Thursday, July 26, 2007

76 degrees, 8:55 p.m. and "Stolen Moments"

The air won't move.
If it moved, the 76 degrees and 79 percent humidity at 8:55 p.m. wouldn't feel so bad.
There is no breeze, though, so the air won't move. The air stifles and you feel the need to push through it just to walk from one place to another.
"Stolen Moments" is the perfect song for this imperfect weather.
Oliver Nelson's "The Blues and the Abstract Truth" is generally considered one of the masterworks of jazz, and the lead track is one of the reasons why.
Nelson, the tenor saxophone player and famed arranger, cut down at age 43 by a heart attack, details the composition in his original liner notes:
"The tune consists of three melodic ideas which extend the basic blues form. Freddie Hubbard begins with a very sensitive and soulful trumpet solo, followed by Eric Dolphy on flute and a tenor solo by myself. Bill Evans completes the series with a beautiful piano solo."
The song is quietly majestic, and is one of those pillars of jazz music -- a tune seems to grow in stature every time I hear it.
Of course, it helps to have Dolphy on board. I put Dolphy among America's greatest-ever musicians.
I am feeling melancholic tonight, so I am going to lay in bed and let "Stolen Moments" accompany me to sleep.


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