the last rent party…a tribute/fundraiser for my grandfather…

i kept my mouth shut about it for months…perhaps irresponsibly so…because while this was an intensely personal event for me, it was a public event…one that a wide variety of people have interest in…well, i can only make up for my negligence by shining a light on those who have done the work that i have not…

i cannot say enough about Mr. Ethan Iverson’s excellent contribution…considering the depth and breadth of the research he’s done, it’s not surprising that his renditions of my grandfather’s work was the most mind blowing of the night…god, i wish i had video to show you…anyway, here’s a sample of his preparations…

It’s a life and death matter, the clave, and what makes it so is its unyielding consistency and precision. It’s just like the ride cymbal beat of a good jazz drummer: you put the drummer in front a cymbal, give him a stick, and if they are a professional, they will deliver a “spang-a-lang” that is immutable. If the drummer is an artist as well as a professional the interpretation of the beat will be as distinctive as a snowflake.

In stride piano, the left hand going “oom-pah” is like that clave or ride cymbal beat in its unyielding consistency and precision. It’s very hard technically: there is a big jump between the “oom” and the “pah,” and the pitches change constantly.

There are examples of “oom-pah” in Liszt and Chopin, and some of them are very hard indeed. (In Chopin’s Op. 25 etudes, No. 4 in A minor and the “Butterfly” in Gb are good examples of proto-stride.) However, you don’t need the grooving, “clave-aspect” for Chopin and Liszt. In stride piano it is essential. It’s like the Energizer bunny with soul. Probably for eternity, James P. Johnson will be the gold standard for the stride “feel.” (link to full text of his blog post)

if you’re a fan of the bad plus like i am, i highly recommend subbing his feed…

the NY Times even wrote up the event…especially making note of a new artist who’s work i hope to discover more of…

The evening’s revelation was Aaron Diehl, a pianist in his mid-20s who has played with Wynton Marsalis and Wycliffe Gordon. His style, on “Scaling the Blues,” “Over the Bars” and the second movement of Johnson’s “Jazzamine Concerto,” was modest, secure and insinuating, with an iron sense of time. A few different pianists worked in their own tunes as Johnson tributes; Mr. Diehl’s was a slow, gorgeous blues.

Mr. Diehl’s website is here

anyway, a big thank you to Smalls Jazz Club for working with The James P. Johnson Foundation to put this all together…

today's cool shit…

i’m all over the place today…first there’s this…

“Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.
Chorus:

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:
Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus) “

Stephen Foster‘s Hard Times Come Again No More…kinda fits my mood today…

then there’s this…just plain fun…

then, a story about how Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is creating new ways to connect with his fans…and possibly reinventing the business of music…lead me to this…

Deep Media is a blog about the evolution of narrative in the Internet age

and i can’t possibly explain why this Op-Ed geeks me out…it just does…

TODAY is an important date in the history of the Internet: the 40th anniversary of what is known as the Request for Comments. Outside the technical community, not many people know about the R.F.C.’s, but these humble documents shape the Internet’s inner workings and have played a significant role in its success.

somehow, it all seems connected…

enough…time to get out and enjoy some fresh air…

today’s cool shit…

i’m all over the place today…first there’s this…

“Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.
Chorus:

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:
Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus)

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.
(Chorus) “

Stephen Foster‘s Hard Times Come Again No More…kinda fits my mood today…

then there’s this…just plain fun…

then, a story about how Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is creating new ways to connect with his fans…and possibly reinventing the business of music…lead me to this…

Deep Media is a blog about the evolution of narrative in the Internet age

and i can’t possibly explain why this Op-Ed geeks me out…it just does…

TODAY is an important date in the history of the Internet: the 40th anniversary of what is known as the Request for Comments. Outside the technical community, not many people know about the R.F.C.’s, but these humble documents shape the Internet’s inner workings and have played a significant role in its success.

somehow, it all seems connected…

enough…time to get out and enjoy some fresh air…

weekly round robin…

was never much of a Mr T fan…but this is hilarious…(via Denver Egotist)…

a long winded…but very important…reminder from Ira Glass that…persistence…is the key…to success…and better quality work…(via ThePublishingSpot)

which brings me to this post from mr. Bransford

the point being to get to the root of…why…why write…i write because i have to…need to…yes…being good at it…getting published…and generating an income from it…are important to me…but these are not the reasons why…i have to breathe…i have to eat, drink, sleep…etc…and i have to write…

meanwhile…

i’m still digesting these numbers…i’ve downloaded the full poll…and I think there’s a story in them…of course, it’s not the story they’re selling…

and now…off to the music festival…will it be heaven…will it be hell…hopefully, the photos will tell…

and oh yeah…book trailers???now i have to make book trailers…another distraction begging for my attention…

the Times…missing the forest for the trees…

i just worked 60 hrs over the last 4 days…so I’m a little late to the party on this one…i just can not let it pass without comment…Saturday, the Times published a piece speculating…if not Hillary, then, who could be the first female president of the United States…listing the qualities and background that they…the writer and editors of the NY Times…deem as necessary prerequisites for candidacy…and then they toss in a list of 12 women…with varied qualifications…who could be the next to run…Chelsea Clinton…really…?…

of course they overlooked the kind of candidate they would never take seriously…a war veteran…serious, ambitious, women are serving and fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq today…and I’m confident that any one of them with the desire to step into politics would have no problem overcoming what the Times calls…”the burden…to prove toughness…”

this is the New York Times blindspot…that any woman in uniform today…could be faithful to the mission…and not be George Bush in a pantsuit…it’s completely conceivable that some present/former aviator…or intelligence officer…whathaveyou…could come home, run for…and win…state senate/governor/congress…and…with the right message…become a serious presidential candidate…I could vote for someone like that…

according to the NY Times…this is next to impossible…the same could have been said of a young state legislator from Illinois a few years ago…