Monk at 100

Shiraz Socialist

Thelonious Sphere Monk, born (Rocky Mount North Carolina) Oct 11 1917; died Feb 17 1982


Above: Monk (piano) with Charlie Rouse (thr sax). Larry Gales (bass), Ben Riley (drums), Fairfield Hall, Croydon UK): playing Rhythm a Ning

The always-perceptive Gary Giddins commented, in a 2002 interview:

I can’t imagine anyone confusing Monk with any other performer. If you do a blindfold test and play Monk, the listener is likely going to know it’s him after about two bars. Everything about the way he approaches the piano and music is so distinctive. People used to use words like idiosyncratic and eccentric, but there is, of course, more than that — there is a tremendous beauty in Monk’s music, and it is peculiar to him. Everything about his attack, the particular percussiveness of his style, his use of chords, his astonishing time, can only be described as “Monkian.” And in terms…

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George Bernard on the funniest joke in the world:

2017-07-05 (14)truth is the funniest joke

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W. Eugene Smith. two photographs. the first: mother and child of Minamata (a town that suffered horrific mercury poisoning) and Monk at Smith’s loft.

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Malcolm X on “education”

2017-06-28 (30)Malcolm X on education 1

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Happy B’day Dalia & Che

my friend and companera Dalia has turned another page in the calendar.  i w’d always pretend to forget her b’day and claim i thought it was Bastille Day,  July 14.  in fact, she shares a b’day with one her idols, Ernesto Che Guevara who w’d have turned 89 this year.  here he’s pictured with two of our favorites, Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.

Dalia is shown taking the oath of office as President of SEIU Local 1000.

the last photo is of the Zapatistas having breakfast in Sanborn near Las Bellas Artes and the Alameda.  She and i had breakfast there several times when we visited Mexico City way back when…though the scene pictured is much older.  she was/is a great friend.

Dalia being sworn in as President of her local

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three Graphic novels

when i visit the library (one of my favorite places) lately, i check out the graphic novels section not for the latest superheroes, villains or a juvenile sci-fi  or super-natural fantasy but for more “serious” reading. sometimes, i get lucky.

last year, i found When David lost his voice a graphic novel by Judith Vanistendael. she tells the story of a man diagnosed with throat cancer, given 6 months to live and the effects on the women in his life. in addition to an engaging story line, the water color drawings are inventive & excellent.

a few weeks later, i found Rolling Blackouts, dispatches from Turkey, Syria and Iraq” by Sarah Glidden who follows two journalists (friends calling themselves the Seattle Globalist) and a former marine on a trip to document the effects of the Iraq war on refugees and others. this graphic novel is more conventionally drawn but the story and dialogues are reality based.

Years ago, i picked up a copy of Art Spiegelman’s Maus…not a “funny” subject but this graphic novel is regarded as a classic retelling of the Holocaust.

the graphic novels that catch my attention have a dramatic narrative arc and illustrations that make them doubly interesting.  in addition, they are quick reads.  i read When David lost his voice twice in one evening.

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Lucy Parsons-my favorite dicho:

Lucy Parsons-never be deceived

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