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“Kolb speaks of herself as a ‘receiver, collecting signals from beyond conscious thought.’ Her meditative drawings seem to grow from intuition that reaches into both the personal and the cosmic realms simultaneously. Her medium of pastel, capable of passages both dense and vaporous, provide an ideal tool for rendering a world in flux–somewhere between dream and reality, memory and the yet–to–be.”
“The drawings are abstract, but interpretations are suggested by evocative titles and, occasionally, image fragments that serve as hooks for meaning: ‘Rodeo of the Unborn’ includes suggestions of a red–fenced coral; ‘My Remains,’ a basket and cloud of ashes; ‘The Birth of Comedy,’ the top of an Ionic column. These elements serve as points of entry into little microcosms in which Kolb plays skins of color against her distinctive vocabulary of linear marks: edgy lines and dense clusters of small triangular shapes–sometimes petals, sometimes shards. One of Kolb’s drawings is entitled ‘Beauty and the Beast’; both Kolb and Ozu turn our sense of which is which upside down.”

–Excerpt from Kolb and Ozu at Hawaii Pacific University
“Nasty Edge”
by Marcia Morse
Honolulu Weekly
July 3, 2002

 

 

Book Review

Leave ‘Em Hungry, A Love Story and Cautionary Tale

“Beautifully-composed true tale of love, anxiety, art, music and redemption”
December 1, 2014

By Cheryl De Ciantis, PhD

This “love story and cautionary tale”is a memoir of the life together—and apart—of two artists. In writing about her relationship with the late, sublimely gifted saxophonist Frank Morgan, Rosalinda Kolb uses her own subtle art and rueful wit to create a work that gives us a view into the nearly 30-year span during which their lives were intertwined.

Frank Morgan was a man of few words apart from his music, which was more than eloquent, and Kolb is spare with words and length. The memoir reads like an album of songs, each with a different theme and flavor, and with inventive riffs that speak the truth of life’s strange textures. The recent documentary film about Frank Morgan, The Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story, pulls no punches in presenting Morgan’s career as addict, thief and swindler, a propensity that landed him in prison for much of his life; it also places squarely front and center his unquestionably unique legacy as one of the most gifted jazz musicians of our time. However, one does not get a sense from the film of who Frank Morgan really was for the people close to him.

Kolb’s album of song-like chapters moves rhythmically through the decades, giving us passages of the bright and dark. Snatches of conversation, decisive moments, threads pulled from tales that could be spun into shelves of books that might give us more of the details, but would likely not convey more than this book does about the real essence of the scene and the spirit of the people in it, especially Frank Morgan. I knew Rosalinda when she met Frank in LA and lived in NYC when they were there. Frank dedicated Bird’s “Cheryl”to me in one of his sets at the Village Vanguard. I remember many of the places, people and events she describes in LA and NYC. Reading this remarkable memoir brought Frank’s presence fully back to me as I experienced him over those years; the rhythm of his speech, its sparseness and wit, his smile and sparkle, his spontaneous generosity. Also, glimpses of the self-protectiveness, dependency, erratic behavior and anxiety.

Frank Morgan had a deep shadow; his music was transcendent. Rosalinda’s deep gifts include a shadow side of her own. Artists always have a deep, dark well. The greatest of them have the ability to give us a taste of it without our being destroyed by the experience, even if they had to experience self-destruction in order to touch it themselves. Something incredibly deep resonated between these two souls, and Leave ‘Em Hungry gives us as much of a view into the true nature of that evanescent reality as we are ever likely to get. This book tells truth like music does, and a taste of truth always leaves us hungry for more.