LAZY DAY STRAINS

strain, to use to the utmost; damage or weaken by too much tension, pressure, or force
strains,
 a part of a piece of music; melody; song; tune  –The World Book Dictionary

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

August 10 is LAZY DAY. Don’t ask me who the originator is, or why LAZY DAY is on this particular day — today, I is too lazy to care. All I know is, it’s a good day to post a post over which I’ve pondered as poco* as possible. Mind you, when your brain avoids work as strenuously as mine strains to avoid strain, it deserves arrest — correction: a rest.

Thus, I bid you adieu without further ado (except for a tune or two), and leave the rest to You(tube).

Here, Hoagy Carmichael sings a song he wrote, as another guy tries to keep a level head:

Thank you, friends, for that tremendous ovalation**– that calls for a curtain call. So, what’s got me in a lazy mood? FOREWARNING: the answer is a four-letter word (not counting a ‘postrophe s):

*poco: Spanish for little (as in a poco loco in the coco).
**ovalation: an ovation during which a round of applause takes on an oval shape

Advertisements

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

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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

 

 

 

GOOD-BY, JU-LY

I don’t know about the weather where you are, but one state north of me, in the town of Hell, Michigan, I hear July has been….

So, when it’s hotter than ‘ell in Hell, I say it’s time to say good-by to July, and good riddance. As I (would like to) tell my visiting in-laws, come back again when you can’t stay so long. Today, as July leaves, I leave you with some hot jokes to remember me by until my next post….and remember, don’t blame the muse-enger for the clinkers. Acting as a muse meant for amusement, mistermuse mooched most of ’em, thus no funny-back guarantees.

How hot is it?
So hot, the birds are using potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

How do you make holy water?
Boil the hell out of it.

What did one pig say to the other in a steamy pigpen?
I’m bacon.

How hot is it?
So hot, the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs.

What happened when Mr. White bought a loaf of bread at the store?
By the time he got home, White’s bread was toast.

How hot is it?
So hot, when I spilled ice water on my computer, it begged for more.

Somehow, I have a funny feeling it’s gonna be a while before my next post.

 

GOOD VIBES

They’ve used jazz xylophones as an aid in diagnosing depressives: If a subject is listening to more than a few minutes of jazz xylophone a day, there’s a better than fifty percent chance that he’s about to step in front of a train. –from THOUGHTS ON JAZZ, a tongue-in-cheek post on the surfeit-of-potatoes blog of our friend MASERCOT: https://morepotatoes.com/2019/07/19/thoughts-on-jazz/

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Well, I suppose every potato is entitled to its own opinion, but (though I dig potatoes as much as the next yam) I can’t let this riposte pass without defending the jazz xylophone, regret though I may that this puts non-diggers of ‘jazz x’ on track for a depressing end. But why step in front of a train when you can Take the “A Plane” and  go Flying Home….

If you recognized that “A Plane” was a play on words on Duke Ellington’s “Take The A Train,” give yourself an A+.  Here’s vibraphonist Milt Jackson’s take (the main dif between xylophone and vibraphone: the former has wooden bars, the latter has aluminum bars):

And, so you’ll have something beautiful to remember when you get home, here is (to quote jazz critic George Simon) “a magnificent xylophonist of exquisite taste,” Red Norvo and His Orchestra with their “smoldering version” of Irving Berlin’s REMEMBER (Red’s solo begins at the 1:16 mark):

So there you have it: three jazz xylophone/vibraphone masters at their best, bar none.

 

DON’T FORGET TO KISS AND MAKE UP

First, I want to beg your forgiveness for forgetting to publish a post for you on July 2nd (I FORGOT DAY), for I forgot it was I FORGOT DAY….but even if I hadn’t forgotten it was I FORGOT DAY,  I might have forgotten to forget what I forgot. In any case, my bad.

If memory serves me right, friends, they say you never get a second chance to make a worst impression. But now it’s July 6th (INTERNATIONAL KISSING DAY), so let us let bygones be bygones, kiss and make up. After all, if Trump and North Korean dicktator Kim Jong Un can rise above it all on the world stage, you can see that you and I, surely, should be able to get down to a measure of serendipity on this piddling platform (albeit a bit less passionately than The Donald embracing Un). Of course, it would surely help if you….

And just in case you forgot how Trump and Un have come to feel about each other….

Surly friends, it’s TIME to bury the hatchet, forget that I forgot, dig our differences, and pucker up. However, since kissing can transmit 80 million microbes of bacteria in a single buss, I suggest we get off the buss and blow each other kisses electronically. Ready. Set. Blow. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I’d blow more, but I don’t want this post to be X-rated. Besides, I want to leave space for you to return the love….

I’m waiting.

 

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’)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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….