McBridal Shower

I love upright bass, so by bass player Christian McBride I have as stand-alone Gettin’ To It (1994) , Parker’s Mood (1995), Number Two Express(1995), (as mp3) fingerpainting: The Music of Herbie Handcock (1997), Sci-Fi (2000). I first heard Christian as a sideman with sax player Joshua Redman – he was a strong support player but when I found Gettin’ To It his first release as leader I was eager to hear him get to it.

Bouncy, contemplative, fresh with a great version of The Stars Fell On Alabama – on this Joshua Redman is a sideman, along with Roy Hargrove on trumpet. Excellent, accessible jazz. On Parker’s Mood he is part of trio with Roy Hargrove & Steven Scott. As the title indicates, this a tribute set of Charlie Parker tunes given not-overly-respectful reinterpretations.  On Express he is joined by old school masters Chick Corea & Jack DeJohnette for another great set. The fact that he attracted these jazz icons speaks to his chops & reputation.

The Hancock tribute is excellent even though there is no piano in the bass, trumpet, drums trio. Adventurous rethinkings of Hancock that actually explores rather than treats the material with such respect it might as well be on a museum shelf. 

Sci-Fi, is, as the title suggests, a bow to the jazz-rock  sounds of Miles Davis &, yes, Herbie Hancock. In fact Hancock joins in on keyboards & even David Gilmore of Pink Floyd makes an appearance. No one really thinks of Pink Floyd as jazz-rock but Atom Heart Mother ranks up there with Inner Mounting Flame. Another homage that explores rather than replicates that time era.

You cannot go wrong with with any jazz lp that includes Christian McBride as leader or as a sideman.

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Yusef Lateef plus

Lee Konitz (1927 – 2020) Brazilian Rhapsody (1995) focuses primarily on Brazilian standards. Konitz is a solid, lyrical sax player – inventive without being jarring. Here he does sweet work with some of my favourite Latino standards: Manha De Carnaval, A Felicidad – romantic without being cloying.

Yusef Lateef (1920 – 2013) Over a 2cd mp3 collection I have Lateef’s complete recordings from 1957-1963 – as well as Towards The Unknown with Adam Rudolph. Plus, in another collection, his later Eastern Sounds, Blue Yusef, Lateef’s Sound, In A Temple Garden & stand-alones Psychicemotus, Golden Flute. Also, in the mp3 collection, just for fun, is Logan’s Run (soundtrack) by Jerry Goldsmith.

I think In A Temple Garden was my introduction to Lateef – an impressionist mediation with temple bells that invokes quiet afternoons in another world – verging on new age but with real jazz underpinnings.  I picked it up as an lp & returned to it frequently. I picked up  Psychicemotus, Golden Flute two of his mid 60’s verve recordings as cd reissues with great liner notes. These are excellent with touches of world music & even a take on Gymnopedie #1.

The recordings from 1957-1963 are a more recent additions. I bought them from iTunes for under $10.00 – many of jazz recordings from the 50’s, 60’s are now public domain & you can find massive reissue collections like this to download cheaply. This one was sorted nicely into the individual releases with covers. Some are dumped with to regard to original lp order.

From 2010 is Towards The Unknown with Adam Rudolph. A fascinating collaboration that includes songs, orchestra & jazz combo – smart compelling modern music. He is a sensitive musician – sax, flute even keyboards – who explores with a lyrical sensibility that is always inviting & rarely dissonant.  If you are unfamiliar I would recommend starting with those Verve reissues.

Jerry Goldsmith’s Logan’s Run is a total delight. I watched the film, again, a few year ago & the synthesizer work is outstanding & totally captures the the early 70’s sound as well as the sense Hollywood had of what the future would be. Both are worth seeing/hearing.  

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Bright Moments

Rahsaan Roland Kirk can thank Jethro Tull for introducing him to me. I have in my collection: I Talk With The Spirits (1965) which includes “Serenade to a Cuckoo”; Blacknuss (1971); Prepare Thyself to Deal with a Miracle (1973); Bright Moments (1973). Each has a different jazz sensibility but all star Kirk’s amazing sax, flute & percussion. By amazing I mean he often played two reed instruments at the same time. That’s a lot of breath control & tongue work.

I had the double lp Bright Moments on vinyl, did an lp to cd transfer & finally a mp3 download. This is an excellent live lp that brilliantly captures a moment in jazz time. Kirk’s poetry, chat, rap are engaging & his urge for us to enjoy our bright moments is still relevant. Bursting with positive energy, great playing, amazing sidemen & vibrant songs this is a classic recording. You want jazz? This is a great starter or addition to a collection.

The other Kirk lps are bit more meditative as he explores African rhythms, current jazz standards & spiritual yearning. His sax work is restless at time, dissonant but never as challenging (to me) as Coltrane. There is some free jazz improvisation in sections. ‘Spirits’ is a good starter of his sweet studio work.

I made a copy of Muhal Richard Abrams: The Hearinga Suite (1989) when I borrowed the cd from the library. I loved his Big Band sound that combined African rhythms with nicely constrained free jazz. This is timeless jazz with a complex big band that explores while remaining accessible. Mama & Daddy (1980), The Hearinga Suite (1989). Try either of them if you want big band beyond Ellington.

Rounding out this mp3 collection are some works by Yusef Lateef – The Sounds of Yusef 1957, Eastern Sounds 1961, The Blue Yusef 1968. Primarily a sax player he is known for having been an innovator in the blending of jazz with “Eastern” music. All are excellent. More about Yusef when I get to ‘L.’

dipping into the archives for a story that goes back to 1970. Yes I am aware that the point-of-view shifts in a rather schizophrenic way. I had to resisted making it consistent – the italics appear in the original as well. 

Chopin

1

I think, David is safe, turn up the stereo to let music thicken & wrap me with its deeper protection. I am David. David is safe. What more can I be. I think of safeness frequently. Turn the phrase I am David. David is safe over & over with my mind’s tongue, look at them as if they were a Calder mobile, a möbius strop. David is as safe as rocks. Large, immobile, secure rocks. The music swell around me like sea around those rocks. David often finds his ‘I’ becomes an observer, becomes ‘I’ that am not always aware of & one which David never resists. 

David walks down the street, looks eagerly for my reflection in store-windows There I am. Safe as always. David watches people around him, watches their reflections beside him. Then I glance carefully at them to see how close their reflections are like them. Sometimes my eyes linger too long on the real, on the flesh, on the motion of muscle beneath cloth. A boy, about nineteen, returns David’s unseeing gaze with a deeper, threatening gaze of his own greeds.

I go into a store. My favorite record store. David looks at the other customers with smugness. He is safer than them. Here I know what I want. I go straight for it. There it is.

A girl watches me. I feel her eyes on David’s quickly moving hands. I glanced at her. Jean. She is a past lover of mine. One I haven’t seen for sometime. I haven’t quite given up my need for her.

“David? How are you?” She asks, moves closer, eyes brighten, hand reaches to touch David’s.

“Good. And you Jean?”

“Can’t complain. Still listening to the same?” Her voice eager, her perfume brings back morning memories.

“Nope,” I hold out the record. “I’m trying for a little more romance.”

“A little more! Out of Debussy & into Chopin. That’s quite a jump.” She smiles, takes the lp & turns it over, as if the cover, the change in direction, would betray something new to her, about this man. “I prefer his waltzes. These scherzos are little too … too …”

“Melodramatic?” I take the record from her. “Would you like to go for a coffee or maybe a drink? I’ve been wondering how you were.”

A pause. “Sure. I haven’t much to do till I go to work.”

David pays for the lp. Something new to look forward to when I get home. Out of the corner of my eye I see the same boy. Yes, nineteen, the firm age. The boy wears overalls with no shirt. The side-buttons are undone. Flesh shows. The boy is so well tanned a sharp break of white glares from the unbuttoned side. The overalls are tight around his thighs & calves. The hair on his chest thickly swirled.

Clumsily I put my change away David feels a strange urgency. A need to follow & question the boy, a need to look at something else. I turn abruptly to Jean. “Well, where would you like to go?”

“Any place quiet & cool.”

“I think there’s a lounge just across the street. A cold drink seems in order.”

“Oh, lovely.” She take his arm easily & guides him “I was hoping you would suggest something like that.”

“We still have the old ESP?” I laugh, cross the street, we must make a fine couple. Then see our reflection coming at us from the lounge window A fine couple indeed. How did we ever fall out of love?

Jean goes to the furniture store window next to the lounge. “Oh, Look!” She points past their refection at a living-room set. “Isn’t that pine fantastic.”

“Swedish-mod ripoff.” David dismisses while sees us married in the living-room, me lounging carelessly on the severe couch while she … Funny I see her there but not doing anything outside of completing the picture.

We moved on to the lounge. The Black Hat.

“I’ve never been in here,” I tell her, to avoid being blamed the place isn’t perfect. New places aren’t safe.

“I’ve been here a few times,” she reassures, knowing his dislike of new places. “It’s really very nice, quiet, especially this time of day.”

part 2 next week

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Morphine Machine

The Music Machine: Turn On! Yes, let’s turn on to 1966 with this amazing garage band. This was one of the first lps I remember buying. Still in high school & ‘innocent.’ I loved the hair, the black leather gloves they wore on stage, the turtlenecks. The front cover is reminiscent of the Beatles but the music is not, even though they do a cover of Taxman. I dug them 🙂 Listening to it now it is well produced with good studio use of echo, even a touch of flute. Reminiscent of early Steppenwolf or Grassroots. 

The lp was worn grey. The band was lost in the wake of the British Invasion & my interest was washed away by Hendrix, the Stones – you know, music that wasn’t built around Farfisa organ & bass. Definitely teen boy music. I bought the cd in September 1994 when I was deeply involved with Bushwack Theatre. I remember walking from the Lab on Britain St. to Sam’s on Yonge St & looking for this in particular. It was there but as a high-priced import, with no bonus tracks. I think I went back to Sam’s twice before I gave in & bought it. That year I played it over a dozen times for the powerful nostalgia it brought. I do not have any specific memories to go with it though 😦 except of me loving it in 1966.

The first track I heard by Morphine was either Honey White or French Fries With Pepper. I don’t remember where I heard it but I loved the sax driven sound. I was also taken by the lyrics & the voice of their lead singer; he reminded me of Tom Waites in delivery & the jazzy sound was perfect for me. I have Cure for Pain; Yes; Like Swimming; B-Sides & Otherwise. All are my favourites 🙂

Because of its instrumentation Morphine is considered ‘alternative.’ It’s definitely not U2 but the music is not that challenging or abstract. Solid, propulsive, hummable & relatable; adult music not teen-boy pop. They were on the verge of going mainstream when their lead vocalist died of a heart attack onstage in Palestrina, Italy, on July 3, 1999. What a way to go. If you are unfamiliar, start with any of their lps.

This piece goes back to late 80’s.

Anticipation 1

The electronic alarm bubbled. He took several deep breaths. Inhaling he thought “Thank you” held it, breathed out “God.” Then reversed the sequence. He didn’t want to feel he was breathing God out but inhaling the strength that his feeling of God gave him.

The telephone burbled. He thanked God for electronics. No more thought jangling ringing. The telephone continued to burble. Now, was that one burble or two? He wondered, as he picked up the receiver.

“Good morning, Martin.”

“Mother?” What did she want?

“That’s right dear. You remember what day this is?”

Martin glanced as the read-out glowing on his clock. “February 14, 19 …”

“Now Martin don’t tell me that you’ve forgotten …”

“To send you a card? Of course I did but …” Then he remembered. “Not that February 14?” Shit! Shit! Shit! This was not going to be such an ordinary day.

“That’s right Martin dear. The prophesy will be fulfilled today.”

God Thank You God Thank You God, he breathed in & out deeply. “Thank you, Mother.”

“One o’clock.”

“I know! I know! I’ve lived with the damn thing for … ”

“But you forgot.”

“As was foretold. ‘His mother would remind him.’ Isn’ that what it said in The Book. Thank you Mother. Now can I take a shower before …”

“It doesn’t matter what you do, dear. The prophecy will be fulfilled today.”

“Please, mother, give it a rest. Good-bye.”

As he hung up he heard her say, “Christ be with you.” 

Thank God, he breathed in, I’m not, he held his breath, a Christian, he breathed out. He repeated that nine times on his way to the shower. With the water almost too hot to tolerate he remembered the first time he had read The Book. 

It was a week before his tenth birthday. The Book was kept in a chest under his bed since he’d been born. He knew it was in there from having seen his parents look at it late at night when they thought he was asleep.

For the few months before his birthday he’d felt an urge to see it. As soon as he thought they were asleep he pulled the chest out & lifted up The Book. It seemed to resist him the way like poles of a magnet repel each other. It wasn’t very thick but took all his strength to lift it. The cover, as thin as it was, resisted his effort to open it. Once he had it open the heaviness was gone.

In the half-light of the moon he couldn’t make out what was printed on it. The typewritten pages, ragged along the edges, were covered with finger smudges & circle stains where cups had been set on them. As he turned the pages they became clearer & easier to see & to understand.

His heart beat faster & he uttered a little cry when. at the top of one page he saw, in capital letters, MARTIN. His eyes skimmed the page & fell on ‘At ten years of age he shall be told, but he will already know. He will want to escape, but he will never stop knowing.’

Suddenly fearful, he shut The Book & shoved it back inside the chest, pushed the chest back under his bed, ran to the bathroom & vomited.

(what else is in The Book – tune in next week for another trilling episode)

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Hawkins, Monk and more Sax

Over 2 cd mp3 compilations I have Coleman Hawkins: Body & Soul, Bean Bags, Genius of, Night Hawk, Duke Ellington Meets CH. Along with lps by Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!; Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section; Jerry Mulligan: Lonesome Boulevard; Jan Garbarek: Dansere; Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Yes, that’s a lot of sax with some jazz piano in the mix.

 

Hawkins has a fun, sometimes funky, thick sax sounds. The tracks have a friendly feeling to them like a boozy nightclub – unlike say Coltrane – whose sound is more ‘intellectual’  & controlled (not that Coltrane didn’t play fine free jazz too). I can see myself dirty dancing to Hawkins, Coltrane is more ballet 🙂 Ornette Coleman is modern experimental 🙂

He also appears in one session on Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Monk can be challenging but is worth the demands. He was a jazz revolutionary, wrote too many standards to list. The Prestige work is all excellent, sometimes a bit dissonant but never to the point when it alienates the listener. Rhythmically adventurous & as a group leader he encouraged his sideman to shine.

Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!. Stan Getz has a smoother, almost cocktail, sound. One of the foremost samba-Latin musicians he popularized many now jazz standards. Charlie Byrd is an amazing acoustic guitarist. Any of these are a excellent introductions to Latin jazz. Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section. Pepper, as his name indicates, is a more restless sax player. Nice tone & energizing. Jerry Mulligan’s Lonesome Boulevard is a great comfortable set with a bluesy feeling. Mulligan replaced Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Finally & totally different from all the others is Jan Garbarek’s Dansere. His sax sound is much sharper, his playing more sculptural & the material on this lps verges on classical in his lyrical approach. Elegant as opposed to funky.

Aunt Neddes was coming to visit. I was excited. Her real name was Nelly but somehow we started caller her Neddes. Though my Dad referred to her as that old prude. Another thing I never really understood. Though she was old, at least to my nine year old self, forty seemed pretty old. I know she was forty because her birthday fell while she was staying with us.

My mother was having a baby soon. That was why Neddes was coming to stay with us for a while to help around the house. My Dad called her a prude because she didn’t smoke or drink but was lots of fun all the same. 

We went to the airport to meet her. I had met her a few years earlier so I sort of had an idea of what she looked like but when my mother started waving at this tall woman in a long green coat I didn’t recognize her. I was bowled over by the coat but also by the emerald green hat she was wearing. Tight on her head like a toque only made out of feathers with little clusters of glittery stuff on it. 

‘Can I try on your hat.’ I exclaimed even before I said hello to her. ‘Can I. Can I.’

‘Now Jim boys don’t wear things like this.’ Neddes laughed. She hugged my Mother and shook hands with my Dad.

I tried not to cry.

‘But I do have something for you in my suitcase. You can try it on when we get home.’ She took me by the hand as we walked to the car. My Dad dragged one of her suitcases.

‘What you got in here anyway. A body!’

‘There, there Dan. A woman has to be ready for everything. Especially here in the frontier.’ she laughed. ‘Why my sister let you drag here to this ….’

‘Enough.’ My mother gave her a sharp look. ‘Let’s get you home and settled in then we can discuss the lay of this land.’


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Swami Hart and Beyond

One Christmas many years ago a friend gave me Antonio Hart’s (alto saxophonist) Don’t You Know I Care that he had picked up at a yard sale. It was just the cd – no jewel case. Pleasant & non-challenging jazz – solid playing, sweet arraignments & great starter for someone new to jazz. I created an mp3 version for a fun collections of jazz (& other) classics.

Some of these musicians I knew by reputation, others I searched out after seeing lp covers posted by an lp cover Tumblr one halloween 🙂 So here is Horace Silver (piano): Horace-Scope, Song For My Father – swinging, exploratory & emotional work that I enjoy more each time I hear it. Horace-Scope was the spooky cover & I added Father to hear more. It was Archie Shepp’s (saxophonist) The Magic of Ju-Ju cover that lead owing loading it. I add his The Way Ahead as well. This too is solid, swinging at times, challenging & occasionally dissonant but worth having. Shepp’s work with Abby Lincoln is worth searching out too.

The title of dummer Philly Joe Jones Sextet’s Blues For Dracula is reason enough to add this one. Propulsive & aggressive there is nothing scary here except the quality of playing. Not easy listening by any means & great for writing. The same is true for Jackie McLean’s  (saxophone) Demon’s Dance – it lives up to the cover & the title. Restless music for restless creative minds.

Also here is Steve Marcus’s  (saxophone) Tomorrow Never Knows – this is an excellent jazz exploration of 60’s psychedelic pop. One track has the sax riff that propels Gerry Rafferty’s Beaker Street. This is a lost classic lp that deserves a resurgence. Be warned this is not an instrumental walk-though of 60’s pop – the group peoples these pieces inot our bop & it is well worth the listen. Unlike Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Best Of – which are nostalgic & safe for family listening.

To lighten the mood of this collection & also Ron Goodwin’s soundtrack music for Miss Marple, Lancelot, Force 10 – the Marple is jolly fun, the other two are heroic action music. Finally is  Swami Jr. (Brazillian acoustic guitar player (7-string)) Mundos e Fundos – Jr is an amazing guitarist I found out via … well, I’m not sure how found him but the name made him worth checking out. I have a few lps by him each is romantic & satisfying He’s worth checking out.

more of the very rough draft from Isle St. Nuit

Mike hated airports. Too many people going to places he’d never go to. Too many announcements. he checked his ticket print out with the constantly flickering board of arrivals and departures to double check he was heading in the right way, to be sure they hadn’t changed the gate, the flight number gate. 

Twice he’d been startled by the appearance of large black men who were the shape and size of Xavier. His heart raced till he got a good look at the face. As if this would be how it would continue – him running into Xavier at the airport on his way to somewhere.

What would he do it if that had happened. Throw his arms around him. What if Xavier acted as if he’d never seen him, which was most likely what woud happen. Yet he hoped even that would happen. Just  for one more look.

They would glance, Xavier would nod to the washroom and Mike would follow eagerly. Put his bag down t to be taken away by the ever alert airport security. 

Mike would follow Xavier into the handicapped stall – one big enough for two men. Xavier would already be there. Unzipped. Hard. Mike would drop to his knees and ….

“Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. All passengers needing assistance should report to the gate now. thank you. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Tous les passagers ayant besoin d’aide doivent se présenter à la porte maintenant. Merci.” 

Mike hunched his shoulder, pulled his shoulder bag closer to him. Finished his coffee and walked through the door to gate 9. 

In the plane he kept his eyes on his magazine. He didn’t want to look out the window. Didn’t want to see the city disappear with so much of himself still there.

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January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Jazzy Han Har Har

Bo Hansson made a crossover foray in the early 70’s with his lp Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings. I was a Tolkien fan at the time, had read the books at least once & when I first heard this was expecting a sort of Celtic/Swedish sound with tambours, penny whistles stuff but instead it was a gentle, moody, jazz exploration of the Rings. I replaced that lp with cd in 2003. Almost meditative & forerunner of new age sooth. Pleasant & timeless. 

Much more jazz, is trumpet Roy Hargrove’s Public Eye; Habana; earfood – which I have as stand-alones. I first heard him as sideman with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride. I picked all these up, at different times, on sale at HMV. Solid jazz. Habana explores Cuban sound with a large group;

I have a chunk of sax player Eddie Harris on an mp3 collection that includes his Complete Jazz Sessions 61/62; as stand-alone From 68): Electrifying/Plug Me In; & back to the mp3 collection his 1969 lp Silver Cycles. At once time juke boxes would have several jazz recordings & Harris filled the bill with these tracks – all around 4 min, many versions of movie theme or standards – high quality cocktail jazz. The stand-alone is more of the same but with more explorative longer tracks. My first Harris was Silver Cycles which is an amazing early exploration of electronica & experimental jazz. Some track feature a wordless female quartet. I always loved it eclectic range of this lp. I added the Sessions when I found the 44 track collection on iTunes.

Also in this mp3 collection is Vinnie Burke’s String Jazz Quartet. One of my co-works in Sydney was a jazz fan & I first heard his lps of this – a couple of upright basses, cello, violin – no percussion beyond plucking & I loved it. I had an lp to cas dupe which I was happy to upgrade to mp3.

Here too is Mike Cuozzo’s Mighty Mike – fine easy jazz with some vibes for flavouring. As well as Marie-Louise Girod’s Last Year At Marienbad soundtrack. One of my all rime favorite movies with a an eerie organ soundtrack. I never expected to find this but there it was on iTunes.

Booker Ervin’s The Song Book is an lp to cd finally to mp3 that fits nicely in this collection. Ervin is Harris to the next level of jazz seriousness. For a modern touch there is Russell Gunn’s Love Requiem; Plays Miles Davis. Modern jazz but a fine trumpet player. I love his Davis homage. 

Finally for a total change is Adam Rafferty’s Gratitude. Acoustic jazz guitar that isn’t challenging nor is it relaxation music. I heard his version of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition & track it down to this lp. makes a nice break from the ‘real’ jazz.

Latino Likes Dad

I am a liar. At my age it’s hard to admit to that, but it is true. Not a big liar, but there’s no such thing as being a little pregnant. I only lie about one thing, my age. Not that it is such a big deal in the long run, but if I can get away with 10 or 15 years younger than I am then I’ll do it. We live in an ageist culture. In the gay world it is even harsher. The older men get, the more they want bodies in the early ripe of life – those sweet young things between 20 & 30. Ask a 50 year old if he finds other 50 year olds at all attractive he’ll probably snort with derision.

When I come to attraction, age isn’t the key for me. Well-preserved is well-preserved. I’ve preferred men to young guys. Once they hit 35 they are about old enough for me – seasoned but not too bitter yet.

So I lie about my age because those guys at 35 aren’r ready for well-preserved, even when they claim to be, as they do on those web sites devoted to bringing older and their younger admirers together. 

As they say the web we weave can get sticky, as I have different ages on different sites but so do some of them. I know what works where. Not that I get much action anyway, but the web has been more productive than bars clubs or sitting around coffee shop gleaming manically over a triple espresso. I hooked up with Juan from, I think, I Dig Daddies, which I can’t help but think of as I Dig Graves, but that’s another story.

His handle was LatinoLikesDad. His profile was straight forward. A couple of clear photos. Plus he contacted me. I like that. He arrived for our first playdate, on time & eager. Ditto for the second. He was in many ways just what I was looking for except he had strings, or rather wanted strings. He didn’t say that but I could tell. I on the other hand am what one would call polyamorous. The more love you invite the more you have to share. I am not a slut.

Not that I’m all that active. Quality has always been more important to me that quantity. More than one on the go always made me happy. Something I never hid from any of them. If they can’t deal with it such is life. But when I’m too old or too young I tend to take that personally for some reason. Such is life.

So this is be third time Juan & I date. This time a real date not just a clothes off, slobber on each other opportunity. A date is all foreplay and the more of that the better. Coming isn’t the point of sex, it’s the end of it.

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December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

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

Paul Desmond 

I remember first time I heard Brubeck’s Take Five  – it was Paul Desmond’s sex that drew me in, not Brubeck’s piano. Inventive without being dissonant Desmond is master musician. Seeing his name on an Lp is enough to guarantee good music. I heard Ten Five as a TV show intro, I think, or maybe on the radio & loved it. I picked up an lp of Brubeck’s hits.

He left Brubeck & launched a highly-successful solo career than spans decades. He’s explored duets, solos, groups – done covers of pop – his Paul Simon tribute lp is amazing. Over 2 mp3 collections I have, on the first: Two of a Mind – with Gerry Mulligan – his replacement in Brubeck’s group; Skylark; Pure; East Of The Sun; Bridge Over Troubled Water; alive set – Take the A Train with Brubeck; to round things out is Zoot Sims’ In A Sentimental Mood – another amazing sax play with less dry sound.

On the other is The P.D. Quartet Live: a double lp set with a fantastic Manha De Carnival; Duets: reunion with Brubeck: Koto Song is amazing. This cd is rounded out with with Brubeck’s Blues Roots featuring Mulligan – strong solid & less populist than Brubeck’s earlier work. Some very modern Russell Gunn: Mood Swings: I love this guy. A trumpet player in the Davis mold he does sweet & challenge work her. St Germain’s Tourist is a fine remix that gives jazz a dance club feel & everyone should own this amazing collection.

A couple of stand-alones: Feeling Blue: late night romantic & sweet; Bossa Antigua – Desmond explores latin rhythms frequently & this a set of nothing but Bossa & he gives it a relaxed compelling treatment.

Dust

 

John nudged the soft stomach of the horse with his foot. The horse’s head lifted slightly and the eye blinked open.

‘So yer on yer last legs! Ya useless nag.’

John felt no affection or sorrow for the horse. After three weeks on the trail the only bond between them had been the loose ropes that held the saddle or pulled the bit when John wanted to stop.

Flecks of foam drooled out of the horse’s mouth. John didn’t even want to waste a bullet to put the beast out its misery. He felt it was the horse’s fault, slipping like that on the bank of the dry river. A slip that broke a leg and now the beast lay useless.

John cursed himself. He shouldn’t have let that guy talk him into this old dun mare when he had his eye on a younger pie-bald. But the price was right at the time. Things he had to be careful of – money and bullets. He knew enough not to waste either of those commodities on anything.

When the horse had slipped and broken its leg he didn’t realize what had happened till he’d tried to get it back on its feet.

‘Horse,’ he’d said. ‘git up. Tis no time for restin’ here.’

But the horse had whinnied in pain and limped only a few steps before collapsing once again. It had taken him the better part of the day to get his saddle bags out from under it.

He prodded the horse once more and walked up to the higher bank. Dust everywhere. He felt he hadn’t been clean for weeks and now this. A horse he hadn’t even bothered to name. The dealer called her something but John hadn’t bothered to recall.

He looked at the pile of things he had to carry. Food, blankets, his Bible. How much of this stuff would he have to do without now?

He recalled the various pieces of furniture he had already passed on this trail. Wardrobes, kitchen chairs, stuff discarded to lighten the load of the wagons. He’d never catch up to those wagons now.

‘I won’t need that saddle.’ But he was reluctant to leave it despite the dead weight of it. It was a good saddle. Perfect for him but he knew it would get heavier with each foot step.

‘Pity to leave ya like this.’

He started along the bank. With luck he might make some distance before dusk. Every step took him closer to what? He’d know that when he got there.

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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November 1-30

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Hornier Than 76 Trombones

Morning Parade is playful, sexy piece. The first few lines came in a flash – I love the play of ‘horn’ and ‘horniness’ when coupled with brass. Trombone already has ‘bone’ in it to add to the levels of pun going on. There is also the friskiness of how the trombone works – going from smaller to larger as it is manipulated – the soft zone trombone, as it were. It is a great cock symbol in so many ways.

cats can read !!
cats can read !!

As I was writing this I had to stop to decide whether I wanted to say ‘male member’ or ‘cock.’ The sort of self-censoring I think many writers have to work through. One of things I wanted to do in my poetry & prose is be more direct about body parts. There is a line between erotic, pornographic & being so coy it comes off like shame. Coy I’m not, though Morning Parade is a bit, for me, on the erotica side of things.

I also like Morning Parade because many of my motifs are in one piece – humor, music, sex, language play, plus a reference to a classic American musical comedy I saw as a child. There’s nothing queerer than a Broadway show tune except Ultimate Fighting.

cat fish
cat fish

I’ve been asked when my next feature is – probably December. I don’t suffer enough, don’t have a sufficiently vital political pov & can be too sexually explicit, to get invited to feature more than once or twice a year. Such is life.

for the night cats
for the night cats

I will be hosting The September Damned, once we get a new home for the series, which is in the works & we should have a location nailed down by the end of this week.

my coming attractions
my coming attractions

 

artbar

writing sample
writing sample

another of the pieces I read at the recent Cabaret Noir

Morning Parade

I woke up

hornier than 76 trombones

thoughts of you

resounding in my dreams

in my thoughts     my fantasies

of getting from here to where

we could be the parade

not just watching it

the clear brass plunge

ringing    echoing

as we slide together

saxophone daydream of trombone love
saxophone daydream of trombone love