Archive | November, 2010

World Saxophone Quartet

30 Nov

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.


Happy Birthday Randy Newman: Dixie Flyer

29 Nov

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
And good”

Happy Birthday to My Wife: John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman “My One and Only Love”

28 Nov

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

Keola Beamer: “Elepaio Slack Key”

27 Nov

Keola Beamer’s roots can be traced back to the 15th century, when his descendants ruled Hawaii. In the more modern day, George Winston helped bring attention to Beamer and the slack key guitar, though he shouldn’t have had to.

Nani, u’i, maika’i

Steely Dan: “Black Friday”

26 Nov

The Dan did Black Friday not for the day after Thanksgiving nor for the Great Depression, but for the gold panic of 1869. This is a concert rendition from a couple of years ago — unfortunately, anything post-Aja lacks the attitude that made the Dan really great.

When Black Friday comes
I’m gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it ’til
I satisfy my soul

Roland Kirk: “Those Beautiful Ladies”

24 Nov

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, lost his sight at a young age, died far too young. Too bad because he had a lot to say — with his instruments and otherwise.

“Bright moments is like being with your favourite love and you’re sharing the same ice-cream dish and you get mad when she gets the last drop and you have to take her in your arms and get it the other way.”

Renaissance: “Ocean Gypsy”

23 Nov

Annie Haslam, once the lead singer of Renaissance when it did its best work, today is a painter, jewelry designer, vegan and breast cancer survivor living in Bucks County. We have yet to see her at None Such Farm Market in Buckingham (Pa.), but we’ll keep looking next summer.

From Ocean Gypsy
Ocean gypsy of the moon
The sun has made a thou … sand nights
For you to hold
Ocean gypsy where are you?
The shadows followed by the stars
Have turned to gold, turned to gold

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