Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Are You Glad to be In America? vol. 1
Okay, maybe an easy target. So sue me. This (sadly broken) CD was at the corner thrift store, Gracie's, for 25 cents. Except it was the monthly half price day, so I guess it was 12.5 cents. Did you know there was a Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders? Did you know there was both "Beginner's Music" and "Advanced Music"? And then the Spirit Mix. I wish the CD itself were playable, as it gets my imagination going. But I guess I'll just have to imagine that perhaps the "Beginner's Music" is in some sort of duple meter, the "Advanced Music" is maybe in five and uses a few microtonal flourishes and the "Spirit Mix" is something like Ayler.
A friend of mine who requests anonymity teaches Comp 101, you know, freshman writing. On the student questionnaire for the happy, relaxed, get-acquainted days of the early semester, one of the questions was: If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be? A few students put Jesus; one student put Ronald Reagan. Many students answered the "ethnic background" question by writing "white." Or "American."
If I could meet anyone from history, it might be the graphic designer of the FCC Cheer Mix CD, so I could ask: why the dancing mouse?
On another front entirely, yet somehow still from within the borders of this Great Nation of Ours, this excerpt from Katherine Stubblefield's moving account of Max Roach's funeral:
"If I recall correctly, at around this time Stanley Crouch spoke... it was amusing to hear a few groans from our position in the balcony...and one person called out that he only has five
minutes... anyway, thank you Stanley Crouch for speaking well of Max Roach."
I wonder if Crouch was before or after Bill Cosby? Or the reading of Bill Clinton's letter? And thank God that Crouch spoke well of Roach, thank God he didn't say something like "You critics would have totally ignored a Wynton album with Roach on it but you practically sainted the man for playing with Braxton."
As to what may or may not have been discussed in the foyer of Riverside Church either pre or post memorial, only the hallowed walls can tell.
Maybe as a karmic offset for buying the FCC Cheer Mix for 12.5 cents and eagerly ripping it open only to find it unplayable, a lot of kind folks have been sending me music lately. The wonderful free improvising saxophonist from down under, Massimo Magee, sent me his recent recording, "To Those for Whom No Time Exists." Kevin Frenette sent me a CD I haven't had time to listen to yet. Ditto Stanley J Zappa. Ditto guitarist Lily Maase. Massimo's title more appropriately for me could have been "For Those Who are Chronically Out of Time." Double or perhaps triple irony intended.
And I've sent the extraordinary duo recording of Paul Rutherford/Paul Lovens from '76/'77 to the fine fantabulists at Destination Out, so maybe we'll see parts of that up there soon.