Monday, September 04, 2006
The Croc Hunter Ruled!!
Friday, August 25, 2006
No One Played High Notes Like 'The Lip'
I learned this morning that Maynard Ferguson has passed away.
For those of you who don’t know Maynard Ferguson, he was what many regarded as the last great jazz trumpeters.
I first became familiar with Maynard Ferguson in high school. I started playing trumpet in 4th grade and by the time I started high school I chose music over sports as my primary extra curricular activity. At the time all the older kids spent most of their non formal practice time on exercises that increased their range so they could hit these high notes that at the time I never even knew could be produced by the instrument. It was only later that I learned these notes were not only capable of being played but were surpasses by the person they were all trying to emulate, Maynard Ferguson.
Our Jazz program always included at least one arrangement by Maynard. Sometimes it was “Gonna Fly Now” (which brought Maynard his largest commercial success) or
A few personal Maynard moments:
At a Jazz clinic in High School I got to scat sing with Dennis DiBlasio, an alumni with the Maynard Ferguson band. I remember him doing a Maynard impression something to the effect of “Hey get me some pasta”…*squeals a high note*…hey get me some lamb chops *rips another solo* …etc. etc. (Maynard loved food as much as his trumpet)
A few years ago a few of my friends and I were able to attend a concert at a local high school that Maynard was putting on. The last 20 years or so of Maynard’s life were equally dedicated to being a professional performer and an educator. We all were musicians, and all teetered on going or now. I kind of viewed it as my one and perhaps only chance to see Maynard. Needless to see we did go to the concert and my instincts were right. After speaking with my buddy Christian today we both had fond memories of the night and appreciated the fact that we went.
About two months ago I was in
Maynard Ferguson was known the world over for his great range when playing in the upper register (high notes), signature kiss-offs, and love of food. While some jazz purest take exception to Maynard showmanship and commercial ventures (perhaps with some merit), I would argue that it was Maynard who captured the attention of most of my contemporary’s and possessed almost unmatched longevity. That will be his lasting legacy.
Rest In Peace Maynard ‘The Lip’
Maynard Ferguson May 4th 1928 –
Monday, July 31, 2006
Thursday, April 27, 2006
I want to be a part of it...
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Today is Earth Day...Did you remember?
Neither did I.
Well, I guess I did. But did you really?
This debate aside as we 'hopefully' become more and more environmentally concious I hope we can take some time to appreciate just how beautiful this world can be if we are willing to take the time and make the effort to act as responsibliy as we can.
The official Earth Day site can be found here.
Cool quiz here.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
To those celebrating, whether it be with Christ or just with friends and family I wish you peace and joy.
Friday, April 14, 2006
A Tale of Two Cities - Washington D.C. and Paris
In particular what has sparked my interest has been the marching and demonstrations within the United States protesting the Immigration Bill that was passed by the House in the United States and the protests/riots in France over the proposed labor-law reform. In the United States the Immigration Bill is set to redefine the 'legal status' of those working in the United States, but came here illegally. Allowing most workers to stay under a guest worker program as well as to provide a 'path' for these same individuals to gain citizenship. In France the law would simply allow employers to lay off employees in their first two years.
Some thoughts and observations:
At the heart of the French resistance are those anarchist thugs and anti-globalist foes who insist it cheats the developing world's poor. While Globalization isn't without its victims the net results are positive. A win/win. The great exception though isn't Asia or Africa though, it is Europe.
In the D.C., America's own immigrants (legal or otherwise) demonstrated for the right to work. In Paris, French students and radical posers marched/rioted to prevent the creation of jobs for the less privileged.
Unemployment averages around 10 percent in France. In the United States the figure is less than 5 percent unemployment. Youth unemployment is far higher in France sitting at 23 percent, and the figure for youth unemployment among France's immigrant youth is almost at 50 percent.
Europe's cradle-to-grave welfare systems wroked as long as Europeans engaged in protectionism at home at the same time exploiting captive, neo-colonial markets abroad. With the IT revolution, the rise of globalism and the internatinal triumph of entrepreneurship, what Thomas Friedman would call the "flattening of the world" Europe is faced with insolvency.
Ralph Peters of the New York Post correctly states that the "winners" of the globalizing world will be:
"those willing to adapt, innovate and work hard. Wich means, above all, North Americans and East Asians, the English-speaking world and talented inidividuals who welcome risk."
Further the losers will be:
"those who cling to the past, who demand privileges without paying them, who cherish stultifying security above opportunity."
So how are each of our two cities dealing with the matter:
In Washington, while the focus remains defining the 'legal' status hiring of non-citizen workers who are already in our country illegally and providing a citizenship path for these productive folks willing to work while emphasizing the importance of enforcing immigration laws this day forward.
Paris has taken a different path. Rather than reasoned debate and revision to its proposed labor-law, it has all but been completely abandoned. Bowing to nothing more than spoiled adolescents and unions, the very small step needed to address the economic concerns of the French economy has been removed. What is to become of the non-university-educated oung adults who have no jobs to riot over, let alone the prospects of landing any?
In Washington there is a worrisome deficit. But as long as Ameircas workforce continues to be employed and produce its problems, worst case, lie well into the future.
In Paris, with growing unemployed masses, unassimilated and unemployed immigrant blocks, suffocating taxes and legal codes that discourage innovation and entrepreneurship combined with the expectation of a credle-to-grave welfare system the problem is here and now.
While America maybe saying Adios one day in the future, is France really that far from saying Au Revoir?
Karl Marx said that the global revolution would be led by the workers of the world. He was right to some extent, but rather by social radicals of the 'workers parties' it is being led by the workers of the capitalist economies of the world.