Thanksgiving
Thursday November 27th 2008, 7:17 am
Filed under: Date Specific

It’s 6 AM
and John’s asleep,
the house is quiet,
not nary a peep.

I’m awake,
or so I think,
is that an oven?
No, that’s the sink.

Bread’s a rising,
turkey’s roasting,
pie’s a baking,
we’re here, left-coasting.

Composing at my desk,
with java in a mug,
I send to friends and family
much love and lots of hugs.

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. Rifftides resurrected one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories in honor of Paul Desmond’s birthday. If you haven’t read it yet, click here.


NPR and Jazz?
Wednesday November 19th 2008, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Boos & Bravos,Jazz Ears,Writing Life

I have very mixed feelings about NPR and their commitment to jazz, or lack thereof. They long ago dropped staff and funding for Jazz Profiles — no new ones, just re-runs. Jazz Set, now hosted by Dee Dee Bridgewater is still running (I don’t know how much of it is new or not), and thankfully Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz also continues. (I think there’d be a world-wide honest-to-God rebellion if they dropped Marian’s show.)

But lately I’ve taken notice of the NPR online jazz offerings such as their Jazz & Blues page with changing features and Take Five: A Weekly Jazz Sampler. This week’s sampler is titled Feeling The Vibes: The Short History Of A Long Instrument. The five selections include the usual suspects — Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson, Gary Burton and Bobby Hutcherson — plus Stefon Harris playing Bach, specifically “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”

This particular track brought to my attention The Classical Jazz Quartet featuring some of my favorite people – Kenny Barron on piano, Lewis Nash on drums and Ron Carter on bass. How this series of recordings (CJQ Plays Bach, CJQ Plays Rachmaninoff, and CJQ Plays Tchaikovsky) escaped my radar I do not know.

Perhaps due to my classical conservatory training, combined with growing up in a jazz household, I am one of those who love the jazz/classical hybrid. Eons ago, during lessons with Roland Hanna, he would take a classical piece from my repertoire and interpret it his way. At that time he was especially fond of Debussy and also introduced me to Scriabin. I could only dream of making such magic.

To this day, when I’m writing, or editing, I find it soothing to listen to John Lewis’ Bach Preludes & Fugues or Ron Carter Meets Bach. So now I’ve got some new CDs on the way.


Yes We Can…
Wednesday November 05th 2008, 6:25 am
Filed under: Hmmm....

And yes, we did.

My husband, who until recently thought he’d never live to see this day, has been predicting a revolution. He felt that as the divide between the haves and the have-nots continued to widen, that there would come a moment when ordinary people would revolt and take to the streets in protest. Whenever he said this I envisioned scenes from history books and movies of the French Revolution.

This morning I remembered that the revolution has long been underway (I was, after all, a child of the sixties who supported Dr. King and protested the Vietnam War and marched on Washington) and I realized that the struggle became vibrant once again the day Obama declared his candidacy. It’s been a true grassroots revolution, and last night people around the world took to the streets…in celebration. Tears flowed, but no blood.

I was struck not only by the grace and honesty of Obama’s acceptance speech (transcript), which I expected, but also by the  decency and generosity of McCain’s concession speech (transcript). He said what his supporters needed to hear, despite their unwillingness to hear it.

Now the really hard work begins. Can we do it? Yes, we can.

Barack Obama accepts:

John McCain concedes: