Friday, April 3, 2015

Memories of You

Memories of You
Music by: Eubie Blake
Lyrics by Andy Razaf

This song was not in my dusty sheet music box but I can only assume that the person who collected the music simply wanted to be buried with this particular song. Errol Garner, Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake are three big names but I hadn't really heard of Eubie for some reason. The Ink Spots recorded When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano, and they also recorded Memories of You and then I remembered it was in the Gene Krupa Story film, and I have a few covers of it but didn't know the writer of the music itself was a vaudeville pianist, son of former slaves, who had an 80 year career playing piano and even a Broadway musical based on his life and music...and pounded the ivory keys with authority. So you see how the dusty music project has yielded fruit.

I think Eubie's in the musical family tree of Ray Bryant because his solo blues/ragtime recitals are exceptional. I found myself inspired by Eubie watching him play his own song in a video. There is a level of risk with improvisational piano and it takes a long time to develop the skills to do something that looks unrehearsed, but really it's a trick of instinct and it was rehearsed but not in that context. I like how jazz players will surprise themselves because they have dueling personalities, the one sitting and the one controlling their hands. And suddenly a note will pop out that is from another world, maybe a third dimension that can only be accessed once all self-awareness is surrendered. This is the mental bravery I'm trying to reach, mentally liberated so the muse plays and I'm merely a lightning rod of musical truth. But the fingers have to have some grasp of reality. I think I got a little carried away with this performance but the version I did when I was practicing for the video was sublime.

I really had to hunt for this song and fortunately I had brought so many songbooks with me that it was buried in the Jazz fake book. I must've looked at it a hundred times and didn't think to play it. But watching Eubie was an inspiration and now it's part of my repertoire.

Punch Pin Van

Step 1: Trace photo off computer screen

Step 2: transfer to fabric: Words should be done in reverse, except when you want a flat stitch. Then you should spend three hours tracing the same words on the front.

  Step 3: Recreating the original

Step 4: A work in progress. Destined for my updated dashboard.
Step 5: The warning says "Consumption of this product will cause serious damage to your health" It's pure poison. The difference between Venado and paint thinner is that paint thinner is only available from paint stores...and it's slightly more expensive.
The final embroidery part, before I have it installed on the dashboard.
Then I put the Zia Indian sun symbol directly onto my denim shirt because people don't have enough reasons to laugh at me.

Keep Buying Tech Gadgets

At least read this article before you buy a tech watch. Then you'll be fully informed on why you'll get brain cancer and everyone around you will die early death with selfie bouquets on their grave.

"From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge."

Reasons To Be Happy

A few discoveries have kept a smile on my face lately. Cole Porter and Clifford Brown and The Ink Spots. Cole Porter is songwriter with a ridiculous number of huge hits. His style and lyrics and cohesion would make Elton John and Bernie Taupin jealous. I especially like Let's Do It, which I heard in the movie Midnight in Paris because Owen Wilson's character goes back in time each night to 1928 when Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Stein and Picasso and Porter were all in Paris. Anything Goes is pretty good too. I knew he was a big name but his output was incredible because it seems he was writing a complete stage musical every few weeks and all these big hits are songs from those stage musicals.

I've been listening to Clifford Brown, jazz trumpeter from mid '50s. one of the fathers of cool jazz. If I'm going to listen to trumpet Jazz then it's going to be Clifford Brown.

And The Ink Spots are a quartet who performed When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano in 1940. I don't think it gets any better than this. Cole Porter is equally as good but they are both at the top of the scale.

Lastly, I'm into Eubie Blake. He wrote the music for Memories of You. His parents were former slaves and he plays piano like he invented it.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.