Friday, December 21, 2012

Beauty and the Beats

No, that's not a typo.

The beats definitely do go on, whether announcing Sonnyless Cher, the Kerouac Krewe, or the fascinatin' rhythms of any play-full, freed-up, Gil Evans-inspired Jazz orchestra. (For that matter, those beats might also suggest the drum-rolls accompanying the "beauty" mentioned above, but more about that in a moment.)

I've been away, Sandra and I hauling our three older grand-children off to Hawaii--
a pre-Christmas gift we hope they will remember fondly. I do believe we all had a mighty fine time. But the trip ate up my blog time as well, so today I am offering a couple of tidbits that will be of interest... I hope. (This is sort of what's known as "vamping" in the world of Gil and Miles, Bud and Bird and Diz.)

Six months back I posted a blog piece (here) concerning Centennial, the wonderful
new CD of never-before-recorded, mostly unknown Evans arrangements--rescued, polished a bit, then recorded, those sessions also produced and conducted by young and ever-genial, orchestral Jazz leader and (now) Evans acolyte, Ryan Truesdell.

Well, the Grammy nominations have just been announced and--as listener, fan and, in this instance, one of many minor investors in the
project--I am pleased to report that Centennial received nominations for best Jazz ensemble album, best orchestral arrangement (Gil's great version of "How about You"), and best arrangement featuring a vocalist (lilting and lovely and originally prepared thus for Astrid Gilberto, who missed her best chance to "Look to the Rainbow").

We saw several of them, wispy and illusive,
carving colors from Maui's sky, arching up over the mountains, yet curving back like a hula dancer's graceful hands, reaching down to the bays... and all the while loosening, drifting slowly apart, releasing mist-light... aloha.

The land welcomed us. The beaches stretch outwards, and hibiscus and frangipani follow. Wahines in diminished bikinis outnumber native
Polynesians. Except for angled haole buildings, the world sings of curvature... and that (cue the drum-roll) brings us to the "beauty" of the title up above.

Browsing blogs before we left, I came across a new one called "Word Jass," paused to read about Ken Nordine, and discovered there too an essay (or something) devoted to young and ubiquitous, and closing fast on super-, swimsuit model Kate Upton,
the newest image of a girl who "just wants to have fu-un." But in this odds-bodkins piece, the merry wench takes on Old Will, and meets her match. Or is it some other Shakespeare?

Kind of amusing, mostly strange, not quite R-rated. If that makes you curious, click on the link... and Mele Kalikimaka to all.
* * * * *
The fifth and sixth photos courtesy of granddaughter Madelyn McEachern.

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