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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Music in the Cafe's at Night, Revolution in the Air
Jack Kerouac: Jazz Fan
From one of my favorite novels, On the Road:
Once there was Louis Armstrong blowing his beautiful top in the muds of New Orleans; before him the mad musicians who had paraded on official days & broke up their Sousa marches into ragtime. Then there was swing, and Roy Eldridge, vigorous and virile, blasting the horn for everything it had in waves of power & logic & subtlety--leaning to it with glittering eyes and a lovely smile & sending it out broadcast to rock the jazz world. Then had come Charlie Parker, a kid in his mother's woodshed in Kansas City, blowing his taped-up alto among the logs, practicing on rainy days, coming out to watch the old swinging Basie & Benny Moten band that had Hot Lips Page & the rest--Charlie Parker leaving home & coming to Harlem, and meeting mad Thelonious Monk & madder Gillespie--Charlie Parker in his early days when he was flipped and walked around in a circle while playing. Somewhat younger than Lester Young, also from KC, that gloomy, saintly goof in whom the history of jazz was wrapped; for when he held his horn high and horizontal from his mouth he blew the greatest; and as his hair grew longer and he got lazier and stretched-out, his horn came down halfway; till it finally fell all the way and today as he wears his thick-soled shoes so that he can't feel the sidewalks of life his horn is held weakly against his chest, and he blows cool and easy getout phrases. Here were the children of the American bop night.
It's no surprise that Kerouac was a jazz fan, his prose breaks all the rules that jazz does. It goes in all different directions without warning, sometime without any kind of real theme or melody. It takes a strange kind of character to like either one, & if you like one, there's a good chance you'll like the other.
Five Favorite Songs of the Day
Hey Joe-Jimi Hendrix
Voodoo Child-Jimi Hendrix
In My Solitude-Thelonious Monk
Girl in the War-Josh Ritter, the Animal Years
I've Got to Know-Son Volt (song by Woody Guthrie)
Happy Wednesday, friends...
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