Thursday, October 19, 2006

During my run this morning(I hadn't run since LAST Thursday morning by the way), John Coltrane's, My Favorite Things was in my head the entire time. That song always hold special significance to me, because that was the FIRST jazz song my father exposed me too. That was also the first jazz song I learned how to play on the trumpet. I can remember from the ages of 9 to about 16, my father would never miss out on an opportunity to take my brother and I to a jazz concert. He'd tell us to watch how the drummer kept everyone on time, or to watch how the pianist, and the bassist would watch each other for cues and chord changes. He also taught us to clap after the solos of each band member. My brother and I would always been the only kids in the room, and my family would always be one of the few black families in the venue. For some reason, white people seemed(and still do to this day) to appreciate jazz musicians more, despite the fact that so many of these musicians are black. Some of my black brothers and sisters prefer to listen to that bullshit that is flooding the radio..but I digress. My point is that I'm always appreciative that my father actually took the time to introduce me to jazz, and hopefully I can keep that tradition alive. And just for clarification, when I say jazz, I mean artists like Branford Marsalis, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and Roy Hargrove. NOT, that smooth jazz bullshit that artists like Boney James, Najee and Kenny G play. I understand they have to make a living like everyone else, but that music is hot garbage. That's for 40 and over men who are trying to woo women in their bedroom.

I saw this story yesterday, about a Massachusetts school placing a ban on kids playing tag, and I just kind of shook my head. As a journalist said yesterday, kids are fat enough as it is, so any little thing that could possibly curtail their physical activity level is not a good move. All that does is place more stress on teachers, because their kids will be high strung and restless. The rationale for this was that tag is dangerous, because kids can get hurt and the school will be liable. Considering the number of fatal incidents that have occurred at schools over the past 10 years or so, a little tag-related injury seems small. But then I thought a bit deeper(as i'm prone to do every now and then), I thought about how pointless tag was in the first place. Tag is one of those games, where there is no winner at all. You can just keep going and going, and the only thing that stops tag from continuing is the end of recess, or fatigue. And I thought that this is a good analogy for the war(s) this country finds itself in. There's no measure of victory at all, we just keep running around, except in this case, we can't find anyone to tag, so we just stay "it". We get tired, we suffer casualties, we reload, but ultimately victory is nowhere to be found. That seemed so much more lucid in my head, than it did in writing, but I'm sticking with it now.

Thank you for those of you who sent recipes. I need more though. And now, in honor of my mini jazz tribute in the above paragraph, here is Giant Steps by John Coltrane. The beauty of this song, is the fact that Coltrane changes chords on the fly at least 5 or 6 times, and if you ever played music, you know that is difficult to do..add in the fact he's playing at lightning speed, it makes it that much more impressive.

5 comments:

hadassah444 said...

you played the trumpet!!!

my knowledge about jazz sucks...
please except this comment as my request for more bloggin about jazz, hahaha

now when I go to a jazz set, I'll be watching for the signals...

Da-M! said...

You know, this has got to be one of your more serious and insightful blog entries. VERY cool.

Jo said...

HEY! I happen to LIKE Boney James, Najee, and Kenny G . . .you can add Michael Franks and Spyro Gryra to that list as well . . .you jazz purist can kiss my YELLOW A** Don't be such a HATER . . .music is beautiful and I think it's even more lovely that artists have been able to morph it into many different forms. As for TAG . . .you took that to another level . . .unlike you, my mind isn't as vivid . . .I would have had to been smoking a nice fat one or some crack to follow you with a straight face on that one ;o) . . .Also, if you still need more recipies, then that must mean you didn't like any of the ones that were sent to you already. . .either that or you are craving attention - either way, go do some research and find your own damn recipies, but stop writing about it! I could care less about the fact that you are hungry - DAMNIT! . . . my A** is, too!

Jo said...

PS. Don't think I didn't catch the fact that you played hookey from running for a week either . . . your conscience is speaking! :o)

lex said...

1. My favorite things by Coltrane has to be right up there with my top jazz pieces. I LOVE it. That and Naima. 4hero has a nice version of Naima as well...

2. You play the trumpet which totally rocks. I play the flute..and i was racking my brain trying to come up with some jazz flautists...only one i can think of is bobbi humphrey(does she count?)

3. Smooth Jazz does not suck. It has its redeeming qualities. Unfortunately Kenny G's treacly music has given the genre a bad name. However there are some artists that make quite enjoyable listening. Elitist.