to take a step back.

Ezra Letra created Day 1. And this group of diverse artists? His brain-child. It’s a testament to the artist’s brilliant vision and intellect that we have accomplished this much in such a short time. Did I mention the small matter of fueling a musical comeback after 15 years?

One more Liftetime Channel commercial and I’m out:

Gaining an underground following over the years as Al Basics, Ezra combines the Street with his Scholar. The greatest example of this paradigm-shifting existential flow is found in “Shifts of a Rubik’s Cube” (produced by Han Solo of 3rd Phloor Productions). Literary metaphor getting mused-out at the bodega, street corners, love-hate-pain of the mind, those Jackson Heights, the lows. It’s my all-time favorite Ezra/Basics/Scholar/HanSolo jam.

Rubiks Cube

My life is like a Rubic’s Cube

All these shifts and turns and these different moods

And I’m trying to fix it too

But I can’t unless I convince it to

Al Basics, Shifts of a Rubiks’ Cube (Produced by HanSolo)

Production Notes: I also picked “Rubik’s Cube” because shifting perspectives is what Ezra can do. In a recent text message, I witnessed this critical ability to deliberate, reflect, and change a pattern of fixed thought. It takes Focus, but I’m hoping to witness it again in another. Though It might take some convincing.

The Last Ancients

  1. You paint a great profile, Jamez – Ezra’s work shines through. Love the Rubik’s cover, by the way.

  2. Amazingly said.

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