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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Thursday, September 24

I own more music than I can ever listen to, yet I continue to buy more and more cds. Some strange compulsion, I guess, about needing to have at hand the things and sounds I love. The things are for the most part books. I also have more of those than I'll ever have time to read. But I need them. What would I do if WWIII fell upon us and I was still alive and living in a cave somewhere? I would need some device to play the music on and a large box of books to keep me sane for the remainder of my cave-dwelling days. Half a century ago I bought a 45 album by Carmen McRae, the cover a stark white with multiple luscious red lips. Can no longer remember the album title, but I do remember the lips. And the voice. Carmen in her early days had a crystal clear voice, young, perfect pitch, wonderful. And as her career progressed, her voice became richer, huskier, smokier, boozier. And it too was wonderful. Sort of parallel to Sinatra, who went from the clear-voiced bobbysoxer idol of the Forties to the more mature and much better voice of the Sixties and Seventies. So I listen to the old voices from my youth, the McRaes and Sinatras, the Vaughans and Bennetts and Damones. And I'm young again, if only for the duration of the songs. But I also keep discovering newer voices and then must have them also. I found Karrin Allyson about four years ago and was blown away by her vocal skills. She can out-scat Ella, and Ella was pretty good. But more than that, she can make any song, any style, any language sound delicious. I buy her whenever she comes out with a new album. I now have about 12,000 tracks on my computer, and that's not everything I own. Some cds are not included on my hard drive because I don't need them that accessible. But I have them in case I need them. Others I've found in recent years are a few older voices, mostly club voices and not widely known except to the inner circle of jazz: Shirley Horn on piano and intimate voice, Mark Murphy on just about anything. And some sort of in the middle of their careers like Diana Krall (vocal sex), Chris Botti (a trumpet to dream to), Ann Hampton Callaway (voice like milk chocolate), and Bobby Caldwell (indescribable). A Chicago club singer who dabbles in experimental jazz vocals is Jackie Allen, a close second to Karrin Allyson. And a few young voices just beginning careers that should last a lifetime: Madeleine Peyroux (a little Norah Jones and a little Billie Holiday), Lizz Wright (too different to explain), and Renee Olstead (still only a teen-ager but well known in jazz circles). As I age, my savage breast often needs soothing, and my musical friends sooth [sic] me every time.

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