Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hodgepodge 298/365 - Death (and Music)

I subscribe to the notion that deaths come in threes: it amuses me to do so, and it makes me pay attention. Both to the souls that are passing from the earth and to trying to understand my influences, what makes me who I am.

This past week, we lost "comedian, civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, conspiracy theorist, and occasional actor"—also health food advocate—Dick Gregory (August 19, age 84); then "comedian, actor, singer, producer, director, screenwriter, and humanitarian" Jerry Lewis (August 20, age 91); and yesterday, jazz guitarist, composer, and band leader John Abercrombie (age 72).

I did not follow Gregory or Lewis. Gregory was well outside my particular bell jar of reality. As for Lewis, I wasn't (and am not) a fan of his slapstick brand of humor, and my family was not the sort to watch his muscular dystrophy telethon (or any such star-studded extravaganza). 

But John Abercrombie: I am trying to remember if I ever saw him live. I believe so; I believe he performed along with Ralph Towner at a show we went to at a little jazz club in Paris, back in the 1980s. We certainly owned a few albums that feature him.

Here's a quiet tune that Abercrombie and Towner recorded together, from their 1976 ECM release Sargasso Sea. It's called "Fable."

RIP. All three of you. And the other million or so people who died this week. You will be missed.

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