Cam Scott at Music and Literature:
A certain mythology has gathered around the thirty-five year hiatus that followed Coursil’s incredibly fruitful period of musical cosmopolitanism. There is a romantic obscurity to the way in which jazz fans discuss the career interruptions of their favorite players, mistaking hard times and financial exigencies for semi-monastic trials of spirit. A prime example would be Sonny Rollins, who retreated into a prolonged rehearsal session at the height of his fame, practicing all hours on the Williamsburg bridge and bearing solitary witness to the city; or Dexter Gordon, whose incarceration in the fifties secured his reputation as the perennial ambassador of bebop, and an intercontinental comeback kid. Other disappearances are far more lacunar and prolonged, such as that of sought-after bassist Henry Grimes, who devoted himself to poetry and literature during a decades-long stint in the workaday world, only to emerge with startling vigor in the early twenty-first century.
Coursil’s willful abstention from recording was in service to a scholarly path.