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  • Tour Redux, Atlanta Jam and BBQ shoulder sandwiches w Book-Nova

    Posted on February 24th, 2011 in Blog | 2

    Gigs in Atlanta are always festive. All kinds of family and friends sitting on the right side of the stage. Walter’s momma and sister, Chris’ wife and daughter, Marcus Printup’s mother, so many people. Soulful people, Mrs. Pearl Fountain. Some of Sherman’s people. Frank’s grandson, the irrepressible William Edward Lee (age 7 with blue jacket and khaki pants) running all around, dancing to the music with controlled abandon. The last night of a tour is always bittersweet, but this gig was fun. The blues was on the menu and people were hungry. The tour was, as always,…   Keep reading »

  • In the Daytime

    Posted on February 22nd, 2011 in Blog | 0

    Driving through Alabama on Hwy 72 at 7:30 in the morning. Some 11 hrs. Earlier 15 men played an evening of jazz in Conway at the University of Central Arkansas. The cats have been very consistent and serious about 110 percenting it on this whole tour. Last night was no exception. Many highlights. From Elliot’s thematically concise and acrobatic offering on ‘Straight Up and Down’ (plus he’s suffering from a serious stomach virus and shouldn’t even be on a bandstand) to Vincent’s singing on Joe Turner’s Blues (pure soul, imagination and Ooo-Ble-Yew). The rhythm section was loping all night long…   Keep reading »

  • Texas Sun

    Posted on February 20th, 2011 in Blog | 0

    5 o’clock Sunday afternoon driving through the Texas panhandle 20 miles from Amarillo. Big Sky Country for sure. Wide open spaces with crucifixed power lines stringing one ranch to the other. Aluminum grain elevators glisten in the setting sun and rise out of the brush dotted plains with the purposeful permanence of the functional. From way off you can smell cattle sloshing in their holding pens on the last leg of a bad journey. Water towers announce the presence of a main street, a high school, something to eat. Here we go. A strip mall. Civilization. Damn Wynton   Keep reading »

  • Me and Boss Bragg

    Posted on February 17th, 2011 in Blog | 2

    On the road at 5:30 am leaving Los Angeles headed east to Mesa, Arizona. The sky over the road ahead (as far as the eye can see) is pink-blue-yellow haze with shavings of smoke gray clouds and orange searing the expanse with no identifiable logic or pattern whatsoever. I’m telling you that every dreamy, unmanaged, wisping, floaty shape against the horizon inspires optimism and is celebratory of freedom. And here comes cars, cars, cars with so many rapidly passing headlights and there go smaller, red-eyed tail lights guiding us through the immediate landscape in syncopated polyphony with the criss-crossing brights…   Keep reading »

  • Egyptian Blues

    Posted on February 11th, 2011 in Blog | 0

    Congratulations to the Egyptian people whose quest to remove the yoke of dictatorship was successfully realized today. Much respect to those who stayed the course when the road was blocked with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to the young people who forced action to change the trajectory of their future, to the military leadership (undoubtedly not young) who showed unusual forbearance and wisdom, and to the international media who kept relentless pressure on the Mubarak regime. This glorious hour speaks to the timelessness of the human desire and quest for freedom, equality and for dignity. This moment, in a far away land…   Keep reading »

  • Going out to vote

    Posted on November 2nd, 2010 in Blog | 2

    It’s 7:30am. I’m ironing a suit and going out to vote-looking at a worn stone my great uncle who was born in 1883 and died in 1982 carved, ‘Don’t be Discourage’. He was a stone worker for the cemeteries in New Orleans. I look at that when facing a seemingly futile proposition or a corruption so great, you feel paralyzed. Alphonse was his name. We called him Pomp. He was known for not taking shit in the days when that WAS your identity if you were black and out of your lane. He believed in voting and following the…   Keep reading »

  • Seven rungs of resistance

    Posted on April 11th, 2009 in Blog | 16

    Wynton posted this as an answer to his last question during the Facebook Q&A. There are 7 basic rungs of resistance up the ladder of artistic success. I will start from the lowest rung to the highest. 1. Ignorance – Not your fault. Generally the result of a polluted environment. No one knows, so you don’t know. Example: You think funk is jazz. 2. Miseducation – Your teachers are well meaning, but just don’t know. It’s no one’s fault. Example: someone tells you, you have to study classical music to become a jazz musician. Bad advice. 3. Personal difficulties – You…   Keep reading »