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346: “Loran’s Dance” by Idris Muhammad

To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.
-Walter Benjamin

Song: Loran’s Dance
Artist: Idris Muhammad
Album: Power of Soul
Label: Kudu

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340: “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by Cannonball Adderley

Not alone, just tiny.Uncle Funk, a self-made man, first faced adversity when he shot out his daddy’s tubes and had to struggle his wiggly little ass onto that elusive egg.

And if just one little wiggle hadn’t happened exactly like it did, I’d be a whole different man with entirely different words to say to himself.

Those wiggles I wiggled were the first of an infinite number of transactions that brought us to this point in the kaleidoscopic infinity of alternatives.

I’m here. You’re also here.

Hi.

You and I… well, we’re still wiggling by instinct toward some unknown end, but we wigglers are growing more scarce.

People ain’t wiggling much anymore… Like they’re not trying to get anywhere.

Adversity these days is to keep wiggling when we’re all alone, where the distance between worlds is still measured in tiny efforts.

Go on and get you somewhere. You ain’t alone.

(You’re just tiny, and going against the flow in a self-made craft, through a sea of decisions that aren’t your own, and sometimes need to be reminded you can make it.)

Song: Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Artist: Cannonball Adderley
Album: Jazz Profiles: Cannonball Adderley
Label: Blue Note

333: “1612” by Vulfpeck featuring Antwaun Stanley

Play it so good you want to get down and crawl.I had this 333 post all ready before today, with a story about the future, wherein President Matthew McConaughey, who is also a mad scientist, invents a thing the world has always needed, called the Empathy Cannon. It is a gun about the size of a doberman, and with it, one can bestow instant and absolute empathy for one’s condition upon the victim of the aptly named (I named it) Empathy Cannon.

But this morning I was overtaken by the Vulfpeck. Jack Stratton on everything, Theo Katzman on guitar and drums, Joe Dart on the bass, and Woody Goss on keys. This one features the astounding voice and emotive gesturing of Antwaun Stanley, riffing with righteous soul on the PIN code to his heart and Ford Motor products. I love this song so much I think I will just invent the Empathy Cannon myself, so I can show people what it does to me.

And as the Empathy Cannon fires its last, and falls from his dying grasp, President McConaughey mutters, “1612.” And EVERYONE GETS IT.

Enjoy.

Song: 1612
Artist: Vulfpeck, Featuring Antwaun Stanley
Album: Fugue State
Label: Vulf Records
Buy from: Vulfpeck.com
Watch: YouTube

328: “The Rich (And The Poor)” by Keith Jarrett

Can you smell it?

from arttattler.com

What can YOU do with your body? Yeah, maybe you can jump. Maybe you can dance. Maybe you can do everything it takes to live a transcendental life in a material world.

But can you sneeze just by thinking about it? Probably not. You most likely have to tickle your nose or pluck a nose hair to elicit a sneeze from your body machine.

In a sneeze event, your body takes control and makes some serious, multiple-horsepower adjustments to your run-of-the-mill exhalation. It’s your body’s involuntary, evolutionary, survival reflexes that make your superhuman sneeze an everyday event… caused by a simple, tickling trigger. Which begs the questions:

What else could you achieve with this body you wear,
if you knew how to tickle out other “sneeze events” from it?

Could you lift a car?

Could you leap higher than holy globbit?

Could you make the world around you a better place with your attitude, your effort, and your smile?

Could you do what you couldn’t do before, because you didn’t have the strength?

I think you could. And I think we can.

We need to tickle our metaphorical nose hairs, and pluck a few if we’re desperate! Because there is secret power inside us all, inside our body machines and inside our mind machines. Our role model is as familiar as the noses on our faces and faster than a speeding locomotive, excluding the mag-lev ones.

What kind of sneezes are inside you, just waiting for the right tickle?

~~

Bullet: Here’s a classic Keith Jarrett track that I groove to while I center my Chi and eat Krystal burgers with mayonnaise fries. It’s called “The Rich (And The Poor)” and rigorous, independent lab tests concur this song encourages healthy digestion with clean, liberating movements.

Bullet: Here’s a list of the elements resulting in the eruptive exhalation called “Treasure Island (1974): Keith Jarrett played piano. Dewey Redman played tenor saxophone. Charlie Haden played bass. Paul Motian played drums & percussion. The surging plume is superhuman. Listen closely to hear Keith letting go of some woo’s during his piano solo between the 2 and 3 minute marks.

Bullet: Enjoy.

Song: The Rich (And The Poor)
Artist: Keith Jarrett
Album: Treasure Island
Label: GRP
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio | Spotify | YouTube

325: “Ahmad’s Blues” by Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad Jamal contemplates you reading this.Ahmad Jamal is standing in a white shirt and loose brown pants, looking into the distance. He is thinking about what might happen to him when he dies. You see, he’s decided he’s not swallowing just any old jazz someone throws him about what’s going to happen to sweet, sweet Ahmad when he kicks the bucket.

In truest fact, Ahmad is now cresting a jagged hillock, his linen clothing stirring in the tropical breeze, considering whether or not the afterlife might be a lot crazier, even, than the wildest tales of heaven or hell.

Ahmad sits down at a piano resting atop a geometrically unfathomable mountain peak on a violently verdant isle.

Maybe everyone gets their own version of an afterlife, based on their expectations and/or demeanor at point of exit.

Ahmad stretches his hands like they’re cats who just woke up.

Maybe the afterlife is a dream you never wake up from, but instead of a human brain sleeping, it’s the interrelations of the atoms and photons circulating around the earth (and beyond) that were at some point part of you, culminating in a hazy, planet-sized dreamstate.

Ahmad is exploring the keys, coloring his afterlife musings with a delicate, undulating subtext.

Maybe the afterlife is a poetry slam where you have to recite your life’s memories in clever verse. You go on to some other afterlife once you start rhyming about the afterlife poetry slam.

Ahmad Jamal is now shirtless, and his hands never left the piano.

Maybe the afterlife is not worth the consideration, if you’re not properly using the time you’ve got.

Ahmad plays “Ahmad’s Blues” with Israel Crosby on bass and Vernel Fournier on drums, on Ahmad’s Blues, released in September, 1958.

Ahmad is still going strong at 83, with upcoming performances. Here, there, and beyond.

Enjoy.

Song: Ahmad’s Blues
Artist: Ahmad Jamal
Album: Ahmad’s Blues
Label: Verve
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube

324: “Lacrima” by John Medeski

The guy between two limbsHere are some concepts for your cognitive toolkit when you’re awake at 2 or 3am and your mind is racing with shadowy, sinister reflections of your actual life…

Blow Out Your Worry Fuse
Perhaps if you worry enough, you’ll blow out your worry apparatus and your mind will shut down for slumber… Did you feel something on your leg? Does your family have a good escape plan in case of a quickly-spreading fire? Maybe your past transgressions will catch up with you soon. It could very well be everyone at work hates your stupid face and talks about you while you’re not around. Your mom might not even really like you at all. Your mattress contains 42 pounds of dust mites roiling underneath you. And so on.

Do Some Mental Stretching
By ruminating on concepts such as:
-One hand clapping.
-If you time travel and you kill your younger self, what kind of special effects would best render the catastrophic undoing of time and space?
-Trek or Wars?
-What do fish think about?
-Why is there anything instead of nothing?
-Humans have flown into space; humans have created computerized access points to a universe of knowledge that will fit in our pockets; the Spice Girls were also hugely popular.
-And so on.

Grim and Bear It
Simply consider the fact that every living thing will someday die. You may cry when you consider the misery of one person (that person might even be yourself), yet there are millions more suffering as badly and worse. If you were truly able to fathom the current pain and misery worldwide in our species alone, you would surely go insane. You can only slog through as best you can, with protective blinders on, taking only brief glimpses at the grim chasm of reality looming beneath you, lest you lose your resolve. You’re just awake, in the middle of the night, and chewing straw with your goat brain. Tomorrow you will roll the stone up the hill again, and every day after it until you die. Like every single one before and after you. And so on.

Scale Up And Look Down
The earth is a tiny speck of rock (and stuff) swinging a needle’s arc through space, 92,960,000 miles from a medium-sized sun that is one of hundreds of millions of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Then there are hundreds of millions of galaxies outside this one. The distances in and between them are so stupefyingly large, that by existing at all, you are standing on the edge of an ocean of vastness that defies the imagination of your practically quantum-level self-awareness. And right now you’re laying in bed worrying about issues another order of magnitude smaller than your own lilliputian self. On what scale are you measuring your nighttime thoughts?

Think About Your Mother/Grandmothers
Feeding you. Telling you to be careful. Giving you bubble gum. Applying band-aids. Calling out your name. Crying tears for your pain. Hugging you. And so on.

Listen to John Medeski’s A Different Time
“Lacrima” tastes best in the quietest hours of the night. John Medeski‘s first solo piano album, A Different Time, is very intimate. No ornate trappings. Just John Medeski and the orchestra he pulls out of a piano. It’s a great listen with headphones, lying in bed, and savoring the various tones of your existential transit.

Enjoy.

Song: Lacrima
Artist: John Medeski
Album: A Different Time
Label: OKEH
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio

Watch: Album Release Party, Interview

320: “Advice To Medics” by Sun Ra

Look, it's a cosmic butthole!The many faces of Sun Ra include the one giving “Advice to Medics” on Super-Sonic Jazz (1956).

A revealing quote from Wikipedia on Sun Ra:

As a self-invented person, he routinely gave evasive, contradictory or seemingly nonsensical answers to personal questions, and denied his birth name.

The picture Sun Ra painted of his own existence was not only steeped in mystery, but any type of understanding of who he was depended on the acceptance of vast fields of unknowns and shifting realities. Thus, he was either a crazy man or a genius depending on whom you ask.

He also had a testicular hernia that messed with his head via his testicles, which is an effective method for messing with a dude’s head.

And like all of us, but perhaps to a greater degree, Sun Ra was always changing. He was making things up as he went along, but with less subterfuge about it than the rest of us employ.

Enjoy one of Sun Ra’s more eccentric compositions with me, and contemplate the certainties in your life that might be undone if your balls hurt all the time.

Song: Advice To Medics
Artist: Sun Ra
Album: Super-Sonic Jazz
Label: Solar Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio | Spotify | YouTube