The Davis Sisters (feat. Jackie Verdell), “We Need Power”
TV Show (TV Gospel Time), 1964
Nothing lasts, and yet nothing passes, either. And nothing passes just because nothing lasts.
—Philip Roth, The Human Stain
going back home
Davis Sisters, “I Believe I’ll Go Back Home”
TV Gospel Time (introduced by Brother Joe May), early 1960s
Here’s a secular take.
John Lee Hooker, “I Believe I’ll Go Back Home” (That’s My Story: John Lee Hooker Sings The Blues, 1960)
Home is never what you think it is.
Meaning lies in meaning’s absence. The mist
Is always just about to lift.
—J. Allyn Rosser, “Sugar Dada” (excerpt)
With voices like these who needs microphones?
Davis Sisters, “On the Right Road,” live (TV Broadcast), c. 1964
my back pages
Thirty-five years ago tonight—how could I possibly begin a sentence “thirty-five years ago tonight” and be referring to something that happened when I was, at least nominally, an adult? Well, this actually happened that night so I guess it must be possible. On that cold, clear January night, at a small church thirty miles north of Chicago, Suzanne and I were married. Yes, there was music. Tenor saxophonist Von Freeman and pianist John Young (now gone) played before and after the ceremony. The processional was Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood,” played by Von alone. What did all this sound like? Thanks to my friend (and ace recording engineer) James C. Moore, these sounds can be heard, thirty-five years later, here (M4A—give it a few seconds).
Ever feel like, each day, you understand less and less?
Davis Sisters (with Jackie Verdell), “We’ll Understand It Better By and By,” live (TV broadcast), early 1960sVodpod videos no longer available.
So long as that woman from the Rijksmuseum
in painted quiet and concentration
keeps pouring milk day after day
from the pitcher to the bowl
the World hasn’t earned
the world’s end.
—Wislawa Szymborska, “Vermeer” (trans. Clare Cavanagh & Stanislaw Baranczak, Here )
Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid (c. 1658)
I am a big admirer of her [Szymborska’s] work. I have read everything she has written, and I keep coming back to it. She is a very witty poet and she has greatly helped me to enjoy life. She exactly fits my definition of an artist. Who shouldn’t only have profound insight and a sharp mind but also remember that his obligation is to entertain the reader. And this is exactly what she does.
—Woody Allen, in the documentary Sometimes Life Is Bearable (2010)
listening room: (some of) what’s playing
• Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What (Hear Music)
• Shane MacGowan and the Popes, The Snake (ZTT [import])
• Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica (Reprise/Ada)
• The Best of Charlie Patton (Yazoo)
• Charley Patton, The Voice of the Delta (Indigo)
• The Detroiters/The Golden Echoes, Old Time Religion (Specialty)
• The Spiritualaires of Hurtsboro, Alabama, Singing Songs of Praise (CaseQuarter)
• Archie Shepp/Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio, Conversations (Delmark)
• Benny Goodman, The Complete Trios (Capitol)
• Charlie Parker, The Complete Royal Roost Live Recordings on Savoy, Vol. 3 (Savoy/Columbia [import])
• Charles Gayle, Repent (Knitting Factory)
• Steve Lacy-Roswell Rudd Quartet, School Days (hat Art)
• Wadada Leo Smith & Jack DeJohnette, America (Tzadik)
• Kenny Werner, No Beginning, No End (Half Note)
• Bach, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello/Jean-Guihen Queyras (Harmonia Mundi [import])
• Alfred Schnittke, String Quartet No. 3, Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet/
Borodin String Quartet with Ludmilla Berlinsky (Virgin Classics)
• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
—Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
—Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap, jazz)
—Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)
—Raag Aur Taal (Various, Indian music)
—Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture, “new bass and beats”)
—Sinner’s Crossroads (Kevin Nutt, gospel)