A recent broadcast of American Routes featured commentary and music from and about two of jazz’s greatest composers and players, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Now, I have as much authority to say anything of […]
As the Rev. Gary Davis sang, "Death don't have no mercy in this land." And while death is ever present on the edges of our experience, ever anticipating, life isn't much easier--we all have our struggles, our troubles in mind, those periods of darkness for which only music is antidote. Trouble in Mind grapples with the darkness. It does not hide from pain or loss; rather, through music, we attempt understand the elemental nature of these concepts, the true and simple, and we grow from them. It is not, as many people say of Blues music, "depressing." It is real. We don't chase fantasies and swallow pop nuggets on Trouble in Mind. We share stories--through artists such as Muddy Waters, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and many others--that make sense of the dangerous path we all must walk. And at the end we will be granted no mercy. But at least we have comfort along the way.
Posts by Jeff Long
There is something awful and bloated about “November Rain,” from the piano flourish in its first few seconds to the overcooked chorus of voices at the eight-minute coda of this synthed-up, heavily […]
Aside from an audio clip woven into the end of the album, the music of Miles Davis’s A Tribute to Jack Johnson seems to have little to do with the esteemed boxer’s life and […]
Yawn. Everybody loves the Beatles. The marginalized and the well-adjusted, the fringe and the center, the left and the right, they all have a favorite Beatles song. The social worker […]
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