• Tag Archives jazz
  • Habits Changing

    Spring                                                       Mountain Spring Moon

    That new habit? Already changing. Figured out that drinking lots of water during my afternoon workouts made my night’s sleep get interrupted. Often enough to be annoying. So, I moved my workouts to mornings, starting this morning. Several positives came into focus in addition to having the whole day to get rid of excess water: cooler, a good thing for summer days. Leaves afternoons and early evenings free. An endorphin boost in the am is good. No sun coming in through the loft door makes the TV easier to see.

    So, I have to rejigger my schedule again, accounting for the first hour of the day as exercise, then breakfast. Thinking about that now.

    Tonight Kate and I will go into Denver to Dazzle Jazz for an evening of jazz in classical music. A good mix for us since we’re classical music and jazz fans, about 5% of the musical audience according to a DJ from KBEM in Minneapolis

    I just reviewed the first pass at the light and shade study. We may not have many options for vegetables. I’m going to repeat the study in a month with better defined areas and more systematic spots for taking the pictures, make them uniform from hour to hour.

  • Jazz Noir

    Spring                                                                                       Planting Moon

    And some rain.  Ta dah!

    The Hamm Building in downtown St. Paul anchors a vibrant outdoor cafe scene.  A week ago today the snowplows would have been roaming St. Peter, tonight young couples sat at tables, drank beer, ate, talked.  The energy was good.

    The Artist’s Quarter formerly of 26th and Stevens in Minneapolis, formerly of Lowertown St. Paul, is now in the basement of the Hamm Building.  A room light on decor, with lots of black it feels like a jazz joint.

    The play tonight, the radio drama, broadcast live over KBEM to what is now its international audience, was a period piece set in 1929 just before and just after the crash, most of the play taking place in a boarding house run by Avon Davis and her Dad.  On Rondo Avenue, now under Highway 94.

    It didn’t shy away from identifying Avon’s grandparents as former slaves or the pride Avon’s father had in owning and operating his own business.

    Avon was a budding talent on the jazz piano, encouraged by a novelist and week by week resident of the boarding house who had been working on his novel for 17 years and now needed J. Beam to achieve the mood to write.

    It was fun.  The audience had a part.  When the applause sign lit up, we shouted or spoke lines from one of two colored handouts.  “That’s hot.”  “She sure can play that thing.”  “Oh, baby.”

    The place had all chairs and tables filled and it felt like the start of something, something uniquely Minnesota, yet going out to the nation and the world.



  • And Now For Some Rain. Please.

    Spring                                                              Planting Moon

    Thunder, a quick shower.  Rain tonight, I hope.  Back to wanting the weather to turn seasonal, open the spigots, irrigate the crops.  Our irrigation system is not turned on yet and we have no way to get water to the onion sets, leeks, beets, cucumbers and sugar snap peas we’ve placed in the soil.  They need it.

    My mood has begun to rise.  As the back pain recedes (far from gone, but no longer the first thing I think about when I move) and my body returns to a rested state after the stress of the last week, my work begins to come to the fore.  I’ve set aside the Ovid, Missing, exercising, Reimagining for time and space to heal.  It was necessary and good.

    Now though those higher level needs, self-actualization, begin to kick back in, assert their right to time and attention.  And I’m glad they do.  Tomorrow I should be back at it, and, in case you hadn’t already noticed this, being back at it is where I like to be.

    We’re going to the production and broadcast of a radio drama at the Artist’s Quarter tonight:  Jazz Noir.  I mentioned it earlier in the week.  This is the first of 5. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • Jazz Noir

    Spring                                                                        Planting Moon

    “Creativity is the social act of the solitary person.”  William Butler Yeats

    Reading the book about introverts, Quiet, will help you see why.  Even if you’re not an introvert, reading this book is a good introduction to the world of those of us who prefer alone time, find crowds and parties taxing, would like time to mull over decisions.

    Part of what was so stressful for me with the Kona situation and the back pain was that I had to go to the vet with her three days in a row, meaning I increased my regular interaction with outsiders by multiples.  That tires me out.  Even on a good day.

    Right now Kate’s upstairs doing the cross-word and watching the dogs, the back pain is much better this morning, probably the result of the prednisone and I’m down here in the study getting ready to get back to work.


    We have a jazz weekend planned with Craig Taborn at the Walker tonight and Jazz Noir at the Artist’s Quarter on Sunday night.  Taborn is a Golden Valley kid who has made a big name for himself as a jazz pianist and an ensemble player flavored by Miles Davis in his Bitches Brew phase.   Jazz Noir is a radio play being broadcast live at the 8 pm hour over KBEM.

    “For those who long for “the grand old days” of radio, Jazz88 has answered the call. Jazz Noir is a new original radio series complete with live radio actors and jazz ensemble in front of a studio audience, just like in the days of radio’s infancy.

    (Avon–Latisha White)

    Jazz88’s first episode is an original drama, Charles & Avon, that will be performed, recorded and broadcast in front of a live audience from the Artists’ Quarter in downtown Saint Paul on Sunday, April 28, with shows at 5 and 8 p.m. The 8 p.m. performance will be broadcast live on 88.5 FM.”

  • Marriage is jazz.

    Imbolc                                                             New (Bloodroot) Moon

    Jazz at Tryg’s.  Wenso Ashby.   His trio was perfect for a celebration of our anniversary.  Marriage is jazz.  So much improvisation on old standards with the occasional solo performance that comes back, blends in, continues the melody.

    This was a benefit for KBEM, the local jazz station that has hit the big time since its inception as an internet radio station.  Kevin Barnes, a KBEM DJ, made the interesting point that being a jazz station was incidental to the stations primary purpose, training young people in the various skills necessary for careers in radio and media.

    In fact, this event was a fund raiser for the intern program.  Lucky for us that this educational organization happens to sponsor a damned good jazz station.

  • The Full Grandchildren Moon

    Summer                               Full Grandchildren Moon

    The full moon has risen over the seven oaks outside my study window.  It stands high, calling to mind the grandchildren of the world, how they come into our lives as gifts and remain as loved ones.  Ruth and Gabe, my grandkids, are in my life only because Jon and Jen found each other and felt enough love for each other and the future to give kids a chance.  Too often couples worry about the stability of their relationship (I know I did when I was married to Raeone.) or find the future too scary.  I didn’t.  I trust the future.  Even with all the gloom in the world, I believe there is something inherently hopeful and positive about humanity and about our often fractious, conflict laden existence, a richness and a starry-eyed vision, a many armed, many legged super-organism part of our nature that works through us for good.

    A beautiful 70 degree clear night, moon-lit and calm, a time to play a bit of jazz piano, hear the tinkle of wine glasses and head up to the dance floor for once last fling before going home.

  • The Acid and Whitehead Days

    Imbolc     Waxing Moon of Winds

    A week of constant preparation, meetings, thought has come to a close.  Tomorrow Kate and I will celebrate our 19th anniversary.  We’ll have dinner at Osaka, then drive into Orchestra Hall to hear the Wynton Marsalis Jazz Band interpret Theolonius Monk.

    Back in those days, the acid and Whitehead days, a group of us went to Cincinnati for the Cincinnati Jazz Festival.   Herbie Mann.  Thelonius Monk.  John Coltrane.  We stayed on Mt. Adams where the streets have names like Celestial Avenue, Paradise Lane, Seraphim Street.  We smoked a lot of dope and drank in the jazz.  Since then, I have considered those artists the main line to my soul, especially Coltrane.

    Bed Time.  Good night.

  • Chop Wood, Carry Fencing

    After years in urban ministry, economic development, affordable housing and responsbility for urban congregations spread throughout the metro area I thought I knew Minneapolis.

    Not so.  When I drove over to ecological gardens, Paula’s home at 4105 Washburn Avenue I discovered north Minneapolis, the one that includes Shingle Creek, the Humboldt Greenway, Victory Memorial Drive.  This is a quiet leafy chunk of the city that seems somehow separate, another urban entity, neither suburb nor city. 

    Delightful.  I love to drive around in the city, on city streets, to places I’ve never been.  That chance came to me today and I had a great time.

    Back home in time for the nap, but no sleep.  A family I know has a terrible weight on them right now and I couldn’t get it off my mind.  What can I do.  What will they do. 

    So I got up and moved old wire fencing Continue reading  Post ID 30516