New Years Day

Starting off the new year with a hard truth. "Nothing changes on New Years Day".     As the war in Ukraine, started by that fascist, meglomaniac, power-hungry pig Putin', rages on, this song by U2 from their album WAR seems the most appropriate (sadly).    A child on the album cover stares out and asks, "what are you going to do?"

And as people who make News Years resolutions, resolutely start breaking them immediately....  

A toast:   Here's hoping this new year ends better than it began. 

Mon Désir

I've posted this song before.   Mon Désir by Michael Pritzl and his band The Violet Burning from their 2012 album PENTIMENTO II.   I still find it extremely moving.   As we transition from the Christmas season into the new year we think about hopes and desires for the new year.   All my hopes are for you ________.

Mon Désir

the radio plays on New Year's Day
and all I want is you..
through the snow and the rain
on New Year's Day
all I want is you

there's a driving rain pouring down on me
through a broken life you have carried me
when there are no lights you are all I see
all I want is you

all the promises made on New Year's Day
all I want is you
and the meteors came on New Year's Day
all I want is you

there's a driving rain pouring down on me
through a broken life you have carried me
when there are no lights you are all I see
all I want is you

we came in there, through Chicago
beneath a blinding light
you came all the way from heaven
through the sorrow and the night
(I was waiting for your gift there, in the palaces of song
I knelt down to forgiveness for all I had done wrong)

and the radio plays on New Year's Day
but all I want is you

there's a driving rain pouring down on me
through a broken life you have carried me
when there are no lights you are all I see
all I want is you

hump day – time to get the party started

In the past the holidays were typically associated with parties.   Now that lockdowns have been lifted it may be time to party again for the holidays.    Today is Wednesday (hump day) what better way to get through this day than to listen/watch the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey performing Get The Party Started.   
You better get your toe-tapping dancing shoes on.

transitions

So Christmas is past (just).     We are in the last week of the year a time of year where we celebrate "the cradle to the grave".   The cradle of new birth and the grave of the old year.   All this week I'll be position music for this transition into the new year.   Some you may know and others you may not know.   

So let's kick off festivities with Robbie Williams song NEW YEARS DAY from his Holiday album THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT.   

"...if we can't be lovers
let's be friends
I just called to say Happy New years Day
Don't know what we're fighting for 
But I can't do it anymore 
I just called to say Happy New Years Day...."

The most fortuitous album in Jazz?

The Year: 1958
The Place: Paris, France
The artist: Miles Davis.
The Film: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, (English: Elevator To The Gallows) directed by Louis Malle.

Nineteen fifty-eight was a very special year.   
But let's go back. a year earlier.   Miles Davis was at a musical crossroads even contemplating retirement.  He needed something different, something new.   None of the projects his label and management suggested were of interest at the time.  He did settle on  recordings with Gil Evans which would turn into a 5 album collaboration over the next few years.   Albums who's style would also be informed and influenced by the experience Miles would soon gain. 

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  We're still stuck in 1957 and miles is still "stuck" in his predicament.   In November 1957 He travelled to France at the invitation of film director, Louis Malle, and was asked to compose the soundtrack for the director's first feature length film  Ascenseur pour l'échafaud.   Miles had never recorded a soundtrack before - let alone been asked to compose the score.

Perhaps with nothing to lose or perhaps nothing to be gained,  Miles launched himself forward.  He had an interest in modal jazz and was at the vanguard of that movement which was just being developed in the mid 1950s.  With Miles success, it would be a guaranteed influence on generations to come.  Miles was totally free.   Free from the expectations that had come to fall on him from the jazz world.  Film Director, Louis Malle, has suggested that he and Miles only discussed a few ideas before recording started in December 4, 1957.  Miles was joined by French jazz musicians Barney Wilen, Pierre Michelot, and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke.  Nothing was written down (composed).  Nothing was planned. 

The musicians sat in a darkened studio and watched the film unfold.   With Miles leadership they completely improvised the score to the film based solely on the mood in the film.  A film that would be a star vehicle for the smokey and dreamy Jeanne Moreau.   It is a pure delight to listen to the different takes of the various themes as they each reflect the freedom of complete improvisation with nothing tied to paper.  With no distractions or expectations Miles created a sound that would lead to some of his greatest work in the years to come.   Coloring both his collaborations with Gil Evans but also having a huge influence on his solo recordings starting with MILESTONES (1958) and A KIND OF BLUE (1959) (arguably his greatest solo record).   I'd go so far as to say that these albums would not have existed if it hadn't been for his experience in creating the score for this film. 

I'd strongly encourage you to purchase a copy of the complete recordings of this amazing soundtrack Ascenseur pour l'échafaud. 
Listen to what would be a nursery for the development of a new sound, new approach and new way of thinking about Jazz for generations to come.  

October

It's October.   Fall is in full swing.   The leaves are changing fast animated by colder temperatures, cloudy skies, wind and rain.  A beautiful time of year.  
October is also the month we celebrate Halloween 10/31 before All Saints Day on 11/1.   With this new series of images, that will go on for a few posts, I've been thinking of differences between aliens and angels (hence the image's subtitles).   I don't really think there is any difference between aliens and angels.  Was the virgin Mary visited/impregnated by an angel?  Or did she have an alien abduction experience where she became impregnated?   There are so many stories in the Christian Bible that could be attributed to alien interception/experience from the birth and ascension in the New Testament to the Exodus of the Old Testament.   Angels are not of this earth and neither are aliens so it seems to me that they are one and the same.    I suspect that angels and aliens are the same they just appear to us in ways we can best comprehend them:  Whether they are little gray humanoid figures or winged/robed figures.    Both aliens and angels are often depicted as intersex (neither male nor female) or androgynous (both male and female).  It only makes sense that we understand things according to our own experience/knowledge.    We live in a technological age so it makes sense that in the wake of our experience with machines that fly that we would experience alien life as flying through space on machines (space ships, rockets, saucers etc).   But back in ancient times of the bible; machines that fly were completely inconceivable and could not even be imagined.  So beings that travel through air/space were described as having wings like that of a bird which is something the people of that era COULD comprehend.      So are aliens really angels and angels really "little gray men"?  I suspect this is something I'll be thinking about for a long time and time will tell as our understanding of the universe and our place in it continues to evolve.    As our knowledge and experience grow, as we continue to evolve as a species we may end up having a completely different view of aliens/angels in the future.  You may start to see some similarities between my images in this series and figures in prehistoric cave paintings that depict alien life. 
The three images posted here today from left to right are:
Ascend To Lightning (aliens & angels)
The Hand Around The Corner (aliens & angels)
Three Eyes and One Mouth (aliens & angles)

There was a Contemporary Christian Musician that wrote a wonderful song titled U.F.O.   And while it is about Jesus it blurs the lines between religion and extra-terrestrial nicely.   Enjoy.
https://youtu.be/gjd265vNIlQ
Bubbling Rust – A gritty brew to be sure
A few licks of this photo will slough off any "hair of the dog" that's accumulated on your tongue.  So go ahead, give me some tongue.  LOL 
https://youtu.be/UVfJo07pNIc
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
A HARD TRUTH!
"You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well, you might find, 
You get what you need"
https://youtu.be/krxU5Y9lCS8

waste not…

WASTE NOT…
Sadly we live in a time of outrage.   Everyone is outraged at something or someone.    Media is outraged.  Politicians are outraged.  People are outraged in the name of religion.  Regular citizens are outraged.  Will it take destroying ourselves to stop the madness?   For all it's advances in technology humanity is still living in the dark ages emotionally.  In fact I think the case could be made the humanity is not evolving but devolving to the most base animal instincts.   

In fact if you watch the opening section ("The Dawn of Man") in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY https://youtu.be/ypEaGQb6dJk the only difference between us today and the animals portrayed in the film is technology.  The behavior is the same.    Outrage causes reasoning that is only used for destructive purposes.   

What do you think?  Do you have hope?  Why?  What can you provide that will make me believe?  Your considered thoughts and questions are welcome.