Marvin Gaye, “Without You” [single, 1967]
I’m not going to jot down like a list of unfinished chores all the Marvin Gaye albums I’ve purchased in the last few years, the compilations offering me a rare single or two, the re-releases baiting me with bonus tracks. I don’t know why “The Master” box set hasn’t been recommended to me before. This is primary among the tracks that matter most to me. The sense of urgency that drives the song is something rare and quite beautiful.
February 13, 2014 at 2:25pm
From My Library 001
near Avalon, MS [08.04.06]
February 6, 2014 at 9:51pm
But hey, I’m a realistic person. I know it’s an election year, and when it comes to certain divisive issues like gun rights or a path to citizenship, I can certainly understand engaging in a swift back-and-forth volley of forehand loops, alternating serve every two points. But on issues of immediate and grave national importance, like raising the debt ceiling or reaching a budget deal, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to grab Congressional leaders by the shoulders and shout, “Put down your regulation Yasaka and Killerspin fast-blade paddles and think about working Americans for a change!”
— The Onion, “Congress Is Playing Professional Tournament-Level Ping-Pong With This Nation’s Future”
Hank Mobley - I Should Care (1961)
I’ve had a recent “hankering” for Mobley on this blog, but honestly, there is no more beautiful representation of what jazz is than what these four musicians lay down here: A gorgeous, sumptuous aural feast.
As Michael Cuscuna writes in the liner notes for the LP, “The fact that this material on hand was allowed to sit on a shelf for 24 years seems incomprehensible to me.” After giving it a listen, it may seem that way to you too.
Salvador da Bahia, Brazil [1.13.10]
Pablo Picasso. Portrait de Man Ray. 1934
Hank Mobley - Carolyn (1963)
An early taste of Lee Morgan’s formidable ballad-writing skills from Mobley’s outstanding LP (and one of Blue Note’s best covers).
Contemporary jazz critics predictably damned Mobley’s playing on this LP with the kind of faint praise that he would receive throughout a career spent playing in the shadows of more “innovative” tenor men (see Coltrane, Shorter, Henderson, et al). For my money, Hank was the man.
Hank was the man. Although his sound was neither forceful nor sublime, it was hesitant in the right way, and always effortless. In the years ahead, Mobley’s reputation is destined to improve.
Somehow we managed to get through all but the final love scene. Director Leo McCarey said, “Now in this one, Deborah, I want you to show all the tenderness you feel for this man. Okay,” he said to the crew, “roll ‘em”. I held my breath, but I could feel Cary put his arms around me tighter and then, in pure mischief, he started to slide his hand toward my ribs. Very slowly. I knew the tickle was coming. But when! It was a torture! But I held on so hard, that the tears came to my eyes. Finally, the director said, “Cut!” then he turned to me and said, “Deborah, that was wonderful.”
But I was so exasperated with my leading man that I didn’t realize I had just been paid a compliment. Instead, in a high shrill voice I said: “For heavens sakes, Cary, will you tickle me and get it over with?”
- Deborah Kerr (via deborahkerr.es)
(Source: thedeborahkerr, via salamcinema)
January 21, 2014 at 8:45pm
Casey Bill Weldon, “Talkin’ to Myself” 
Crossing the Yangtze at sunset last week.
Trilce, by Cesar Vallejo 
There is a spot that I am sure of,
incredibly, in this world,
where we will never arrive.
Where, even if our foot
stepped on it for an instant
it will be, truly, as if we were not there.
It is that place that one sees
at every moment in this life,
while walking, walking in single file.
This side of myself, and of
my pair of yolks, I have glimpsed it
always distant from our destinations.
It does not matter if you went on foot
or out of sheer sentiment on horseback,
since not even the stamps could reach it.
The tea color horizon
is dying to colonize it
for its great Any part.
But the spot that I am sure of,
incredibly, in this world,
strives to equal its opposites.
“Close the door which
is ajar in the entrails
of that mirror.” “This one?” “No; its sister.”
It cannot be closed. One can
never arrive at that place
where the door-latches act unbound.
Such is the spot that I am sure of.
[trans. Clayton Eshleman]
Clarksdale, MS [08.03.06]