THEY’RE PLAYING R SONG (PART II)

Although R (Part II) brings the number of posts (18) in this series in line with the corresponding letter of the alphabet, I foresee that after S and T, most of the remaining letters are going to present a challenge to staying on course  — especially X. The only gal I’m aware of whose name starts with X was Xanthippe, wife of Socrates, but as far as I know, no one back then wrote a song about her….and if they did, they left no record — or even sheet music. Papyrus would have been available, though apparently it was used for different ends, which in hindsight was a good idea on paper, but went to waste in practice.

Meanswhile, back at the R, it’s time to ride:

Red may have had a head start, but Rosetta and Rosalie have their own tales to tell:

That’s all four now. Happy Thanksgiving!

MAY 23 IS INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY

Although it is tempting to sum up the classic jazz era of 1917-32 with a few major names (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, etc.), there were many other important contributors. The classic jazz era was one of dizzying innovation and breakthrough. –Scott Yanow, jazz writer

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

I am a classic jazz lover, pure and simple — which does not mean I love classic jazz exclusively. On the contrary, I’ve enjoyed the best of various types of music over the decades. But, considering the noisome state of what has been popular of late, I’m glad I was born early enough to appreciate the difference between music and noise. Thus, these poems on this day:

COUNTERFEIT NOTES

The things that pass
for music these days.

OUTDATED

I could tell you what it
was like in those days,
but you had to live it
to appreciate it, and why
should you give a damn?
I wasn’t born yesterday.

The destiny of every
generation is to become
irrelevant to the next.
You may save its music for
your collection of coming
tomorrows, its sounds
long died in the past, but
when you go, so too
goes the living ghost
of the world you knew.

WHEN JAZZ WAS JAZZ

Listen —
You can’t get
there from here.

May 23 also happens to be the birthday of all-time great clarinetist ARTIE SHAW, who was born in 1910 and played with many jazz/dance bands beginning in 1926. In 1936, he formed his own group, which evolved into one of the leading bands of the swing era. He also composed a number of fine songs, including LOVE OF MY LIFE (lyrics by Johnny Mercer) and ANY OLD TIME (which his band recorded in July 1938 with Billie Holiday as vocalist). That same recording session produced his biggest hit: