Goodbye Senor Blues – Hello to The Faces of Cape Verde

19 06 2014

The last 3 posts to this blog have had to do with death and depression. Don’t get the wrong idea. I may be an old geez (to use one of my kids favorite expressions when they were growing up) but I do not intend this to become an obituary blog. However, I will honor my heroes when they pass on. We lost Horace Silver this week – a great musician, composer and recognizer of talent.

Horace’s dad came from Capo Verde. So does Cesaria Evora – the internationally known singer of Morna (Capo Verde’s national music). This video captures the spirit and people of an island that has given me much joy without ever going there.

The closest I’ve come to Capo Verde was in Sao Cristovao restaurant in the Alfama Barrio in Lisbon. If you go here…

http://www.thelisbonconnection.com/restaurant-sao-cristovao-alfama-lisbon-cheap-cape-verdean-african-dishes-favorite-local-place-owner-maria-levy/

you’ll get a sense of the place and the people of Capo Verde. The night we went Maria took our order. The order was to “bring us what you recommend.” The working class guys at the only other occupied table (it was a late night) chuckled as they ate huge quantities of chicken stew. Maria’s grandson and daughter entertained us and themselves while we waited with a patois of Span-Portu-glish. By the time the food arrived (including a huge serving dish of the chicken stew) we felt we were part of the family. About halfway through the meal Maria’s daughter led a 50-or-60 something man whose face might be on the “Elle Chante” video to our table. He spoke English and we chatted a while.

When I mentioned that I liked Cesaria Evora he said, “Just a minute.” and walked to the music player. I can’t remember if it was a CD player or tape. Regardless Cesaria’s “Sodade” came on.

He returned to the table and I asked him if liked jazz. He broke into a wide grin of affirmation. “How about Horace Silver?” The grin widened and he walked away. In a few minutes he came back with complimentary beers, a beaming smile and a shuffle done to “Song for my Father” which was booming from the music system’s speakers. Music is the universal language and Horace spoke it well. He was articulate, multi-lingual, and the swinging father of HARD-BOP. I’ll miss you, man. Here’s the original and a vocal from Dee Dee Bridgewater. Thanks for leaving behind such happy beautiful music, Horace. RIP. A 20 min ute version of “Song for My Father” follows the NYT obituary.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/arts/music/horace-silver-85-master-of-earthy-jazz-is-dead.html?_r=0





WTF is a Tropical Depression?

4 06 2014

That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.
Ernest Hemingway

weather

depression_s1_mayo

For years I’ve watched weather people of all genders, sizes ‘n’ shapes tell me there was a “tropical depression” heading my way.  It reached the point that when I knew one was coming I stayed my usual sunny Leo self to defy the forecasts. No longer.  This is about the 4th day of low pressure with no end in sight and to top it off my son is coming for his first visit to the Yucatan this weekend.

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/tropics-southwestern-gulf/28093613

The weather gods have forsaken me and him and I suppose we will spend 5 days in La Playa bemoaning the weather over tequila and mojitos. A fate that Poppa Hemingway became all too familiar with at the Floridita and Finco Vigia. I guess he knew all about “tropical depressions” too.

I have the cure. Maybe we should go to Cuba and have a drink with El Commandante, Chuchu Valdes and The Buena Vista Social Club…no mas depresion de tropical








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