H I Jazz

 

I picked up jazz pianist Andrew Hill’s One For One decades ago at Cheapies. It’s a compilation double album of previously unissued studio tracks recorded in 1965, 1969 and 1970. Adventurous post-bop jazz in various group settings & all excellent. It’s my own lp to cd transfer. In an mp3 collection I have his Hommage (1975) solo piano works that is good solid jazz. This is not supper club music 🙂

Next is a stand alone cd of Dave Holland Big Band: What Goes Around. I love ‘modern’ big band. This propulsive, meditative, inventive & highly enjoyable. Holland is a double-bass players & appears in dozens of ensembles on ECM. A great started for anyone testing the jazz waters.

impulsive! is a 2cd stand-alone set of remixes of impulse original recordings by the likes of Mingus & Pharoah Sanders. Remixes were a thing for a time. Classical music given drum & bass, or breakbeat in the mix. Impulse, a major jazz label, let remixers into their back catalogue with good results. Though adding a hip-hop track to update a piece isn’t always the way to go. Some turn out great such as the re-working of Sanders: Astral Travelling. CD1 are the remixes, CD2 are the unadulterated originals. Good stuff.

Jazziz was a monthly magazine that included a sampler CD. It was difficult to subscribe to though – I had to pay a month at a time, in advance & sometimes the issue didn’t arrive 😦 Under J is the January 1995 sampler – that did lead to me purchasing cds by Jai Uttal & Bobby Previte. It was too frustrating getting issues so I gave up. It is still publishing on line.

The Viewing

Later that afternoon after taking too many pictures of the decayed bandstand in the park I figured it was time to head home. Once again the dilemma was which streets paved with banal memories did I want to take.

One end of the park tapered off into the downtown area, where I’d already been and another corner faced a row of the larger, wealthier homes of the town. Most of which were now lawyers and accountants offices. 

One of them was still a funeral home. The one my mother had mentioned this morning where there was to be a viewing for Mr Razov. I decided to go in. This would be something that held no memory. I’d never been in this place till now. A new experience in the old home town.

The front foyer was dark in brushed browns and gold. a young lady stepped from a corner.

“Welcome to Cherished Funeral Home. Who are you looking for?” She asked in a concerned, hushed voice.

“Mr. Razov.”

“Ah, yes. This way. He’s resting in the small chapel at the back. follow me. There hasn’t been many in but that’s often the case. Here we are.”

The coffin was at the far side of the room a spray of flowers at either end of it. It was opened but I wasn’t prepared to look at him.

On a shelf along the wall where photos of Mr. Razor. Several of him, labelled as being in Novonikolayevsk. One with his family – a wife with two small children. A newspaper clipping of him in the Toronto airport where he defected. A couple with the chess club – him standing over two pairs of us we studied the pieces on the chess boards in front of us. Even without seeing his face I recognized Howard Delaney from the back of his head. How long had it been since I seen Howard. 

“Good afternoon.” A deep voice from behind me asked. “You knew my father?”


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M. M. M.

Let’s step back to the 90’s with Britain’s M People. I have as stand-alone their elegant slumming & Bizarre Fruit & their Best of tucked away in an mp3 collection. I loved hearing & dancing to them in the disco. Their sound was soulful, propulsive, & romantic. I love Heather Small’s voice. When I hear some of these songs I get a sweet feeling of nostalgia but with no actual memory of person or place attached. Their cover of Itchycoo Park is a masterpiece of a masterpiece 🙂

Celso Machado is a Brazilian musician living in, of all places, British Columbia. I have his Varel as a stand-alone cd. Folky with touches of latin jazz this is a fine introduction to world music. Pleasant voice, great guitar sound. One track he shows off bird imitations on various instruments. Sexy music too.

For a time in the mid-90’s I vacationed in Montreal for a week or so in July thanks friends who moved her from there & went back to renew their accents. I developed a fondness for French pop, some of which was Québecois, some of which was out of France. My friends could tell the difference whereas I couldn’t, nor did it matter that much.

There was a separate PQ Much Music at the time, when Much actually played videos. I saw a track by Madam. I have their Eldorado, Weke & Ce Beau Pays.These are all fine pop/rock work. Great vocals, stinging guitar, some political commentary & in general fun. Part of the purpose was to improve my French, which never did happen, c’est la vie, but I enjoy have a nice slice of this music in my collection. 

Sydney Academy 3

When I was in Sydney recently my sister asked what did I do to ‘hang out’? At the Academy I was fairly active in some of the ‘clubs.’ One was the Junior Red Cross that devoted its energy to raising money – I guess the money went to the Red Cross. One year we sold ballpoint pens with, I think, Sydney Academy & the school logo printed on them. I remember this because I the group bought them from a company my father’s business used for similar office stuff.

If the order was large enough the company threw in an extra bonus: a coffee percolator one year, a wrist watch the next. We also sold raffle tickets for those bonus items. One year there was regional Jr. Red Cross conference held at Riverview (I think). There was a dinner& dance. 

I also joined the Chess Club, even though I wasn’t all that good at it. I barely remember anyone in it. The same for a short-lived ‘Record Club’ where we brought our favourite lps & played a couple of tracks & talked about why we liked them. My selection ‘The King & I’ wasn’t deemed serious enough. The teacher behind the group wanted to hear serious music not pop, show tunes or jazz. The club didn’t last.

My biggest involvement was badminton. We had the gym every Saturday & played round-robin. Singles, mens doubles, girls doubles & mixed doubles. I was a fairly accomplished player & did win a few trophies. There was also competition with other schools.

The best part of this became music! We were allowed to play records, usually 45s, while the play was going on. I quickly gravitated to this & became a sort of dj as mt pop music interest increased. Popular stuff was the Lovin’ Spoonful, The Beatles, Dave Clarke 5. I recall playing The Gates of Eden, which was the flip side of Like A Rolling Stone & being asked to play less serious stuff. When the Monkee’s I’m Not Your Stepping Stone was first played everyone went nuts for it & we had to play it over & over again.

I was pretty serious about badminton though. A bunch of us also played at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, (now home of HAT) which had a couple of courts in its semi-basement auditorium. The space was also used by the Rotary Club for rehearsals & set building. It was great as we got to practice without the rest of the school around us. I was quite taken by one of the other guys who played. He was hairy & sometimes sported a beard until someone at the school would tell him it was time to shave.

The one non-school organization I became involved with was DeMolay, but that’s another post 🙂

The Whitney Pier Museum

 

is dedicated to the industry of the area

steel workers miners

displays about the various ethic groups

that created the community

Jewish Black Ukrainian

old high-school year books

pictures of teams hockey basketballs

rows of mothers knitting for the war

soldiers returning 

those lost

churches that have come gone

business that survived then faded

as economies rose and dipped

the first black owned store in the city

 

families in fields picnics outings

Christmas parties in church auditoriums

faces turned to cameras

leaden in front of raging blast furnaces

or smeared with cold dust at a mine entrance

men in groups workers comrades

sometimes everyone named

who’s your father 

takes on a tree of discovery

 

I sift through these

wonder about the real lives of these men

wonder where is my queer history

I’m assume each of them

had a wife and kids somewhere

they sweated and worked for that classic dream

a house a garden 

 

no way to find out if any of them

sought out something in each other

no mention that 

this is Jack and John 

who lived happily together 

in this house on Lingan Road

everyone knew but no one cared

 

I’m happy to know the lives

of famed homos of the past

Radcliff Hall Alan Ginsburg

the list gets longer 

as we allow history to reveal

what some historians once thought 

too sordid to bring to light

the sex lives of heteros are fine fodder mind you

 

I look at these photos and wonder

what truths are hidden 

unrecognized

no display of the same-sex inclined

it is as if only the famed were queers in history

no ordinary folks

in these little local museums 

of the closeted

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

every Tuesday 2019

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

October

Stratford Festival – The Crucible

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet