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The college is on Spring Break so I took some time off to take Zoe down to Butler University for a visit just to check it out for later reference and possible post-grad work.  Zgirl's a very plan-ahead person and she's already researched one of her chosen academic paths (Arts Administration, whatever that is) and knows it requires graduate work.  Butler was one of the schools she was admitted to so we went and took a look.  More on that later when I can get the pictures together - they turned out pretty bad for the most part because I was shooting from the hip most of the time and not paying any attention to exposures and such. We visit Notre Dame next month.

The weather's been freakishly mild for this time of year, but I'll take every bit of it. Last year at this time we had a warm spell like this and then got a foot of snow which killed off about half of the Daffodils.  Presently the crocus and Daffodils are blooming and the Tulips are budding out which spells bad news for Tulip Time in May.  I think we're going to have a Tulip stem-fest this year.  That's not unusual - happens about every five years.

   Today I'm catching up on bills, doing some yard work, washing and tinkering with he car.  Spent the morning playing with my new turntable, which I'm pretty happy with, but I have a slight learning curve to master with the analog to digital conversion software it contains.  For the money, the table is about the best I've ever had - a Music Hall USB 1 turntable that I've fitted with an Ortofon cartridge and needle.  Very quiet operation, and great sound.  Music Hall is a good solid brand with a wide spectrum of products ranging from normally priced units in the $300 range to the ridiculous $10K and above. Felt like a jazz sort of morning so I listened to some of my favorite discs that I haven't heard for a few years because of a lack of a working turntable...

  Bud Powell's idiosyncratic piano style influenced his friend Thelonious Monk to approach playing in a purely swinging way regardless of structural conventions.  This record contains multiple takes of the same tunes, which allows the listener to recognize the subtle changes Powell put a tune through to get at something he heard in his head but could never achieve in reality.  Monk took the ball and ran with it to great results, hence many people remember Monk, but not Powell.

  I've always loved this record - it oozes the California jazz sensibility labeled Cool Jazz in the early 60's. Garner's style has influenced thousands of lounge piano acts the world over, but only Errol could mix his signature  playful orchestral style with swinging barrel-house and hard bop in a non-ironic, serious way.  "Concert by the Sea" is perfect for a sunny, breezy Spring day.

The greatest all-around Jazz vocalist of all time.  Clear, strong, concise and such a natural conduit for emotion.  Some say Ella's at her best with the so-called novelty tunes, but I'm always attracted to her love songs - she pulls every bit of longing, pain, joy and romance out of any love song and lays it out there for the listener to soak in like a warm bath. And she swings like nobody's business.  Never get tired of Ella.

  One of the first 32 track live recordings.  This record captures one night in the brief life of the Mahavishnu Orchestra at a free concert in New York's Central Park.  The Mahavishnu Orchestra was one of the heavyweights in the Jazz Fusion movement of the early seventies. A cast of absolutely brilliant musicians, including guitarist John McCloughlin and keyboardist Jan Hammer, that got together and managed to successfully blend the indulgence of Art Rock with the indulgence of Bop.  Miles Davis started the Jazz Fusion movement but was more interested in turning Funk Rock on its head, which left room for groups like Mahavishnu to push the boundaries in another zone.  I love this record for its absolutely stunning sections of  loudness mixed with serene quiet. I love its controlled cacophonic moments and McCloughlin's egg beater, flamenco playing style.  Its a great one for playing air guitar or air violin or air drums or air keys. Or all of them at once.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 19th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
I never got into the world of jazz music-so much music to get into! sounds like really cool music to listen to on a warm day while doing nothing-I just bought myself a new stereo system-thought about getting a turn table but I decided not to since I have a ton of CD's to listen and have very few vinyl records-it does look like we are going to see tulips early this year-bad though for Holland tourist business-peace Jonny
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 20th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I remember messing with my parent's Hi-Fi when I was little. It was indeed a piece of furniture. Now my record player is this square black appliance with two buttons and a tone arm that sits on a table. I told my kid I'd give her $5 if she could figure out how to run it without me telling her how. She managed to get a record going, but no sound. And she nearly snapped off the stylus because she didn't use the cue lever. Fail. I told her to remember that the next time I have problems with my iPod or a website. Next lesson: changing a tire.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )