The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

They Were Collaborators #303

Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Ben Webster and Gerry Mulligan


shahn said...

oh, to have been there! i'm assuming it was only for television.

Tom Sutpen said...

It was; part of a CBS special from 1957 entitled The Sound of Jazz. It's well worth seeing.

In fact, I believe it's now available on DVD (don't quote me on that), but Columbia put out a soundtrack LP (which I used to own a copy of) back in the day.

swac said...

Columbia (well, Sony) recently did a deluxe reissue of The Sound of Jazz on CD, I think with some bonus tracks taken from rehearsals or some such thing. I have it, it's well worth picking up.

A DVD would be marvelous...I think the Billie Holiday clip has been used elsewhere, but I'd love to see the whole thing as well.

(And a quick check of Amazon shows me that a DVD is in fact available, as a cheap British import with PAL on one side and NTSC on the other.)