I don’t know what your Thanksgiving is going to be like this year. We are adaptable beings, but it’s at moments like this we feel keenly how strange the world has become. But since everything is constantly in flux, I extend hope to all of you — all of us — for easier times coming soon.
I think of Josh Billings, who played suitcase with whisk brooms for the Mound City Blue Blowers, who said to one of my heroes (perhaps Eddie Condon) when asked for his opinion about the future, “Better times are coming . . . . now and then.” That seems right: guarded optimism.
But I wanted to take sixteen bars to say how deeply grateful I am to the musicians who elevate my spirits, who make me feel more alive, who give me reason to get out of bed when the skies have seemed most dark. You Ladies and Gents, you Cats, give me regular infusions of joy — which it is my privilege to share here.
And I thank the people who “tune in” to JAZZ LIVES on a regular basis. When I began to float this little paper boat down the river in February 2008 — before Facebook — I would email friends and say, “I just posted a new blog. You might like it,” which is a thinly-hidden “Pleeeeeeeeeease look at the bookshelf I made in Wood Shop.” Eventually JAZZ LIVES was able to breathe on its own, and people I’ve never met before come up to me at clubs and festivals and speak gratefully to me. So thank YOU, in both cases:
I also have to apologize to musicians who have sent me CDs, worthy offerings that they hoped I would publicize. There are piles of CDs all around this cluttered apartment. Sometimes I think that the stress generated since March has unscrewed crucial connections on the Michael circuit-board. I know it has wrecked my concentration. I hope to get to all the CDs, but the focus I had pre-pandemic is not what I have now. If I’ve let you down, I am really sorry, because I know that a silence feels hard these days. I’ll keep trying.
Those are all the words I have for now. I send love. I am thankful for everyone who even sniffs at a post I write. And now I am going to attempt some fresh cranberry-orange relish, which has at most four ingredients, five if you count the food processor.
May your happiness increase!