Thursday, April 13, 2017

From the Midrash Jazz Quartet

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:48 AM

Epiphany 2006 —

Friday, January 27, 2017

Jazz Notes …

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:22 PM

In memory of a photographer

Three obituaries for Chuck Stewart, Jazz photographer

Click on the above image to search for Jazz in this journal.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Midrash Jazz for Kristen

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:51 AM

(Title suggested by the Midrash Jazz Quartet
in E. L. Doctorow's novel City of God )

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Jazz Saint

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:01 AM

From an obituary of a jazz pianist and host of
a radio interview program on jazz —

McPartland said the conversations themselves
were very much like jazz, spontaneous and

"It's so easy to make it a conversation, and
you don't know where it's going to lead,"
McPartland said.

See, too, last night's Conversations with an Empty Chair .

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bosch House

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:00 PM

Continued from Music Box – The Theory (April 21)
in memory of jazz enthusiast Ann Sneed,
who reportedly died in Las Vegas at 87 on that date.

Hollywood homicide detective Harry Bosch at home.

See also Mother of Beauty (April 7, 2004).

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

By Diction Possessed

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Continued from Saturday, May 7, 2016 .

From an obituary in yesterday evening's online New York Times —

"I was writing plays, one-acters, about musicians
who were speakers of the idiom I loved most:
black American male speech, full of curse words,"
he wrote in an autobiographical essay. . . .

The obituary is for a poet who reportedly died on Saturday, May 7.

This  journal on that day ("By Diction Possessed") recalled the death
(on Valentine's Day 2015) of an English actor who was the voice of
the Ring in two of the "Lord of the Rings" films —

Backstory from Wikipedia — See Black Speech —

"The only example of 'pure' Black Speech is
the inscription upon the One Ring . . .

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Wolf Gang

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM

A tune for Tarantino —

"Spring can really hang you up the most."
— 1955 song lyric by Fran Landesman

Fran Landesman and Larry Hagman atop a piano, with
Tommy Wolf at the piano and Richard Hayes at right. (1959)

Related Tarantino films:  Death Proof and The Hateful Eight.

Log24 on the date of Landesman's death

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Let the Dead Bury the Dead

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:44 PM

For a religion writer who reportedly died Sept. 22,
a tune from a sax player who reportedly died today.

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Woman for Late Night

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 AM

See the recent posts below as well as the following
passage from this morning's online New York Times

"Mr. Belden generally worked fast, but he
lingered for years over the music for his
2003 Blue Note album, “
Black Dahlia,” one
of his best-known works. Inspired by the
murder of Elizabeth Short in Los Angeles in 1947…."

— Ben Ratliff

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blue Note

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:16 PM

This evening's online New York Times —

"Bruce Lundvall, a record executive whose 25-year run
at the helm of Blue Note, preceded by top positions at
CBS and Elektra, made him one of the most influential
figures behind the scenes in recent jazz history, died
on Tuesday in Ridgewood, N.J. He was 79."

See also Moulin Bleu  (Dec. 16, 2003).

Friday, May 15, 2015

Plan 9 Revisited

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:03 AM

Music to wake the dead

For the fictional corpse Sean Casey of "Whiplash" —

The music of the late jazz drummer Jerome Cooper.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Faustian Merry-Go-Round

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM

Continued from April 25, 2015 .

See also Soul, a post of May 6, 2015.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Elegy with Stars

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 10:00 PM

This evening's New York Times —

"William Thomas McKinley, a prolific American composer
whose music was infused with the jazz he had performed
since childhood, died on Feb. 3 at his home in Reading,
Mass. He was 76.

He died in his sleep, his son Elliott said."

"William Thomas McKinley: Elegy for Strings (2006)

[Elliott McKinley]  

137 views as of 9:45 PM ET Feb. 28, 2015

Published on Feb 11, 2015

Composed as an elegy and tribute for friends and family
that have passed, spurred by the passing of McKinley's
long time friend, drummer Roger Ryan. The performance
heard here is by the Seattle Symphony under the direction
of Gerard Schwarz. 

Photos by Elliott McKinley (Rho Ophiuchi nebula complex…
and the Pleiades…) shot at Cherry Springs State Park."

Related material from the date of McKinley's death —
Expanding the Spielraum.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Consolations of Form

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

"In the garden of Adding
 Live Even and Odd…."

– The Midrash Jazz Quartet
    in the novel City of God
    by E. L. Doctorow (2000)

From a search in this journal
for "Against Dryness":

See also the previous three posts.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lucy Meets Kant

Filed under: General — m759 @ 8:01 PM

“Towards the sticky end of a summer of films based on toys, comic-books
and other films, here, at last, is a film based on the Kantian model of
transcendental idealism.

In his 1781 page-turner, the Critique of Pure Reason , the German
philosopher Immanuel Kant warned that the human brain, in its
pinky-grey feebleness, has to rattle the world into an order
it doesn’t possess purely to make sense of it. Otherwise, as Kant snappily
puts it, ‘all constitution, all relations of objects in space and time, indeed
space and time themselves, would disappear.'”

— Robbie Collin, review of the 2014 film Lucy

IMAGE- Log24 post on Scarlett Johansson, space, time, and jazz

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

At the end of today’s previous post, Sequel,
there is a tribute to jazz great Charlie Haden,
who died yesterday.

A darker requiem, for another musical figure
who also died yesterday:

Related material:  Prequels to this post—
Willkommen  (June 27) and yesterday’s Back to 1955.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Look for…

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

the Silver lining.

For the Monuments Men

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:15 PM

The title refers to…

  1. A Log24 post of 7:59 AM ET today
  2. A New York Times  story of 11:59 AM ET today:

Online Etymology Dictionary  on the title of the first Holden Caulfield
story, “I’m Crazy,” in Collier’s , December 22, 1945 —

Meaning “full of cracks or flaws” is from 1580s;
that of “of unsound mind, or behaving as so” is from 1610s.
Jazz slang sense “cool, exciting” attested by 1927….
Phrase crazy like a fox  recorded from 1935.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blue Guitar

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 AM

The online New York TImes  this morning —

Paco de Lucia, Renowned Flamenco Guitarist, Dies at 66

By REUTERS FEB. 26, 2014, 8:30 A.M. E.S.T.

MADRID — Paco de Lucia, the influential Spanish guitarist who vastly expanded the international audience for flamenco and merged it with other musical styles, died suddenly on Wednesday** of a heart attack in Mexico.

The 66-year-old virtuoso, as happy playing seemingly impossible syncopated flamenco rhythms as he was improvising jazz or classical guitar, helped to legitimize flamenco in Spain itself at a time when it was shunned by the mainstream.

Related material linked to here at midnight Monday-Tuesday —

Djelem Djelem.

Unrelated material, suggested merely by the upload dates of 
two guitar videos* — See Oct. 25, 2008, and Oct. 26, 2011

* El Toro – Malagueña (guitarist: Canabarro) and Light and Shade 
  (guitarist: de Lucia).

** Update of 12:26 PM ET — Other reports now say de Lucia died
not today, Wednesday, Feb. 26, but rather on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blue Note

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:25 PM

For the late Jim Hall

Backstory:   Icon, 1:44 PM ET today.

Update of 11 PM ET Dec. 10, 2013 — 

For all  the notes, see Da Capo  (11 AM today)
and the Cullinane frequency matrix (12×12).

IMAGE- Matrix used to illustrate the well-tempered scale. The integer frequency-ratio values are only approximate in such a scale.

Matrix used to illustrate the well-tempered
scale. The integer frequency-ratio values
are only approximate in such a scale.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beans Talk

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:01 PM

Peter Keepnews on the late jazz musician Chico Hamilton:

"He was a charter member of the baritone saxophonist
Gerry Mulligan’s quartet, which helped lay the groundwork
for the cool movement. His own quintet, which he formed
shortly after leaving the Mulligan group, came to be
regarded as the quintessence of cool." 

Example: a recording uploaded on October 27, 2013,
and this journal on that date.

Related material: Working Backward.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

In the Details

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 AM

By chance, the latest* remarks in philosopher Colin McGinn's
weblog were posted (yesterday) at 10:04 AM.

Checking, in my usual mad way, for synchronicity, I find
the following from this  weblog on the date  10/04 (2012)—

Note too the time of this morning's previous post here
(on McGinn)— 9:09 AM.  Another synchronistic check
yields Log24 posts from 9/09 (2012):

Related to this last post:

Detail from a stock image suggested by the web page of
a sociologist (Harvard '64) at the University of Washington in Seattle—

Note, on the map of  Wyoming, Devil's Gate.

There are, of course, many such gates.

* Correction (of about 11:20 AM Aug. 3):
  Later  remarks by McGinn were  posted at 10:06 AM today.  
  They included the phrase "The devil is in the details."
  Yet another check for synchronicity leads to
  10/06 (2012) in this  journal with its post related to McGinn's
  weblog remarks yesterday on philosophy and art.
  That 10/06 Log24  post is somewhat in the spirit of other
  remarks by McGinn discussed in a 2009 Harvard Crimson  review.

Friday, May 31, 2013


Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 AM

A meditation on this morning's New York Times  obituaries:

IMAGE- NYT obits for Andrew Greeley and Mulgrew Miller, and an ad for Greater Fort Lauderdale

Happy birthday to jazz pianist Clint Eastwood.

Related material: Skylark in this journal and Return to Paradise.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bling Ring

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 AM

Click images for details.

Seth and Stefon, eat your hearts out.

Related material: Diamond Girl and the following ad
for Eliza Doolittle Day:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Moran and Molloy

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM


IMAGE- Story on jazz pianist Jason Moran in The New Yorker of March 11, 2013


"I lived in the garden. I have spoken of a voice
telling me things. I was getting to know it better
now, to understand what it wanted. It did not
use the words that Moran had been taught
when he was little and that he in his turn had
taught to his little one. So that at first I did not
know what it wanted. But in the end I understood
this language. I understood it, I understood it,
all wrong perhaps. That is not what matters.
It told me to write the report. Does this mean
I am freer now than I was? I do not know.
I shall learn. Then I went back into the house
and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on
the windows. It was not midnight. It was not

Molloy , by Samuel Beckett

The above excerpts are in memory of some wordplay
in this journal on March 2, of a sneering joke in the 
Daily Princetonian  on March 11, and of a possible saint
who reportedly died around midnight on the night of
March 13-14. 

See also the morning of March 13.

Note, at the end of the Princetonian  piece, a comment
worthy of Beckett—

"These words. They've been played on."

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 11:18 AM

 Or:  A Funny Thing Happened
     on the Way to the Embedding

This journal on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012:


Marilyn Monroe and her music coach in 1954,
from last night's online New York Times :

" 'We were very close to making love; I don’t remember
the stage we were at, but I would say half-dressed,'
Mr. Schaefer recalled. He added: 'And all of a sudden
for some reason, Marilyn got these vibrations, and
we went over to the window….' "  more »

"Mr. Schaefer died on Saturday at 87 at his home in
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ….

He [had] coached Monroe through 'Diamonds Are
a Girl’s Best Friend,' her signature number in the
1953 movie 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' (he arranged
the music as well)…."

Perhaps on Saturday she returned the favor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Notable Transitions

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:37 AM

This morning's New York Times  gives a folklorist's
view of The Great Gatsby

"Daisy Buchanan, he argued in a 1960 article,
is a Jazz Age incarnation of the beautiful,
seductive Fairy Queen of Celtic lore."

— Margalit Fox, obituary of Tristram P. Coffin,
     who died at 89 on January 31st, 2012

See also…

Two screenshots in memory of fashion and fine-art photographer
Lillian Bassman, who died yesterday at 94—

IMAGE- Model Coco Rocha with poster of the film 'Hanna'

Update of 10:10 AM EST Wed., Feb. 15, 2012… 

In memory of Dory Previn, a song for "Hanna" and "Lord of the Rings" star Cate Blanchett.

Previn died yesterday, on Valentine's Day.  Perhaps an inspiration for a lyric by  Leonard Cohen?

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Lovely Bones*

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 8:48 AM

An adaptation for the late Barbara Lea

Man's spirit will be flesh-bound, when found at best,
But úncúmberèd: meadow-dówn is nót distréssed
For a ráinbow fóoting it nor shé for her bónes rísen.

— After Gerard Manley Hopkins, Society of Jesus

* "And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it."

    — Alice Sebold

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For St. Cecilia’s Day

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:01 PM

Grace and Abstraction

NYT > Obituaries Paul Motian, Drummer, Composer and Bandleader, Dies at 80

Tue Nov 22, 2011 20:54 from NYT > Obituaries by By BEN RATLIFF

Mr. Motian, a drummer, bandleader, and composer of grace and abstraction,
was one of the most influential jazz musicians of the last 50 years.


Saturday, April 16, 2011


Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:29 PM

For Pope Benedict XVI and the late Al Sears

Today is the Pope's birthday. Another date of interest—

Al Sears, composer of "Castle Rock," is said to have died at 80 on March 23, 1990. If Sears were a saint, March 23 would be his saint's day— his dies natalis  (day of birth into heaven).

For Al—

This morning's post linked to a picture of Alicia Keys's hands at a piano keyboard. Some background from March 23 this  year— "Well, she was just 17" and The Heroic Finger.

For the Pope—

IMAGE- book cover- 'Secret of the Golden FLower'

Click, as the instructions say,
to look inside.

Castle Rock

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:33 AM

Jeremy Bernstein on jazz composer Al Sears

"One of his more successful songs was a jive tune called Castle Rock. I asked him what the title meant."

See also Claves Regni Caelorum  here on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels last year.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yonda* Lies** the Castle***

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 AM

"…to seek one's true nature is, as one Zen master has said,
    'a way to lead you to your long lost home.'"

— Peter Matthiessen, Nine-Headed Dragon River

   See also Matthiessen in Dead Viking.


"It's a Barnum and Bailey world…"

* See Jazz Standards.

** "Just as phony as it can be"

*** A search for Jung and "the square inch space"
    leads to March 15, 2009, and preceding posts.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Today’s Theology

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM




Jazz street photo from Manhattan Transfer webpage

This Way to the Egress.

Vonnegut's Obit

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Soul Riff

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 AM

A link in the previous post to the Harvard Foundation led to a screenshot
of a long-neglected Harvard web page. That page stated yesterday that
"the Harvard Foundation 2008 Artist of the Year has not yet been announced."

It turns out to be jazz artist Herbie Hancock, who was honored at
Harvard's Sanders Theatre on Saturday, March 1, 2008.

Related material from this journal—

Call and Response

Doonesbury 2/29/08-- Assignment: Identify Sources

For a response from the next day,
March 1, click on the professor

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday July 29, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM
Lydian Mode

In memory of composer
George Russell, who
died at 86 on Monday —

Russell’s thoughts on the Lydian mode
strongly influenced Miles Davis,
notably in Davis’s “Kind of Blue.”

Cover, 'The Making of 'Kind of Blue''

“The power of the Lydian mode,
  Russell realized, is
  freedom from time’s restraints.
  The major scale is in a state of becoming.
  The Lydian scale already is.”

The Gravity Man, by Alice Dragoon,
    quoted at LydianChromaticConcept.com 

Related material:

“Field Dance,” from the date of Russell’s death.

“The Tables of Time,” from Nov. 13, 2003,
  and the four entries that preceded it.

Today’s previous entry
The Reversible Diamond Puzzle
(from St. Nicholas, November 1874)–

The first crossword puzzle-- the 'Reversible Diamond Puzzle,' 1874

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday April 25, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:22 PM
State of Play

Russell Crowe in 'State of Play'

The Russell Crowe
Hotel Puzzle

by John Tierney

"Russell Crowe arrives at the Hotel Infinity looking tired and ornery. He demands a room. The clerk informs him that there are no vacancies…."

Footprints from California today
(all by a person or persons using Firefox browsers):

7:10 AM
Concepts of Space: Euclid vs. Galois

8:51 AM
Art Wars continued: Behind the Picture

1:33 PM
A Riff for Dave: Me and My Shadow

2:11 PM
A Death of Kings: In Memory of Bobby Fischer

2:48 PM
Art Wars in review– Through the Looking Glass: A Sort of Eternity

3:28 PM and
Annals of Philosophy: The Dormouse of Perception

4:28 PM
Epiphany for Roy, Part I

6:03 PM
At the Still Point: All That Jazz

6:22 PM
Where Entertainment is Not God: The Just Word

7:14 PM
Happy New Yorker Day– Class Galore

7:16 PM
The Politics of Change: Jumpers

"Relax," said the night man.
"We are programmed to receive."
— Hotel California

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday February 5, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Through the
Looking Glass:

A Sort of Eternity

From the new president's inaugural address:

"… in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

The words of Scripture:

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.


First Corinthians 13

"through a glass"

[di’ esoptrou].
By means of
a mirror [esoptron]

Childish things:

Froebel's third gift, the eightfold cube
© 2005 The Institute for Figuring
Photo by Norman Brosterman
fom the Inventing Kindergarten
exhibit at The Institute for Figuring
(co-founded by Margaret Wertheim)



Three planes through
the center of a cube
that split it into
eight subcubes:
Cube subdivided into 8 subcubes by planes through the center
Through a glass, darkly:

A group of 8 transformations is
generated by affine reflections
in the above three planes.
Shown below is a pattern on
the faces of the 2x2x2 cube
 that is symmetric under one of
these 8 transformations–
a 180-degree rotation:

Design Cube 2x2x2 for demonstrating Galois geometry

(Click on image
for further details.)

But then face to face:

A larger group of 1344,
rather than 8, transformations
of the 2x2x2 cube
is generated by a different
sort of affine reflections– not
in the infinite Euclidean 3-space
over the field of real numbers,
but rather in the finite Galois
3-space over the 2-element field.

Galois age fifteen, drawn by a classmate.

Galois age fifteen,
drawn by a classmate.

These transformations
in the Galois space with
finitely many points
produce a set of 168 patterns
like the one above.
For each such pattern,
at least one nontrivial
transformation in the group of 8
described above is a symmetry
in the Euclidean space with
infinitely many points.

For some generalizations,
see Galois Geometry.

Related material:

The central aim of Western religion–


"Each of us has something to offer the Creator...
the bridging of
 masculine and feminine,
 life and death.
It's redemption.... nothing else matters."
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist (1998)

The central aim of Western philosophy–

 Dualities of Pythagoras
 as reconstructed by Aristotle:
  Limited Unlimited
  Odd Even
  Male Female
  Light Dark
  Straight Curved
  ... and so on ....

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."

— Jamie James in The Music of the Spheres (1993)

"In the garden of Adding
live Even and Odd…
And the song of love's recision
is the music of the spheres."

— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in City of God, by E. L. Doctorow (2000)

A quotation today at art critic Carol Kino's website, slightly expanded:

"Art inherited from the old religion
the power of consecrating things
and endowing them with
a sort of eternity;
museums are our temples,
and the objects displayed in them
are beyond history."

— Octavio Paz,"Seeing and Using: Art and Craftsmanship," in Convergences: Essays on Art and Literature (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1987), 52 

From Brian O'Doherty's 1976 Artforum essays– not on museums, but rather on gallery space:

"Inside the White Cube"

"We have now reached
a point where we see
not the art but the space first….
An image comes to mind
of a white, ideal space
that, more than any single picture,
may be the archetypal image
of 20th-century art."


"Space: what you
damn well have to see."

— James Joyce, Ulysses  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday October 20, 2008

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 1:06 AM
Me and My Shadow

Thoughts suggested by Saturday's entry–

"… with primitives the beginnings of art, science, and religion coalesce in the undifferentiated chaos of the magical mentality…."

— Carl G. Jung, "On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry," Collected Works, Vol. 15, The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature, Princeton University Press, 1966, excerpted in Twentieth Century Theories of Art, edited by James M. Thompson.

For a video of such undifferentiated chaos, see the Four Tops' "Loco in Acapulco."

"Yes, you'll be goin' loco
  down in Acapulco,

  the magic down there
  is so strong."

This song is from the 1988 film "Buster."

(For a related religious use of that name– "Look, Buster, do you want to live?"– see Fritz Leiber's "Damnation Morning," quoted here on Sept. 28.)

Art, science, and religion are not apparent within the undifferentiated chaos of the Four Tops' Acapulco video, which appears to incorporate time travel in its cross-cutting of scenes that seem to be from the Mexican revolution with contemporary pool-party scenes. Art, science, and religion do, however, appear within my own memories of Acapulco. While staying at a small thatched-roof hostel on a beach at Acapulco in the early 1960's, I read a paperback edition of Three Philosophical Poets, a book by George Santayana on Lucretius, Dante, and Goethe. Here we may regard art as represented by Goethe, science by Lucretius, and religion by Dante. For a more recent and personal combination of these topics, see Juneteenth through Midsummer Night, 2007, which also has references to the "primitives" and "magical mentality" discussed by Jung.

"The major structures of the psyche for Jung include the ego, which is comprised of the persona and the shadow. The persona is the 'mask' which the person presents [to] the world, while the shadow holds the parts of the self which the person feels ashamed and guilty about."

— Brent Dean Robbins, Jung page at Mythos & Logos

As for shame and guilt, see Malcolm Lowry's classic Under the Volcano, a novel dealing not with Acapulco but with a part of Mexico where in my youth I spent much more time– Cuernavaca.

Lest Lowry's reflections prove too depressing, I recommend as background music the jazz piano of the late Dave McKenna… in particular, "Me and My Shadow."

McKenna died on Saturday, the date of the entry that included "Loco in Acapulco." Saturday was also the Feast of Saint Luke.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday February 12, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM
First Lesson

Keys and Sinatra in 'Learnin the Blues'

“That’s the beginning –
 just one of those clues.
You’ve had your first lesson
 in learnin’ the blues.”

Related material:
All That Jazz
(previous entry)

Tuesday February 12, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:09 AM
At the Still Point…

Roy Scheider in 'All That Jazz'

The Lives of Jazz, by Gerald Early: Feb. 12 premiere of Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue was commissioned in January of 1924 by Paul Whiteman for an experimental concert of popular music. It was… premiered at Aeolian Hall in New York City on February 12, 1924 with the composer at the piano.” —Matthew Naughtin

“Whiteman’s concept of the ‘true form of jazz,’ even as late as 1924, was the original Dixieland Jazz Band’s 1917 recording of… Livery Stable Blues, with which he opened the program.” —The New York Times

For another sort of livery stable blues, see Readings for Candlemas (Log24, Feb. 2, 2008).

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday January 4, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
In memory of
LeRoy Schneck

From Log24 on
this date five years ago:


n. itinerant seller or giver of books,
especially religious literature.


Now you has jazz.

— Cole Porter, lyric for “High Society,”
set in Newport, Rhode Island, 1956

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday December 21, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM
My books are about
Killing God
Philip Pullman  

God was apparently not
available this week;
record producer Joel Dorn,
who died on Monday,
will have to do.


"… when you get the feel of it, and the record actually transports you back to that time, then it's a real explanation of what's going on… of what went on. And here I think you can– it's one thing to get the music, it's another thing to get the place and the people and the interaction. When it's really right, the audience is the fifth member of a quartet." —Joel Dorn


In the garden of Adding,
Live Even and Odd….
The Midrash Jazz Quartet

"Philosophers ponder the idea
of identity: what it is to
give something a name
on Monday and have it
respond to that name
on Friday."
Bernard Holland in
The New York Times
Monday, May 20, 1996

"Daddy's like
an old knight."

–Allison in "Meet Joe Black"

For Joe Black himself,
see the previous entry.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday December 2, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

Part I: Matisse

The Wisdom of the Ego, by George E. Vaillant

The Wisdom of the Ego
by George E. Vaillant,
Harvard University Press (1993)

Cover illustration:
“Icarus,” from Jazz, by Henri Matisse

Publisher’s description of author:

George E. Vaillant is Professor of Psychiatry;
Director of the Study of Adult Development,
Harvard University Health Services;
and Director of Research in
the Division of Psychiatry,
Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

A review:

“This is a remarkable synthesis of the best current thinking on ego psychology as well as a many-faceted picture of what Robert White would call ‘lives in progress.’ It makes on its own not only a highly innovative contribution to ego psychology but an equally original and impressive contribution to longitudinal research. A remarkable and many-faceted work.”

— The late George W. Goethals    
of Harvard University

Part II:
The Hospital

Cached from http://bostonist.com/2007/12/01/boston_blotter_164.php

December 1, 2007

Boston Blotter: More on Harvard Student Found Dead

'Boston Blotter body outline–John Edwards, the Harvard sophomore whose body was found yesterday at Harvard Medical School,* committed suicide. People who knew him, such as a professor and his roommate are mystified. Eva Wolchover lists Edwards’ many accomplishments. He was a top science student (and that’s saying something around here), a stem cell researcher, and a guitar player.

A Facebook group named “In Memory of John Edwards” has already been established.

* Other reports say the body was found at about 11 PM on Thursday, Nov. 29– the presumed date of Edwards’s death.  Edwards was said to have conducted stem cell research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Part III:
Down to Earth

The reviewer in Icarus, Part I, above,
Dr. Goethals, was my teacher in a
1960-61 freshman seminar at Harvard.
He admired the work of
Harry Stack Sullivan.

The cover of the Sullivan book below
may serve to illustrate yesterday’s
“Plato’s Horses” remarks.


The ego defenses of today’s
Harvard students seem to need some
  strengthening. Perhaps Vaillant, Sullivan,
and the philosophies of Pirsig and of Plato
discussed in yesterday’s entry
may be of use in this regard.

Related material:

In the Details and
The Crimson Passion.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Monday August 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 AM
The Divine Universals

"The tigers of wrath          
 are wiser than                
 the horses of instruction."

— William Blake,
Proverbs of Hell

From Shining Forth:

  The Place of the Lion, by Charles Williams, 1931, Chapter Eight:

"Besides, if this fellow were right, what harm would the Divine Universals do us? I mean, aren't the angels supposed to be rather gentle and helpful and all that?"

"You're doing what Marcellus warned you against… judging them by English pictures. All nightgowns and body and a kind of flacculent sweetness. As in cemeteries, with broken bits of marble. These are Angels– not a bit the same thing. These are the principles of the tiger and the volcano and the flaming suns of space."

 Under the Volcano, Chapter Two:

"But if you look at that sunlight there, then perhaps you'll get the answer, see, look at the way it falls through the window: what beauty can compare to that of a cantina in the early morning? Your volcanoes outside? Your stars– Ras Algethi? Antares raging south southeast? Forgive me, no." 

 A Spanish-English dictionary:

lucero m.
morning or evening star:
any bright star….
hole in a window panel
     for the admission of light….

Look at the way it
falls through the window….

— Malcolm Lowry

How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
— Isaiah 14:12

For more on Spanish
and the evening star,
see Plato, Pegasus, and
the Evening Star.

 Symmetry axes
of the square:

Symmetry axes of the square

(See Damnation Morning.)

From the cover of the
 Martin Cruz Smith novel
Stallion Gate:

Atom on cover of Stallion

"That old Jew
gave me this here."

Dialogue from the
Robert Stone novel
A Flag for Sunrise.

Related material:

A Mass for Lucero,

Log24, Sept. 13, 2006

Mathematics, Religion, Art

— and this morning's online
New York Times obituaries:

Cardinal Lustiger of Paris and jazz pianist Sal Mosca, New York Times obituaries on August 6, 2007

The above image contains summary obituaries for Cardinal Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, 1981-2005, and for Sal Mosca, jazz pianist and teacher. In memory of the former, see all of the remarks preceding the image above. In memory of the latter, the remarks of a character in Martin Cruz Smith's Stallion Gate on jazz piano may have some relevance:

"I hate arguments. I'm a coward. Arguments are full of words, and each person is sure he's the only one who knows what the words mean. Each word is a basket of eels, as far as I'm concerned. Everybody gets to grab just one eel and that's his interpretation and he'll fight to the death for it…. Which is why I love music. You hit a C and it's a C and that's all it is. Like speaking clearly for the first time. Like being intelligent. Like understanding. A Mozart or an Art Tatum sits at the piano and picks out the undeniable truth."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday July 9, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:35 AM
Mystic River Song
continued from June 18:

From the Harvard
Math Department:

Noam Elkies of Harvard Math Department

From the late
jazz violinist
Johnny Frigo:

Johnny Frigo Summertime

From a film version
of Somerville…

A Stone for
Johnny Frigo

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070708-Mystic-stone.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Mystic River, 2003

Related material:

Human Conflict
Number Five
(Album title,
 10,000 Maniacs)

10,000 Maniacs, Human Conflict Number Five

This album contains
"Planned Obsolescence":

any modern man can see
that religion is

prophetic vision

Noam Elkies:

Folk are humpin'
And the chillun is high.
Oh yo' daddy's rich,
'Cos yo' ma is good lookin'

Conrad Aiken:

"By all means accept the invitation to hell, should it come. It will not take you far– from Cambridge to hell is only a step; or at most a hop, skip, and jump. But now you are evading– you are dodging the issue…. after all, Cambridge is hell enough."

Great Circle, a 1933 novel by Conrad Aiken (father of Joan Aiken, who wrote The Shadow Guests)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday July 6, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:06 AM
George Melly
  died yesterday
in London at 80.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070706-Melly.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Jazz singer, raconteur,
imitator of Bessie Smith,
he apparently named

his daughter Pandora.

1926 – 2007


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday July 3, 2007

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:29 PM
The Ignorance
of Stanley Fish

(continued from
June 18, 2002)

The “ignorance” referred to
is Fish’s ignorance of the
philosophical background
of the words
“particular” and “universal.”

Postmodern Warfare:
The Ignorance of Our
Warrior Intellectuals,”
by Stanley Fish,
Harper’s Magazine,
July 2002, contains
the following passages:

“The deepest strain in a religion is the particular and particularistic doctrine it asserts at its heart, in the company of such pronouncements as ‘Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.’ Take the deepest strain of religion away… and what remains are the surface pieties– abstractions without substantive bite– to which everyone will assent because they are empty, insipid, and safe. It is this same preference for the vacuously general over the disturbingly particular that informs the attacks on college and university professors who spoke out in ways that led them to be branded as outcasts by those who were patrolling and monitoring the narrow boundaries of acceptable speech. Here one must be careful, for there are fools and knaves on all sides.”

“Although it may not at first be obvious, the substitution for real religions of a religion drained of particulars is of a piece with the desire to exorcise postmodernism.”

“What must be protected, then, is the general, the possibility of making pronouncements from a perspective at once detached from and superior to the sectarian perspectives of particular national interests, ethnic concerns, and religious obligations; and the threat to the general is posed by postmodernism and strong religiosity alike, postmodernism because its critique of master narratives deprives us of a mechanism for determining which of two or more fiercely held beliefs is true (which is not to deny the category of true belief, just the possibility of identifying it uncontroversially), strong religiosity because it insists on its own norms and refuses correction from the outside. The antidote to both is the separation of the private from the public, the establishing of a public sphere to which all could have recourse and to the judgments of which all, who are not criminal or insane, would assent. The point of the public sphere is obvious: it is supposed to be the location of those standards and measures that belong to no one but apply to everyone. It is to be the location of the universal. The problem is not that there is no universal–the universal, the absolutely true, exists, and I know what it is. The problem is that you know, too, and that we know different things, which puts us right back where we were a few sentences ago, armed with universal judgments that are irreconcilable, all dressed up and nowhere to go for an authoritative adjudication.

What to do? Well, you do the only thing you can do, the only honest thing: you assert that your universal is the true one, even though your adversaries clearly do not accept it, and you do not attribute their recalcitrance to insanity or mere criminality–the desired public categories of condemnation–but to the fact, regrettable as it may be, that they are in the grip of a set of beliefs that is false. And there you have to leave it, because the next step, the step of proving the falseness of their beliefs to everyone, including those in their grip, is not a step available to us as finite situated human beings. We have to live with the knowledge of two things: that we are absolutely right and that there is no generally accepted measure by which our rightness can be independently validated. That’s just the way it is, and we should just get on with it, acting in accordance with our true beliefs (what else could we do?) without expecting that some God will descend, like the duck in the old Groucho Marx TV show, and tell us that we have uttered the true and secret word.”

From the public spheres
of the Pennsylvania Lottery:

PA Lottery logo

PA Lottery July 3, 2007: Mid-day 105, Evening 268

105 —

Log24 on 1/05:

“‘From your lips
to God’s ears,’
 goes the old
Yiddish wish.

 The writer, by contrast,
tries to read God’s lips
and pass along
the words….”

— Richard Powers   

268 —

This is a page number
that appears, notably,
in my June 2002
journal entry on Fish
and again in an entry,
The Transcendent Signified,”
dated July 26, 2003,
that argues against
Fish’s school, postmodernism,
 and in favor of what the pomos
call “logocentrism.”

Page 268
of Simon Blackburn’s Think
(Oxford Univ. Press, 1999):

“It is said that the students of medieval Paris came to blows in the streets over the question of universals. The stakes are high, for at issue is our whole conception of our ability to describe the world truly or falsely, and the objectivity of any opinions we frame to ourselves. It is arguable that this is always the deepest, most profound problem of philosophy. It structures Plato’s (realist) reaction to the sophists (nominalists). What is often called ‘postmodernism’ is really just nominalism, colourfully presented as the doctrine that there is nothing except texts. It is the variety of nominalism represented in many modern humanities, paralysing appeals to reason and truth.”

Fish may, if he wishes,
regard the particular
page number 268 as
delivered– five years late,
but such is philosophy–
by Groucho’s
winged messenger
in response to
Fish’s utterance of the
  “true and secret word”–
namely, “universal.”

When not arguing politics,
Fish, though from
a Jewish background, is
 said to be a Milton scholar.
Let us therefore hope he
is by now, or comes to be,
aware of the Christian
approach to universals–
an approach true to the
philosophical background
sketched in 1999 by
Blackburn and made
particular in a 1931 novel
 by Charles Williams,
The Place of the Lion.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday August 14, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 AM
Cleavage Term

“… a point of common understanding between the classic and romantic worlds. Quality, the cleavage term between hip and square, seemed to be it. Both worlds used the term. Both knew what it was. It was just that the romantic left it alone and appreciated it for what it was and the classic tried to turn it into a set of intellectual building blocks for other purposes.”

For such building blocks, see

A Trinity for Rebecca


and yesterday’s lottery
in Pennsylvania:
mid-day 713, evening 526.
These numbers prompt the
following meditation
on the square and the hip:

In memory of
Kermit Hall,
college president,
who died Sunday,
August 13, 2006:

Carpe Diem

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060814-WenzhouHall.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
President Hall
(SUNY Albany)
meets with
Wenzhou University*
delegation, 4/25/06.

In memory of
Duke Jordan,
jazz pianist,
who died Tuesday,
August 8, 2006:

A Living Church

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060814-52ndSt.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Jazz clubs
on 52nd Street
on a summer night
in 1948, pictured in
Log24 on 4/25/06.

  Square and hip may each have a place
in heaven; for a less pleasant destination,
see the previous entry.

* Update of 3 PM 8/14/06:

See Forrest Gump on God
in an Aug. 11 entry and
the related paper

Renegotiating Chinese Identity:
Between Local Group
and National Ideology,

by Kristen Parris:

Center and Locality in China

The Roots of Group Identity in Wenzhou

Wenzhou as a Negative Identity

The Wenzhou Model as a Positive Identity

The New Wenzhou Narrative

Wenzhou Identity and Emergent Class Interests

Conclusion: Local Group Identity and National Transformation.

The paper is found in
The Power of Identity:
Politics in a New Key
by Kenneth Hoover et al.,
Chatham House, 1997.

Related material
may be found
by a search on
“the Wenzhou model.”

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Wednesday August 9, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Two-Bar Hook
Wikipedia on Mel Gibson:

“The arrest was supported by…
an open container… 75% full,
labeled ‘Cazador [sic] tequila
(a strong type of mezcal).”

Today’s New York Times

Refined Tequilas,
Meant to be Savored:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060809-Bottle.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Photo by Lars Klove for
The New York Times

— Essay by Eric Asimov,
  “Spirits of the Times

“Remember that we deal with
Herb Alpert–

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060809-Alpert.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
First album, 1962

cunning, baffling, and powerful.”

(Adapted from Chapter 5
of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Related Material:

by The Champs

The Spirituality of
Addiction and Recovery

Kylie on Tequila:

“Turns out she’s a party girl
who loves Tequila:
‘Time disappears with Tequila.
It goes elastic, then vanishes.'”

Yvonne returns to the Bella Vista
in Under the Volcano:

“… a glass partition
that divided the room
(from yet another bar,
she remembered now,
giving on a side street)”

David Sanborn
(a reply to Alpert’s
Lonely Bull ):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/Closer.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Just listen to how he attacks the two-bar hook of  ‘Tequila.’ After planting it firmly in our brains, he finds new ending notes for each measure; then he drops half a bar by an octave; then he substitutes a new melodic detour for the first bar, retaining the second; then he inverts that approach. He keeps twisting the phrase into new melodic shapes, but he never obscures the original motif and he never loses the beat.”

Review of Sanborn’s album “Timeagain
    by Geoffrey Himes in Jazz Times,
    June 2003

Update of 3:57 PM:
Robin Williams in Rehab

“It may be that Kylie is,
in her own way, an artist…
with a 357.”

Symmetry and Change

Monday, July 31, 2006

Monday July 31, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 AM

For the feast of
St. Ignatius Loyola…

Final Arrangements,


“Now you has jazz.”
High Society, 1956 

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060731-Deaths.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

— Today’s online New York Times

Also from today’s
New York Times

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060731-Kreuger.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Kurt Kreuger
in the 1945 film
“Paris Underground.”
Kurt Kreuger,
a German-born actor
who reluctantly played
Nazi soldiers
in many films
about World War II,
died July 12 in
Beverly Hills, Calif.
He was 89.

Log24, Wednesday,
July 12, 2006

Band Numbers

“Some friends
 of mine
 are in
 this band…”

— David

Seven is Heaven
Eight is a Gate,
Nine is a Vine.

The Prime Powers

Related material:

A Log24 entry commemorating
the murder of six Jesuits
in El Salvador.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday July 30, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:02 PM
Highway 61

God say,
“You can do what you want
Abe, but the next time you
see me comin’ you better run.”

Today’s online New York Times:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06A/060730-Deaths.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“On Highway 61 outside of
Natchez, Mississippi, stands

     Mammy’s Cupboard….”
American Heritage   
Flashback to July 2004:

Campaign Song

“All things return to the One.
 What does the One return to?”

— Zen koan, epigraph to
   The Footprints of God,
by Greg Iles of
Natchez, Mississippi

“Literature begins with geography.”

— attributed to Robert Frost

The aim
 was song

— Robert Frost

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040712-Mammys.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Mammy’s Cupboard,
Natchez, Miss.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/040712-Jolson.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Campaign Song

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tuesday April 25, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:35 AM
A Trinity
for Rebecca

(For Rebecca Goldstein of Trinity College)

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060425-Trinity.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sources: today's New York Times
and the five Log24 entries ending
on the morning of April 7, 2006:

in Poetry Month

Of what use the above trinity
might be to Rebecca, I am unsure.

I find it helpful in traveling back to
a summer night on 52nd St. in 1948

Jazz clubs on 52nd St. in 1948

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Wednesday April 5, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Quarter to Three
(continued from
 Dec. 20, 2003,
 and from
 April 3, 2006)

… so put another nickel in the machine….

Related material:

  1. The death of
    jazz percussionist Don Alias,

  2. Miles Davis’s album
    Bitches Brew
    (“Miles Runs the Voodoo Down“),
  3. Joni Mitchell’s album
    Shadows and Light
    (“God Must Be a Boogie Man“),
  4. the Log24 entry
    from the day Alias died
    which contains the following:
  5. “By groping toward the light
     we are made to realize
     how deep the darkness
     is around us.”

    — Arthur Koestler

Monday, April 3, 2006

Monday April 3, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:09 AM

For jazz artist
Jackie McLean,
who died on Friday
according to today’s
New York Times

From Log24
on Dec. 20, 2003:

(St. Emil’s Day)

Click on various parts
of the picture to see
 related material.

Those who wish to can find a
discussion of the geometric
“changes” figure among
the Log24 entries of
 March 23, 2006.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tuesday March 28, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM
A Prince of Darkness

“What did he fear? It was not a fear or dread, It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was a nothing too. It was only that and light was all it needed and a certain cleanness and order. Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee.”

— From Ernest Hemingway,
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

“By groping toward the light
 we are made to realize
 how deep the darkness
 is around us.”
— Arthur Koestler,
   The Call Girls: A Tragi-Comedy,
   Random House, 1973,
   page 118

From a review of
Teilhard de Chardin’s
The Phenomenon of Man:

“It would have been
 a great disappointment
 to me if Vibration did not
 somewhere make itself felt,
 for all scientific mystics
 either vibrate in person
 or find themselves
 resonant with cosmic

Sir Peter Brian Medawar

“He’s good.”
“Good? He’s the fucking
Prince of Darkness!”

— Paul Newman
and Jack Warden
in “The Verdict

Sanskrit (transliterated) —

  the universal sound, vibration.

“So Nada Brahma means not only:
 God the Creator is sound; but also
 (and above all), Creation,
 the cosmos, the world, is sound.
 And: Sound is the world.”

Joachim-Ernst Berendt,  
   author of Nada Brahma

“This book is the outcome of
a course given at Harvard
first by G. W. Mackey….”

— Lynn H. Loomis, 1953, preface to
An Introduction to
Abstract Harmonic Analysis

For more on Mackey and Harvard, see
the Log24 entries of March 14-17.

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Thursday February 9, 2006

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:24 PM

Space, Time, and Scarlett

From last night’s Grammy awards, lyrics performed by Christina Aguilera and Herbie Hancock:

“a place where there’s no space or time”
Leon Russell

Not bad, but as Kat358 noted on May 4, 2005,

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060209-Blondes.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Scarlett Johansson does this ‘old Hollywood glam’ look much better.”

For a reference to the place described in Russell’s lyrics, see the riff on the number “265”
linked to in last night’s “Midnight in the Garden of the Soul.”

Related material– Jazz Improvisation:

“Once an appropriate group of people has been assembled, you must decide what to play.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Wednesday February 1, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:22 PM
The Actor, 2005

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060201-Cinder1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

See also

Russell Crowe as Santa’s helper,
Communion, and the subsequent
Playing God: The Color of Collateral.

From “Collateral“– 

  FELIX: Do you believe
  in Humpty Dumpty?

MAX: No.

FELIX: Do you believe
  in Santa Claus?

MAX: No.

FELIX: Neither do I.
 But my children do.
 They are still small.
But do you know who they like
even better than Santa Claus?
His helper, Pedro Negro. Black Peter.
There’s an old Mexican tale that tells
 of how Santa Claus got so very busy
looking out for the good children
that he had to hire some help
to look out for the bad children.
So he hired Pedro.
And Santa Claus gave him a list….

And all that jazz….

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix06/060201-Jazz2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sunday November 13, 2005

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 6:40 AM

Hast thou a Flag for me?”
— Emily Dickinson

From a
Beethoven’s Birthday entry:


Kaleidoscope turning…
Shifting pattern
within unalterable structure…
— Roger Zelazny, Eye of Cat

Related material:


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051113-Blue.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Bee Season

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051113-Scope1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Halloween Meditations,
Aquarius Jazz,
We Are the Key,
Jazz on St. Lucia’s Day.

“Y’know, I never imagined
the competition version involved
so many tricky permutations.”

— David Brin, Glory Season

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday October 29, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:07 PM
Aquarius Jazz

Adapted from Matisse
Adapted from Matisse

“The Jazz Age spirit flared
in the Age of Aquarius.”
— Maureen Dowd, essay
for Devil’s Night, 2005:
    What’s a Modern Girl to Do?

“I hope she’ll be a fool —
that’s the best thing a girl can be
in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
— Daisy Buchanan in Chapter I
of The Great Gatsby

“Thanks for the tip,
American Dream.”
Spider-Girl, in
Vol. 1, No. 30, March 2001

(Excerpts from
Random Thoughts
for St. Patrick’s Eve)

Saturday October 29, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:23 AM
Flux Redux

“I remember how the darkness doubled
I recall lightning struck itself
I was listening, listening to the rain
I was hearing, hearing something else

Life in the hive puckered up my night
The kiss of death, the embrace of life
There I stand neath the Marquee Moon
Just waiting”

Tom Verlaine, “Marquee Moon”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051029-NYTobits.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In memory of Michael Gill,
producer and director of the
1969 TV series “Civilisation,”
who died on October 20:

Two descriptions of “Aeon Flux,”
a story featured in the Log24 entry
 on the day that Gill died —

“The title character is a tall, sexy, scantily-clad secret agent from the country of Monica…. Her mission is to infiltrate the strongholds of the neighboring country of Bregna, which is led by her sworn enemy, and sometimes lover, Trevor Goodchild.  Monica represents a dynamic anarchist society while Bregna embodies a centralized scientific planned state.”


“After Aeon is done, Trevor decides that she knows too much, so he has a underling propose a plan to kill her. The plan, quite strangely, is to implant a bunch of nanites (microscopic robots) in Trevors seminal duct so he has sex with Aeon and the nanites tear her apart from the inside.  But Aeon was prepared because she had some weird, mean, spiky, device in her uterus(!?!!) that eats the nanites (that part is kinda weak), she blows up a wall then and escapes leaving Trevor standing there naked and confused.”

The Sad Geezers Guide
    to Aeon Flux Cultures

In memory of Richard Smalley,
advocate of nanotechnology,
who died yesterday at 62:

The Incredible Shrinking Man
(Wired Magazine, October 2004)

See also yesterday’s entry on Scientism.

In memory of
Thomas Wootton Masland,
brother of
Richard Harry Masland, Harvard ’64,
the Log24 entries of October 25.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/051029-TomMasland2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tom Masland

Funeral services for Masland will be held Sunday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 113 Engle Street, Englewood, N.J. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Jazz Foundation of America, 322 West 48th Street, New York, N.Y. 10036. The group helps elderly and ailing jazz and blues musicians with medical care, housing and other services.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Saturday September 17, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM
Time Fold,

From Matt Glaser, Satchmo, the Philosopher:

“… the luminosity and perpetual freshness of Armstrong’s music. These qualities, as well as his essentially abstract ability to affect our perception of time, link him with the other artistic and scientific revolutionaries of the first half of the 20th century. Recently I had a very public fantasy (in Ken Burns’s Jazz) in which Werner Heisenberg attends a Louis Armstrong concert in Copenhagen, in 1933. Did I go too far? Actually, I didn’t go far enough.”

Part of Serge Lang‘s legacy:
the dates of his birth and death–
May 19 and Sept. 12.

That Log24 entries connect both these dates to Louis Armstrong is, of course, purely coincidental.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050917-Armstrong.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Why is this 

man smiling?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tuesday September 13, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:00 AM
Lutheran Rhythm,

Death on 9/11

Al Casey Dies at 89;
Early Jazz Guitarist

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005

Al Casey, a guitarist whose playful acoustic rhythms and solos were a defining feature of Fats Waller’s band in the 1930’s and 1940’s, died on Sunday [9/11] in Manhattan. He was 89….

Mr. Casey played and recorded with Louis Armstrong in 1944 when both were recognized as leading jazz musicians in the Esquire magazine readers’ poll….

A 90th birthday celebration for Mr. Casey, scheduled for Thursday evening at St. Peter’s Church, 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, will now be his musical memorial service, open to the public.

That’s St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

See also the previous entry.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday September 12, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:29 PM

Final arrangements, continued:

Justice at Heaven’s Gate

Gate — Early term for a Jazz musician.
Armstrong is the original Swing Jazz player that’s why they call used to call him ‘Gate.’
All About Jazz

“Armstrong is also frequently cited as the main source or popularizer of words like scat, gate (a greeting among jazz musicians that became a popular WWII term for a buddy or pal)²

² The term apparently goes back to Louis’s own adolescent nickname, ‘Gatemouth.'”
Jazz Institute of Chicago

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05B/050912-NYTobits.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Sunday May 22, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 12:25 PM
The Shining
of Friday the 13th

From Margalit Fox in today’s New York Times:

“Eddie Barclay, who for three decades after World War II was arguably the most powerful music mogul in Europe and inarguably the most flamboyant, died on [Friday] May 13 in Paris. He was 84….

… Mr. Barclay was best known for three things: popularizing American jazz in France in the postwar years; keeping the traditional French chanson alive into the age of rock ‘n’ roll; and presiding over parties so lavish that they were considered just the tiniest bit excessive even by the standards of the French Riviera….

Among the guests at some of his glittering parties… Jack Nicholson….”

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050522-Jack.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Related material:

“Joyce’s confidant in Zurich in 1918, Frank Budgen, luckily for us described the process of writing Ulysses…. ‘Not Bloom, not Stephen is here the principal personage, but Dublin itself… All towns are labyrinths…’  While working… Joyce bought a game called Labyrinth, which he played every evening for a time with his daughter, Lucia. From this game he cataloged the six main errors of judgment into which one might fall in seeking a way out of a maze.”

quoted by Bruce Graham from The Creators by Daniel Boorstin

“We’ll always have Paris.”

An Invariant Feast, Log24, Sept. 6, 2004

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thursday May 19, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM
Shining Through

“Schon in der Antike gab es zwei Definitionen der Schönheit, die in einem gewissen Gegensatz zueinander standen…. Die eine bezeichnet die Schönheit als die richtige Übereinstimmung der Teile miteinander und mit dem Ganzen.  Die andere, auf Plotin zurückgehend, ohne jede Bezugnahme auf Teile, bezeichnet sie als das Durchleuchten des ewigen Glanzes des ‘Einen’ durch die materielle Erscheinung.”

Werner Heisenberg

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050519-Anakin.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“Heisenberg sets down his glass. ‘Perhaps I may remind you of the second definition of beauty, which stems from Plotinus: “Beauty is the translucence, through the material phenomenon, of the eternal splendor of the One.”‘….

It’s that translucence, that light shining through, that brings us to tears, wherever we find it…. As Sidney Bechet put it, ‘You’ve got to be in the sun to feel the sun.'”

— Matt Glaser, Satchmo, the Philosopher,
Village Voice Jazz Supplement,
June 6-12, 2001

Monday, May 2, 2005

Monday May 2, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:00 AM
A Dance Results


Roger Kimball on Rosalind Krauss's
The Optical Unconscious:

"Professor Krauss even uses many of the same decorations with which she festooned earlier volumes. Bataille’s photograph of a big toe, for example, which I like to think of as her mascot, reappears. As does her favorite doodle, a little graph known as a 'Klein Group' or 'L Schema' whose sides and diagonals sport arrows pointing to corners labeled with various opposing pairs: e.g., 'ground' and 'not ground,' 'figure' and 'not figure.' Professor Krauss seems to believe that this device, lifted from the pages of structuralist theory, illuminates any number of deep mysteries: the nature of modernism, to begin with, but also the essence of gender relations, self-consciousness, perception, vision, castration anxiety, and other pressing conundrums that, as it happens, she has trouble distinguishing from the nature of modernism. Altogether, the doodle is a handy thing to have around. One is not surprised that Professor Krauss reproduces it many times in her new book."

From Drid Williams,
The Semiotics of Human Action,
Ritual, and Dance:

A Klein four-group in the context of dance

This is closely related to
Beckett's "Quad" figure

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Jungian on this six-line figure:

"They are the same six lines
that exist in the I Ching….
Now observe the square more closely:
four of the lines are of equal length,
the other two are longer….
For this reason symmetry
cannot be statically produced
and a dance results."
— Marie-Louise von Franz,
Number and Time (1970)

and to the Greimas "semiotic square":

"People have believed in the fundamental character of binary oppositions since at least classical times. For instance, in his Metaphysics Aristotle advanced as primary oppositions: form/matter, natural/unnatural, active/passive, whole/part, unity/variety, before/after and being/not-being.*  But it is not in isolation that the rhetorical power of such oppositions resides, but in their articulation in relation to other oppositions. In Aristotle's Physics the four elements of earth, air, fire and water were said to be opposed in pairs. For more than two thousand years oppositional patterns based on these four elements were widely accepted as the fundamental structure underlying surface reality….

The structuralist semiotician Algirdas Greimas introduced the semiotic square (which he adapted from the 'logical square' of scholastic philosophy) as a means of analysing paired concepts more fully…."


Daniel Chandler, Semiotics for Beginners.

* Compare Chandler's list of Aristotle's primary oppositions with Aristotle's list (also in the  Metaphysics) of Pythagorean oppositions (see Midrash Jazz Quartet).

Sunday, May 1, 2005

Sunday May 1, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 PM

Harvard’s Barry Mazur on
one mathematical style:

“It’s the barest, most Beckett-like vocabulary
that incorporates the theory and nothing else.”

Samuel Beckett, Quad (1981):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Quad.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

A Jungian on this six-line logo:

“They are the same six lines
that exist in the I Ching….
Now observe the square more closely:
four of the lines are of equal length,
the other two are longer….
For this reason symmetry
cannot be statically produced
and a dance results.”
— Marie-Louise von Franz,
Number and Time (1970),
Northwestern U. Press
paperback, 1979, p. 108

A related logo from
Columbia University’s
Department of Art History
and Archaeology

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-ArtHist2.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Also from that department:

Rosalind Krauss,

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-Krauss.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Meyer Schapiro Professor
of Modern Art and Theory:

“There is no painter in the West
who can be unaware of
the symbolic power
of the cruciform shape
and the Pandora’s box
of spiritual reference
that is opened
once one uses it.”

“In the garden of Adding
live Even and Odd…”
— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in
City of God
, by E. L. Doctorow


A cross in which all the arms
are the same length.

Here, for reference, is a Greek cross
within a nine-square grid:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-GrCross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

 Related religious meditation for
    Doctorow’s “Garden of Adding”…

 4 + 5 = 9.

Types of Greek cross
illustrated in Wikipedia
under “cross“:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/GrCross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

From designboom.com:


The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050501-BaptismalCross.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

is a cross with eight arms:
a Greek cross, which is superimposed
on a Greek ‘chi,’ the first letter
of the Greek word for ‘Christ.’
Since the number eight is symbolic
of rebirth or regeneration,
this cross is often used
as a baptismal cross.

Related material:

The image “http://www.log24.com/theory/images/Symm-axes.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Fritz Leiber’s “spider”
or “double cross” logo.
See Why Me? and
A Shot at Redemption.

Happy Orthodox Easter.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Friday April 29, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:10 AM
Midrash Jazz Quartet

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050429-Music.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Harvard's Barry Mazur likes to quote Aristotle's Metaphysics.  See 1, 2, 3.

Here, with an introductory remark by Martha Cooley, is more from the Metaphysics:

The central aim of Western religion —

"Each of us has something to offer the Creator...
the bridging of
                 masculine and feminine,
                      life and death.
It's redemption.... nothing else matters."
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist (1998)

The central aim of Western philosophy —

                 Dualities of Pythagoras
              as reconstructed by Aristotle:
                 Limited     Unlimited
                     Odd     Even
                    Male     Female
                   Light     Dark
                Straight     Curved
                  ... and so on ....

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."
— Jamie James in The Music of the Spheres (1993)

"In the garden of Adding,
Live Even and Odd….
And the song of love's recision
is the music of the spheres."
— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in City of God, by E. L. Doctorow (2000)

Harvard University, Department of English:

The Morris Gray Lecture, a reading by E.L. Doctorow.
Wednesday, April 27, 6:00 PM

Thompson Room, The Barker Center


Today's birthday: Jerry Seinfeld.
Related material:
Is Nothing Sacred? and Symmetries.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Friday February 11, 2005

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:09 AM

The Blues
and the
Abstract Truth

An obituary of jazz artist Jimmy Smith, who died on Mardi Gras, leads, via his album Got My Mojo Workin’, to a 1961 album of Oliver Nelson that in turn suggests the following quotation:

“After this it was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant-for-truth was taken with a summons by the same post as the other, and had this for a token that the summons was true, ‘That his pitcher was broken at the fountain.’ (Eccles. 12:6) When he understood it, he called for his friends, and told them of it. Then said he, I am going to my Father’s; and though with great difficulty I have got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my rewarder. When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which as he went, he said, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’ And as he went down deeper, he said, ‘Grave, where is thy victory?’ (1 Cor. 15:55) So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.”

— John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

“And all the trumpets sounded…”

For example:

Yearnin’ Listen Listen
Stolen Moments Listen Listen
Cascades Listen Listen

These clips are from
the Amazon.com page
for the Oliver Nelson album

The Blues and the Abstract Truth.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Friday September 24, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:06 PM

Time and Chance

“Time and chance happeneth to them all.”

— Ecclesiastes 9-11

“With the passage of time, everyone participated in the ever-increasingly secret lottery.”

Summary of Borges’s Lottery

The winning evening lottery number for Sunday, September 19, 2004, and for Thursday, September 23, 2004, in the State of Grace (Kelly) was


See a 9/20/04 story about 408

and a 1/4/03 story about Grace and jazz.

From the latter:

Now you has jazz.

— Cole Porter, lyric for “High Society,”
set in Newport, Rhode Island, 1956

Note that yesterday’s entries dealt with “the jazz church” and that Sunday, Sept. 19, 2004– the first of the “408” days above– was the date of death of Ellis Marsalis Sr., patriarch of a family of jazz musicians.  The second of the “408” days above– yesterday– was Ray Charles’s birthday.

In Ray We Trust
June 28, 2004 cover
by Eric Palma  

(See New Gold Standard: Cultural Capital)

Monday, August 16, 2004

Monday August 16, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Classic to Romantic

“Ben Webster is probably best known for his eloquent ballad playing. On JAZZ ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, we are treated to no less than 15 ballads, all of which are performed superbly. Webster is one of the great jazz romantics….”

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Tuesday January 20, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:00 PM

Song of the Father

The death of Max D. Barnes (previous entry) and the opening of the first Tennessee lottery suggested the following meditations.

Wikipedia on Jimmie Rodgers, known as the father of country music:

“Fundamentally, Rodgers was a white blues singer….”

A song by the father of country music:

T for Texas, T for Tennessee,
T for Texas, T for Tennessee,
T for Thelma, that gal
made a wreck out of me.

Gonna buy me a shotgun,
long as I am tall,
Buy me a shotgun,
long as I am tall,
Gonna shoot po’ Thelma,
just to see her jump and fall.

From Wikipedia:

“In modern Western popular music, call and response is most commonly found in the blues and in blues-derived music like jazz and rock’n’roll.”

If Rodgers’s song is the call, what, one wonders, would be the appropriate response?

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Saturday December 20, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 5:00 PM

White, Geometric, and Eternal

This afternoon's surfing:

Prompted by Edward Rothstein's own Fides et Ratio encyclical in today's NY Times, I googled him.

At the New York Review of Books, I came across the following by Rothstein:

"… statements about TNT can be represented within TNT: the formal system can, in a precise way, 'talk' about itself."

This naturally prompted me to check what is on TNT on this, the feast day of St. Emil Artin.  At 5 PM this afternoon, we have Al Pacino in "The Devil's Advocate" — a perfect choice for the festival of an alleged saint.

Preparing for Al, I meditated on the mystical significance of the number 373, as explained in Zen and Language Games: the page number 373 in Robert Stone's theological classic A Flag for Sunrise conveys the metaphysical significance of the phrase "diamonds are forever" — "the eternal in the temporal," according to Stone's Catholic priest.  This suggests a check of another theological classic, Pynchon's Gravity's RainbowPage 373 there begins with the following description of prewar Berlin:

"white and geometric."

This suggests the following illustration of a white and geometric object related to yesterday's entry on Helmut Wielandt:

From antiquark.com

Figure 1

(This object, which illustrates the phrase "makin' the changes," also occurs in this morning's entry on the death of a jazz musician.)

A further search for books containing "white" and "geometric" at Amazon.com yields the following:

Figure 2

From Mosaics, by
Fassett, Bahouth, and Patterson:

"A risco fountain in Mexico city, begun circa 1740 and made up of Mexican pottery and Chinese porcelain, including Ming.

The delicate oriental patterns on so many different-sized plates and saucers [are] underlined by the bold blue and white geometric tiles at the base."

Note that the tiles are those of Diamond Theory; the geometric object in figure 1 above illustrates a group that plays a central role in that theory.

Finally, the word "risco" (from Casa del Risco) associated with figure 2 above leads us to a rather significant theological site associated with the holy city of Santiago de Compostela:

Figure 3

Vicente Risco's
Dedalus in Compostela.

Figure 3 shows James Joyce (alias Dedalus), whose daughter Lucia inspired the recent entry Jazz on St. Lucia's Day — which in turn is related, by last night's 2:45 entry and by Figure 1, to the mathematics of group theory so well expounded by the putative saint Emil Artin.

"His lectures are best described as
polished diamonds."
Fine Hall in its Golden Age,
by Gian-Carlo Rota

If Pynchon plays the role of devil's advocate suggested by his creation, in Gravity's Rainbow, of the character Emil Bummer, we may hope that Rota, no longer in time but now in eternity, can be persuaded to play the important role of saint's advocate for his Emil.

Update of 6:30 PM 12/20/03:


The Absolutist Faith
of The New York Times

White and Geometric, but not Eternal.

Saturday December 20, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Quarter to Three

"You've got to be true to your code."
Frank Sinatra

In memory of Webster Young,
who died on Saint Lucia's day,
December 13, 2003 —

From my entry of 12/16/03,
Jazz on St. Lucia's Day:


"Now you has jazz."
High Society, 1956

Webster Young was a jazz trumpeter.

In 1957, Young was featured on
saxophonist Jackie McLean's albums
"A Long Drink of the Blues" and
"Makin' the Changes."

Adam Bernstein,
Washington Post, Dec. 18

"One for my baby,
and one more for the road."
— Frank Sinatra


Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Tuesday December 16, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:08 AM

Jazz on St. Lucia’s Day

December 13, Saturday, was
the feast day of St. Lucia.

Lauryn Hill
at St. Lucia

Log24 entry for December 13:

Kaleidoscope turning…
Shifting pattern
within unalterable structure…
Was it a mistake?
There is pain with the power…
Time’s friction at the edges…
Center loosens, forms again elsewhere…

— Roger Zelazny, Eye of Cat

Washington Post, Names and Faces,
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003

“A Christmas concert at the Vatican may not be the best place to criticize the Catholic Church for the sexual abuse scandals that have plagued it for the past few years. Or maybe it’s the perfect place.

Musician Lauryn Hill did just that while performing there Saturday night. The Grammy winner read a statement during the concert that scolded the church and its leaders….

La Repubblica newspaper quoted her as saying, ‘I realize some of you may be offended by what I’m saying, but what do you say to the families who were betrayed by the people in whom they believed?’ …

The Vatican said Sunday it had no comment.”


“Now you has jazz.”
High Society, 1956   

Related entries:
9/28/03, 8/29/02.

Sunday, October 5, 2003

Sunday October 5, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 5:09 AM

At Mount Sinai:
Art Theory for Yom Kippur

From the New York Times of Sunday, October 5, 2003 (the day that Yom Kippur begins at sunset):

"Rabbi Ephraim Oshry, whose interpretations of religious law helped sustain Lithuanian Jews during Nazi occupation…. died on Sept. 28 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He was 89."

For a fictional portrait of Lithuanian Jews during Nazi occupation, see the E. L. Doctorow novel City of God.

For meditations on the spiritual in art, see the Rosalind Krauss essay "Grids."   As a memorial to Rabbi Oshry, here is a grid-based version of the Hebrew letter aleph:

Rabbi Oshry


Click on the aleph for details.

"In the garden of Adding,
 Live Even and Odd…."   
— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in
       City of God, by E. L. Doctorow

Here are two meditations
on Even and Odd for Yom Kippur:

Meditation I

From Rosalind Krauss, "Grids":

"If we open any tract– Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art or The Non-Objective World, for instance– we will find that Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter.  They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit.  From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal, and they are not interested in what happens below in the Concrete.

Or, to take a more up-to-date example, we could think about Ad Reinhardt who, despite his repeated insistence that 'Art is art,' ended up by painting a series of black nine-square grids in which the motif that inescapably emerges is a Greek cross.  There is no painter in the West who can be unaware of the symbolic power of the cruciform shape and the Pandora's box of spiritual reference that is opened once one uses it."

Meditation II

Here, for reference, is a Greek cross
within a nine-square grid:

 Related religious meditation for
    Doctorow's "Garden of Adding"…

 4 + 5 = 9.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Sunday September 28, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:13 PM

Spirit of East St. Louis

On Miles Davis and Philly Joe Jones:

Miles said to Jones, "I think this is it." Jones agreed having said of the group, "The first time we played together…we just looked around at each other and said, ‘hum here it is right here. We’ve got musical telepathy here. We have five people who always know what’s going to happen next.’" And those five people became legendary as the classic Miles Davis Quintet was baptized for its first time.

From The American Art Form:

While singing work songs, a leader would call out a phrase, and the rest of the people would answer. This is known as call and response. In Cindy Blackman's "Telepathy" , the lead saxophone who is playing the melody calls out a phrase, and another horn responds. In some jazz music, there is what is known as "trading 4's". This is when one instrument plays 4 measures, and then another plays 4 measures off what the first person played, and so on. This is a modern rendition of call and response.


Trading Fours

See also

Miles Davis, E. S. P.,

Bill Stewart, Telepathy,

Desmond and Mulligan, Two of a Mind,

Google search, "musical telepathy,"

and a novel dealing with East St. Louis (where Miles Davis grew up) and telepathy,

The Hollow Man, by Dan Simmons.

From the jacket of The Hollow Man:

Jeremy Bremen has a secret. All his life he has been cursed with the unwanted ability to read minds. He can hear the secret thoughts behind the placid expressions of strangers, colleagues, and friends. Their dreams, their fears, their most secret desires are as intimate to him as his own. For years his wife, Gail, has served as a shield between Jeremy and the intrusive thoughts of those around him. Her presence has protected him from the outside world and allowed him to continue his work as one of the world's leading mathematicians. But now Gail is dying, her mind slipping slowly away, and Jeremy comes face-to-face with the horror of his own omniscience. Vulnerable and alone, he is suddenly exposed to a chaotic flood of others' thoughts, threatening to fill him with the world's pain and longing, to sweep away his very sanity. His mathematical studies have taken him to the threshold of knowledge and enabled him to map uncharted regions of the mind, to recognize the mind itself as a mirror of the universe…and to see in that mirror the fleeting reflection of the creator himself. But his studies taught him nothing at all about the death of the mind, about the loss of love and trust, and about the terrible loneliness of mortality. Now Jeremy is on the run – from his mind, from his past, from himself – hoping to find peace in isolation. Instead he witnesses an act of brutality that sends him on a treacherous odyssey across America, from a fantasy theme park to the mean streets of an uncaring city, from the lair of a killer to the gaudy casinos of Las Vegas, and at last to a sterile hospital room in St. Louis in search of the voice that is calling him to the secret of existence itself.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Wednesday September 24, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 10:01 PM

Bel Canto

The conclusion of tonight’s season-
opening episode of “The West Wing”
was a picture of President Bartlet  
 receiving the Host at Mass.

Related material:

The Source:

Tips On Popular Singing
by Frank Sinatra
in collaboration with
his vocal teacher John Quinlan

What prompted me to find this
booklet on the Web
(at about 8:45 PM tonight) was

40,000 Years of Music
by Jacques Chailley
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1964),
page 162,
on the bel canto style of singing.

I picked up this book this afternoon
at a sale for $1.

See also Sinatra’s remarks on bel canto
(various places on the Web).

For the religious significance of
the page number 162, see my
entry of 9/11 2003,


Added at 3:20 AM Sept. 25…

In Related News:

Source: Google News, about 3:15 AM 9/25/03

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Wednesday July 30, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 5:55 AM

Into the Day

“…no-one sang the night into the day”

— Carly Simon, “Embrace Me, You Child,” quoted in yesterday’s entry Trick of the Light.

I have no song to bring night into day; the best I can do for this morning, the birthday of director/author Peter Bogdanovich, is supply a Frank Russo RealAudio rendition of “Long Ago and Far Away,” from his CD “Quiet Now.”

The song’s connection with Bogdanovich, who turns 64 today, is through Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Monday July 28, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 9:00 AM

City of God

Today's site music is

Nous Voici Dans La Ville.

The central aim of Western religion —

"Each of us has something to offer the Creator... 
the bridging of                  
masculine and feminine,                       
life and death. It's redemption.... 
nothing else matters." 
-- Martha Cooley in The Archivist (1998) 

The central aim of Western philosophy —

                 Dualities of Pythagoras 
                 as reconstructed by Aristotle: 

                 Limited     Unlimited                      
                 Odd         Even           
                 Male        Female                    
                 Light       Dark                 
                 Straight    Curved                   
                 ... and so on .... 

"Of these dualities, the first is the most important; all the others may be seen as different aspects of this fundamental dichotomy. To establish a rational and consistent relationship between the limited [man, etc.] and the unlimited [the cosmos, etc.] is… the central aim of all Western philosophy."
— Jamie James in
   The Music of the Spheres (1993)

"In the garden of Adding,
Live Even and Odd….
And the song of love's recision
is the music of the spheres."
— The Midrash Jazz Quartet in
   City of God, by E. L. Doctorow (2000)

Today is the feast of St. Johann Sebastian Bach.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Monday July 14, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Funeral or Wedding?

From the New York Times of

Bastille Day, 2003:

Isabelle d’Orléans et Bragance, 93, Dies;
Was the Countess of Paris


Isabelle d’Orléans et Bragance, Countess of Paris, who was married to a pretender to the throne of France, died on July 5 in Paris. She was 93.

The countess was the widow of Henri, Count of Paris, whom many royalists wanted to become King Henri VI of France. He died in 1999, and the couple’s eldest son, also called Henri, claimed the title of Count of Paris and Duke of France, becoming the new pretender.

Her full name was originally Isabel Marie Amélie Louise Victoire Thérèse Jeanne of Orléans and Bragana, or Bragance in French.

The Countess was associated with the

ville d’Eu in Haute-Normandie.

The patron saint of the ville d’Eu is Lawrence O’Toole, also the patron saint of Dublin, Ireland.

He is known in France as Saint Laurent, and here is a picture of his chapel near the ville d’Eu:

Two pieces of music seem appropriate to memorialize both the dark and the bright sides of life on this Bastille Day.

Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings was played at the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco, and so should be sufficiently royal for the Comtesse de Paris.

For the midi, click here.
(Piano arrangement by Brian Robinson.)

Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” originally sung (in a 1943 film) by Don Ameche, will serve to recall the bright side of life.  It was written after the 1931 Palermo wedding of the Comtesse but may, in a jazz arrangement, be pleasing to St. Norman J.  O’Connor, the jazz priest in my entry of July 5 — the date of death of the Comtesse, who may or may not have also been a saint.

For the midi, click here.

Now you has jazz.”
Cole Porter, High Society

Monday, July 7, 2003

Monday July 7, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:30 PM

Burying Andrew Heiskell

Matthew Book 8:

21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Andrew Heiskell, former chairman and CEO of TIME, Inc., died on Sunday, July 6, 2003.

The nauseating mixture of piety and warmongering instituted by Henry Luce continued under Heiskell in the Vietnam years, and continues today online, with a pious quotation from Mel Gibson and a cover headline, "Peace is Hell."

A search for a Heiskell eulogy at TIME.com yields the following "quote of the week":

"The Holy Ghost was working through me on this film, and I was just directing traffic." — Mel Gibson

Recent TIME traffic included covers on Ben Franklin, Crusaders, and Harry Potter.


July 7

June 30

June 23

How Mel would direct this traffic is not clear.

He would do well to pray, not to the ghost he calls holy, but to the ghost of T. S. Matthews, which may be summoned by clicking on the "jazz priest" link in yesterday's entry, "Happy Trails."  Matthews, who succeeded Luce as editor of TIME, can be trusted to dispose of Heiskell's immortal soul with intelligence and taste, in accordance with the company policy of Jesus quoted above.

Should Militant Mel require more spiritual guidance, he might consult my entry of May 27, 2003, which seems appropriate on this, the birthday of storyteller Robert A. Heinlein, author of Job: A Comedy of Justice.

Sunday, July 6, 2003

Sunday July 6, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:14 PM

Happy Trails

Today is the birthday of Texans Nanci Griffith and George W. Bush.  It is also the feast day of Saint Roy Rogers and the alleged saint Thomas More.

Seeking spiritual guidance from the life of Paulist "jazz priest" Norman J. O'Connor (see previous entry), who worked at a rehab called "Straight and Narrow," I did a Google search on "Nanci Griffith" + "Straight and Narrow."  At the top of the resulting list was a website that might have pleased Saint Roy:

Welcome to the Wild West Show!

Happy trails, indeed.

Saturday, July 5, 2003

Saturday July 5, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:21 PM

My Dear Gropius

“What is space, how can it be understood and given a form?”
— Walter Gropius


Stoicheia,” Elements, is the title of
Euclid’s treatise on geometry.

Stoicheia is apparently also related to a Greek verb meaning “march” or “walk.”

According to a website on St. Paul’s phrase ta stoicheia tou kosmou,” which might be translated

The Elements of the Cosmos,

“… the verbal form of the root stoicheo was used to mean, ‘to be in a line,’ ‘to march in rank and file.’ … The general meaning of the noun form (stoicheion) was ‘what belongs to a series.’ “

As noted in my previous entry, St. Paul used a form of stoicheo to say “let us also walk (stoichomen) by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) The lunatic ravings* of Saul of Tarsus aside, the concepts of walking, of a spirit, and of elements may be combined if we imagine the ghost of Gropius strolling with the ghosts of Plato, Aristotle, and Euclid, and posing his question about space.  Their reply might be along the following lines:

Combining stoicheia with a peripatetic peripateia (i.e., Aristotelian plot twist), we have the following diagram of Aristotle’s four stoicheia (elements),

which in turn is related, by the “Plato’s diamond” figure in the monograph Diamond Theory, to the Stoicheia, or Elements, of Euclid.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

* A phrase in memory of the Paulist Norman J. O’Connor, the “jazz priest” who died on St. Peter’s day, Sunday, June 29, 2003.  Paulists are not, of course, entirely mad; the classic The Other Side of Silence: A Guide to Christian Meditation, by the Episcopal priest Morton Kelsey, was published by the Paulist Press.

Its cover (above), a different version of the four-elements theme, emphasizes the important Jungian concept of quaternity.  Jung is perhaps the best guide to the bizarre world of Christian symbolism.  It is perhaps ironic, although just, that the Paulist Fathers should distribute a picture of “ta stoicheia tou kosmou,” the concept that St. Paul himself railed against.

The above book by Kelsey should not be confused with another The Other Side of Silence, a work on gay history, although confusion would be understandable in light of recent ecclesiastical revelations.

Let us pray that if there is a heaven, Father O’Connor encounters there his fellow music enthusiast Cole Porter rather than the obnoxious Saul of Tarsus.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Wednesday June 11, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 PM

Theology Today

From yesterday’s New York Times:

As Spinoza noted, “If a triangle could speak, it would say… that God is eminently triangular.”

— “Giving God a Break” by Nicholas D. Kristof

The figure above is by 
Robert Anton Wilson.

From today’s New York Times:

“The film’s personal, impious God embodies some central premises of black theology.”

— Samuel G. Freedman on Morgan Freeman as God in “Bruce Almighty”


      Gypsy Jazz

Okay, okay,
 a black triangle.

Gypsy Symbol

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Wednesday April 2, 2003

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 2:30 PM

Symmetries…. May 15, 1998

The following journal note, from the day after Sinatra died, was written before I heard of his death.  Note particularly the quote from Rilke.  Other material was suggested, in part, by Alasdair Gray’s Glasgow novel 1982 Janine.  The “Sein Feld” heading is a reference to the Seinfeld final episode, which aired May 14, 1998.  The first column contains a reference to angels — apparently Hell’s Angels — and the second column provides a somewhat more serious look at this theological topic.

Sein Feld


1984 Janine

“But Angels love their own
And they’re reaching out
    for you
Janine… Oh Janine
— Kim Wilde lyric,
    Teases & Dares album,
    1984, apparently about
    a British biker girl


Logos means above all relation.”
— Simone Weil,
    Gateway to God,
    Glasgow, 1982

Gesang ist Dasein….
 Ein Hauch um nichts.
 Ein Wehn im Gott.
 Ein Wind
— Not Heidegger but Rilke:
Sonnets to Orpheus, I, 3

Geometry and Theology

PA lottery May 14, 1998:
S8  The group of all projectivities and correlations of PG(3,2).

The above isomorphism implies the geometry of the Mathieu group M24.

“The Leech lattice is a blown-up version of
— W. Feit

“We have strong evidence that the creator of the universe loves symmetry.”
— Freeman Dyson

“Mackey presents eight axioms from which he deduces the [quantum] theory.”
— M. Schechter

“Theology is about words; science is about things.
— Freeman Dyson, New York Review of Books, 5/28/98

What is “256” about?

Tape purchased 12/23/97:


      Gypsy Jazz

“In the middle of 1982 Janine there are pages in which Jock McLeish is fighting with drugs and alcohol, attempting to either die or come through and get free of his fantasies. In his delirium, he hears the voice of God, which enters in small print, pushing against the larger type of his ravings.  Something God says is repeated on the first and last pages of Unlikely Stories, Mostly, complete with illustration and the words ‘Scotland 1984’ beside it. God’s statement is ‘Work as if you were in the early days of a better nation.’  It is the inherent optimism in that statement that perhaps best captures the strength of Aladair Gray’s fiction, its straightforwardness and exuberance.”
— Toby Olson, “Eros in Glasgow,” in Book World, The Washington Post, December 16, 1984

 For another look at angels, see “Winging It,” by Christopher R. Miller, The New York Times Book Review Bookend page for Sunday, May 24, 1998. May 24 is the feast day of Sara (also known by the Hindu name Kali), patron saint of Gypsies.

For another, later (July 16, 1998) reply to Dyson, from a source better known than myself, see Why Religion Matters, by Huston Smith, Harper Collins, 2001, page 66.

Monday, January 6, 2003

Monday January 6, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

Doctorow’s Epiphany

E. L. Doctorow is 72 today.

In the Garden of Adding…

The above is a phrase from The Midrash Jazz Quartet in Doctorow’s novel City of God.

Tonight’s site music is “Black Diamond.”

William T. Noon, S.J., Chapter 4 of Joyce and Aquinas, Yale University Press, 1957:

  A related epiphanic question, second only in interest to the question of the nature of epiphany, is how Joyce came by the term. The religious implications would have been obvious to Joyce: no Irish Catholic child could fail to hear of and to understand the name of the liturgical feast celebrated on January 6. But why does Joyce appropriate the term for his literary theory? Oliver St. John Gogarty (the prototype of the Buck Mulligan of Ulysses)… has this to say: “Probably Father Darlington had taught him, as an aside in his Latin class — for Joyce knew no Greek — that ‘Epiphany’ meant ‘a shining forth.'”

From Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining:

Danny Torrance: Is there something bad here?
Dick Hallorann: Well, you know, Doc, when something happens, you can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like, if someone burns toast. Well, maybe things that happen leave other kinds of traces behind. Not things that anyone can notice, but things that people who “shine” can see. Just like they can see things that haven’t happened yet. Well, sometimes they can see things that happened a long time ago. I think a lot of things happened right here in this particular hotel over the years. And not all of ’em was good.

From a website on author Willard Motley:

“Willard Motley’s last published novel is entitled, Let Noon Be Fair, and was actually published post-humously in 1966. The story line takes place in Motley’s adopted country of Mexico, in the fictional fishing village of Las Casas, which was based on Puerta [sic] Vallarta.”

See also “Shining Forth” and yesterday’s entry “Culinary Theology.”


Saturday, January 4, 2003

Saturday January 4, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:33 PM

Opening of the Graves

Revelation 20:12 
I saw the dead,
the great and the small,
standing before the throne,
and they opened books.

The Dead —

The Great: 

On January 4, 1965,
T. S. Eliot

The Small:

On January 4, 1991,
T. S. Matthews,
author of
Great Tom:
Notes Towards the Definition
of T. S. Eliot

From the website of the Redwood Library and Athenæum, Newport, Rhode Island:

The Library of a 20th-Century
Man of Letters

Redwood is the delighted recipient of part of the personal library of Thomas Stanley Matthews ([Jan. 16] 1901- [Jan. 4] 1991), a shareholder from 1947 until his death and a generous benefactor. Matthews, who summered in Middletown for over 50 years, began his journalism career with The New Republic, where he served as assistant editor between 1925 and 1927 and as an associate editor between 1927 and 1929. He was then hired as books editor at Time, where over the next 20 years he held the positions of assistant managing editor, executive editor, and managing editor. In 1949 he succeeded the magazine’s founder, Henry Luce, as editor. Upon retiring in 1953, he moved to England.

Matthews edited The Selected Letters of Charles Lamb (1956), for which he wrote the introduction. He published two volumes of memoirs, Name and Address: An Autobiography (1960) and Jacks or Better (1977; published in England as Under the Influence); two volumes of poetry; The Sugar Pill: An Essay on Newspapers (1957); O My America! Notes on a Trip (1962); Great Tom: Notes Towards the Definition of T. S. Eliot (1974); a volume of character sketches, Angels Unawares: Twentieth-Century Portraits (1985); and eight volumes of aphorisms, witticisms, and verse.

Shortly before his death, Matthews expressed the desire that all his books be left to Redwood Library…. [including] books by Seamus Heaney, Louis MacNeice, Ezra Pound, Laura Riding, Edward Arlington Robinson, W. H. Auden, e e cummings, and Robert Graves.

Of particular interest are the 16 volumes by Graves, most of them autographed by the author….

“Like the beat, beat, beat
of the tom-tom….”
— Cole Porter, 1932 


n. itinerant seller or giver of books,
especially religious literature.

Now you has jazz.

— Cole Porter, lyric for “High Society,”
set in Newport, Rhode Island, 1956

Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Wednesday January 1, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:24 PM


That Old Devil Moon

Kylie Minogue

    From The New York Times, Wed., Jan. 1, 2003:

Richard Horner, 82,
Broadway Producer, Is Dead

Richard Horner, a Broadway theater owner and producer who won a Tony Award for the 1974 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Moon for the Misbegotten,” died on Saturday [December 28, 2002] at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 82.

According to one source, the O’Neill revival opened on December 28, 1973 — the same date on which the life of one of its producers was later to close.

From a CurtainUp review:

The revival at the Morosco was dubbed by its company “The Resurrection Play” since Jason Robards undertook the part just after a near fatal car accident and its legendary director José Quintero had just given up drinking.

According to the Internet Broadway Database, this revival, or resurrection, took place officially not on December 28 — the date of Horner’s death — but, appropriately, a day later.

At any rate, O’Neill’s title, along with my weblog entry of December 28, 2002,

“On This Date,” featuring Kylie Minogue,

suggests the following mini-exhibit of artistic efforts:

Curtain Up!

July 2000
issue of GQ

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue strikes a pose. The cover is a takeoff on an Athena tennis poster.


Under the Volcano:

A painting based on Malcolm Lowry’s classic novel.

Having played tennis, Dr. Vigil and M. Laruelle talk about the events a year earlier.

The view is of Cuernavaca from the Casino de la Selva hotel.

Painting by
Julian Heaton Cooper.


For further details on Kylie, Mexico, tequila, and
Under the Volcano,
see my entry of November 5, 2002.

For today’s site music, click “Old Devil Moon” here.

Addendum of 9:30 pm 1/1/03:

For a politically correct view
of the above GQ cover,
see Charlotte Raven’s essay,
The Opposite of Sexy,”
from The Guardian, June 13, 2000.

For a more perceptive analysis,
see George Orwell’s essay,
The Art of Donald McGill,”
from Horizon, September 1941.

An Example of McGill’s Art

If there is a devil here,
I suspect it is less likely to be
Kyllie Minogue than Charlotte Raven.

Today’s birthdays:

J. D. Salinger (Nine Stories),
E. M. Forster (“Only connect”), and
Sir James Frazer (The Golden Bough).

Frazer might appreciate the remarks in
the SparkNotes essay on The Natural,
cited in my note “Homer” of Dec. 30, 2002,
on bird symbolism and vegetative myths.

Not amused: Charlotte Raven

Raven, take a bough.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Wednesday December 18, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 AM

For the Dark Lady

On this midnight in the garden of good and evil, our new site music is “Nica’s Dream.”

From a website on composer Horace Silver:

“Horace Silver apparently composed Nica’s Dream (1956) for Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter-Rothschild, an English aristocrat and a very dear friend of his. She was known to the New York press as the Jazz Baroness and to the black musicians for whom she was something of a patron, simply as Nica. Her apartment in the fashionable Hotel Stanhope on Fifth Avenue became a ‘hospitality suite for some of the greatest jazz players of the day, whom she treated generously.’ (Jack Chambers, Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis, University of Toronto Press, 1985, 1:248)

This music is not unrelated to the work of Thomas Pynchon.  From an essay by Charles Hollander:  

“There are some notable parallels between Nica and the woman Stencil knows as V., who started her career with ‘…a young crude Mata Hari act.’ (V.; 386)….  Not that V. is Nica in any roman a clef sense: she is not. But the resonances are powerful at the level of the subtext. Nica is a Rothschild whose life reflects the issues Pynchon wants us to attend in V.: disinheritance, old dynasty vs. new dynasty, secret agents and couriers, plots and counter-plots, ‘The Big One, the century’s master cabal,’ and ‘the ultimate Plot Which Has No Name’ (V.; 226)….” 

See also my journal entry for the December 16-17 midnight, “Just Seventeen.”

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Thursday November 21, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:11 PM

Hope of Heaven

This title is taken from a John O’Hara novel I like very much. It seems appropriate because today is the birthday of three admirable public figures:

“No one can top Eleanor Powell – not even Fred Astaire.” — A fellow professional.  Reportedly, “Astaire himself said she was better than him.” 

That’s as good as it gets.

Let us hope that Powell, Hawkins, and Q are enjoying a place that Q, quoting Plato’s Phaedrus, described as follows:

“a fair resting-place, full of summer sounds and scents!”

This is a rather different, and more pleasant, approach to the Phaedrus than the one most familiar to later generations — that of Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance.  Both approaches, however, display what Pirsig calls “Quality.”

One of my own generation’s closest approaches to Quality is found in the 25th Anniversary Report of the Harvard Class of 1964.  Charles Small remarks,

“A lot of other stuff has gone down the drain since 1964, of course, besides my giving up being a mathematician and settling into my first retirement.  My love-hate relationship with the language has intensified, and my despair with words as instruments of communion is often near total.  I read a little, but not systematically. I’ve always been enthralled by the notion that Time is an illusion, a trick our minds play in an attempt to keep things separate, without any reality of its own. My experience suggests that this is literally true, but not the kind of truth that can be acted upon….

I’m always sad and always happy. As someone says in Diane Keaton’s film ‘Heaven,’ ‘It’s kind of a lost cause, but it’s a great experience.'”

I agree.  Here are two links to some work of what is apparently this same Charles Small:

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Sunday October 20, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 3:17 AM


Music for Henry

HomerTheBrave has provided a link to an excellent Tom Tomorrow strip dealing with Ford’s Feb. 23, 1997, commercial-free sponsorship of “Schindler’s List” on TV.

To honor Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Co. and author of

The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem,

which includes a chapter titled

Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music,

this site’s music is now Rhapsody in Blue.

For more on art and power, see the article on Cardinal Richelieu by Deborah Weisgall in today’s New York Times.

Thursday, October 3, 2002

Thursday October 3, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:33 PM


A memorial to jazz pianist Ellis Larkins,
who died on Michaelmas.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Sunday September 29, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:54 PM

Angel Night

In honor of Ellis Larkins, jazz musician, who died on Sunday, September 29, 2002, the feast of Saint Michael and All Angels, here is the best midi rendition I can find of the classic melody “Angel Eyes.”

(This entry was actually made on October 3, 2002, but I had saved a place for it on Michaelmas.  The midi is from Wesley Dick’s Juke Box page.  For some classic New Orleans funeral music, go to Dick’s home page.)

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Wednesday August 28, 2002

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:24 PM

Requiem for a Critic

Sample clips of Thelonious Monk compositions:

Four in One,


A 1999 Mike Melillo Trio album, “Bopcentric,” includes the above compositions.

“Melillo is a striking pianist, a chameleon who has a Bud Powell touch on a Charlie Parker be bop number, who evokes appropriate echoes of Thelonious Monk”.
— John S. Wilson in The New York Times

From sleeve notes by Orrin Keepnews at

The Thelonious Monk Website:

For many years regarded as an awesome genius, but one whose ideas were too far-out for general consumption, Monk now seems finally to be gaining long-deserved acceptance….  some critics feel that he is becoming (as John S. Wilson has put it) “increasingly lucid.”

From The New York Times of August 28, 2002:

John S. Wilson, the first critic to write regularly about jazz and popular music in The New York Times, died yesterday at a nursing home in Princeton, N.J. He was 89 and lived in Princeton.

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