Category Archives: Music

For Memorial Day

Into sunlight they marched,
Into dog day, into no saints day,
And were cut down.
They marched without knowing
How the air would be sucked from their lungs,
How their lungs would collapse,
How the world would twist itself, would
Bend into the cruel angle.

Into the black understanding they marched
Until the angels came
Calling their names,
Until they rose, one by one from the blood.
The light blasted down on them.
The bullets sliced through the razor grass
So there was not even time to speak.
The words would not let themselves be spoken.
Some of them died.
Some of them were not allowed to.

—Bruce Weigl

Wouldn’t it be something to live in a world with no memorial days….

In Memory, Emmett Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955):

The Man With The Movie Camera (1929)

Frequently included in top ten lists of greatest films of all-time. Directed by Soviet director Dziga Vertov, the film is famous for its range of cinematic techniques — double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, stop motion animations — many of which appear here first. In 2014 Sight and Sound named it the top documentary film ever made. Watch it here:

Philadelphia Jazz City – The Great Tradition

Hank_MobleyBillie Holiday was born there. John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie called it home during their lifetimes. In addition to being the “cradle of liberty” and the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Philadelphia’s contribution to America’s cultural and artistic landscape runs nearly as deep, especially when it comes to jazz.

Philadelphia’s jazz scene developed in the early 20th century, with two clubs, the Standard Theatre and the Dunbar Theatre, hosting most major acts travelling along the Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York corridor. Later, clubs opened along Columbia Avenue in North Philadelphia and the Clef Club, the Showboat, and Pep’s called South Philly home. From those early beginnings Philadelphia’s association with jazz grew steadily, mirroring the meteoric rise of the art form’s popularity, on through the peak years of the 40s, 50, and 60s. In addition to the giants of jazz listed above an amazing list of jazz greats established themselves there, or called the city home (not in any special order):

Ethel WatersStan GetzClifford BrownPhilly Joe Jones, Reggie Workman, Red Rodney (with the great Frank Young on drums), Jimmy Smith, Hank Mobley, Wilbur Ware, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Odean Pope, Kenny BarronHenry Grimes, Jimmy Garrison, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Fortune, Archie Shepp, Rashied Ali, Sun RaStanley ClarkeJamaaladeen Tacuma, Christian McBride… Just to name a few.

Amazing!

Photo: Hank Mobley. Photograph by Ted Williams, circa 1956