Saturday, December 31, 2005 pianist friend Andy was wondering about the bridge to "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve" (PDF file here) at the New Year's Eve Eve party last night. My copy of the tune is off the Chenille Sisters' xmas CD. I tried to dumb down the changes as much as possible. They got one of those PKO-nese arrangements (which is very nice but I just get tired of seeing the same guys on EVERY local record...) with a few extra chords that probably aren't needed when the tune is being deployed in a party context.

The song is by Frank Loesser, who also wrote "Slow Boat to China".

Hope you find it useful, Andy, I'll be taking Debbie, Joe and my bass to a party at Eduardo's.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Check out Alex's take on Sly Stone and "There's a Riot Goin' On" at MOISTWORKS because this is what popular music criticism is all about. One of my favorite LPs and I agree with most everything Alex says except he is deep and I'm not.

Thinking about Sly made me think of "Pain", by the Ohio Players. The bassist is Marshall Jones. I first heard this in about ninth grade in the middle of night in a school gymnasium in Baldwin, Michigan.

I was from the small, rural, very white town of Reed City, Michigan, and had just joined a summer marching band called the SuperCats. The SuperCats were based in Baldwin, the county seat of Lake County, which was roughly half black and half white and even poorer and more rural than Osceola County. The SuperCats were very cool: they were all brass and percussion; they didn't march, they just strode along in time; they wore simple navy slacks, blue shirts and berets; and the percussion section's cadences often became extended jams as they marched. I think I had gotten recruited for the band because I played tuba in the district all star concert band over at Ferris with some kids from Baldwin, but I wasn't cool.

One of the first trips I took with the band we sacked out overnight in the school gym the night before we left for some little town's summer festival. Maybe we were leaving early the next morning. "Pain" by the Ohio Players came over the gymnasium sound system. I wasn't sure about the singing and flute solo but the rhythm section was fabulous and I wanted them to play the same groove all night. I always remembered it and sought out the recording years later, cranking it out over our R&B band's new sound system during sound check in some VFW hall in Dundee.

One of the girls in the SuperCats showed me around her neighborhood in Idlewild, with the lake, the undeveloped streets cut out of the oak and hickory woods, and the deserted nightclubs. It was years later when I learned that this village on a lake near Baldwin was for a generation one of the most important African American summer resorts in the Midwest. The Flamingo and Paradise clubs hosted Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Della Reese, Louis Armstrong, B.B.King, Jackie Wilson, and Aretha Franklin. I believe the Four Tops and Sarah Vaughan spent formative summers of their early careers there. No doubt the parents of some of the kids in the SuperCats had some stories about partying with these international stars on a summer night in the Michigan woods.

There's an annual jazz festival in Idlewild now.

About all I had ever heard about Lake County was a story my dad told me once or twice. He was a state policeman at the Reed City post. He said during deer hunting season the troopers would dress in hunting gear and drive over to roadhouses out past Baldwin in the Pere Marquette State Forest. In the bars the troopers were propositioned by prostitutes from Grand Rapids, up for a couple of weeks to work the deer hunting crowd. They'd walk them outside, put them in a patrol car or a bus or something, and go back in for more. He said one trooper came out with a woman on each arm.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


VAL D'ISERE, France (Reuters) - Lindsey Kildow could have pocketed an extra 1,000 euros ($1,197) from her World Cup downhill victory in Val d'Isere on Saturday but the 21-year-old American decided against it.

Kildow, who won her second downhill of the season in the French resort, was handed 23,000 euros and a cow for her victory.

"Someone wanted to buy (the cow) from me for 1,000 euros," she said. "But I'm keeping her anyway."

Kildow said she had no exact idea of what she do with the gift.

"However, I'm not having a barbecue. I'm not eating my cow," she said. "I thought of sending it to Maria Riesch who knows someone who has a farm but a guy from the FIS said he could take care of the animal."

Elsewhere in the news I picked up a sixpack of Bell's Wheat Eight Ale and I didn't especially like it. It has a strong flavor that I don't especially enjoy. Stick to their Two-Hearted Ale, my favorite beer by far.
I'll add an audio clip to this posting shortly.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Gil Evans and Miles Davis are pictured, credited together as composers of the tune "Eleven".

So you know how this works, this Sunday like most every Sunday I drove out to Dave's place in Loch Alpine for our big band rehearsal, and the last tune we did was called 'Adios, au Revior, Auf Weidersehn'. Dave was saying, "there, that's a better set closer than 'Bubbles in the Wine'" and I said, "How about 'Eleven' for a set closer like Jaco did with his big band?" Dave promptly whipped out the parts to Eleven and then we had to try to play that. It's not easy, so to help out other bassists here is the bass part, here is Jaco's big band performing Eleven, and here is Gil Evans' big band performing Eleven.

The Jaco recording is from a Japanese import LP I got from my little brother and though I ripped it about 2 days ago I can't find it now. It seems to be the same live recording as is found on Warner Bros. WPCP-4932, Jaco Pastorius - Invitation. The Gil Evans recording is from Koch Jazz 8518, Gil Evans - Svengali. I was listening to the Gil Evans stuff back in high school because I was a tuba player and I read in Downbeat magazine that the Gil Evans record had a tuba solo on it by Howard Johnson.

This whole garbled posting started out to be about Jaco, mainly just to point out the great postings that Taxi Driver has put up on Xanax Taxi, a moving and informative posting about Jaco and substance abuse on shrimplate, and especially see JACOP.NET, a family website.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Since the Real book lead sheet to Tadd Dameron's "If You Could See Me Now" doesn't seem to have the melody quite right, here is a Bill Evans Trio performance that seems closer to me. This is from the Riverside OJCCD-434-2 CD, "Bill Evans Trio - Moonbeams" with Paul Motian on drums and Chuck Israels on bass, recorded in New York in May of 1962, but I edited the version here, down to 2:24 from 4:30 or so.

Elsewhere in the news, for all you political junkies, Tom Delay's initial statement about his indictment is already considered a classic of political invective, but it could still use some tuning.
If you want to help I've provided a webpage with a "Madlibs" style fill-in-the-blanks form that you can use to tighten up Mr. Delay's statement to the press. You, too, can be a Press Secretary!!

Today I turned to channel 99, CBC, because it was time for my favorite thing to watch on the tube, World Cub downhill ski racing. They were at Lake Louise up in the Canadian Rockies. There was one shot of the course where you would see the skier go flying over a shoulder of the mountain and in the background a couple miles away was the silhouette of another precipitous ridgeline, cloaked in clouds that changed every time another skier hurtled past. Halfway through, this young lady from Vail named Lindsey Kildow up and wins the thing, but only after plunging through a near whiteout that suddenly wrapped the middle of the course. It was pretty darn exciting, and as you can see here she is quite a scope also. Way to go Lindsey!