Sonny Rollns with President

Yes, yes, I know. Sonny Rollins is 83 today, and Rifftides is joining the celebration late. There is a reason but no excuse. We jump on the birthday bandwagon by bringing you Rollins playing an extended version of a tune his mother remembered from her girlhood in the Virgin Islands. "St. Thomas" has been an essential and beloved part of his repertoire for more than 50 years. The rhythm section Is Kenny Drew, piano; Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, bass; Albert "Tootie" Heath, drums. The video is … [Read more...]

Other Matters: How About A Little Courtesy?

Norman Isaacs 1985

For a couple of hundred years, newspapers used courtesy titles. Many papers that equated Abraham Lincoln with the devil often wrote about “Mr. Lincoln” or “The President,” even as their editorials pilloried him. Up until about the time of Ronald Regan, in news columns and in radio and television newscasts, whoever was president received the respect of title. The operating theory in most of US journalism was that the office warrants respect regardless of the politics and policies of its occupant. … [Read more...]