Tag Archives: Sicily

IN THE CLOUDS

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“I’m walking on air,” Andy Razaf wrote, lyrics to a famous Fats Waller melody.  Me, too!

My generous jazz cyber-buddy Marc Myers* (of JAZZ WAX) just sent the good news.

The Jazz Journalists Association has announced the nominees for its 2009 awards, and JAZZ LIVES  –yes, what you are now reading — has been nominated as one of the Blogs of the Year.  (http://www.jazzjournalists.org/top-honors?page=4)

“Fine!  Wonderful!  Perfect!” to quote Fats himself.   Everyone writes to be read or to be heard.  Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have been doing both.  A special thank-you to the Beloved, who nudged me into the Blogosphere last February.

I’ll keep on blogging with even more pleasure.

*Marc, an extraordinary writer, a researcher, interviewer, and jazz detective, is nominated not only for his blog but for his journalism.  Swing, brother, swing!

P. S.   I took the photograph above — my idea of a vernal paradise — Sicily, last spring, probably near the hillside town of Enna.

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“TORNO SUBITO!”

My Italian is not so polished, but the title of this post means “Be back soon.”  Hence the photograph:sicilia-2008-ms-plus-yucatan-portraits-264

A year ago, the Beloved and I discovered Sicily — the land of wildflowers, blood oranges, brilliantly colored marzipan animals, wild asparagus, thrilling landscapes, grilled swordfish, wonderfully gracious people . . . .  I took the photograph of a sign that hung in the window of what appeared to be a consignment store, the closest thing to a thrift store we could find.  The sign was there for three days, then we gave up.  Perhaps it is still hanging there as I write this?

We are going back there — to some familiar places and several new ones — for a return trip, braving the hazards of the TSA, tiny airplane seats, packing, carrying, and so on.  So this blogpost is to say that we and this blog will BE BACK SOON.  Don’t forget any of us!

P.S.  I have my iPod, so Louis, Mark Shane, and Marty Grosz won’t be out of reach.

REQUIRED READING!

Readers of this blog know Lorna Sass as a fine jazz photographer.  She captures the essence of her subjects and conveys it in a single frame.  Her jazz pedigree is impeccable: she admires the living (Wycliffe Gordon, Jon-Erik Kellso, Kevin Dorn, and others) and the departed (Louis, the Brothers Mills, and the Sisters Boswell).

But Lorna is a woman of many talents.  She’s an established journalist, travel writer, essayist, culinary historian, medieval scholar, and the author of fifteen award-winning cookbooks.  Her specialties are whole grains, quick healthy meals, pressure cooking, and vegan cuisine.  In the picture below, she’s on the left (with red eyeglasses) next to Mollie Katzen.  The night this picture was taken, both of them had won the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for their new books.  Lorna’s was WHOLE GRAINS EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY.

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Lorna has just started her own blog — LORNA SASS AT LARGE. You can get to it by way of my blogroll.  The web address is http://lornasassatlarge.wordpress.com

Because I admire insightful prose, I’ve been enjoying her essays on Sicily, popcorn, Chinese takeout, and other delicious subjects.  And her wonderful photographs.  She improvises nimbly over the chords and never turns a predictable phrase.

You might work up an appetite while reading her blog, but you’ll leave it feeling satisfied.

And I promise I won’t be jealous if you visit her blog first.