|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, October 04, 2003
CNN.com - Roy of 'Siegfried & Roy' critical after mauling - Oct. 4, 2003
What's the punchline on this one?
- The tiger lunged at Roy's neck, obviously having seen Siegfried do the same countless times.
- The tiger is currently under arrest in Nevada under federal hate crime investigation.
- Roy's treatment was delayed on the scene as Siegfried looked around frantically for silk pashimna scarves that would match Roy's lavender rhinestone studded jumpsuit with which to tie off the wounds.
- Audience members first realized something was amiss when the attacking tiger looked angry, unlike the other tigers onstage who just simply looked embarrassed.
- When asked for comment, the tiger stated he was simply tired of watching Roy take advantage of poor Siegfried for so long, and felt something had to be done.
- Nevada's ASPCA, long opposed to animals in performance, issued this statement late last night: "We wish Roy the best in his recovery, but still remain morally opposed to Siegfried and Roy's efforts to convert the white tigers of the world to the homosexual lifestyle. What goes on behind closed doors was bound to manifest itself onstage, and we feel this mauling was a warning from the white tigers of the world that they will not continue to adhere to the gay agenda."
Someone can do better than this, help me out!
Friday, October 03, 2003
Here's me on National TV...
If you look at the row of pictures from the event, and look at the fourth picture in the series, above the pianist's right shoulder there is a guy yawning. That's me! By far and away the most boring music event I've ever been to. Absolutely terrible.
I have been on National TV one other time. I won a Nickelodeon TV contest when I was 13, and got to be in their commercial to say their tagline "On Nickelodeon!" Otherwise, it was an event to certainly forget.
Mimi Smartypants, at the end of her column, lists her "Super-Minor Brushes With Fame."
Sounds like fun, here we go...
1) I've been within 100 yards of Bill Clinton twice. Once during his campaign in 1992 when he came to Michigan State, and once in NYC when by chance I was in the theatre district, and streets were blocked off. I thought "Huh, betcha the President is in town." Sure enough, ten minutes of waiting on the street corner gave me a glimpse of Bill and Hillary speeding by in their limo.
2) Famous people who have passed directly behind me to get to the bathroom while I sat at the bar at Big Daddy's Parthenon in West Bloomfield, MI include former Red Wing Vladimir Konstantinov, former Governor James Blanchard (a little tiny man), and current (at the time) Red Wings Sergei Fedorov and Igor Larionov.
3) I have one degree of separation from the original cast of MTV's "Real World." I dated a girl in college who later dated Andre from that cast. I would also lay even money odds that this particular girl probably screwed or blew Bob Guiney, now TV's "The Bachelor," while he was in the band "Fat Amy" during my (and her) college days at Michigan State.
4) I played beach volleyball with MSU basketball player Jamie Feick, who later led the NBA in rebounding during his one good year as a pro.
5) I have had lunch at the same table as current Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. Neat guy.
6) People from whom I have gotten autographs - Former Michigan Wolverine/Detroit Piston Terry Mills, Former Piston Bill Laimbeer, Former Piston Vinny Johnson, jazz legend Max Roach (a real highlight for me), Former Lion Eric Hipple, Former Detroit Tiger Howard Bailey (my picture was in the newspaper getting that autograph - he was a hometown guy who had a cup of coffee in the majors), and Former Detroit Lion Mike Lucci, although that one was for my dad (who fought with my mom to name me Luciano instead of Anthony, in honor of this rugged linebacker).
7) I had a ten minute conversation with TV's Gary Graham, who was playing in the same golf outing I was. Talk about a third rate TV actor. Dude was talking to a colleague and me as if we were in some way able to help his career. Alrighty dude.
8) At that same golf outing, I didn't meet, but played in the tournament with Detroit's then-mayor Dennis Archer, former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, former Minnesota Viking Jerry Kramer, and TV's own Leann Hunley, who was just off of her gig playing "Tamara Jacobs," the sleeping-with-Pacey teacher on "Dawson's Creek." She was a really pretty lady, even though she's damn near fifty.
9) I have met and shaken the hands of both Henry Threadgill and Ron Carter after watching them perform with their groups in jazz clubs in NYC. Carter is a big name, Threadgill, not so much. I had also seen Vernon Reid and Rahzel from the Roots perform together, but was way too drunk+stoned+tripping-on-shrooms to really go up and say hello.
10) A friend of mine works for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), which gives me two degrees of separation from me to him to Pelosi's daughter Alexandra, who made the documentary following GW Bush on his campaign. So, I basically have three degrees of separation to the President.
11) I once did an AOL live chat with Sandra Bullock as the guest. Basically, what happens is that there was one "main" room where only Bullock and the moderator were allowed. Then, there were probably forty satellite rooms from which we could fire questions to the moderator. After the boring-ass chat was over, I stayed in my room with about five others, and Sandra Bullock (same screen name as from the main chat) just happened to pop into our room. Of course, those who type the fastest and shout the loudest drive the women from the chat room quickly, so five minutes and she was out, but I can say I've been in Sandra Bullock's chat room.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
I guess I'm just irritated in general today...
While I've been sitting here waiting for two hours for someone to show up who is supposedly dropping by to pick something up around 5PM, I'm getting irked.
So, here's a few things that irk me:
1) Spelling/grammatical errors - especially those that are easily correctable. Like the following:
* There/Their/They're - know the difference people. I think the one that drives me the most nuts is not recognizing that "they're" replaces the two word phrase "they are." In other words, it's a fucking contraction. Recognize, people.
* You're/Your - the corrolary to the above. "You are = You're." See? Was that so hard?
* Loose/Lose - can you really get out of sixth grade without knowing that "to lose" is to fail, and "to loose" is to untighten?
* "Supposebly" - certainly more a spoken thing than a written thing. I think this one is a dead indicator of growing up in a home watching "Mama's Family."
* The use of "K" where a "C" should be - probably the one that bugs me the most when I see it "out and about." If I pass one more roadside Kountry Kitchen, I'm koming with a krowbar to klaw the "K" right the hell off that sign. "ountry Kitchen." Has a nice ring to it.
* Inappropriate use of the letter "Z" - I've already vented about how it drives me nuts (sorry, nutz) how marketing geniuses use the "Z" to pluralize to make something more "hip" or worse, "extreme." Would it hurt our country's youth (sorry again, kountry'z yoot) to see things spelled properly on products you're marketing directly to them?
2) The preponderance of forensic crime shows on network TV - I don't get it. Didn't they cancel "Quincy?"
3) "Sex and the City" - I'm only irked because I blame them for knowing who Manolo Blahnik is, how to spell his (?) name properly, and what he's famous for making. Plus, I totally blame the success of this show for how gay my television has become in the past year. Look, I'm OK with gay people, I'm OK with gay themed programming. We're just seeing an awful lot of shows with gay themes. I read an article I can't find now, probably on Slate that anointed the "Jack" type (see: Will & Grace) of snarky commenting gay male as the new "Arnold Drummond/Webster" type, meaning the wise-cracking black kid misfit in the land of the white people. I'll buy that.
4) That you can buy the first series of "Felicity" on DVD, but can't find the second season of "Larry Sanders" via the same medium. Plus, "Simpsons" sets are far too slow in coming.
I could go on, but I'm even irking me right now...
Dead Man Walking
Had a strange experience today. I got "laid off" last week Thursday, but my boss called me early this week and said, "The owner wants to schedule your farewell luncheon for Thursday. Can you be at Papa Vino's?"
First of all, does it not seem a little blunt and insensitive to call it a "farewell luncheon?" I'm not dying. I'm not leaving the country. Secondly, thanks for asking me. "The owner wants to schedule your farewell luncheon for Thursday." Not, "We'd love to take you out to lunch, is there a day next week that will work?" Just a little blunt, that's all.
So I went today. Everyone showed up. I made sure I got there first and put a glass of chianti on the boss' tab (Yeah!). Plus, even though I wanted something different, I ordered the most expensive thing on the luncheon menu. Which was only $1 more than the other items, but it's just my way of "getting back at the man."
The weird part was that most everyone tiptoed around me like I was really dying. Like they knew something I didn't. And then, of course, the awkward hugs from people I've never so much as shaken the hands of before.
I'm not a toucher. Thank you for keeping your distance.
And they gave me a book ("Don't Sweat the Small Stuff At Work," fucking great choice guys <\sarcasm>) which they had all signed like some bastard child of a high school yearbook. My favorite one was from a coworker of mine who is a very religious person, who also knows I'm an atheist. She closed her note, "May God Bless You, Barbara." (Her name isn't Barbara) She then set a post script just underneath that said "I know you're an atheist, but I really mean that."
Is there anything in the atheist handbook that says I can't graciously accept the blessings of her god? Maybe I haven't read that far into the handbook yet, but I'm guessing it's OK. And for her to think I might be offended or think less of her for putting that down... Well, some people don't know me very well after six months, do they?
So, all in all, just a strange experience.
I need a job.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
How about a recipe?
Here's a quick and easy one that's really really tasty:
ITALIAN PORK CHOPS
Ingredients (I'm not an exacting person, so use however much you want):
- Four or five 1/4" thick boneless pork chops, most fat (not all) trimmed away
- Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- Garlic (six to ten cloves, smash them with the blunt side of a knife and then rough chop, they don't have to be tiny pieces)
- One white onion, chopped into small pieces
- One green pepper, cut into strips
- One red pepper, cut into strips
- One yellow pepper, cut into strips
- One can (I think they're 28oz, but it's the bigger-than-a-soup-can size) of WHOLE Italian/Roma/San Marzano (San Marzano are the best - that's a type, not a brand) tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Crushed red pepper flakes (like you see at Pizza Hut on the table)
- Salt & Pepper
FIRST - set the oven to HIGH BROIL and preheat. In a skillet big enough to handle the load, heat some olive oil (coat the bottom, not a lot) and add the onion. Give the onion about three minutes to cook, then add the garlic. Salt and pepper it, and saute that for a few minutes. Then add the peppers (bell peppers, not the flakes yet). Toss those around until they're hot and crisp. You're not cooking them this way, you're just getting all the flavors hot and together. Be patient.
In a baking dish, cover the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil (again, not a lot). On a plate, drizzle oil lightly on the pork chops, and cover them top and bottom with some bread crumbs. If you want to add parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs, that'll work too. You're just adding a bit of texture to the pork. Put the pork in the pan, under the broiler. Watch the pork, and as soon as you see it's getting a little color (beyond grey, a tiny bit brown), flip them and do the other side the same way. Again, be patient, you're not cooking the pork fully here.
SECOND - heat the oven to 400 degrees. Take the pork that's still in the baking dish and top it with your bell pepper/onion/garlic saute. Take the saute pan (now empty), and put it back on the burner with a bit of olive oil and some garlic getting hot. Open the can of tomatoes and dump them in. You'll break them up in the pan (by hand is easiest, put them in your hand and crush them - or use a fork wuss). Then season with salt, pepper, basil, and lightly with crushed red pepper flakes. Just get it to where it's bubbling, and dump it over the top of the pork.
THIRD - bake it for about 30 minutes - most everything is cooked pretty well already, no biggie. Serve with some pasta on the side.
The Beatles Lyrics - For no one: "Your day breaks, your mind aches
You find that all the words of kindness linger on
When she no longer needs you
She wakes up, she makes up
She takes her time and doesn't feel she has to hurry
She no longer needs you
And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years
You want her, you need her
And yet you don't believe her when she said her love is dead
You think she needs you
And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years
You stay home, she goes out
She says that long ago she knew someone but now he's gone
She doesn't need him
Your day breaks, your mind aches
There will be time when all the things she said will fill your head
You won't forget her
And in her eyes you see nothing
No sign of love behind the tears
Cried for no one
A love that should have lasted years"
Probably my favorite Beatles' song, and somewhere I've definitely been personally. I couldn't have written about my 2001-2002 years any better.
CNN.com - Appeals court backs victim fund in 9/11 lawsuit - Sep. 30, 2003
I'm not really sure how I feel about these 9/11 related lawsuits. It's always tragic to remember that many families lost people important to them, and in many cases they lost primary wage earners.
But our society's "sue first, ask questions later" mentality is really tough to stomach in this case. We're expected to hold the airlines negligent for "allowing" the hijackers to take over planes and crash them into buildings? And really, once we establish this negligence, what happens during the award phase? Is there any amount of money that can compensate for both the future wage streams as well as emotional distress that this tragedy caused?
I frankly don't think suing the airlines in this case is remotely appropriate. And I think if we're going to allow suing of the airlines, then I think the airlines have every right not to allow ANYONE they feel could be a threat onboard. Basically, anyone who could possibly be Islamic or Arabic shouldn't be allowed to fly if the airlines are allowed to be penalized for crazy hijackers. And you and I both know that doesn't make sense.
People are just money grubbing, and that's distressing.
"Sexy Strategies for Making the First Move"
The link from CNN purported to have "dating strategies" to help me be more "mack daddy than major dud."
OK, I'll bite.
What you get are four paragraphs. Hardly the dating blueprint I was hoping to see.
First, "Don't take yourself too seriously" means ditch the same old pickup lines and "go for something original that will make him or her laugh." In that spirit, here are five jumping off points that will hopefully amuse and engage your target, courtesy of me, BG:
1) "I'm not supposed to tell you this, but I'm a secret agent, and I need to check you for contraband. Can you please remove your pants, or at least let me buy you a drink?"
2) "Were your parents thieves? Because it looks like an angel came down from heaven whose skirt would look best balled up at the foot of my bed." (This, of course, consolidates three of the more popular cheesy pickup lines into one, easy-to-use and completely incoherent rambling)
3) "I like tacos. If you like tacos too, then we should seriously consider going somewhere for tacos immediately." (I can actually see this one working)
4) "Hi. I'd really like to buy you a drink, but you'll have to promise me that if my parole officer asks, you never saw me here tonight, OK?"
5) "Can I buy you a drink? It's tradition that the night before I leave for Alaska each year to hunt baby seals, that I share a drink with a beautiful woman for good luck."
Secondly, the article advises you to "create some mystique." Oh, that's easy given your two minute window before she decides whether or not you're worth investing time in. So I should either do card tricks a la David Blaine (that weenie) or try to pull off the Brando/James Dean troubled loner schtick? Frankly, neither suits me well. I think I'm pretty incapable of "creating mystique" in ten minutes at the bar. I'm a bit peculiar, and I know I need to grow on people. The only hope I have is if a conversation perks up on one of the following topics (not a comprehensive list):
- Jazz of the 50s and 60s
- The films of Wes Anderson or Christopher Guest
- Supply side economic theory
- The ideology behind communist/socialist theory
- The misinterpretation of rap music by most of white America
- Thoroughbred racing
Third idea they give in the article is to "get out when you're ahead... leave 'em wanting more... Be a challenge." Um, alright. I just hope that she was as engaged and entertained as I was during the lively dissection of Reagan's economic principles and how they contributed to the boom years during the Clinton administration. Hey, if she wants to talk further about putting the economic power in the hands of capital spending as opposed to transitory consumer purchases, I have won this part of the battle, right?
Fourth, "close the deal." Well, that's the easy part. I'm not getting out of there without digits, even if she has to give me the number for Moviefone in order to get me off her ass.
All in all, an article that's just far too brief to be effective, but I do hope that my help can assist in landing the guy/girl you've always wanted next trip to the bar. Enjoy, and happy hunting.
SIGN MY GUESTMAP!
Actually, I am curious to know who it is from out west on a PacBell account who visits me all the time (you've got a DSL connection, that's all I know). I'm guessing Roadhouse or TCF. Am I right? Sign my freaking guest map!
From ESPN's "Whispers from the NFL:"
"We hear that Texans RB Stacey Mack must show some life soon, or rookie Tony Hollings will replace him as the starter. "
Nice... I grabbed Hollings late in my draft. I would be freaking thrilled to see him as Houston's #1 back going into next year.
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
About The Job...
Yeah, I'm alright (Thanks Anna). Actually, the timing feels about right. I was working a commission only job, was at minimum 60 days from my next paycheck, and they closed my office and asked some of our staff to move to the home office nearly 50 miles away. So even though I wasn't asked to be one who went along, I probably wouldn't have driven 100 miles round trip right now with no paycheck on the horizon for awhile.
So it's a good thing. Or, at least, that's what I'm telling myself.
But really, I'm OK with all of this. Actually, the first emotion I had when I heard the phrase "closing this office" followed by "lay you off" was relief. No, not that I'd be getting laid. That I wouldn't have to stress about this job anymore.
Now, I just have to find a paycheck for awhile. I'm still thinking about what I want five or six years from now, and have a long way to go to get there, that's for sure.
But after a few days not talking about it, I'm definitely cool with things. Thanks for asking.
(Pre-script written after reviewing what I've written here - it's long, ignore me if you want to, I'm just trying to get back into the blogging habit, and I just want to listen to music and type)
I'm half crocked after almost a whole bottle of wine (a pretty nice $9 Rhone, thanks to Roz from the D&W Wine department), and intend on seeing how close to fully crocked I can get tonight before the liver problems flare up on me.
Currently, in the CD player, I'm listening to an old neglected favorite called "He Loved Him Madly" by Miles Davis. It's from his mid 70s electric period, and is a tribute to Duke Ellington. One of my favorite things about this song in particular, which clocks in at over 32 minutes, is how it's almost ambient background music for probably 10 minutes, then you realize you've been dropped into this really funky groove that you'd swear appeared out of nowhere.
Here's what All Music Guide Online (which is an awesome site) says about this piece:
"This was a summation of all that jazz had been to Davis in the '70s and he was leaving it in yet another place altogether; check the opening track, "He Loved Him Madly," with its gorgeous shimmering organ vamp (not even credited to Miles) and its elaborate, decidedly slow, ambient unfolding — yet with pronounced Ellingtonian lyricism — over 33 minutes. Given three guitar players, flute, trumpet, bass, drums, and percussion, its restraint is remarkable."
Oh yeah. That's a great way to put it. It's an exercise in restraint, which if you've heard "Bitches' Brew," "Pangea," "Agharta," or "Jack Johnson," you know restraint isn't exactly Miles' method in this time frame. Which is interesting if you look at Miles' catalog as a whole as well, as he's regarded to be the one of the first guys to back things down off of that BeBop aesthetic (fast and furious), and incorporate space into his music like Ahmad Jamal and composers like Stravinsky (although I've never heard Stravinsky) did, but he did play quite a bit of high energy stuff along the way. Even his ballads were, well, how about infused with energy in a strange way.
This recording though (I'm 10 minutes in, and haven't quite been dropped into the groove yet), really strikes me as a favorite because of the restraint (11 minutes in, there's that groove). You go fifteen or twenty seconds at times with nothing to hear but a slow snare groove and a single organ chord. This song isn't like opening a Christmas present. That's too immediate. Too instantly gratifying. This isn't even as rapid a reward as a striptease lapdance. Once she's naked and grinding, where are you going from there?
Maybe this song to me is like eating a seven course meal. You don't really know what's coming next, but every course is rewarding in its own way. Or maybe its like having seen a Caravaggio painting in textbooks (by the way, 16:05 in before we hear trumpet, jesuschrist Miles is a fucking genius) dozens of times, but now you not only finally get to see it in person, but you've got an art historian next to you willing to texture your experience more richly with the history of how this painting came to be.
I guess it bears mentioning at this point that I'm somewhat of a Miles Davis collector and amateur historian.
(Fucking interruptions. Totally off my writing groove now. I love my friends, and love talking to them, but timing was bad, that's all)
Anyway, I just did the math, and I have nearly 60 Miles albums on disc. The beautiful thing about Miles' canon is that that no two albums (generally) sound alike. From "The Birth of the Cool" in 1949 to "Agharta" in 1975, I've got documents of all the great music he's played in that timeframe. Don't even bring up 1981-1992, as far as I'm concerned that never happened.
With all the diversity in his catalog, it's hard to find favorites, but since I feel like writing (and frankly, stop here if you're getting bored, because I'm just going to ramble on about music for another hour or so here), I'm going to give you my five favorite Miles albums, songs, solos/moments, and sidemen.
FIVE FAVORITE MILES DAVIS ALBUMS
(in no order)
1) "In A Silent Way" - this was my "study" album in college. Electric jazz, and smooth, but not in that pre-fab construct way that most "new jazz" is today. All Music Guide puts it better than I could: "There is no melody, not even a melodic frame. There are only vamps and solos, grooves layered on top of other grooves spiraling toward space but ending in silence. But even these don't begin until almost ten minutes into the piece. It's Miles and McLaughlin, sparely breathing and wending their way through a series of seemingly disconnected phrases until the groove monster kicks in. The solos are extended, digging deep into the heart of the ethereal groove, which was dark, smoky, and ashen." There's also a moment of absolute bliss on the first cut ("Shhh/Peaceful") where for about fifteen seconds the groove that's been threatening to appear comes up, drives the cut in full force, and during that time Tony Williams switches from brushes to sticks. It's absolutely amazing. Also, as mentioned, it has no melody, but it does have a framework where a few times throughout the piece it's as if Miles just presses the "reset" button and brings everything back to its original state. Wow.
2) "Kind of Blue" - really, if you don't own this album, you don't have a real record collection. There's not a critic who has written a top five list in the past forty eight years that hasn't put this album somewhere in there. And frankly, if it's not the number one album on every list, they're just lying to you to seem controversial. "Kind of Blue" was a turning point album, a complete summation of what was to come from here. (aside - "He Loved Him Madly" just ended, and again I'm aghast that I'm not listening to that album daily) While certainly not the first exploration into modal jazz (allowing soloists to explore scales within a mode as opposed to being tied harmonically to one scale in each spot), it is certainly the watershed album of this movement, even if it's one of the first. It's a legendary album featuring legendary players from top to bottom, and has a mystique about it that can't be understated. Miles and Bill Evans crafted out the themes to each song, gave them a framework, and then gave the other musicians this framework minutes before entering the studio. All Music Guide says "this music never flaunts its genius." Too many musicians know they can do great things with their instrument and set out to prove it every time. This album remains one of the most simple but complex, layered but accessible albums ever recorded.
Frankly, I love my classic rock, but this album is better than "Revolver" or "Sgt. Pepper."
3) "Filles de Kilimanjaro" - this was a little bit of a waypoint between what had been and what was going to be with Miles' music. Not quite fully electric, but not quite fully acoustic, this album was groovy but standard, focused yet free, and forward looking but historically respectful. One of my favorite and easily most listened to Miles cuts is on this album, and features a watershed moment for me, again with Tony Williams providing the highlight. Nearly 3/4 of the way into "Frelon Brun," there's a traditional spot for "trading fours," where the bassist and the drummer normally get their chance to shine. After a couple of mild urgings from Herbie Hancock on the organ, Williams brushes him off with one of the most insistent, quick, and dirty little snare riffs I've ever heard. It never fails to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.
4) "Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet" - one of the four albums ("Cookin'," "Relaxin'," and "Steamin'" being the others) Miles recorded over two long sessions to get himslef out of his contract with Prestige, has three of my favorite cuts from those sessions on it. "Four," "Ahmad's Blues," and "It Never Entered My Mind." I'll get to the last one later, but "Ahmad's Blues" is a favorite of mine because it lets that amazing rhythm section stretch out a little bit. Red Garland never did much before or since Miles, but in this era, he is a perfect foil Philly Joe and Paul Chambers are impressive as hell on this cut as well. Great tune. Great album.
5) "My Funny Valentine/Four + More - The Complete Concert 1964" - This is two sets of a benefit show for the NAACP (I think), where Miles told his sidemen just before going onstage that they'd be "donating" their usual paychecks for the evening to the charitable cause. The young guys he was playing with were pissed off, and as a result drove the tempo of every song played to an almost maddening level. Sometimes live music works, sometimes it doesn't, but in this case it's a band that's getting ready to explore new ground just stretching its legs.
FIVE FAVORITE MILES DAVIS SONGS
(in no order - and just the facts ma'am)
1) "Frelon Brun" off of "Filles de Kilimanjaro"
2) "So What" off of "Kind of Blue"
3) "It Never Entered My Mind" off of "Workin'" (I mentioned I'd get to this one later, and I will)
4) "Blue In Green" off of "Kind of Blue"
5) "He Loved Him Madly" off of "Get Up With It"
FIVE FAVORITE SOLOS/MOMENTS
(in no order)
1) "Shhh/Peaceful" where Tony Williams goes to his sticks for about fifteen seconds (see above).
2) "Frelon Brun" where Tony Williams gives a sharp retort to trading fours (see above).
3) "It Never Entered My Mind" - the denoument to this song is an astounding rise up and down the scales by Miles, with probably the most hopeful and pained tone he's ever played with. So goddamn human if you don't well up with tears hearing this you're a fucking robot.
4) Coltrane's solo on "Blue in Green" - it took my jazz history prof (thank god for electives) in college to put this solo in perspective. Coltrane was just beginning to experiment with polytonality, and was just hitting the height of his powers as a soloist. So what does he do in this song? He plays one of the most mature, earthy, and beautiful solos ever captured on record. Slow, easy, and not at all showboating. It completely belied what a 32 year old (in an old man's game, mind you) should be able to play. Astounding.
5) Coltrane's solo on "Someday My Prince Will Come" off the album of that title - yes, it's THAT "Someday My Prince..." And Coltrane revisits Miles' Quintet, this time with the able but not-quite-a-fit Hank Mobley in the tenor seat. And Coltrane blows a surreal solo. It's like those Hong Kong Kung Fu movies where the guy says "Oh, now the student has become the master." Yup. Totally blows Mobley off the mic.
FIVE FAVORITE SIDEMEN
(in no order, no commenting either)
1) Bill Evans
2) John Coltrane
3) Tony Williams
4) John McLaughlin
5) Paul Chambers
Alright, enough about Miles. Seriously, go buy "Kind of Blue." When you're ready for more, let me know.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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