Does Your House Have Lions?

"One day in the late sixties, I was on the phone with Rahsaan and mentioned to him that just that day I bought a house.
He responded by asking, "Does your house have lions?"
I said, "What?"
He said, "Lions, you know like in front of a museum or the post office. You know, concrete lions. My house has lions. Get a house with lions."

--Joel Dorn

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Geoff Dyer at the Texas Book Festival

Yay!  I get to sneak out to the Texas Book Festival this weekend.  It's a great event--hundreds of authors gathered at the state capitol giving readings and signing books.  Geoff Dyer, who wrote the gorgeous, incredible jazz-inspired book, "But Beautiful" is going to be there and I hope to catch him.  Here's a passage from it:

"He arranged everything and then blew, blew, blew--one arm squirreling up and down the keys, the other hanging limp at his side, dangling there like something irrelevant, heaving and puffing like he was trying to keep death itself at bay....A blind man who had risen from the dead.  Watching him, Mingus felt the red ice of his blood tingle in numb hands."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dog Years in the Fourth Ring

I came across this box set earlier today and it brought back a flood of memories.

It's a collection of Rah's music that Joel Dorn issued posthumously on his indie record label, 32 jazz.  It's a 3 cd set and the first two discs are from live performances.  The third disc is Rahsaan's only solo album, "Natural Black Inventions:  Root Strata"--a work that refuses to age and only gets better and better with each new listen.  It deserves its own blog post, and as a matter of fact, I have been threatening to write an essay about it because I love it SO DARN MUCH.

But the beautiful flashback I had when I pulled this album off the shelf today has to do with the first track on the first album.  It's called "Box Tops and Whistling Rings" and it's just a 19-second intro. for the music, but why it matters so much to me is that it's from an interview I did with one of Rah's childhood buddies.

I had recently flown back from Columbus to New Jersey (where I was living at the time), and went to the city one day to meet with Joel.  I played him a section of the interview and he flipped for it and marched me back to his office (we were having lunch) so he could make a copy of it.  It's a story about Rahsaan, as an 8 year old collecting the box tops off of cereal boxes so he could get the prize:  a whistling ring.

His music was truly always with him.

Bright Moments always,

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What song have you been listening to lately?

This week I've been playing "Salvation and Reminiscing" a ton.  I think it's a masterpiece and would love, one day, to hear it performed by a full-piece orchestra.  How rad would that be?

Things have been quiet over here in blogland so I thought I'd check in and give everyone an update.  Since I got back from Rahsaan's birthday celebration in San Jose, I've been writing, writing, and more writing.  Writing as much as possible every week, trying to close in on this latest draft.

How about you guys?  What have you been up to?  And yes, what music of Rah's have you been listening to lately?  X & O and Bright Moments always,