Saturday, December 15, 2018

No Time for that Jazz

Oscar Wilde is credited with coining the quote: "Work is the curse of the drinking classes." More broadly, work gets in the way of all sorts of endeavors. Last weekend, I was saddled with work (we're understaffed), so I missed out on an appearance of perhaps my favorite jazz musician in a club mere miles from my workplace. I've never been much of a jazz fan, though Secret Science Club goddess Dorian Devins and her awesome husband have done their best to educate me in the genre.

At any rate, I do have some favorite jazz musicians, and at the top of the list is Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander, who I mentioned in a previous post about Jamaican guitar maestro Ernest Ranglin. Monty Alexander has played with the jazz greats of the latter half of the 20th Century and the early decades of the 21st. He has interpreted reggae standards in a jazz idiom, and generally comes across as a great guy. Here's Monty playing a rendition of Bob Marley's Running Away:

I was unable to catch Mr Alexander playing in an intimate local setting, but there are a good number of videos of him playing live in concert, so I listened to some while sitting in my office. Here's a video of a live 2016 performance:

At approximately the eleventh minute, Monty busts out a melodica and performs a nice rendition of dub classic King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown. I can think of no other musician who could pull off a feat like that.


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

through a combination of circumstances, in the late twentieth century i attended a ray charles concert in in a large arena in san juan, puerto rico

the opening act was a local jazz group

at that time i knew even fewer spanish words than i know now, and yet i understood and still recall something the pianist and leader said toward the end of the set

La mano del jazz es la mano del Señor

when i'm in a theistic mood i think i know what she meant

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That's a great quote... music really does allow us to experience the divine.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

at the risk of over-sharing, here's a fan letter our congregation's choir director got about the most recent time we sang (saturday evening's vigil mass) -

>>The more I think about it, the more I want to congratulate you and the ensemble on the inspiring music at tonight's liturgy. Teddy is such an able cantor; his voice is soothing and diction clear and he makes good eye contact with the assembly as he prays the psalm. Tonight, the choir did not sing along with the 3rd verse, which allowed us to hear all the message of that attractive psalm clearly.

The choir, instrumentalists and soloist on "On That Holy Mountain" just sounded so beautiful and balanced! I was happy you were able to give the lead to this young man who had just the right kind of voice. When there's a voice of beauty, it's one more opportunity to feel God's touch! The choir's blended sound and diction was such a joy to hear, and the instrumental lines so complementary and never intrusive, beautifully played. Thank you to all for the loving care that went into preparing for this liturgy. Peg<<

i am reminded of bob dylan and kurt vonnegut

dylan - lyrics from 'you angel you' - 'you got me under your wing, the way you talk and the way you talk, i feel i could almost sing' - when i am with the choir i CAN sing (sometimes) - when i try to practice at home alone i am painfully aware of how i can't sing, not really

vonnegut - he wrote Being merciful, it seems to me, is the only good idea we have received so far. Perhaps we will get another idea that good by and by—and then we will have two good ideas. - he goes on to say that he has an idea this second good idea might have something to do with music -

my own guess is the good idea we could get from music includes - listen to each other, play in tune and in time, do it from your heart, be a part of something bigger than yourself