In future generations, when the story of Our Music is told, there will certainly be a short list of absolutely necessary items which must be mentioned for any complete understanding of the birth and growth of Jazz. It is almost easier to determine what does not belong on the list than what does. To narrow it down to the essentials, I pictured the Cliff's Notes of the Reader's Digest Condensed version of Jazz history. To that end, I looked back to my own college years, and called upon everything I still remembered after years of studying music. How ...read more
One of the longstanding traditions around the 'Dome, along with Taco Tuesdays and the monthly Google Nude® check to see if any of my favorite actresses have accidentally" Tweeted private" pictures of themselves recently, is the annual viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Few things bring back the warm memories of childhood and invoke the true spirit of the holiday more than the beloved 1965 animated special, which is a jewel even among the many treasures of the golden era of network television holiday specials. I am of a generation that cherishes Charlie Brown and How the Grinch ...read more
Being the Dean of American Jazz Humorists®, I am often called upon to weigh in on a variety of important issues affecting the future of Jazz. For instance, I weighed in at 294 pounds on the topic of Why Jazz Still Matters" and a relatively svelte 275 on the topic of Where is the Next Generation of Jazz Coming From?" I won the first debate by fall in 2:35, and the second by a 8-1 majority decision. So, let's consider those matters settled.Still, there are a great many issues facing Jazz as the very fabric of society changes ...read more
It goes without saying that those who appreciate Jazz are a special lot. You will rarely find lovers of Our Music who have not managed to distinguish themselves in their chosen vocations, be it in the arts, business, the humanities, or the kid at Subway who earned Employee of the Month honors while listening to The Bad Plus and making my Cold Cut Combo exactly the way I like it. Clint Eastwood is a shining example of this fact, having established himself as a top box-office draw for over fifty years, and succeeding both in front of and ...read more
When I am holed up in the 'Dome living the life of a nearly complete recluse (I do occasionally venture out to earn a living, and to buy beer and groceries and then more beer), one of my favorite pastimes is cooking. I first began learning to cook at the age of five, almost forty years ago (by my watch), and have even worked in several restaurants that no longer exist through no fault of mine. I find cooking as pleasurable and relaxing pursuit as any hobby, with the added benefit of producing something legitimately useful at the end. Unlike ...read more
Hey kids, remember when the Internet was shiny and new? Back before YouTube and Wikileaks, before Google and Facebook, back when the World Wide Web was only 84% pornography and 16% dancing hamsters? Those were the days, eh, kids? The whole thing seemed filled with such promise of a world where one day, all content would be free and everyone would share intellectual property in some Utopian vision of what socialism would be like if it actually worked.But here we are. We've awakened again to the reality that stuff costs money. See that pile of stuff over there? ...read more
Welcome back, kids. Now that we've gotten over our initial fear of jazz, and of food that can't be ordered from surly teenagers by yelling out of the window of your car, we can now seek out a more thorough overview of Our Music. Don't worry if you still think Thelonious Monk is that funny TV detective and soft bop has something to do with Hasbro's line of Nerf products; as the old saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day (I mean, of course, Rome, Georgia. I don't presume to speak for the Italians).That said.It ...read more
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