Sometimes Music Trumps Cars; Autumn version

I’m listening to the fabulous recording of The Sidewinder by Lee Morgan,
on my phone, as I walk down the street.
I’m trying to figure out the tempo. Is it 7/8?
A car goes by, drowning out the high hat.
I look up at the leaves of a Tilia cordata under the streetlamp.
Autumn can be the best time of year,
because it reveals the character of things as they’ve become.
This leaf is yellow, that one still green,
the whole of them fluttering in the light, translucent in their colours.

I’m listening to that drummer. Still trying to figure out where the first beat is.
Cars go past. The drivers are thinking about driving. About going somewhere.
They’re in noisy machines.
They’d rather be going somewhere in their groaning machines
than standing under a tree and trying to catch the rhythms.

Every day, people go places in machines.
Spending their time going places, unable to be in one.
Couldn’t they get out and walk?
Counting the rhythms of their footsteps, against the fluttering of the leaves.

The title number might best be described as a long-meter blues (24 measures to the chorus). The fascinating rhythm section figure established during the opening ensembles is sustained throughout the solos, giving the performance a deep blue tinge as well as a Latin touch. Lee’s solo, fluent and sensitively constructed, never becomes grandstandy and relies at times on essentially simple devices, such as the repeated B flat in the last of his three choruses.

Joe Henderson’s solo is rich in melodic variety (note the contrast between the busy opening and simple continuation in his second chorus). Barry Harris’s piano picks up in intensity as it goes along, aided on his third chorus by the horns’ backing. Bob Cranshaw bears out Lee’s complimentary observations in a fine solo that owes part of its success to the continued pulsing of Billy Higgins’ percussion figures.

Glorious 5th

 

Written Yesterday:

Today is one of the high points of the year. It’s gloriously warm and sometimes sunny out. I was up at 4:30 (GMT) with the sun, and in the garden by 5:00, pulling weeds, trimming ivy, repotting the Gaillardia, clearing a patch of ivy and debris from a corner, adding to the new compost frame I made yesterday, and napping on the inflatable sofa.

The warm, still air is slightly fragrant with jasmine and honeysuckle. The clouds moved in late morning, and there’s a hint of impending storm. Not that I expect one, just that it’s that kind of day. The boughs moving slightly, gently; the streets and gardens quiet. A timelessness. Light, but not the broad light of blazing sun. A gentle light. Everything slow, quiet; evocative rather than overt. Gorgeous.

I’ve also made glorious progress with Morcego. I’d been having problems that were all to do with Firefox. I tried viewing my demo installation with Chrome, and it was already working! Ditto Opera. So I must have a java block on Firefox somewhere. Now that’s solved, I’ve been making happy progress figuring out the XML syntax for a node map. It’s still in demo mode, so I’m not linking to it.

Cloud Wrestling

A layer of cloud, a drop in temperature, a threat of rain. A gray, cold Monday. Now a gray, cold Tuesday. After a gloriously sunny weekend, this weather means staying in rather than going out, turning on the fire instead of being warmed and woken by the sun.

Staying in means pacing about the place, back and forth between two overcrowded rooms, looking for the motivation and focus I need to be getting on with. The day’s tasks involve a lot of deskwork. Messages to write, papers to read. Sitting and concentrating instead of moving about. Should get out and move around for 15, 20, 60 minutes. Much easier when it’s sunny. Instead of wrestling with this fog of uncertainty and indirection.

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