12

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Some new things are happening while no one is looking.

Most of them are old things. I moved my iTunes library on to a gigantic external hard drive, making it relatively bottomless, and I've been importing a mess of jazz, including the CDs that have the recording in the picture, Charlie Parker with Strings. I've been getting back to it lately, playing my horn after work, partly to peel my brain off of work things, and partly because I've been doing some college pennance, reading this. aand partly because the holidays and I have agreed to disagree.

The book is good. I used volume 2 of Chambers' book to write a couple of papers in music school, and found it again at B&N a few years ago, 2 volumes in one paperback, with an introduction that finishes the story somewhat, covering the period from the time the book was originally published to the end of Davis's life. That indroduction sets kind of a bitter tone, read in front of the rest of the two volumes of meticulous recording-oriented biography. In the introduction, Chambers argues very convincingly that the Miles Davis autobiography that came out in the late 80s plagarizes his own work. His evidence is compelling, with textual comparisons between passages from his book and the autobiography that are unambiguously damming. If I hadn't known the book before the introduction though it would seem like the whole volume was going to treat it's subject harshly. Even if harsh is fair, it would be a long read. The whole of the book is more even, and better for it.

The rest of the book is very loosely organized around the recordings, every single recording ever made, wether reissued, originally issued, or even extant. For that reason, about the first 100 pages is really good on Charlie Parker, shedding light on members of the supporting cast of Bop such as Ross Russel, Billy Shaw, Freddie Webster, and Fats Navarro.

I'm only about 100 pages in, but so far it's been good.

Here then is another short installment. I had hoped to have 50 of these by the end of the year, but I only managed twelve. Better luck next year. I mean, tomorrow. The holidays came up on me from behind, such that I never had a chance. I'd like to say good riddance to 2006, but that would be much worse than it deserves. It's been a good year, just doesn't seem like it. I've made a lot of progress this year, and it's all been good, but the fact is, self-improvment is only a lateral move. You're able to do things more in the way that you should be able to do them, but it's only a good thing because you really needed to be doing those things all along. That money's spent, and they way you've been earning it, it seems like it should have been extra.

Still, twelve, that's one a month, right? Here's to more of the same in the New Year, and a even more, generally, of what's not the same. And here's to you getting whatever your hoping for or needing too. Here's to that for the both of us, if only because hoping and needing are often the same thing.

Let's be better than we've been, and new, like the calendar.

Happy New Year!

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