I was going to write about today's silly purchase of a cassette of the full Bitches Brew by Miles Davis that didn't turn out as I expected since I forgot cassettes only hold 90 or so minutes of music and Bitches Brew is a double album. (It only had two cuts.)
I knew he was in ill health and yet, I feel sadder than I thought I might. The context of today's news doesn't help, between the anniversary of 9/11 and yesterday's testimony by General Petraeous. And Susan Sontag's contrary words in the New Yorker immediately after the attacks still resonate:
The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilize the public...A lot of thinking needs to be done, and perhaps is being done in Washington and elsewhere, about the ineptitude of American intelligence and counter-intelligence, about options available to American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and about what constitutes a smart program of military defense... The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy.
News of the death of Joe Zawinul may also trigger a feeling of innocence lost. He, along with Miles Davis and John Coltrane, represented the first vivid examples of musical artistry and innovation I responded to as a teen (my exposure to contemporary classical music came later).
Fortunately, playing through the music of Weather Report tonight reminds me of its optimism and spirit, and reminds me I was lucky to see these eye-opening musicians in 1976 at, of all places, the Indianapolis Convention Center.
On YouTube, here's a video from the Smothers Brothers show, of the Buckingham's playing Joe Zawinul's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy:
aworks: in a silent way pharoah's dance bitches brew reflections miles davis. wikipedia: joe zawinul wayne shorter jaco pastorius weather report bitches brew smothers brothers show. american thinker: joe zawinul: mr. gone.