Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jazz

In some irreplaceably important ways I was beyond lucky, growing up.  "Us kids" were brought up with exactly no religion (no regrets there) but, we had a mother who was immersed in classical music - and a father who had amassed an all-encompassing assortment of jazz LPs, starting from the time he was an urchin growing up impoverished in Patterson slums.  As a kid, he rode the subway to Harlem and sneaked into the clubs - much later as an adult university professor, he continued to embellish his collection.

I grew up in an elongated house in Ipswich, Massachusetts - the original section built in 1720, which was then added to a century later.  The newer (1830's) kitchen end resonated as dinner was prepared, with elegant Chopin or invigorating, delicate Vivaldi...while at the same time the pre-colonial Cape end was shaking with loud earthy reverberations from Charlie Parker to Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus...from wild Cab Calloway to sad laments from Billie Holiday.

It was an entrancing and inspiring journey to travel from one end to the other of my parents'
 universe.  Somehow they managed to occasionally meet in the middle - and I can recall sitting on the sofa in an entranced state of sublime pleasure, watching the two of them dance around the living room to the lilting croons of Frank Sinatra...and molten duets parried by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

I was reminded of all this by a post at Decline of the Empire, linking to a song etched into my DNA, because I rarely seek out music anymore - it is too much a bittersweet reminder for me to think that so many gorgeous compositions are fated to go down just as extinct as the rest of the achievements of human race...at the rate we're going.  Along with bird songs, and frog songs.  And art, and literature.  GAH. What a travesty, what a waste.

If you want to know WHY I think that, you'll have to go up on the page and click on Basic Premise...or else scroll down...or just noodle around in the archives, because I'm too busy to elaborate (again).  The information is there - I expect the world will catch up quite soon as it becomes obvious the ecosystem is collapsing.  In other words, Rachel Carson had it right.

Whatever...the main reason I can't be bothered to explain it right now is because I am swamped with first daughter's wedding preparations.  I love her beyond any conceivable expression, and I just want her to be happy, so I volunteered to decoupage all these coasters with botanical prints for party favors!  What else is there? Yikes!

Here's the great clip I saw at DOTE  which instigated this post.  Note the lack of histrionics as the musicians simply make music.  I don't know what they are thinking of, but they're not plotting Lady Gaga marketing strategies.  Which may be a rather profound reflection on quite a few aspects of our modern condition.

7 comments:

  1. The first LP I ever bought was Kind of Blue.

    Thanks for the video, I've never seen them play this, though I know every note. The piano solo is different in this vid. And Miles' second solo.
    It's all good, So What!

    Rapid sea level rise may be the trigger for rapid plate tectonic activity (big earthquakes) in much the same way as ozone is the trigger for the vegetative die back and resulting famine that's also happening.

    We're about to be erased. That will make room for the next iteration of life, the next improvisation. So What!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Catman, the evidence that tectonic activity is indeed influenced by climate is mounting:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1377307/Extreme-weather-moving-tectonic-plates-scientists-claim.html#ixzz1JlmNJVDy

    Who knows how many more black swans we have unleashed?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I can't help but take note that Jazz is an organic manifestation of Urban life every bit as much as Blue Grass is an organic manifestation of Mountain life. The particular molecular arrangements unique to each respective proximity have their own signature vibrations and the musicians and their instruments are merely vessels through which we can ride the wave of those wonderful vibratory vacillations.

    Here's some Blue Grass for you, and is it not a perfect extension of the location and scene?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha ha, Morocco Bama, two clicks away from that Deliverance clip is this one, which may not be intentionally the greatest parody of human culture evah, but I laughed through the whole thing anyway...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrO4YZeyl0I&feature=relmfu

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sweet Mother of Jesus, Gail, how could you do that to me? I'm traumatized. It made me squeal like a little piggy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I never heard of Lady Gaga until youngest daughter's Princeton commencement last May - one of the student speakers mentioned her.

    So I looked her up - that clip the first thing I found.

    It traumatized me then too but after reflection I think it's brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was reminded of all this by a post at Decline of the Empire, linking to a song etched into my DNA, because I rarely seek out music anymore - it is too much a bittersweet reminder for me to think that so many gorgeous compositions are fated to go down just as extinct as the rest of the achievements of human race...at the rate we're going. Along with bird songs, and frog songs. And art, and literature. GAH. What a travesty, what a waste.

    I know. I still try but I really don't seek out new music anymore myself. I understand.

    ReplyDelete

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