The World According to Keitho

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Archive for September, 2018

Welcome back NFL

Posted by keithosaunders on September 10, 2018

You know what?  Concussions and all, the NFL is still the best sport.

While it’s true that on any given Sunday one may have to endure penalty-marred games and the insipid booth reviews, for the most part these games are over and done with within three hours.  Unlike baseball which forces you to sit through the delicate-genius managers changing pitchers every other batter, football is succinct and to the point.

The NBA and NHL regular seasons are jokes, containing little, or no meaningful games.  While baseball’s regular season retains some integrity,  with the addition of wildcard teams, truly meaningful pennant races are rendered mute.  You would think, with all the extra teams potentially in post season contention, there would be more intrigue in September.   More often than not, however, the divisions are decided long before October.

This leaves football, with its tight, 16 game schedule.  I enjoy the rhythm of the autumn sports week where you can enjoy taking in the sports radio and newspaper hype, gradually working yourself into a frenzy.  You spend the week looking forward to Sunday or Monday night.  You’re like a caged animal waiting to be set free.

This is what life is about.

 

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Sippin’ at Bell’s

Posted by keithosaunders on September 4, 2018

Here is an unconventional blues from Miles Davis called Sippin’ at Bells.  It comes from his very first session as a leader in 1947 and the band featured Charlie Parker (on tenor!) John Lewis – piano, Nelson Boyd – bass, and Max Roach on drums.

The other tracks are the original Milestones, (Miles would write a second Milestones ten years later – a modal tune based on two chords) Little Willie Leaps (based on the chords of Bronislaw Kaper’s All Gods Children Got Rhythm), and Half Nelson.  All four of the tunes on this date ended up becoming jazz standards.  Jazz musicians throughout the world know them and continue to play them.

Sippin’ at Bells, a 12 bar blues,  is notable for it’s unique, substitute chord laden progression.  Miles begins the song with an F major 7 (instead of a dominant 7) and if that is not radical enough, he immediately diverts to the key of Eb in measure two, using Fm7-Bb7.  In the fifth measure, instead of using the usual IV dominant 7, Davis employs a IV major 7, a striking diversion from the norm.

In 1949 the pianist Bud Powell would record his original, Dance of the Infidels.  Its chord progression is almost identical to that of ‘Bells,’ although its melody is completely different.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

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