Thursday, 8 June 2017

Merry Prankster Don Ellis & Not Dying Before You Get Old

Charity shop find this morning - why not? I had a thing about Don Ellis years ago but never bought this 1968 album and haven't played him for some time. It's in VG condition, as is the band, especially on the 'live' version of Indian Lady, all 17mins of inspired freeform soloing lunacy as befits the era of merry pranksterism, even in Jazz such as this. Don was something of a hippy's choice when it comes to Jazz (along with that bloke who made Bitch's Brew) and did all right with the longhair crowd. Here are the original 'sleevenotes' by Columbia. Note the idea that 'With records it's easy to pick out the songs you want to play' (!) Not compared to an MP3 it isn't, is it? So the notion of an easy, convenient listening experience becomes outmoded. 

A few doors down I walk into Age UK chariddy shop to find their station playing Cream's White Room - no-one else found that ironic I'll bet, not that the super group's classic was a protest anthem but once again it struck me how passing decades deaden the impact of alt culture music. Will they be playing The Damned in ten years? Probably, because the Punk generation will be well and truly 'aged' by then and therefore the concern of charities like this. (gulp). No doubt The Who are already on their playlist, although even Age UK's radio programmers might consider My Generation too ironic. An ex-Mod hears it, rifling through the clothes, barely able to contain the tears she wants to shed for her lost youth since she didn't die before she got old. Well, as Groucho Marx said, getting old isn't so bad when you consider the alternative. TTFN

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