Lookback: a random encounter with Lester Young

From 2004:

I came home from Broadway a little while ago and was too wired to go to bed, so I turned on the TV, started channel-surfing, and suddenly found myself watching a snippet from The Sound of Jazz, the famous 1957 show still widely (and rightly) regarded as the finest jazz program ever telecast. Ben Webster was playing a slow blues in F, with Gerry Mulligan nodding in the background, and as the camera panned to Billie Holiday, I realized that the song was “Fine and Mellow” and that the next face I saw would be Lester Young, sick unto death…

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Almanac: Isaiah Berlin on the tragic nature of life

“If, as I believe, the ends of men are many, and not all of them are in principle compatible with each other, then the possibility of conflict–and of tragedy–can never wholly be eliminated from human life, either personal or social. The necessity of choosing between absolute claims is then an inescapable characteristic of the human condition.”
Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty”

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