The original World Saxophone Quartet (from left, Julius Hemphill, David Murray, Oliver Lake and Hamiet Bluiett), with a medley, closing with their best-known Hattie Wall. (Warning: the third song in the medley is free jazz Cecil Taylor would love). The personnel has changed over the years — most notably, after Hemphill’s illness and death in 1995; with Arthur Blythe, among others, joining.
Sunday was the 67th birthday of Randy Newman. Any list of greatest American song writers includes the usual — Gershwin, Arlen, Ellington, Berlin, Porter, etc. Here’s hoping, given time and perspective, future lists will include Mr. Newman’s name on the list where it belongs — right at the top. Of course, a healthy dose of cynicism and sarcasm helps to appreciate him.
“We got no-necked oilmen from Texas
Happy birthday Kelly!!!! May your day be as sweet as Trane’s sax, and as rich as Hartman’s voice. Happy birthday.
The very thought of you makes my heart sing
Like an April breeze
On the wings of spring
And you appear in all your splendor
My one and only love