The title refers to a pretty Fats Waller song from 1932 — the version I know is by Marty Grosz, although Hal Smith and Co. might have recorded it.  But the phrase has larger implications.

I don’t ordinarily use the blog as an extra-musical diary, but here are sixteen bars of news.

My faithful readers will have noticed a cessation of blog-activity; I wrote my most recent blogpost a week ago and skidded to a halt.  What could have made me give up one of my great pleasures?

How about a hospital visit that ended with me the happy owner-wearer of a defibrillator?

I could think of other gadgets that initially would have given me more pleasure but this one will keep me from fainting, falling down, and whacking my face into the sidewalk.  (The sidewalk won that contest.)

I expect to be back to blogging very soon — I have video footage from a wondrous Cangelosi Cards concert as well as Hot glories from Orange Kellin’s most recent visit to The Ear Inn.  So stay tuned!

And aside from the predictably drab food, I had a gratifying stay: the doctors at North Shore Hospital in Great Neck, New York, found the problem and fixed it.  Everyone here deserves special prizes and treats for humor, sweetness, and compassion.  Heartfelt thanks to Drs. Meir Friedman and Jeffrey N. Berger.

AND!  I almost forgot . . . during the four-hour procedure that ended with the implanting of the defibrillator, the sweetly gracious nurses — Pat, Wendy, and Edna –turned the ambient music (Pandora) to Ben Webster playing YOU’RE MINE, YOU, and Coleman Hawkins doing UNDER A BLANKET OF BLUE.  What more could a temporarily-incapacitated jazz blogger want than to have Doctors Webster and Hawkins in attendance?  No wonder I am happily recovered . . .

More to come!

34 responses to “MY HEART’S AT EASE

  1. Pingback: MY HEART’S AT EASE

  2. Hanna Richardson

    Speedy recovery, Michael!!

  3. Michael,

    I hope the defribillator is doing its job and that you are back in the pink!


  4. Stompy Jones

    Wear it in good health. We love you.

  5. You are my fashion icon — to say nothing of my spiritual leader, with sentiments returned plus multiple takes! MS

  6. Best wishes from me and Anna. We’re very glad to hear you’re on the mend!

  7. Sending warm wishes, take go0d care! All my best, Jennifer

  8. Michael, I am glad it has a happy ending!

  9. Uwe Zänisch

    Heartfelt wishes for a good health. I like your humor and unconventional way to choose your topic’s here.

  10. Nothing can make anyone feel better than a Marty Grosz song of Fats’ – unless it is Fats himself.

    Fast and full recovery SOON.

    Thinking of you!

  11. Bill Gallagher

    You know, you could have waited one more day. When did you write this? On the way home from the hospital? Jeesh!!

  12. Hello dear Michael,
    you still keep your special sense of humor –
    together with good music and your new ‘companion’ you’ll be as fit as a fiddle very soon!
    All the best from Germany,
    w/ a healing Alligator bite,

  13. Dear Claudia,

    Any friend of Fats is a friend of all of us! Thank you so much for the music and the affectionate wishes — is that Mister Sutton or one of his proteges? That boy (or girl) sure can play. Music to recover by, to feel glad to be alive by, too. Cheers and heartfelt thanks, Michael

  14. … me again – a beautiful snowy night, 3.30am here –
    and I still don’t know who is playing …
    Fats plays the piece faster and with more variation in accentuation (more swing and power) –
    sorry about my improper English …
    I don’t think it’s Mr. Sutton – if I find out who’s
    playing I’ll tell you (I asked the one who posted the video).
    I choose this version due to the smiling alligator
    (what is my nickname since more than 30 years)
    to make you smile and forget a bit about your
    I hope you get used to your ‘little helping friend’
    in a little while!
    Thanks for your kind reply and thanks for this
    wonderful and extraordinary jazz page!
    But first: Take care of yourself,
    Second: Take care of this site! ;o)

  15. Welcome back! Be well – we need your jazzin’ pick-me-ups!

  16. Hugs and wishes for a swift recovery! You take care of yourself!

  17. Jackie and I are sending you healing vibes, hope to see you real soon! So glad they did such a good job fixing you up.
    We love you!

  18. Dr. Waller would also say, “you can be sure it’s true, Michael, it’s no sin to wear deFib” .

    Please follow Muggsy’s muted medical example and relax at your own spiritual Touro for however long it takes.

    We’ll be here waiting for you.

    Dave R.

    Or Dr. Muggsy

  19. Sir Robert!

    Via your blog, may I enquire if jazzygator will be in Westoverledingen next week? If so we must meet and drink to your health with all your other friends (and relatives).

  20. So happy you’re on the mend, Michael… Barbara Lea and I send our very best wishes.


  21. Robin Aitken


    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Doctor Jazz will see to that I’m sure!

    As my old friend Bill Colyer (brother of Ken Colyer) used to say – Keep swingin’, keep breathin’

  22. John Carstairs Hallam

    Sorry to hear you’ve joined the DICKY TICKER’S BAND. I’ve managed to keep blowing for 20 years – although the lads listen out for a loud clang in the event of me keeling over while playing the sousaphone….
    Keep on saying HOW’M I DOIN? I’m sure it won’t be long before you’ll be able to GET GOIN’ but maybe hold on THAT LINDY HOP for a while ! It won’t be long before you take A RHYTHM EXCURSION.
    Maybe we’ll see you at Whitley Bay. HERE’S HOPING

  23. Dear John,

    It took me a minute when I read your email to get comfortable with the idea of having a DICKY TICKER, but it would be an honor to be a member of any band in which you play! To follow your lead, I’M THANKFUL to be out of the hospital and HOME with THE ONE I LOVE (who doesn’t belong to somebody else). Better than any prescription! And nothing could keep us from Whitley Bay! Cheers and grateful thanks, Michael

  24. Michael,
    Solicitations, felicitations from Bob and myself–and for heavens sake, don’t let that defibrillator of yours rush the tempo!!
    All the best,

  25. Never fear — I told my cardiologist I wanted the Swing model, which keeps good (and flexible) time! Thanks for the warm wishes, too. Is it too late to say how nice your piece on Joe Licari for JERSEY JAZZ was? I noticed it when it appeared but things got in the way of offering the writer appropriate congratulations. Cheers and more back at you and Bob! Michael

  26. An afterthought. What color is the official DICKY TICKERS BAND t-shirt (or is it called a singlet or a jumper in the UK)? If none exists, should we collaborate on a design? Must know! Cheers, Michael

  27. Rob Rothberg

    “What more could a temporarily-incapacitated jazz blogger want than to have Doctors Webster and Hawkins in attendance?”

    And is is true you rose from your sickbed to refuse care from Dr. Fitzgerald? No matter. Love and wishes for speedy recovery from Rob and Bob.

  28. Hi Michael,
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery with the eternal help of the music you (we) love.

    All the best,

  29. WOW….now I know “The rest of the story”. Get well soon….hope to see you at Shambhala Meditation Center in a couple of weeks…Jim

  30. Edward Lovett

    Immensely glad they fixed the ticker. Take it easy, easy easy–



  31. Me too, big hooray for getting the tiny box and marching along!


  32. John Carstairs Hallam

    I suppose the T-shirt would have to be BLUE (AND BROKEN HEARTED) until the defib starts working. Then the colour would be (RIDE) RED (RIDE)…….

    Take care . See you at Whitley Bay.

    This weekend Mike has arranged for thhe recording of another SPATS & THE RHYTHM BOYS C.D. Number 5, I think.

    p.s. Getting ready for the slow decline into codgerdom, I replaced my big Holton Sousa with an Olds Model 20 (yes, 20 lbs, 20″ bell) and bought a stand for my Conn Recording bass. Now I’ve been looking at the amp for my double bass – not that it needs it in many situations but the front line will insist on using mikes even in small rooms. So I’ve been trying out a number of “accoustic” amps/combos, the principal requirement (apart from sound quality) being how “puffed” I am after having carried from the car to the stage!
    Seems just like the days when I used to play with my steam fire engine. I knew I was beginning to wear out when I started to put the coal in half-size sacks!

  33. Have you ever thought of doing stand-up, John . . . I don’t mean a tuba, but comedy? Looking forward to Whitley Bay and to Volume Five. Be well yourself! Cheers, Michael

  34. John Carstairs Hallam

    “Stand up” ? Sometimes it’s as much as I can do to sit down! That’s why I bought an upright electric bass. Only 1/4 the size and weight and I can sit down to play it , even if it then looks like an emaciated ‘cello.
    However, I don’t like it too much and some of the musicians don’t either – usually the members of the NEW ORLEANS BIGOT SOCIETY!

    You know them : “Never mind that early bands used guitar & string bass (often bowed – listen to Pops Foster or Wellman Braud) , it’s not proper music unless there’s a banjo & tuba.”

    Oops! Showing my grumpy side again.

    Best wishes

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