Things still speeding along at a wicked pace with little time for a deep breath let alone pictures.
Danny Gatton is one of my favourite guitarists and sums it up best with this quick little piece.
I owe a personal favour to Roy Buchanon in mentioning him lest he ever again be forgotten. His influence on guitarists like Danny, Vince Gill, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendricks, and Gerry Garcia is legendary and he changed the course music forever. Personally, he was the first musician to shake my world in a way no other did.
There is too much I’d like to say about guitarists at the moment and instead leave you with a little piece from Roy to carry you through the weekend.
I’ve been looking for something that would sum up my February and think I may have found it.
I love February almost as much as I love jazz and Jaun Tizol & Ellington’s – Caravan. And that would be a lot.
Then every once and a while a special version that comes along and remakes everything from scratch. That would be this February.
With a little listen, you will understand the type of month that’s going on better than I could ever explain it. And while it’s kinda cool in it’s own way, it looks as if we’re moving into the Oscar and Dizzy version for March. And that’s really something else :)
I woke up this morning thinking of songbirds even though there’s not much singing going on these days, outside the house or in. The woods are silent and it seems too cold even for the cheeriness of chickadees.
Bu it’s not just the winter. This urban environment we inhabit is a little short on warblers, meadowlarks, vireos and thrushes. Fortunately this morning though, there was a particular songbird singing in my head. Mama Cass Elliot. And she had me whistling away for the better part of an hour.
Melody is something I grew up in. It was the basis of my world. The wonderful ‘Sounds of the Sixties’ are still very much in my heart. Sounds of freedom, possibility, hopefulness, joy, happiness and fun. The unabashed innocence of late spring and early summer in the face of a weary world.
The 5th Dimension, Association, BeeGees, Hollies and Supremes. Radios never far away. And they never blasted anything ..they filled the air. And clear above the rest there were two voices that put sunshine in the bright blue skies of every day. True songbirds that filled my heart with a pleasure and joy that only music can. And they seemed to actually be the spirit of the times in a way no others singer did.
There’s a lot to say about Junior Brown, but there’s even more to say about what he’s doin’. Most people have no idea how deeply American music is intertwined with the rich and complex sensibilities of often obscure and exceedingly talented musical giants.
Musicians who crossed what we’d call hard and fast musical borders in order to be the best. Earl Palmer, Buck Owens, Jack Teagarden, Woody Herman, John McLaughlin, Joey DeFrancesco.
Combining acadian creole, country swing, latin rythms, jubilation choirs and lowdown blues. Never far from dance and never far from celebration and always filled with a capacity to change our personal world for the best. My hat goes off to the traditions and roots that have built a vast and wonderful musical culture.
And in hopes of removing some of the constraints that keep us listening almost exclusively to the products of a ‘musical industry’, I’d like to open the doors a crack every Wednesday, to shed some light on the individual musical passions that have underpinned our sensibilities and continue to carry us forward. Like Junior Brown for instance.
* note: If you’re using a portable device to view this I’d suggest a good set of headphones or stereo speakers would be very beneficial. Just sayin’.
It often occurs to me that taking a good photograph is not necessarily hidden in the subject matter as much as it is what the photographer brings to it.
Blending a lifetime of experiences and inspiration together to bear on a single moment of understanding and expression is a wonderful experience and even more satisfying when it can be shared.
I will be away for the next couple of weeks (until November) and have decided to share some of the joy and celebration that has gone into my understanding of the world.
Through the years music has probably played a larger role in my life than any other factor. Looking back I know it informs me as much as anything I see and it’s my intention to share one piece per post until I return.
“The more the things change, the more they stay the same. It may be a different age, but I’m on the same page. But there’s one thing that I’ve found. I still be diggin’ on James Brown.”
I was a little shocked to find that these guys are still playing and are better than ever. I discovered the world of jazz with bands like this and they connected the past with the rest of the world and brought it into the present.
I am only jealous that I don’t live near Ft. Lauderdale where I could watch them play on April 20th at the Parker Playhouse. These giants of jazz have been behind so much music it’s incredible. From the San Francisco summer of love to Santana, they have underscored my life.