Odds And Ends: Well, Actually, Two Odds And A Video At The End


In Los Angeles, we had a kumquat tree. Every winter it gave us a crop of the tangy little citrus globules. After we moved north to apple country, I missed the kumquats. One day a couple of summers ago, my wife returned from a shopping expedition with a fledgling kumquat tree in a pot. She found it at a Home Depot, of all places. What the heck, she said, it may not survive in this climate, but it’s worth a try. In spring, summer and fall, we keep it on the deck. In winter, it sits in front of the French doors leading to the deck. Last February, we had 24 small kumquats. This season, there are 53, some now big and ready to eat, others small, green and growing. I’m happy.
Kumquats 1Kumquats 2

If you want to know more about kumquats—and who doesn’t?—listen to the rather unusual man in this video. Hurry back.

You may notice that there is no kumquat music in this post. If you do a web search using the term “kumquat songs,” you will understand why.

That concludes this special Rifftides kumquat report. Viewers’ kumquat komments are welcome. Use the “Speak Your Mind” box at the end of the post.


Mr. McNeil, a trumpet player given to wryness in his musical and non-musical pursuits, sent the photograph below, accompanied by this message:

I ran across this olde picture of the loft jazz scene in NY in ’72.

McNeil faux 1970s

Under cross-examination, he confessed that the picture was, in fact, taken the night of February 6, 2013 at ShapeShifter Lab, a non-retro performance space in the heart of downtown Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. That accounts for Mr. McNeil’s up-to-date appearance. But what accounts for the other guys looking as if they are really in 1972? They are Jeremy Udden, alto saxophone; Aryeh Kobrinsky, bass; and Vinnie Sperazza, drums. The photographer was Elvind Opsik, who played bass that night with another band. McNeil suggests that Opskind may have processed the grainy black and white photo “with some kind of gritty app—‘Igrit,’ or ‘GritMeDaddy.’” We may never know.

Here is John McNeil with bassist Jorge Roeder in a piece called “Dover Beach,” uploaded to YouTube by guitarist Julian Lage about a year ago.

For previous Rifftides posts and videos involving McNeil, visit this archive page.

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  1. Roberta says

    Happy Chinese New Year to you and thank you for the story about Kumquats. When Spring comes and I know it will I’ll look for one at Home Depot and put it out to grow in the sun and sea air of Westhampton!