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. 

New Years Eve FUN FUN FUNK

Well here we are.   It officially that last day of 2022.   So glad to see the year gone and ready for the new year.  New Years is always about celebration.   So what better way to celebrate than to funk it up.  
I decided to post 7 videos.   Why seven?   Well it's always been one of my favorite numbers aaaaannnnndddd 2+0+2+3=7.  LOL 

Come with me to Earth Wind & Fire's BOOGIE WONDERLAND. 
The funk master himself, Bootsy Collins had hit after hit.   Here he is joined by the Cleveland Youth Orchestra to a surprizing wound up version of WIND ME UP.    Wish I'd seen this show.   🙂
Known more as a disco band Chic could also get downright funky.    New Years Eve is about celebrating GOOD TIMES and Chic are here to make it happen.   Enjoy.
George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic had so many great hits.     There here on New Years Eve to BRING THE FUNK.  Get ready to shake it loose. 
The great Gap Band invites you to climb aboard the PARTY TRAIN.    
The unbeatable Rick James.   Playing HARD TO GET keeps the party moving. 
Finally.   I grew up with a TV show called Soul Train - you might say that show taught me how to dance.   Enjoy Wild Cherry's PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC. 
Hope you all enjoyed the party.   See you Next Year!!!!!   HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!

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.

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.  
DRIFT
Drift or drifting is often referred to in unappealing terms.   But drift can be a force of nature, like when lava from a volcano is drifting down it's sides carrying chunks of rock that drift along in the molten lava.   For me this image captures that slow drifting movement.

https://youtu.be/cEU-dXsnNF0

My plea to the world.

My plea to the world.
Check out the link for Brian May (of Queen) classic solo track BACK TO THE LIGHT.  The lyrics are really powerful - especially for the times we are living in. 
https://youtu.be/Zvmp8YhEgQk

Far, far from the light 
Hear the night creatures call 
With a cold breath they howl 
All the hollow hours 
They're calling you

I'll be there 
No matter what your going through 
In the dark I care 
I'm holding on, I'm hoping on 
It's still the same old me inside

Back to the light 
Back to the streets that are paved with gold 
Back to the light, yeah 
Back to the land where the sunshine heals my soul

Deep, deep in the night 
When the world fills with tears 
And the wind blows 
Colder and colder it grows 
And the fire dims with the same old fears

I'll be there 
Though maybe you don't hear me, babe 
I still care 
No matter when and I still be there 
When you make it to the other side 
And I'm going back

Back to the light 
Back to the streets that are paved with gold 
Back to the light 
Goin' back to the land 
Where the sunshine heals my soul

On and on, searching for a clearer view 
Winning and losing an inner war 
Wonder what we do it for 
Though the road seems never ending 
Hold on to the hope I'm sending through 
Yeah

No, no matter what your going through 
In the dark I care 
I'm holding on, believe it 
We'll be walking in the light 
'Cause they'll be no place left to hide

Back to the light 
Back to the streets that are paved with gold 
Back to the light 
Oh, I'm goin' back to land 
Where the sunshine heals my soul, hear me babe 
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Back to the light

Back to the light

Back to the light

Back to the light, yeah, yeah

Babe, come with me 
Back to the light 
Yeah

Are we living in the “underworld”?

Orpheus’ entrance to the underworld
It's easy to get sucked into the vortex of negativity that we perceive, witness; and turn it into our own personal suffering.   While this life is made of suffering - we should not add to our suffering that which we do not have the power to change.

Árstíðir - Hvenær kemur sól (When will the sun come) 
fyi: Árstíðir translated means Seasons.  Also next to Sigur Ros they are my favorite icelandic band. 

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.

A Good Lie

The Good Lie

I lied to you 
and that is true.

I told you something you wanted to believe.
I let you believe something I did not agree with.

You wonder why I’m distant?
I do not wish to give a truth that hurts, room to breathe.

I wanted to give you room to evolve
and grow in your own time.  Not my time. 

I was taught; ALL lies are bad
and we should ALWAYS tell the truth.

But everybody lies:

lies of omission,
lies of deception,
lies to protect,
lies to self,
lies to manipulate,
lies to harm.

Motive is the key.

I lied to you
and that is true.

because if I told you the truth about ….
You would have been forced to make a judgement
you did not want and were not ready to make.

because if I told you the truth
you would not have acted in the love, grace and mercy
in which you believe.
You would have endangered your own salvation and peace of mind. 
And I could not live with that. 

A truth never known is love in disguise and
an un-healing wound never inflicted.

I lied to you 
and that is that.

Inspired, in part, by the film titled THE FAREWELL (see trailer)https://youtu.be/RofpAjqwMa8

The Dance

One of the wonderful things about YouTube is how different fashion houses have embraced the shared video format as an opportunity to create and share some amazing video content.   This video I'm posting today in an amazing example.   

This film created to celebrate International Dance Day 2022.  Dance has always been about the creative tension between control and release and even explores movement through sounds that are created through movement.  The setting is the Palazzo Farnese in Rome.  Built for the Farnese family and was greatly expanded when Alessandro Farnese became Pope Paul III.   Famous for it's  sculptures and artwork (most which resides currently Museums in Naples) it is currently the home of the French Embassy in Italy.   The dancers represent sculptures come to life as the the dance tells the story of Nox, goddess of night, adding darkness and mystery to this place of power.  

The costumes are designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, designer and creative director for famous fashion house, Christian Dior and highlight the sculptural elements of the dancers bodies.   Music is by various composers including (but not limited to) Ligeti, Bach and Vivaldi.

The camerawork and lighting are also quite amazing.  seamlessing weaving in and out between real time, slow motion and reverse slow motion.
Enjoy.