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January 20th, 2019

sledding

Catamount Community Radio - January 20, 2019

I bookended the show with Raymond Scott, for no reason at all, other than that CD was sitting on my desk. He was a character, a pioneer of electronic music. Although my favorite stuff from his catalogue are the quintet recordings, which is what I played today.

Jim Dandy says it's like 10 below up in Northern Michigan, and his pipes are freezing ... Here it's sunny and nice, if windy and cold ... So you might as well stay inside and curl up with your radio and maybe a bottle of muscatel.

You know about cutting contests. One day, probably in the 1930s, the Harlem stride pianists were trying to outdo each other. First up, Willie the Lion Smith, with his cigar between his teeth. He was pretty hot. Next up, Jelly Roll Morton, who matched the Lion's intensity. Finally, it's James P. Johnson's turn. He had a stutter, so he tells Morton, "M ..m...move aside, Jelly, and I'll I'lll entertain... you." And he proceeded to mop up the floor with poor Jelly Roll.

Tomorrow is MLK Day, so I played a recording of King doing his "All, Here, Now" speech.

So I get this cryptic post on my FacePage. Karlyn writes "Erik Satie." I took that to be a request. So I played a number that I was familiar with for two reasons: first, it is on the soundtrack of a film by Derek Jarman. Over the top of the Satie, he says.

"...Jean Cocteau takes off his glasses, he looks about him with an indescribable meanness. He has black slip-on shoes, blue socks, grey trousers... The posters that plaster the walls above him have endless question marks, 'HIV/AIDS? AIDS? HIV? ARE YOU INFECTED BY HIV AIDS,' .... This is a hard wait. The shattering bright light of the eye specialist's camera leaves that empty sky blue after-image... The process is torture, but the result, stable eyesight, worth the price and the twelve pills I have to take a day ....as I left... I smiled at Jean Cocteau. He gave me a sweet smile back."

Second, about a year back, I was playing with Tyler and Michael, and as they played the very Satie piece, I got on the mic and started saying, "HIV? AIDS? HIV? AIDS?" Michael and Tyler were horrified, yet also amused. Not the kind of thing you do in a restaurant gig.

George Clinton writes about growing up in New Jersey back in the day. Wayne Shorter lived in the neighborhood:

"... The acts that really mattered were vocal acts: the Platters, Sam Cooke, those kinds of people. No one played in a band, really - jazz was too old, a kind of fogey music that we heard and appreciated but didn't exactly understand. I only really knew two people from the neighborhood who were trained musicians: Wayne Shorter and Larry Young, Jr. They were jazz players, though Larry also had a singing group called the Four Most. Wayne, a saxophonist who went on to play with everyone from Miles Davis to Art Blakey before founding Weather Report, was a couple years older than us. His playing sounded so strange, even when everybody started talking about how famous he was getting, as if it was beamed in from another dimension. We would hear him practice and we didn't process it at all. The way that horn sounded, we all thought it was busted."

So, I'm casually wasting my life reading the comment thread on a political blog, and people were citing Firesign Theatre. I didn't realize that people were familiar with that. Ensemble comedy to be listened to on headphones rather than in a stand-up situation. I'm going to do a multi-leveled radio show one day ... inspired by Firesign Theatre ... and then sit back at home with my coffee and listen to myself.



1. Raymond Scott – Powerhouse
2. Nicholas Payton – People Make the World go Round
3. The BPA (w/ Olie Hite) – So It Goes
4. Stanley Turrentine – What Would I Do without You
5. Joni Mitchell – You Turn Me on I’m a Radio
6. Sonny Rollins – St. Thomas
7. Gordon Lightfoot – Changes
8. Kahi El’Zabar – Ornette
9. James P. Johnson – If I Could be with You (One Hour Tonight)
10. Jimmy Smith – Stay Loose
11. Martin Luther King, Jr. – All, Here, and Now
12. Lee Morgan – Psychadelic
13. Ben Allison – Goin’ Back
14. Willie Nelson – It’s Not Supposed to be that Way
15. Jimmie Lunceford – The Melody Man
16. Erik Satie – Gnossiennes: No. 1
17. Clifford Frahm – Stompin’ at the Savoy
18. Wayne Shorter – Penelope
19. Orgone – Who Knows Who
20. Joel Frahm – Song for Abdullah
21. Nick Lowe -Heartbreaker
22. Firesign Theatre – Ralph Spoilsport
23. Elvis Presley – Such a Night
24. Freddie King – I’m Tore Down
25. Bill Charlap – It’s Love
26. Raymond Scott – The Penguin
sledding

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