Thursday, December 24, 2009


50 Years Ago and Still the Best Year in Jazz

50 years ago certainly told some sad stories in jazz, including the death of Billie Holiday and Lester Young. But 1959 still appears to be the year that produced some of the most influential albums in jazz history. Here is a list of the best from 1959 (and thanks to Robin Lloyd for the list, and pointing out their similar anniversary).

1. Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

kind of blueThe most legendary album in jazz history easily takes the top spot on this list. The original album still sells 5,000 copies a week. A two-CD “Legacy Edition” version of this album was released celebrating the 50th anniversary, including alternate takes, false starts, and a 17-minute live version of So What.

2. Time Out – Dave Brubeck

time outThe album that left the 4/4 time signature behind, was the first jazz album to have a single (Take Five) that sold one million copies. Sony will release its own 50th Anniversary edition of Time Out this Tuesday, featuring three discs. Disc one will feature a newly remastered edition of the original. Disc two is a 30-minute DVD interview with Dave Brubeck talking about the making of Time Out, with never before seen footage, and Disc three is a compilation of recently discovered tapes at the Newport Jazz Festival from 1961, 1963, and 1964.

3. Giant Steps – John Coltrane

giant stepsAnother great album where every song became a jazz standard. The album features two different trios, with bassist Paul Chambers being the only member to participate in both. Constant chord changes and wonderful improvisation made this a classic.

4. Mingus Ah Um – Charles Mingus

mingusAs mentioned earlier, the great Lester Young died in 1959, and Mingus Ah Um is highlighted with a wonderful tribute to Young called Good Bye Pork Pie Hat. Columbia has also released a two disc “Legacy Edition” of this album this year, featuring unedited versions of tunes that were shortened for the original version, as well as some great outtakes.

5. The Shape of Jazz to Come – Ornette Coleman

shape of jazzReleased exactly 50 years ago last Friday, The Shape of Jazz to Come basically said “forget about the rules, just let me play”. That might sound sloppy (the description, not the music), but Coleman might have just looked at things differently than those before him. He always heard a melody, and managed to create great jazz with freedom that didn’t sound chaotic.

This post is a post on Groove Notes by Kevin Kniestedt who hosts Grooveyard show on KPLU, as well as host on Jazz24

Monday, June 15, 2009


Monday, November 10, 2008

Parents Weekend, St Johns College

The next weekend I flew to Annapolis to attend "Parents Weekend" at St. Johns College What a buzz that was...
Couch crashing, auditing classes and much revelry...

Jet lagging in the kitchen

Home, away from home...

The cool painting in the foyer next to the five Platonic solids ( Euclid Book 13)
Tetrahedron; Hexahedron or Cube; Octahedron; Dodecahedron; Icosahedron.
The name of each figure is derived from the number of its faces: respectively 4, 6, 8, 12, and 20.

Mr. Russell (amazing jazz musician/singer) and Acacia

Athena... slayer guarding the entrance to campus

St Johns College

Who are those parents?

the Spartans pretty much rule in DC


Acacia dancing with the devil at the waltz party.

On the mall, DC
A few weeks ago I got together with Ade and we zipped up to Mt. Baker to catch the seasonal window for ice on Colfax Peak.

Looking pretty ominous on the approach.

Following one of the upper pitches.

Photos courtesy of

Sunday, August 31, 2008

CrossFit Kids cert weekend

Kallista and I took a trip to San Diego for a CrossFit Kids Certification. We arrived a couple days early and were able to make the rounds visiting with friends and dropping in on affiliates.

First stop, Fitness Beyond the Box for a workout (mini-Murph) with Susan Robinson.

In the afternoon some lifting at Mike's Gym
Video review with Coach B

The next day a stop at US Crossfitl in Encinitas
with Randy.

At the Cert....with Eric LeClair of Elite Fitness

Kallista with Beth of Crossfit Hollister

Showdown...with Keegan of BrandX/CrossFit Kids

Get some...
3 Rounds
3 Burpee/ front tuck
10 hang power snatch
Great weekend, great people, fun times.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Orbit, again...

Back to the Snow Creek wall for one of the best routes in Washington at its grade, not to mention a little spice, too. A visiting climbing friend of Kurts, Keren and I zoomed out to Leavenworth for a day of climbing. A super fun day of climbing with exceptional weather sandwiched between two storm cycles.

Leading off P2

Crux pitch.

Top of the 5th...

Another great day, climbing in Washington!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Black Mountain

Can-Am Fly-in.
I got my second flight of the month in over three years...
No wind launch, sled ride and slid in on a no wind landing. Probably scared the crap out of the local pilots when I ended up drifting out of position on base and threading it through a slot in the trees where somebody cratered some time ago.
I chowed down at the barbecue and headed home. I spite of a rumor of improving conditions tomorrow, I didn't want to "burn" up another day, it was +90 deg. and 90% humidity.

To ease my conscience, it was monsoonish and starting to OD the next morning in Seattle.

One more step to some serious soaring, again...