National Review asked me (among others) to make some Christmas gift recommendations. To find out what I suggested, go here and scroll down.
Archives for November 28, 2011
To go to a basement nightclub in Manhattan and sit ten feet away from a big band in full cry is one of the most exhilarating experiences known to man. Once upon a time I did so fairly often, but nowadays I rarely manage to do it more than once a year, when Mrs. T and I head down to the Jazz Standard on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to hear Maria Schneider‘s band.
Each year we do our best not to miss the last night of Maria’s annual week-long residency at the Jazz Standard, but this time around I felt more strongly than ever before the absolute need to flee from life and immerse myself in the world of art. Too much work, too much stress, too much everything…so we walked away from our worries, lined up at the door, and within minutes found ourselves sitting two tables away from the musicians, the very place where we most wanted to be.
The sound of a big band in a small room hits you like a benign tornado, filling the air with glowing clouds of harmony. It is, I suppose, possible to think of other things in the midst of such a maelstrom, but I didn’t: I let the outside world go and was content.
Eventually the music stopped, as it always does, and we said our farewells to Maria and caught a cab outside the club.
“Why don’t we do that more often?” asked Mrs. T as we pulled away.
“Beats me,” I replied.
* * *
The Maria Schneider Orchestra plays “Journey Home”:
Zora Neale Hurston talks about zombies on Mary Margaret McBride‘s radio show in 1943:
“Late love has this in common with first love, it is again involuntary.”
Sybille Bedford, A Legacy