WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Dancing for squares

Square dancing was a hoax! Via Boing Boing it comes to my attention that square dancing was never an age-old American tradition, going back to 19th century harvest celebrations or … Continue reading

December 12, 2017 · 4 Comments

On a wing and a player

This essay on the art of improvisation appealed to me the other day. Lately my creative juices are running more toward music than fiction, so I read it from that … Continue reading

April 13, 2017 · 16 Comments

Eulogy in A minor

Recently I mentioned jazz critic, Ben Ratliff, late of the New York Times, not knowing as I wrote that the Times is more or less eliminating jazz coverage in the … Continue reading

March 10, 2017 · 9 Comments

Seize the daze

The daze you get when watching the great ones, that is. Listening to a number by the sensational Ella Fitzgerald the other evening, I remembered that I was lucky enough to … Continue reading

January 24, 2017 · 4 Comments

Why fret?

There must be a metaphor in here somewhere … I remember when I was much younger and considering myself a short-story writer in the vein of Raymond Carver and Bobby … Continue reading

June 1, 2016 · 11 Comments

Old King Coleman — Ornette, that is

I was just reading about Ornette Coleman, pioneer of Free Jazz, in DownBeat magazine, when I realized I had almost completely wiped from my memory the concert of his I … Continue reading

August 22, 2015 · 7 Comments

How many players in the Rahsaan Roland Kirk saxophone trio?

Just the one, really. Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Marvel as he blows three saxes simultaneously to striking sonic effect. Gape at his gaping embouchure. Listen to the haunting groove. I hadn’t … Continue reading

December 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Let me slip you a Mickey

Looks like fun. Turns out they used to have a lot of fun back then. I put this up because I just bought a guitar method book by Mickey Baker, … Continue reading

October 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Bass instincts

Do you like the idea of a young lady playing the stand-up bass like a son-of-a-gun? I do. She sings too, and with feelin’. Esperanza Spalding is one of those … Continue reading

April 19, 2014 · 2 Comments

What Wynton Marsalis does before a concert

Here’s five minutes of some guy practicing his horn. Seriously, if you’re a musician, this will fascinate (and maybe depress) you. Practice never ends.

December 8, 2013 · 3 Comments