Posts Tagged ‘music’

Clark Terry RIP

Posted: 22 February 2015 in Uncategorized
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Jazz legend Clark Terry, “one of the most popular and influential jazz trumpeters of his generation and an enthusiastic advocate of jazz education,” has died.

His signature song was “Mumbles,” performed above with the Oscar Peterson Trio (Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on double bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums).

One of my many other Terry favorites is “In Orbit,” with Thelonius Monk on piano (one of his rare appearances as a sideman), bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Philly Joe Jones.

 

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about lynchings in the United States, and as part of the research for our Tale of Two Depressions course, I discovered that the inspiration for Lewis Allan’s “Strange Fruit,” later made famous by Billie Holliday, was the 1930 lynching of two black men in Marion, Indiana.

 

 

On the Number 2 train, the Seventh Avenue Express—from Brooklyn through Manhattan to the Bronx. . .

I can’t say I have a good explanation for it. But, more than five years into the recovery from the most recent global financial crash, the specter of Marx continues to haunt contemporary capitalism.

For example, the Reuters’ John Lloyd is convinced “communism is again haunting Europe.” I suppose that was inevitable, given the landslide victory of Syriza in Greece. The irony, of course, is that Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis, and the other members of the new government have promised nothing more than to create some breathing room (by renegotiating the external debt), ameliorate the worst effects of the previous government’s austerity policies (by providing food aid to the poor and rehiring some government workers), and modernize the state (by making it more difficult for the oligarchy to avoid paying its taxes). The fact that such proposed changes are actually haunting contemporary Europe should give us some pause.

Which reminds me of an earlier piece, by , in the Guardian, who argues that, for many in his generation, the “ideological underpinnings of capitalism have been undermined.”

Marxism in America needs to be more than an intellectual tool for mainstream commentators befuddled by our changing world. It needs to be a political tool to change that world. Spoken, not just written, for mass consumption, peddling a vision of leisure, abundance, and democracy even more real than what the capitalism’s prophets offered in 1939.

And then there’s the fact that I’ve been invited this spring to present a university-wide lecture on “Utopia and Critique: A Marxian Perspective.”

Yes, indeed, there seems to be a whole helluva lotta Marx goin’ on out there. . .

Music of the day

Posted: 13 November 2014 in Uncategorized
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As the world awaits the grand jury verdict in the Michael Brown case, Tef Poe (aka Kareem Jackson), a St. Louis rapper turned activist, has released a song that targets Missouri governor Jay Nixon and other figures of authority who have failed the people of Ferguson.

“Jay Nixon is blatantly standing on the wrong side of history with zero regard for the pain we currently feel as a community,” he wrote. “He is not our friend. He is not our comrade. He is not our governor. He does not work for us. He works for those that have used institutionalized racism to kill us.”

Music of the day

Posted: 10 November 2014 in Uncategorized
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Chicagoan Marcus Hill just won the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition.

Protest of the day

Posted: 5 October 2014 in Uncategorized
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Florence Reece is alive and well and living in St. Louis! [ht: db]