Central Snark

Moment of (Jazz) Zen by Snuppy
Friday, 23 February 2007, 10:06am
Filed under: music music

Man, if you have to ask what it (jazz) is, you’ll never know.

                                                            ~Louis Armstrong  

ellaTHIS hasn’t been the most impressive week in the Snark Park, as far as comments go — despite a very fun/brain-teasing guest turn by the same snarktastic, charming and/or MadLibbing blogpal, who brings us all those hilarious-yet-CRUMMY CHURCH SIGNS.  But hey, it’s all good. We figure many of you were simply out ‘n about gettin’ your groove on, instead of hanging around the Blogosphere, where everyone knows your name, and some of us were waiting for you to show up, just so we could use it. Not that we’re bitter. Nonetheless, it’s occurred to us that two (or three or five) can play that game. So, for today (as in: “until tomorrow, when the brilliant DJ LAMPSHA takes the blog out for another fine Saturday Spin”) we plan to kick back, chill out, and “go with the flow”… in hopes you can all dig where we’re coming from. Or are going to. Whatever.

ONE of the best ways for some of us to get into a “groovy flow”, is by listening to JAZZ*. We absolutely love it, and, when we’re feeling lonely, or sad, or blue, or abandoned, or ignored, or unloved, or, or… um, anything else that keeps our normally brilliant smiles off our happy little faces, we try to listen to the stuff that makes us tap our toes while we sing our hearts out, despite the fact that we rarely know the words. Thank God for Jazz singers like the great, ELLA FITZGERALD, aka Lady Ella, aka The First Lady of Song**, who helped perfect the Jazz approach to “lyric impairment” through the art of SCAT SINGING — because that’s something we now do (poorly) whenever the words to a song fail us (which is often, and embarrassing).

AND now, your moment of (Jazz) ZEN, a la Ella, with a little help from one of the most innovative and important jazz band leaders of his time — or any time — the legendary COUNT BASIE (believe it or not, one of us (me) was fortunate to have seen this remarkable man perform back in the 70’s, in, of all places, Fresno). Shadoo-ba-dweet-dweet-doobie-shoobie-doo.

AND that’s what jazz sounds like, kids, when it’s performed by some of the brilliantly gifted folks who helped put it on the Music Map.

 *We know, we know… Another Wikipedia article, but it’s a nice overview, and this post is really NOT intended to be a lesson in Jazz, just an introduction to a fabulous Jazz singer, in an attempt to lift spirits — albeit, our own. 

**Perhaps some of you recall the fact that one of us (me) met this amazing woman back in her youth (mine, not Ella’s), in Canada. The fascinating tale of this momentous meeting can be found HERE. Ah yes, good times.

PS: Count your lucky stars (or whatever it is that you like to count, including, but not limited to, those dust bunnies congregating under your bed) we didn’t mention word one about last night’s elimination round of AMERICAN IDOL. That’s right, despite a number (one) of requests from our (my) veryvery smart tho’-sometimes-she-has-questionable-taste-when-it-comes-to-TV-shows sister, Dr. Terri, to reprise a series of brilliant posts (brilliant? hahahahaha!) that we (I) wrote last year about the show, we (I) decided not to. Mostly because we (I) haven’t seen it. We have it on good authority (hers) that our (my) decision not to watch was, and we quote: “stupid”.



14 Comments so far
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i know this is a longish post(ish) — but what the hell, it’s Friday, and this particular clip is absolutely amazing. as we approach the end of February, we hope to feature a few more BLACK HISTORY MONTH-related “articles”, because, well, it’s the right thing to do, not to mention the fact that it involves an aspect of our country’s past i happen to feel passionately about. (although, why only ONE month is set aside to celebrate a core group of American citizens is beyond me…)

hope everyone has a grand and groovy day! xox

Comment by One Hot Puppy

I love jazz, that is when I have time and am feeling well enough. I’ll find out my latest test results next week.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Comment by Brian

Ah, a wonderful post and that is such a great story of your meeeting The First Lady of SOng and seeing Count Basie in concert. I consider myself lucky to have gone on a class trip with Tali last year to see Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra perform the works of Count Basie and talk about his life to the kids. It was wonderful. What a rich rich tradition it has formed for American music.

By the way, just last night I was employing a little scat singing to get ChooChoo into bed – “that’s right the cat and the dog (picutres above his bed) want to talk to thee, they’re singing scit scat scootadoo bip bop bee” and so on and so forth. I bet Ella could have had him to sleep in no time.

Wonderful post and I couldn’t agree more about Black History month and the rich history the Black Culture has brought to the quilt of our country.

I’d say thank you also for yuor shout outs but you know ixnay on the illiantbray – you just know I’ll break my crown on the fall downwards. But thank you just the same and chin up SNups, XOX

Comment by Princess Lampsha

You’d probably get a lot more comments if you stopped letting those talentless hacks guest-post on your blog.


Comment by Joel

Snuppy!! mwah
Don’t be sad,
you’ll make me want to sing to you :p
excellent songs, love this post and I want to hear the Princess Lampsha’s go to bed song.

Comment by logo™

Ah, Ella. Louie. Jazz. I’d listen, but I’m too busy rehearsin’. Y’all could come out to the great village city of Bath, Maine next Saturday and dance with us. You’d be part of a wonderful, select audience – and you wouldn’t even have to take off your shoes to count ’em. And you could listen to us. Especially me.

Trust me. The reputations of Basie, Ellington et al. are safe from us. I make no such promise for your ears.


Comment by oceallaigh

Brian: so nice to see you here, tho’ i’m so sorry to know you’ve been ill. i hope the test results reveal something that’s not just manageable, but curable. stay well. xox

Lampsha: *blush* thank you, my friend. and how lucky were you to have seen/heard Wynton Marsalis in person?? wow! i’m guessing that was almost as memorable as your skatastic singing! (too funny) as for your spins? oy — for one who claims to have no special “skills” in this area, you manage to feature remarkable artists on a weekly basis. ’tis a gift you’ve been blessed with, NBFF, a GIFT! xox

Joel: (cracks me up everytime i see your name, because i keep thinking you’re Bobo…) dude, your post was, now… what was that word again? oh yeah, SNARKTASTIC. so shut up, and start writing… xox

logo™: you are way too sweet — that said, MWAH! right back atcha. and i’m with you, i would LOVELOVELOVE to hear Lampsha sing her skatty little ditty (perhaps we should find a way to do that?) Happy belated Birthday, too, dear friend! xox

O’C: speaking of “recording performances”… get someone to tape that, and by golly, i’ll GLADLY post the video! seriously, i would love to hear you play, and i’m certain the handful of people who venture out of their igloos up there on Saturday (in order to see/dance with y’all) will be in for a treat! xox

Comment by snuppy

I guess I’m in the PRincess Lampsha mode today – what the heck! Yeah Joel #2 – get writing! I guess we couldn’t call him CrummyJoel to differentiate him from Bobo, huh Snup? That might sound mean, we don’t want to sound mean, do we? Or do we?

OC, if only you were just a little bit south, we’d organize a field trip. Who knows, weather gets warmer eventually and Maine is a beautiful place to visit.

I’d do a G-night song for you all but first I’ll have to unveil myself at Waking and then I can come out here. Be careful what you ask for…

Comment by Princess Lampsha

Well, the gigs go through May, and then we have an active summer season, Snuppy and Lampy. If I last here that long. I’ll be on the left coast from the middle of June through August, and possibly before (and after) that. So don’t wait too long, if you’re really thinking about it and not just humoring me.

I’ll ask about the video, but I doubt it. The dancers would just whack the camera. St. Mark’s Church in Bath evidently did a taping of one of the concert band’s Christmas concerts, it’s reputed to be fairly decent. For our band anyway.

Comment by oceallaigh

Princess Lampsha: (don’t know how i missed that, my bad!) “CrummyJoel” is BRILLIANT! so much so, i plan to change his side-bar moniker as soon as i finish this comment. and, yes, a trip to Maine would be fab. as for the “unveiling” of your fine pipes on WA, uh… is there something you need to share with your NBFF? xox

O’C: dude, how many times do i have to tell you? if my Joel and i had our way, we’d be living within driving distance of Bath thisveryminute. we lovelovelove Maine.

oooh, and check into that other video, if you don’t mind — i think it would be a wonderful thing to share. selfishly, i’d like to do that here, but i suppose you could also stick it on your own fine blog. that is, if you reallyreallyreally wanted to, and won’t mind crushing our posty hopes, in the process. xox

Comment by snuppy

That was beautiful

It’s also good to know that other people and/or their blogs are suffering the winter doldrums.

Comment by piats

Ah. Nothing like Ella to make me feel better about not having commented much. Piña colada?

Comment by Walela

No…that’s not mean…I think that fits.

I didn’t know there was another one of me out there to be differentiated from!

Comment by CrummyJoel

[…] Piano Lesson Jump to Comments A few days ago, I told the gang over at Central Snark that I would be playing with the Bath Municipal Jazz Band at a swing dance in a couple of weeks. […]

Pingback by A Piano Lesson « O Ceallaigh’s Felloffatruck Publications

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