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.


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

244: “Zig Zag” by Ornette Coleman

Don't move a muscle... or I'll blow.Whether or not you like “free jazz,” this song, “Zig Zag,” has an interesting hook: the free jazz pioneer, alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman, is accompanied by his then 10-year-old son Denardo on drums.

It’s just a (world-renowned musician) father playing with his young son (oh, and Charlie Haden on bass). Listen to the playfulness of Ornette’s melodies and the young drummer imitating his father’s unstructured musical pursuit. You should also know it wasn’t the publicity stunt of an absentee parent. Denardo has been one of Ornette’s primary drummers since the 70’s.

The Empty Foxhole was released in 1966. On it, Ornette Coleman also plays trumpet and violin in addition to his alto sax. He doesn’t know how to play the violin, but if people will pay to listen to him make noise with it, then I guess he knows how to use it. Here’s a great article from AllAboutJazz about the album.

Open up your ear holes, and enjoy some free jazz family fun.

Song: Zig Zag
Artist: Ornette Coleman
Album: The Empty Foxhole
Label: Blue Note Records
Buy from: Amazon
Watch: YouTube