MEMORIES OF SATCHMO (Aug. 4, 1901-July 6, 1971)

“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” –Louis (“Satchmo”) Armstrong

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Awake at night, at sunrise, every sunset too, seems to be bringing me….

But that was long ago, and now my consolation is in the….

My only sin is in my skin — what did I do to be so….

In contrast to our current culture of celebrity-for-celebrity’s-sake, today we celebrate the memory of a man who was the genuine article: a true game-changer, unsurpassed in the history of America’s contribution to the music world, namely jazz. To quote Scott Yanow, author of CLASSIC JAZZ:

Although jazz existed before Louis Armstrong (including important giants Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Freddie Keppard, Sidney Bechet, and King Oliver), Armstrong had the biggest impact of any jazz musician. Whether it was transforming jazz from an ensemble-oriented music into one showcasing solos by virtuosos, popularizing both scat singing and hornlike vocalizing, infusing pop songs with the blues, making dramatic statements with the inventive use of silence and dynamics, and (via his sunny personality) making jazz accessible to millions who had never heard it before, Armstrong’s contributions are so vast [that] jazz would have been a lot different if he had not existed.

To help the reader (who isn’t a jazz buff or remembers only the past-his-prime Armstrong) understand something of the impact of the early Armstrong, I’ll close with this 1928 recording — his favorite (and mine) of his own playing:

There, brethren, you have the earthly counterpart of The Rapture enrapturing you from the West End of jazz heaven. May you abandon yourself to the American Gabriel’s clarion call as his golden trumpet leads you to Blues paradise. Or just enjoy.

 

 

 

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ACHING NEWS

Due to the fact that a growing portion of the news on TV in recent years is blown up as BREAKING NEWS, it’s a wonder there’s any news left in one piece. It strikes me that TV ‘journalism’ has fallen into such a decrepit condition, even Humpty Dumpty wouldn’t want to trade places with what remains of it. To those of us who fondly remember the class of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and the like, cable news overkill is a heart-breaking state of affairs — and heart-breaking affairs, of course, can only leave….

Yes, friends, I’m afraid this world has come to a pretty pass. My heart aches for the return of the good old days when men were men, women were women, news was news, and Presidents were a cut above a pain in the dis-ass-ter. Pardon my language, but that’s the….

What’s to do about it?

SCREENINGS FOR ELLA

“….any day with Ella Fitzgerald is a grand day. ….that song [is] another one I hadn’t heard before.” –from a June 13 comment to my last (June 6th) post by Silver Screenings (a blog published by ‘Ruth’)

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In my reply to Ruth, I noted that with June 15 nearing (the 23rd anniversary of Ella’s death), I’d use the occasion to post a remembrance, including clips of other songs she may not have heard Ella sing. Over the years, I’ve probably done over a dozen Ella clips, including a half dozen in my April 25th post titled THE FIRST LADY OF SONG. After screening a few previous Ella posts to try to avoid repetition, hopefully the songs that follow will fall fresh on Ruth’s ‘Ella-fan-true’ ears (as opposed to mistermuse’s Elephant ears).

Let’s start with an early Ella (as ‘girl’ vocalist with Chick Webb’s Orchestra in April 1936):

Next, we turn from the swinging Ella to a more dreamy Ella:

Before you tune out, I know some of you guys aren’t fans of my kind of music (or the songbirds who warble it), so next time I’ll consider a return to posting about your (and Mexico’s) favorite tweeter of note, Donaldo el Trumpo — mean-o-while, I bid you a fond….

POST PROPOSES PARCEL-POSTING PRES TO POLE

This post is honored to note the 105th anniversary tomorrow of a notable day in U.S. Postal history. Let’s begin with a ‘little’ background, which you can take as gospel because it was written by a Pope:

https://postalmuseumblog.si.edu/2013/02/very-special-deliveries.html

Yes, friends, for just 53 cents worth of stamps attached to a little girl’s coat, the precious cargo wearing that coat was shipped by rail in a train’s mail compartment, thereby saving the cargo’s parents a pretty penny in passenger fare. This got me to thinking about the possibility of saving money by restoring the mailing of humans via the U.S. Postal Service. Think, for example, of all the “border wall” money alone that could be saved by shipping President Trump to the North Pole to chill in Santa’s workshop, helping Santa make toys that insure children are happy instead of policies that traumatize them….or Santa could toy with the bright idea of replacing Rudolph’s red nose with Donald and his orange glow.

Now, I’m not saying The Donald is a worm, but if it acts like a worm, leaves a trail of slime like a worm, and glows like a worm, that may account for why so many have taken the bait.

 

SOMEONE CALL A DOCTOR – OUR PRESIDENT IS SICK

empathy, n. Identification with and understanding of another’s feelings, situation, and motives. –Webster’s New College Dictionary

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Unless you’ve been separated from the news since 2017, you’ve no doubt heard of our U.S. President’s “zero tolerance” (zero humanity?) immigration policy, whereby children (including infants and toddlers) are taken from their asylum-seeking mother and/or father at the southern border, resulting in what the New York Times reported as “thousands of migrant parents spending months in agonized uncertainty, unable to communicate with their children and in many cases not even knowing where their children are.”

Let’s call this unconscionable practice what it is:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-met-family-separation-border-children-trump-huppke-20190211-story.html

In June 2018, a federal judge in San Diego directed the federal government to halt the separations and reunite children with their parents, but federal inspectors found that separations continued to occur. Furthermore, according to the N.Y. Times, the total number of separated children is unknown “because of the lack of a coordinated formal tracking system between the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the arm of Health and Human Services that takes in the children, and the Dept. of Homeland Security, which separated them from their parents.”

What is wrong with this morally sick President that renders him incapable of empathy, that blinds him to the needs of others, particularly the ‘least’ of us?

“All children old enough to recognize that they exist as separate (albeit weak and dependent) beings have a strong need to believe that their parents are ultimately good and kind. Parents appear to the child to be omnipotent figures who have everything: food, warmth, love, mobility and so forth. The child desperately needs to feel that these God-like parents are devoted to his or her particular needs and well-being: the consequences of the reverse, for the weak and utterly dependent child, are simply too terrible to contemplate.” — Scott Mann, author, HEART OF A HEARTLESS WORLD

Someone call a doctor — preferably a heart specialist — for our President.

 

SEE NO EVIL (REVISITING CHARLOTTESVILLE AS METAPHOR)

The statues you’re defending are of men who erased my history. –Kevin S. Aldridge, opinion editor, Cincinnati Enquirer

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Rick Borden said of his son, Daniel Borden, who (along with others) beat up an unarmed black man, “I absolutely don’t think my son did anything wrong.” Daniel’s mother called reports of her son’s actions “fake news” (sound familiar?). The beating victim was left with a concussion, eight staples in his head, a broken wrist, and other injuries. And we wonder why the son of such a father and mother grows up with moral blinders.

That beating wasn’t the only violent act committed in Charlottesville, Virginia, during that white supremacist rally in August 2017. An avowed neo-Nazi deliberately drove his car into rally-protesters, injuring dozens and killing 32-year old protester Heather Heyer. Her offense: actively opposing the alt-right’s racism. In her last Facebook post before her death, she had said of her activism: If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

Last month, Heyer’s killer was sentenced to life in prison. As for Daniel Borden, he was sentenced last week. The particulars? In the words of the old idiom, “Read ’em and weep”:

https://www.c-ville.com/daniel-borden-2/

Around the time of the Charlottesville madness, the opinion editor (a black man) who was quoted at the beginning of this post, wrote an editorial titled YOUR HERITAGE BEING ERASED? WELCOME TO THE CLUB. It included these words:

“There’s been a lot of consternation among some folks about this growing movement to take down Confederate statues and monuments across the United States. Even President Trump has joined the chorus of laments that removing these monuments is an attempt to erase or rewrite history and rob certain people of their Southern culture and heritage.”
“But here’s the thing that some people don’t seem to get or want to acknowledge: These monuments pay tribute to individuals who took away and erased the history of Africans through slavery, through the killing and slaughtering of innocents, through the destruction of black families by way of rape and separation  – all in the name of cruelty, white supremacy, exploitation and greed.”
“How would I like my history taken away?”
“Been there and done that, sir.”
“Most African-Americans in this country will never know the true history of our ancestors. Much of our heritage was lost when our forefathers were densely packed into slave ships and transported across the Atlantic to be sold like common goods. Many of them died and their individual histories along with them. And those who survived….had their native, ancestral names stripped from them and replaced with the ones slave masters wanted them to have.”
“Much of our African heritage has been irretrievably lost to the ravages and ruthlessness of callous individuals and traitors to this nation, such as General Lee, who fought to maintain the deplorable and murderous system of slavery. Now there are some who want to romanticize, revere and commemorate them as heroes.”
“Well, excuse me if I’m not willing to buy that brand. Forgive me if I don’t shed a tear for your loss. Sorry if it ruins some quaint childhood memory.”
“All I can say is, welcome to the club.”

Are YOU paying attention?

 

UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM TO PUBLIC LEAKING….

Perhaps, by the title, you’re anticipating that this post will be a dissertation on the subject of urinating in unisex restrooms–a practice little practiced in these provincial parts, and which, therefore, I feel little qualified to address. Obviously, such a paucity of experience could only end up in a cock-and-bull story which peters out soon after it starts, leaving my post hanging. That would be a big disappointment to my followers, I’m sure, but luckily, I have in mind other kinds of leaks to stretch this sordid exposition out to a respectable length.

Friends, I mean the kind of leaks which emanate from sources I can use to pad this post, thereby relieving me of the chore of overworking my brain cells. To my mind, that’s….

Yes, friends, I refer not to the kind of leaks that are a plumber’s best friend, but to….

https://www.history.com/news/9-leaks-that-changed-the-world

Of course, the above leaks barely scratch the surface when one considers the sheer volume of leaks released on a daily basis throughout history. Perhaps you yourself would like to reveal something that’s in the public interest, which you’ve kept bottled up for fear of exposure. Friends, if that’s the case with you, you can leak your dirty laundry right here with reasonable assurance that your name will stay right here. After all, who takes the time to read comments, much less notice who writes them….and you know mistermuse would never betray a source. So, leak with confidence, my friends, while I will go about my business, and you too will conclude….