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News and Views '11/'12 #12
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Allen Hall
MN Prince of Snark Darkness


Joined: 26 May 2004
Posts: 495
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:39 pm    Post subject: News and Views '11/'12 #12 Share topic on FB Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

News and Views from the Stationary Hall LindyJazzMobile
‘11/’12 Installment # 12

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE SOME MORE; THEN DRIVE THIS AUTUMN

(Editors notes: this “N&V” is 3.5 pages—can you handle reading that on a device? If not, either print it out, or delete it. I had planned to post this on MNLindy on Aug 1st, but couldn't due to circumstances outside my control--I forgot. By the way, this N&V is the penultimate installment. I have one more N&V in the oven set to send on Sept 1, but then it's finis. N&V B 2/3/'04--D 9/1/'12.)

Table of Contents:

1. Poopy! And Here I Thought I Was All Through Buying CDs
2. Band Review of “Radio Joe and The JazzBos”
3. A Muse Swap
4. Our Recent Dance History
5. A Plug for Dance by David Brooks
6. Errata
7. Potpourri
8. Coming Attractions

POOPY! AND HERE I THOUGHT I WAS ALL THROUGH BUYING CDs

See, I own a lot of recorded jazz. More cassettes and CDs than I care to count. It all started in earnest long ago, when, on the radio, I heard a recording by a jazz tenor saxophonist who I did not recognize but who was entirely captivating. I did some digging and discovered it was Scott Hamilton. Unbelievable, here was a wonderful swing jazz tenor I had never heard before. I bought the cassette, and upon receiving it, and, at the very moment I finished playing it, Hamilton was put and remains today at the very top of my list of all-time swing tenors. I found that he recorded exclusively for Concord Records, a small swing/straight-ahead jazz label in Concord CA. It was started by car-dealer and jazz buff, Carl Jefferson. Hamilton along with Gene Harris and Rosie Clooney were the cash cows for Concord, but, over-all, the nature of the offerings in their catalog lay almost exactly on top my own taste in jazz. I was working then, and fantasized about buying everything in their catalog. I didn’t, but I ordered Concord cassettes and later CDs, in great bunches including EVERYTHING they sold on which Scott Hamilton played. You might say I am a BIG Scott Hamilton fan. Anyway, it comprised a lot of music as Hamilton was not only their best seller on music featuring him, but he played as side-man on a lot of Concord releases behind singers and other featured instrumentalists, BECAUSE ANY RECORDING including Hamilton sold big time. He had long sales coat tails and he was generous to share them. I can only assume there were a lot of people like me who also SERIOUS Scott Hamilton collectors. I won’t bore you by gushing here about why he is so good, but if you send me an e-request, I will send you a two page e-letter listing and describing his charms.
Sadly, Carl Jefferson got liver cancer and sold the label to a bean-counter who worked for him, and the bean-counter, as they are wont to do, decided more money could be made by selling lower quality music, recorded by less accomplished jazz musicians and singers who will take less money to record. With a big WHEW! I largely retired from my rabid collecting of jazz recordings.
Oh! I continued to nibble in the jazz recording market, but when CD lust reared it’s winsome head, I had only to remember how much music I already owned, and after speculating about how many weeks it would require to listen to all of it, and jazz lust succumbed to economic wisdom.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled on an ad for a new CD featuring Scott Hamilton on the Arbors Records label. I caved, and bought it—what could I do?-- and when it arrived, unwisely, I took a quick peek at the back of the liner notes which listed “new” Arbors Records releases, to find, Voila! Arbors Records had become, for me, a neo-Concord Records moment. Yes, of course, I wrote for the catalog—what could I do? Deny my very nature? I am so weak when confronted by musical seduction.
Fast forward—the catalog* arrived and I am in deep economic peril.
Pray for me…….either that, or send me oodles of money.

*If you, and especially you DJs, are devotees of jazz which swings played by damn good musicians, let me suggest you ask Arbors Records for a free catalog by calling 800-299-1930 or e-mailing mrd@gate.net Lest it be suspected that I am so old I am “out of it” and don’t recognized that the music de annno of Lindy Hop is now retrograde into the early ‘30s two-feel jazz genre. I know that, but, jazz which swings should be held in esteem by all who Lindy Hop. That’s my sermon ‘n’ I’m stickin’ with it.

BAND REVIEW OF “RADIO JOE AND THE JAZZBOS”

This is a new band put together from good old members of MN jazz personnel. It’s a Swing, Boogie Woogie and Jump Blues band (so everyone should be happy). They have obviously rehearsed, as there was little dead time between numbers. It’s a quartet of leader/guitarist/vocalist, vibraphonist, bassist and drummer. All were more than satisfactory, except that the Vibes guy seemed to lose “time” when playing too many notes. And, as I overheard one wit remark, “I’ve heard worse in here.” I agreed totally. The venue was Lee’s Liquor Lounge (I know it reads “BAR” on the sign outside, but I prefer the alliteration in the three “L”s.) Now for the good parts. The band plays a dandy book of selections, taking apt choices from some of the best of American music compositions. The vocalist is better than just good, he is experienced as well. Before my time here in MN, he was a featured vocalist with the Wolverines Big Band. In the not so good category. This. See, Lee’s is primarily a Wednesday night swing dance joint, and the band should have been advised to use tempo discipline—they played too many fast ones, and too many slow ones.
I liked the band. They were too loud, but that wasn’t their fault.

A MUSE SWAP

See, when I quit working, and needed artistic guidance, I turned to the muse, Euterpe. She comes with sterling credentials. Daughter of Mnemosyne, who was Mom to all nine muses and all fathered by the boss God, Zeus, no less. Zeus, is the Father of all gods and men—pretty big job. He was married to Hera, but he was also known to run around on her. It is alleged that he slept with Mnemosyne on nine nights and then Mnemosyne became Mom to all nine of the muses.
Anyway, Euterpe is a dual purpose muse. Early on, she was the muse of music, and later she cross-trained into lyric poetry, thus standing astride the dual artistic pleasures of writing and music. Perfect, as I so wanted to write poetry which both sang and marched unto rhythmic satiety. Sadly, Eutrope apparently decided that I had no lyric qualities and stank at poetry, and she thus left me muselessly uninspired. But, never one to take implied criticism to heart, I plowed on, and before I quit as a poetaster, I had a fat folder of 173 poems, which was mostly a collection of sorry doggerel.
Then, for a time, I abandoned asking or expecting musey guidance. Hey! one gulp of sour milk, and you are off milk for a while.
But, I mellowed and decided to swap muses. I fired Eutrope and invited Terpsichore to be my muse. Terpsichore is the sister of Eutrope, and patron muse of music and dance. Perfect, and she has served me well with both artistic inspiration and guidance, as I can now dance sort of good enough for me, and, best of all, fewer people seeing me do it will stand off and sneer. I shall try to negotiate a long-term contract with Terpsichore.

OUR RECENT DANCE HISTORY

Perhaps you remember my lament about our winter dance infrequency, but we have picked up the pace since we got back to Minnesota (see below). However, sadly, Rudy had shoulder surgery July 14th, and that will put her on the dance sidelines for a prolonged spell.

Month/Year---- Days Dancing
Oct ’11 (left MN) 7
Nov ’11 4
Dec ’11 6
Jan ’12 5
Feb ’12 7
Mar ’12 8
Apr ’12 6
May ’12 (returned to MN)10
Jun ’12 12
Jul ’12 6 (Sadly, two days of dance without Rudy)

ERRATA

In N&V ‘11/’12 # 11, I promised you a drawing of a “Goofus”, a goofy musical instrument. Unbeknownst to me, my computer may not be capable of sending a drawing in an e-mail. So, if you didn‘t get the drawing, imagine a goofy looking faux-saxophone-like instrument which is played rather like a bagpipe/harmonica/accordion, and just let it go at that.

A PLUG FOR DANCE BY DAVID BROOKS

David Brooks is a syndicated columnist appearing the New York Times, and he routinely takes the conservative side apposite liberal Mark Shields in a political discussion segment on the Friday night PBS News Hour. However, Brooks is hardly a conservative in the current sense—he is more like a centrist Independent (note upper case “I”). Anyway, I would rather read and listen to David Brooks right now than any other political pundit in the nation. Further, he has written a slew of good books about a number of subjects. He may be the closest thing to a recognized renaissance man as we have in the United States. So much for hero worship.
He wrote a column for the NYT on July 26, entitled “The Olympian Contradiction” in which he contrasted the festivities of the Olympian opening ceremony with the games themselves, commenting (I paraphrase) “The opening ceremony celebrates cooperative virtues of unity, friendship equality, compassion and care. After which, the games celebrate competitive virtues: tenacity, courage, excellence, supremacy, discipline and conflict.” About the opening ceremony he writes,
“…there will be a lot of dancing. Because we’re social semi-herdlike creatures, we take a primordial pleasure in the sight of a large number of people moving in unison (to music). Dance is physical, like sports, but in many ways it is the opposite of sports. In dance the purpose is to blend with and mirror each other. In sport the purpose is to come out ahead.” “Dancers….smile in warmth and friendship. No true sport is done smiling.”
The Loon is so pleased that someone noticed, and especially pleased that the someone was David Brooks.

POTPOURRI

1. This filed under, Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

“The American is primitive in his artistic taste, both in what he enjoys as art and in his own artistic works. “Jazz” music is his music of choice. This is that music that the Negroes invented to satisfy their primitive inclinations, as well as their desire to be noisy on the one hand and to excite bestial tendencies on the other. The American’s intoxication in “jazz” music does not reach its full completion until the music is accompanied by singing that is just as coarse and obnoxious as the music itself. Meanwhile, the noise of the instruments and the voices mounts, and it rings in the ears to an unbearable degree… The agitation of the multitude increases, and the voices of approval mount, and their palms ring out in vehement, continuous applause that all but deafens the ears.”
The preceding was written by Syed Outb, a major figure in the Egyptian Islamic Brotherhood, and considered a martyr by some. These were part of his comments about the United States after living in Colorado 1948-50.

I do not exactly know how to respond to that, and while I have never been in Egypt, I have often been to Turkey, where I found the popular native music most charming. When billeted in the USAF Bachelor Officer’s Hotel in Izmir, I would open the window and let the music from the street bands below playing on the promenade by the bay, lull my ears into the arms of Morpheus. Plus, I love it when the music renders listeners agitated enough to voice approval and clap (on “2” and “4”).

2. The Puritans turned work into a virtue, evidently forgetting that God invented it as a punishment.“ Tim Kreider
I would only add, “Dance on until you can’t. God would probably approve. ”

3. "A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having" – V (I don’t know who “V” is, but I like the quote.)

COMING ATTRACTIONS

1. Can’t think of any, however should anyone have suggestions, I will be pleased to receive them.

Allen Hall, Lindy Hopper
August 1, 2012, In more MN-like summer weather on Lake Sylvia
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