This guy, whom I worked with in the 1970s, co-producing this track and a few others for Alligator Records (Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 1), just turned ninety. One of my sons, now older than I was then, heard him the other night at a Chicago club, where, he said, his guitar playing was “robust.” How wonderful to be ninety years old and robust. How wonderful, too, to be able to share music with a son.
“Breaking up Somebody’s Home” (T. Matthews, A. Jackson), 1978
Here he is forty years later.
“People Get Ready” (C. Mayfield), “That’s All Right,” Chicago, 2018
Anderson .Paak (feat. Kendrick Lamar), “Tints,” 10/28/18 (Oxnard, 11/15/18)
“The Only Way Is Up” (G. Jackson, J. Henderson)
Otis Clay (1942-2016), 1980
A few years after Otis Clay recorded this song for his small Chicago label, another version was released in England, where it topped the charts for several weeks.
Yazz (1960-), 1988
It is Spring in the mountains.
I come alone seeking you.
The sound of chopping wood echoes
Between the silent peaks.
The streams are still icy.
There is snow on the trail.
At sunset I reach your grove
In the stony mountain pass.
You want nothing, although at night
You can see the aura of gold
And silver ore all around you.
You have learned to be gentle
As the mountain deer you have tamed.
The way back forgotten, hidden
Away, I become like you,
An empty boat, floating, adrift.
—Tu Fu (aka Du Fu, 712-729), “Written on the Wall of Chang’s Hermitage” (translated from Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth)
Sam Fletcher, “I’d Think It Over,” 1964
July 26, 2018, Monhegan Island, Maine
Sea foam. The tide seems to burst, like a muffled, distant explosion of which we should be seeing only the smoke.
—The Journal of Jules Renard (translated from French by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget), August, 1887