It’s never a bad idea to listen to Lester Young, and to be reminded of the complexity of his life, and of his enormous impact on American music and culture…
Being retired allows the occasional opportunity to lay around and revisit favorite music. Today was such a day…
My key takeaway from today is a reminder that the late trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s music absolutely smokes! For evidence of this, revisit his 1961 album Whistle Stop (including Hank Mobley on tenor) which jazz critic Gary Giddins calls “one of the great jazz albums,” and Una Mas from 1963, featuring the recording debut of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson.
In the midst of all this listening, I ran across a colorful and short web biography of Dorham, a native of Austin, Texas. Written in the late-2000’s by
To understate the obvious, our world has not been the same since January 20. Science has become fiction, democratic institutions are being threatened, global relationships that have been nurtured for generations are devalued and misunderstood, and our world is in complete turmoil. Like Hillary or not (and God, how I liked her – her grace, intelligence, experience, resilience, strength, and compassion – all qualities we are starved for today), it is tough to argue with what is now clearly the most honest assessment of Donald Trump during the campaign, when she said, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” Alas, this most basic and obvious warning — which should have elicited a major national conversation before the election — got lost in the noise of campaign coverage more concerned with her oh-so-scandalous emails!
So this is where we are, living on the brink of catastrophic war due to our man-child president’s narcissism, his endless lies, and his addiction to
I’ve been revisiting some favorite recordings this week, among them the classic 1958 Cannonball Adderley-led session Somethin’ Else, with Hank Jones, Art Blakey, Sam Jones, and, in a rare appearance as sideman, Miles Davis. The tune I have been stuck on is “One For Daddy-O,” a blues written by Cannonball’s brother Nat that features a flawless blues solo by Miles.
I dug into the liner notes and was reminded of how the critic Leonard Feather used this particular solo as a platform on which to describe the essence of the “deeper and broader blues of today,” refuting a “misinformed” Ebony piece of the era that suggested that