[What we’re into right now]: Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' ElseThis album was recorded in 1958. Later Cannonball Adderley played with the Miles Davis sextet and a year later would work with him on hisĀ Kind of Blue album. Here Davis is backing Adderley up but the influence comes through, and includes Davis composing “Somethin’ Else”.

Davis and Adderley have a wonderful conversation between their trumpet and sax on tracks like “Autumn Leaves” or “Somethin’ Else” backed up by the drumming of Art Blakey and the rest of the rhythm section. This album has some great moments of interplay between the front sax and trumpet and the piano. The entire album has a mood of introspection about it and goes perfectly with a cup of coffee in the morning, or by itself late at night.

The reissue has an extra track, “Bangoon” at the end.

[What we’re into right now]: The Plague

Albert Camus - The Plague

Such were the sights and apprehensions that kept alive in our townspeople their feeling of exile and separation. In this connection the narrator is well aware how regrettable is his inability to record at this point something of a really spectacular order-some heroic feat or memorable deed like those that thrill us in the chronicles of the past. The truth is that nothing is less sensational than pestilence, and by reason of their very duration great misfortunes are monotonous. In the memories of those who lived through them, the grim days of plague do not stand out like vivid flames, ravenous and inextinguishable, beaconing a troubled sky, but rather like the slow, deliberate progress of some monstrous thing crushing all upon its path.
No, the real plague had nothing on common with the grandiose imaginings that had haunted Rieux’s mind at its outbreak. It was, above all, a shrewd, unflagging adversary; a skilled organizer, doing his work thoroughly well. That, it may be said in passing, is why, so as not to play false to the facts, and, still more, so as not to false to himself, the narrator has aimed at objectivity. He has made hardly any changes for the sake of artistic effect, except those elementary adjustments needed to present this narrative in a more or less coherent form. And in deference to this scruple he is constrained to admit that, though the chief source of distress, the deepest as well as the most widespread, was separation – and it is his duty to say more about it as it existed in the later stages of the plague-it cannot be denied that even this distress was coming to lose some of its poignancy.

– Albert Camus

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

I remember watching on TV the fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago. At the time, I didn’t realize what the world was going to look like, but we all understood that it was important. It’s pretty amazing to have witnessed the reintegration of so many back into Europe after basically being segmented off and frozen in time for a half century. As the communist regimes fell, one after the other, the changes all across the world that followed suit have been something to see.