July 15, 2013

"I don't feel like going on at length about the tenth anniversary of 'About Last Night' precisely because it is still here, a fixed point on the horizon of cyberspace."

Writes Terry Teachout.
I do, however, want to point you to a few of my favorite postings. Some of them are about art, others about life, most about the intersection between the two. All are personal, most very much so. 
Example from 2003:
As I sat down to lunch today at Good Enough to Eat, my Upper West Side hangout, I heard a familiar sound floating over the purr of conversation. Buzzy, keening, coolly anguished...sure enough, it was Miles Davis playing "All Blues," the best-known cut from the most popular album in the history of jazz, Kind of Blue....

I usually read when I'm dining alone, but today the music caused me to become lost in thought. It's easy to forget that Kind of Blue was one of the most radically innovative jazz recordings of its time. For a generation of open-eared players, it was the passport to a new world of improvisation in which the meticulously interlocked tonal harmonies of the swing era were jettisoned in favor of spacious modal prairies around which the soloist wandered seemingly at will. So how is it that so Indisputably Important a recording has wormed its way into the pop-culture landscape of America? Kind of Blue, after all, is one of the very few jazz albums owned by people who know nothing else about jazz....
Read the whole thing which goes on to talk about art and youth and aging. I especially liked this quote from the Japanese artist Hokusai:
"All that I have produced before the age of 70," he wrote at 75, "is not worth taking into account. At 73, I learned a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects. In consequence, when I am 80, I shall have made still more progress. At 90, I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at 100, I shall certainly have reached a marvelous stage; and when I am 110, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive."