Eyes That Can See in the Dark

a music journal

May 20, 2007 (link)

5:46 PM

Earlier today, reading a book of essays on 20th-century music, I misread the word "neoromantic" as "necromantic" -- or possibly "necro-romantic" -- and thought to myself, Hmmm, that's appropriate.

Current music: Syd Barrett - "Wined and Dined"

(Comments for May 20, 2007)

May 13, 2007 (link)

4:30 PM

"Yes, but conversely, when you have something to say that no one seems to have pointed out before, you should say it."


For those of you who aren't familiar with Jamey Aebersold, he's basically the king of commercial jazz instruction, and has been for at least 25 years or so. His company's big gimmick is the "Play-A-Long" sets they sell, which consist of a book with about 10-12 tunes -- typically jazz standards -- and a record, or CD, that contains backing tracks for those tunes. The idea is to practice both playing the melody to the song, and improvising over its chord changes. One of the trademarks of the series is Aebersold's count-off -- "One...two...one, two, three, four" -- if you polled jazz musicians between the ages of 25 and 45, probably half of them would recognize that voice (which is something like a cross between HAL and Mister Rogers, though there's probably a better analogy).

Aebersold also dabbled in selling recordings by lesser-known jazz artists, guys like Hal Galper and Rufus Reid: polished, serious players who might not always be pushing the envelope, but who had things to say regardless. If you were on the Aebersold mailing list, every so often -- about once a year, maybe? -- you'd get a paper catalog with, in addition to the Play-A-Long stuff, a dozen or more pages with rows upon rows of jazz LPs and CDs for sale. Each line would have the name of the artist and of the album, typically followed by a list of the personnel.

(It may be that Aebersold carried records by well-known artists, too; it may be that you only got the catalog if you placed an order. It's been a while, I don't remember.)

Anyway, sometime in the early 1990s, my buddy Morgan got one of those Jamey Aebersold catalogs in the mail. And tucked away in that list of jazz LPs -- single-spaced, 9-point font -- was something like the following:

CORNBREAD, COLBY - "It's Cornbread Time" - Colby Cornbread, Al Coholic, Homer Sexual

I think Morgan may have tried to order it; I think they may have ignored him. (I hope he wasn't the only one.) Probably someone in the Aebersold office was having a little fun; it certainly made us laugh.

And -- since there wasn't anything about this on the Internet, as far as I can tell -- now there is.

(As I typed this entry, I began to wonder if I was hallucinating, as it seemed that every time I hit a right-parenthesis, the screen would flash for a moment, as if whiting out. I suspect, though, that this is just a "text balancing" feature in BBEdit, warning me against typing a right-parenthesis that isn't "balanced" by a preceding lefty. Trippy, man.)

(Or I should say: t)r)i)p)p)y), man...)

Current music: Tunde Jegede - "Still Moment"

(Comments for May 13, 2007)


Current reading:

Le Peau du Chagrin, Balzac (in theory, anyway; more accurate would be a list of recent rereading, like The TV Kid and Under Plum Lake)



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