Only one way to celebrate a Jazz Great and that's with Jazz
Went to a Thelonious Monk Birthday celebration at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Will post pictures later. Jazz is one of the real success stories about the fusion and diffusion of culture. One of the few things truly American in origin due to the force able mixture of different musical traditions and techniques. Rock, blues, country all have lineages that can be drawn to particular musical lines but Jazz is the mixture and creation of something totally new, it can draw from musical traditions both African and European but it became something else. And it was after the blues one of my first true musical loves. I grew up with rock and roll like any kid in the late 60's early 70's but music as something special was brought home to me by my brother who introduced me to the blues and jazz and to a blues club on melrose in Los Angeles. A small club owned by a guy named Ed Pearl and it hosted blues shows and two friends ran the blues record store inside. I began to learn the music and the traditions and some real history from all that. And then in a great period of my life I was a bus driver in Los Angeles for the Southern California Rapid Transit bus operator 4741 and I had money and an apartment and a car. I had enough extra money to buy records, jazz records, and I had two friends who also collected records and we competed and we shared and we stayed up all night listening to jazz and going to places in LA to see Jazz by some great but obscure people. It was a glorious time, and I learned lots about the music by reading liner notes, remember those, they were my text books. I bought jazz books, went to jazz movies and soaked up the music the culture and the cool. I am not sure if I was too cool but the atmosphere sure was.
So here I find myself back in the groove, I bought the cd of Monk and Coltrane just rediscovered tracks from a live concert and I am going to see live Jazz and remembering days gone by when I was young and connected. Tonights show included such luminaries and Monks' son T.S. Monk, Ronnie Mathews, Ben Riley and lots of great players. Oh and Bill Cosby hosted the whole affair which was fun, he looks old but man does he have some fine looking threads. The man is one sharp dresser.
ta ta for now