No Title

Music TopicI’ve noticed in looking back over them that my band of the day
picks have leaned heavily towards rock, which might lead one to
believe this is all I care about. Not true! I love jazz, my favorite
being that period of 60’s and 70’s postbop, when Coltrane, Sonny
Rollins, Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Miles Davis and many others were doing
such groundbreaking and special work. I really don’t know much about
the scholarship of this kind of music or why I like it so much. I just
know from empirical trial-and-error, when I play a wide variety of
jazz available in the stacks, this is what gets me going. I mentioned
a few days ago that I consider Love Supreme to be the
single most perfect and uplifting work I have ever heard. Back when I
was doing the Friday
jazz shift
I one day played, more or less at random, Don Cherry’s
“Actions” from the New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra
album. Wow! It really knocked me out, and some guy called up the
station and we had a 15 minute conversation about it.

Today’s band of the day is a musician whose work I’m familiar with
from WREK – professor, composer and saxophonist Steve Coleman. He
has an amazing amount of his MP3s available on his download page. There are
samples from his in print albums, and his out of print albums and the
unavailable in the US ones are up in their entirety. He says on the
page that soon he’ll be posting an essay answering the question “As a
working musician, why would you make your work available for
download?” I’ll be very interested in what he has to say.

No Title

Music TopicOn WREK automation, the John Cale song
“Paris 1919” just played. That is one tune that can consistently raise
the hairs on the back of my neck. It is a simple and beautiful
sounding melody, but it always feels like there is so much more
happening in the song than what is just on the surface. That seems in
keeping with its theme of casual hauntings. Even with looking up and
reading
the lyrics
, I can’t claim I understand what it is about on any but
the most shallow level. That’s what I like about his work – I feel
like it is always challenging me. I really need to buy this album if
it is in print and available on CD.

No Title

Right now I’m listening to
Alternative Radio
on WREK. Howard Zinn is on this week, as he
was last week. In one of those odd coincidences, he was recorded
talking at Reed College in Portland, OR and one of the places he is
talking about is Albany, GA. I’m not sure how many people have lived
in both towns, but I have. I listened to his show last week about
“Artists in wartime” and found it quite interesting. I tend to believe
that I’m on the left end of the political spectrum, but listening to
these shows makes me feel like I’m a staunch Republican. Thank god
that feeling goes away.

Speaking of politics, tomorrow is primary day here in Atlanta. I need
to spend some time tonight reading up on the candidates. They predict
a 20% turnout. I try very hard to vote in every election, even the
runoff elections for the smallest seat. I consider this my obligation,
my ante into the game of freedom. I noticed last election where I went
at the end of the day that many of my most loudmouthed neighbors
hadn’t shown up (this might be private information, but it’s easy
enough to see the names adjacent to yours when you sign the list and
if they lack signatures.) When they spout off, I always look at them
cross-eyed, knowing that they are full of opinions but too lazy to
drive down the street to vote.