Rock & Roll

A conversation with my idiot twin.
By January 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

A conversation with my idiot twin.

Idiot Twin: “I see where Bob Seger died.” Me: “No, that was Pete Seeger who died. The folksinger.” Idiot Twin: “I didn’t know Bob Seger had a brother. A folksinger, eh? Like Marshal Dillion?” Me: “You’re thinking of Bob Dylan. Marshal Dillon was a character on TV. You know, Matt Dillon, on the old ‘Gunsmoke’ […]

Fiddle me this: violinists in jazz (part 3), and a playlist.
By January 25, 2014 2 Comments Read More →

Fiddle me this: violinists in jazz (part 3), and a playlist.

(left to right) Jerry Goodman, Stuff Smith, Regina Carter (continued from part 2) Jean-Luc Ponty, like Stephane Grappelli before him, was something of a teen prodigy among French violinists. As early as 1960, Ponty was wowing his countrymen with his biting, complex, hard bop lines, and by the late 1960’s, he had garnered international attention. […]

Charlie Parker slept here.
By March 30, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Charlie Parker slept here.

While Civil War battlefields, inns where our founding fathers slept and birthplaces of 19th century billionaires tend to be the most visited historical sites in America, there is another, less known world of obscure and arcane monuments out there. From the violent, the sad and the paranormal to the simply dull, there seem to be […]

By March 11, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Hendrix and other dead things, like jazz.

(above) Audio file of Jimi Hendrix playing on the the 1965 Isley Brothers recording “Testify”. Jimi Hendrix’s People, Hell and Angels collection has been out for a week now, and with the dust from that event settled, one can make a couple of observations. It’s a mostly-unremarkable set of studio odds and ends from the […]

Alvin Lee dead, like jazz, at 68.

Alvin Lee of the British blues-rock band Ten Years After has died at the age of 68. While his place in baby-boomer posterity was assured by his long solo on the tune “I’m Going Home” in the movie “Woodstock”. Lee was much more than that to musicians growing up in this era. Like most young […]

Posted in: Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll, Videos

Three degrees of separation.

Like fans of Kevin Bacon, we’re fascinated by odd relationships, familial and otherwise. Not necessarily the truly strange ones, like the estimate that 8% of all Asians living today are descendants of Genghis Khan. Say what? Apparently, it’s so, but we’re not sure they asked everyone involved for proof. Talk about the wrath of Khan! […]

In praise of weirdos.

One thing that strikes us about the current state of American audio culture is the conspicuous lack of weirdos. We’re not talking about people who simply dress weird, or those who act weird due to mental impairments or disease. And we aren’t talking about “weird” when it becomes some sort of mainstream thing, like “alternative” […]

A case of art imitating art.
By February 27, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

A case of art imitating art.

We love movies. Hell, we love movies almost as much as we love music. But unlike creative American forms such as jazz, rock and country, movies are no more dead or alive today than they’ve ever been, which bodes well for cinema’s future. Or sounds its death knell. Whatever. We love ’em regardless. Combining these […]

By February 4, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

Individuality: a lost art

To an attentive jazz listener, and one who’s into arcane and archaic music, the tenor saxophone playing of Ben Webster is immediately recognizable, and sounds nothing like that of Lester Young. Or Sonny Rollins. Or even like a less-ambitious player such as King Curtis. Similarly, none of the these players sound like any of the […]

By January 30, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

We just found him, and now he’s dead.

Speaking of dead like jazz, here’s one for ya … Time was, in our youthful days of getting out and about, we would have known about obscure musicians from all over the place. Other lands, other cultures and even other species didn’t seem to be a barrier when music and alcohol were available, so musical […]

Posted in: Jazz, Rock & Roll, Videos