Welcome!

Match the pictures of the artists below with their upcoming shows on the left

SUMMERTIME, AND THE LIVING IS…

As the Bible says, “to everything there is a season.” So many times we humans try to fight the cycles of nature, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. The benefits of “having dominion over nature” is that we have medicines that can cure us of natural diseases. When one of my  patients wants to do things “naturally,” I remind them that arsenic and death are both natural, but you don’t necessarily want them right now, thank you. Some of the deleterious effects of conquering nature is that we resist natural cycles which can benefit us, such as working too late into the evening with a light instead of getting a good night’s sleep. Life is filled with tradeoffs like this.

When I lived in Italy I was deeply impressed that EVERYONE takes the month of August off from their normal work load and goes somewhere on vacation, usually to “beat the heat” on some coastal area. I had a friend who told me one time she was away in August and had to go back to Rome for some college project, and she felt like she was in another planet as there was no one that she knew or recognized. They were all gone! The same for my relatives in Greece; they all have “summer homes” where they catch up on rest, reflection, reading and just letting the body deprogram a bit until the daily grind returns in the fall.

Another cycle that we Americans can learn from is that most countries make a cycle of each day. 2-3 hour lunches in the Mediterranean are common. You get a chance to casually eat and digest your meal, take a walk for some fresh air, and maybe even get a bit of a nap so that you’re ready to complete the day energized. Of course, this means that you will work a bit later, but so does everyone else, and it makes socializing at night one of the greatest contributions to Western Civilization.

August is a funny month. There are no holidays in America (Canada has a “Civic Holiday”. LOSERS!!!) Some schools start in August now, which is a terrible break in the cycle of the year. My family owns a vineyard, and August is the one month where you don’t have to do major maintenance on the grapes. Most of the family takes a vacation to rest the mind, body and soul. My brother in law gets in his truck and just drives around the US for a couple weeks. This year he went to Mississippi “to see Miss Liza” (if you know the Woody Allen reference). We just got back from The North Shore of Lake Superior, where this time of year is the only opportunity to see The Boundary Waters without freezing to death.

What does this has to do with jazz? EVERYTHING! There are certain rhythms in life. My favorite statement about this is in the Bible, where it says in 2 Samuel 11:1 “In the spring, when kings normally go off to war…” Even WAR had a season!!! During this time of the year, I let things settle down a bit. I don’t do as many projects. I read more. I read 5 books on my 2 weeks in Minnesota! As a music fan, listen to “comfort food” music. Don’t get so worked up on something new and stimulating. If you’re a musician, kick back and relax; let the fallow fruit fall in order to re-fertilize the “crops” of your mind. Remember, in music, silence is a note! Let a bit of breath go between the sounds of your playing and of  your life.

In the editorial page ” No One Asked My Opinion, But…” I’ve put in a little list of things that fit in with the ease of summer. Let your summer be one of soaking in time with the family and friends, kicking the activity notch down a tad and letting your body get back into a rhythm of restoration.

***FEEL FREE TO GIVE FEEDBACK***

Here’s the latest…

Hi George-

Ahhh you went to Lola’s?! That place is so good.  Punch is one of my favs too.  This is really a good, comprehensive guide for some who hasn’t been here, or for someone who LIVES here.  I haven’t heard of many of the places you mention.

If/when you come back to Minneapolis, Pig Ate My Pizza is another really good pizza joint, in the northwest metro, kinda long drive from Stillwater though.  The potholes are fun to check out near Stillwater too, if you haven’t taken that little excursion already.

 

Ryan Dawes

Hey jazzweekly,

I’m reading this from the blue whale d=]

Frances Gioffrion

Hi George,

 
Read and enjoyed your review in Jazz Weekly. If I knew anything about jazz I would have enjoyed it more. You’re quite a writer.
Jean Hoefling 
Hi George,

I saw your review, and of course, am disappointed that the album
didn't 
resonate with you.  But I respect your candor, and appreciate your

having given it a listen.

All best,

Denny Zeitlin