Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Epic Listening: Indian Summer, Dave Brubeck [2007]

My experience as a pianist began and ended early on. I hated practicing my lessons as much as most boys do. Until one day it dawned on me that the Young Minister's Wife sitting close to me on the piano bench was more than fetching. Much more. She also smelled quite a bit like Ivory soap. These epiphanies not only inspired me to great rehearsal effort but introduced me to the brutalizing concepts of tactile and olfactory Attention Deficit Disorder.

In the event, my YMW eventually told me that I had to develop my own way of playing the notes. My own "voice". Dazzled with Ivory soap, I had no idea what she was talking about. Then my family moved. Sold the old upright piano. I never played again. It was only ten years of lessons expended. Nothing, really.

Much later, I became a jazz fan. The idea of a player's "voice" came to me anew. Via fellows named Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Buddy Rich, and others. The way a master musician can play the same instrument as a million others. In a completely distinctive way.

Sometimes the "voice" can be circumstantial. A reflection of the player's life and mood at the moments the notes are struck. That sort of voice can be downright awful. Or transcendent. Opening a window into the hearts of both the musician and the listener. This wonderful sort of voice is demonstrated throughout Dave Brubeck's "Indian Summer" album.

Brubeck made this album at the age of 86. And that is in large part the beauty of the work. Both the selections, and more important the voice of these songs reflect the thoughts of a man whose life has been well lived. Looking back.

Haunting music. Not ponderous but rather pondering. Thoughtful. Longing. Sad. The play list says it all starting with You'll Never Know. Memories of You. So Lonely. Georgia On My Mind. Thank You. Then, at the end where it should be, Indian Summer. Which leaves you sitting staring into space. Looking back.

The entire album is wonderful. Evidence of a man playing, and seeing, the music in the lovely slanting light of Autumn.


jg said...

M. Lane- you're off to a great start! loved reading about "Indian Summer" and bought the CD same day. looking forward to more musings.

jg said...

You're off to a great start! Loved your musings on "Indian Summer" and bought the CD same day. Brubeck is a favorite pianist (although Red Garland is THE favorite). Looking forward to more.