Importante proyecto de construcción en Casa de Tim

The original parrilla/barbie at casa de Tim was slowly failing from gravity over the years from many asados.

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The winter was a major bust with almost no snow so Tim’s neighbor and Rio Blanco mayordomo, Colin Mitchel reclaimed his old profession as a master stone mason building a new parrilla for the upcoming asado season.

IMG_3953.jpgel proyecto comienza 

 

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Don Tim, jefe y el superintendente de Rio Blanco with Pablo, lead hoddie for the project

 

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Masón de piedra principal, Don Colin Mitchel

 

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old bikes i used to ride

I must have hated myself riding these temperamental Brit bikes all those years with their horrible Lucas electrical systems (Lucas had three settings, dim, flicker, off) that always failed you … often when riding down a dark, winding highway at high speed …  the lights would go out..

rŌbert

 

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mid 50’s Vincent Blackshadow

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Vincent power land speed record holder Rollie Free featured in one of the most iconic photographs in motorcycling history.

Rolland “Rollie” Free (November 11, 1900 – October 11, 1984) was a motorcycle racer best known for breaking the American motorcycle land speed record in 1948 on the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. The picture of Free, prone and wearing a bathing suit, has been described as the most famous picture in motorcycling [28] and Russell Wright won another World Land Speed Record at Swannanoa with a Vincent HRD motorcycle in 1955 at 184.83 mph (297.46 km/h).

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late 60’s Norton Commando 750

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1969 Triumph Bonneville 650

 

bsa_lightning_cropped.jpg1968 BSA 650 Lightning

 

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Dr. Hunter S. Thompson on his BSA while riding with the Hells Angels, just prior to getting his ass kicked.

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Song of the Sausage Creature (Cycle World magazine, March 1995)

Of course. You want to cripple the bastard? Send him a 130-mph café racer. And include some license plates, so he’ll think it’s a streetbike. He’s queer for anything fast.

Which is true. I have been a connoisseur of fast motorcycles all my life. I bought a brand-new 650 BSA Lightning when it was billed as “the fastest motorcycle ever tested by Hot Rod magazine.” I have ridden a 500-pound Vincent through traffic on the Ventura Freeway with burning oil on my legs and run the Kawa 750 triple through Beverly Hills at night with a head full of acid…. I have ridden with Sonny Barger and smoked weed in biker bars with Jack Nicholson, Grace Slick, Ron Zigler, and my infamous old friend, Ken Kesey, a legendary Café Racer.

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Or maybe not: The Ducati 900 is so finely engineered and balanced and torqued that you can do 90 mph in fifth through a 35-mph zone and get away with it. The bike is not just fast — it is extremely quick and responsive, and it will do amazing things…. It is a little like riding the original Vincent Black Shadow, which would outrun an F-86 jet fighter on the takeoff runway, but at the end, the F-86 would go airborne and the Vincent would not, and there was no point in trying to turn it. WHAMO! The Sausage Creature strikes again.

There is a fundamental difference, however, between the old Vincents and the new bred of superbikes. If you rode the Black Shadow at top speed for any length of time, you would almost certainly die. That is why there are not many life members of the Vincent Black Shadow Society. The Vincent was like a bullet that went straight; the Ducati is like the magic bullet that went sideways and hit JFK and the Governor of Texas at the same time. It was impossible. But so was my terrifying sideways leap across railroad tracks on the 900SP. The bike did it easily with the grace of a fleeing tomcat. The landing was so easy I remember thinking, goddamnit, if I had screwed it on a little more I could have gone a lot further.

Maybe this is the new Café Racer macho. My bike is so much faster than yours that I dare you to ride it, you lame little turd. Do you have the balls to ride this BOTTOMLESS PIT OF TORQUE?

That is the attitude of the New Age superbike freak, and I am one of them. On some days they are about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Vincent just killed you a lot faster than a superbike will. A fool couldn’t ride the Vincent Black Shadow more than once, but a fool can ride a Ducati 900 many times, and it will always be bloodcurdling kind of fun. That is the Curse of Speed which has plagued me all my life. I am a slave to it. On my tombstone they will carve, “IT NEVER GOT FAST ENOUGH FOR ME.”

Why Is Everyone Always Stealing Black Music?

 

Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 7.43.31 AM.pngPHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MICHAEL PAUL BRITTO

 

 

 

I’ve got a friend who’s an incurable Pandora guy, and one Saturday while we were making dinner, he found a station called Yacht Rock. “A tongue-in-cheek name for the breezy sounds of late ’70s/early ’80s soft rock” is Pandora’s definition, accompanied by an exhortation to “put on your Dockers, pull up a deck chair and relax.” With a single exception, the passengers aboard the yacht were all dudes. With two exceptions, they were all white. But as the hours passed and dozens of songs accrued, the sound gravitated toward a familiar quality that I couldn’t give language to but could practically taste: an earnest Christian yearning that would reach, for a moment, into Baptist rawness, into a known warmth. I had to laugh — not because as a category Yacht Rock is absurd, but because what I tasted in that absurdity was black.

I started putting each track under investigation. Which artists would saunter up to the racial border? And which could do their sauntering without violating it? I could hear degrees of blackness in the choir-loft certitude of Doobie Brothers-era Michael McDonald on “What a Fool Believes”; in the rubber-band soul of Steely Dan’s “Do It Again”; in the malt-liquor misery of Ace’s “How Long” and the toy-boat wistfulness of Little River Band’s “Reminiscing.”

Then Kenny Loggins’s “This Is It” arrived and took things far beyond the line. “This Is It” was a hit in 1979 and has the requisite smoothness to keep the yacht rocking. But Loggins delivers the lyrics in a desperate stage whisper, like someone determined to make the kind of love that doesn’t wake the baby. What bowls you over is the intensity of his yearning — teary in the verses, snarling during the chorus. He sounds as if he’s baring it all yet begging to wring himself out even more.

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are. Read all the stories.

Playing black-music detective that day, I laughed out of bafflement and embarrassment and exhilaration. It’s the conflation of pride and chagrin I’ve always felt anytime a white person inhabits blackness with gusto. It’s: You have to hand it to her. It’s: Go, white boy. Go, white boy. Go. But it’s also: Here we go again. The problem is rich. If blackness can draw all of this ornate literariness out of Steely Dan and all this psychotic origami out of Eminem; if it can make Teena Marie sing everything — “Square Biz,” “Revolution,”“Portuguese Love,” “Lovergirl” — like she knows her way around a pack of Newports; if it can turn the chorus of Carly Simon’s “You Belong to Me” into a gospel hymn; if it can animate the swagger in the sardonic vulnerabilities of Amy Winehouse; if it can surface as unexpectedly as it does in the angelic angst of a singer as seemingly green as Ben Platt; if it’s the reason Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait” remains the whitest jam at the blackest parties, then it’s proof of how deeply it matters to the music of being alive in America, alive to America.

It’s proof, too, that American music has been fated to thrive in an elaborate tangle almost from the beginning. Americans have made a political investment in a myth of racial separateness, the idea that art forms can be either “white” or “black” in character when aspects of many are at least both. The purity that separation struggles to maintain? This country’s music is an advertisement for 400 years of the opposite: centuries of “amalgamation” and “miscegenation” as they long ago called it, of all manner of interracial collaboration conducted with dismaying ranges of consent.

Diana Ross and the Supremes with Paul McCartney in London in 1968. Getty Images

“White,” “Western,” “classical” music is the overarching basis for lots of American pop songs. Chromatic-chord harmony, clean timbre of voice and instrument: These are the ingredients for some of the hugely singable harmonies of the Beatles, the Eagles, Simon and Fleetwood Mac, something choral, “pure,” largely ungrained. Black music is a completely different story. It brims with call and response, layers of syncopation and this rougher element called “noise,” unique sounds that arise from the particular hue and timbre of an instrument — Little Richard’s woos and knuckled keyboard zooms. The dusky heat of Miles Davis’s trumpeting. Patti LaBelle’s emotional police siren. DMX’s scorched-earth bark. The visceral stank of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, live-in-concert Whitney Houston and Prince on electric guitar.

But there’s something even more fundamental, too. My friend Delvyn Case, a musician who teaches at Wheaton College, explained in an email that improvisation is one of the most crucial elements in what we think of as black music: “The raising of individual creativity/expression to the highest place within the aesthetic world of a song.” Without improvisation, a listener is seduced into the composition of the song itself and not the distorting or deviating elements that noise creates. Particular to black American music is the architecture to create a means by which singers and musicians can be completely free, free in the only way that would have been possible on a plantation: through art, through music — music no one “composed” (because enslaved people were denied literacy), music born of feeling, of play, of exhaustion, of hope.

What you’re hearing in black music is a miracle of sound, an experience that can really happen only once — not just melisma, glissandi, the rasp of a sax, breakbeats or sampling but the mood or inspiration from which those moments arise. The attempt to rerecord it seems, if you think about it, like a fool’s errand. You’re not capturing the arrangement of notes, per se. You’re catching the spirit.

And the spirit travels from host to host, racially indiscriminate about where it settles, selective only about who can withstand being possessed by it. The rockin’ backwoods blues so bewitched Elvis Presley that he believed he’d been called by blackness. Chuck Berry sculpted rock ’n’ roll with uproarious guitar riffs and lascivious winks at whiteness. Mick Jagger and Robert Plant and Steve Winwood and Janis Joplin and the Beatles jumped, jived and wailed the black blues. Tina Turner wrested it all back, tripling the octane in some of their songs. Since the 1830s, the historian Ann Douglas writes in “Terrible Honesty,” her history of popular culture in the 1920s, “American entertainment, whatever the state of American society, has always been integrated, if only by theft and parody.” What we’ve been dealing with ever since is more than a catchall word like “appropriation” can approximate. The truth is more bounteous and more spiritual than that, more confused. That confusion is the DNA of the American sound.

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Peter Fonda, ‘Easy Rider’ Actor and Counterculture Hero, Dead at 79

“While we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life,” actor’s family said

Editorial use only. No book cover usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885924q)Peter FondaEasy Rider - 1969Director: Dennis HopperColumbiaUSAScene StillDrama

Peter Fonda, the ‘Easy Rider’ actor and counterculture hero, has died at age 79.

Columbia/Kobal/Shutterstock

Peter Fonda, the Oscar-nominated actor whose roles in Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider and Roger Corman’s The Trip made him a counterculture hero in the late 1960s, died Friday at the age of 78. The cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer, his family confirmed to People.

“It is with deep sorrow that we share the news that Peter Fonda has passed away,” the family said. “[Peter] passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16 at 11:05am at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family,” they continued. “The official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer. In one of the saddest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our hearts. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy.

“And, while we mourn the loss of this sweet and gracious man, we also wish for all to celebrate his indomitable spirit and love of life,” the family added. “In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

Born February 23, 1940, in New York City, Fonda was the brother of Jane Fonda and son of actor Henry Fonda. He made his film debut in 1963, starring opposite Sandra Dee in the romantic comedy Tammy and the Doctor, but it was his appearance as a biker-club leader in B-movie director Roger Corman’s The Wild Angels three years later that introduced him as a counterculture figure. Fonda furthered that reputation with the lead role in the 1967 LSD drama The Trip, written by Jack Nicholson and costarring Dennis Hopper, with whom he’d reteam the following year for the seminal road film Easy Rider.

Directed by Hopper, the movie cast Fonda and Hopper as free-spirit bikers Wyatt and Billy, who are eager to experience all facets of American life in the Sixties — the good, bad and ugly — while on a mind-expanding road trip. Fonda, in his red, white, and, blue helmet, embodied the figure of “Captain America” and scored an Academy Award nomination for co-writing the script with Hopper and Terry Southern.

Fonda’s other notable roles included the 1971 Western The Hired Hand, which he directed; Wanda Nevada with Brooke Shields in 1979; and 1997’s Ulee’s Gold, a critical comeback for the actor. He earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his titular part as a widowed beekeeper with a problematic son.

Still, it was Fonda’s Easy Rider role as a motorcyclist that became synonymous with his legacy, one he would later parody with cameos in 1981’s Cannonball Run and 2007’s road comedy Wild Hogs.

 

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Travers: Peter Fonda, The Easiest Rider of Them All

Rolling Stone’s film critic remembers the kindhearted countercultural rebel that came from showbiz royalty and rode off into sunset his way

Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/Shutterstock (795424bm)'92 in the Shade' Film - 1975 - Skelton (Peter Fonda), in headscarf looking windswept with the sea and sky behind him.GTV ARCHIVE

Peter Fonda, from the 1975 movie ’92 in the Shade.’ The actor passed away at the age of 79 on Friday.  ITV/Shutterstock

 

The Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda, was pushing 80 when he passed away early Friday morning— it was respiratory failure due to lung cancer that took him out. But that gamechanging 1969 movie made him immortal, freezing him in time as Wyatt, the stoned biker chasing an elusive freedom. Wearing a leather jacket (a large U.S. flag sewn across the back) on a Harley and going by the handle Captain America, Fonda rode into screen history by roaring through the American south in celebration of hippies, communes, drugs, free love, and anything that raised a finger to the Establishment. Easy Rider was a western played as an acid-fueled road trip. Along with his costar and co-writer Dennis Hopper, who played Billy (as in Billy the Kid) to Fonda’s Wyatt (as in Earp), Fonda blasted a hole in Hollywood’s lazy mainstream culture. It made $60 million on a $400,000 investment. It turned indie filmmaking into the coolest game in town.

 

Related: 1971 Peter Fonda Cover Story

Fonda and Hopper, who died in 2010, fought like badgers for the rest of their lives about who deserved credit for the film the former produced and the latter directed (they both were Oscar nominated for the screenplay they wrote with Terry Southern). For Fonda, one of the unintended consequences of the wildfire success of Easy Rider,also noted for a bright, shiny breakthrough performance from Jack Nicholson as a boozing ACLU lawyer befriended by the bikers, was to reduce this member of a showbiz dynasty to a one-trick pony. In fact, he created quality work before and well after he went searching for America and couldn’t find it anywhere. And he did it against daunting odds.

In person, the smooth-faced, handsome Fonda radiated the no-sweat confidence of a man who had it easy. It was an illusion. As the son of Henry Fonda and younger brother of Jane Fonda, Peter was Hollywood royalty. But the good life it wasn’t. Dad could be frosty and remote. And when his mother, who had mental issues, slit her throat at mental institution, Henry lied to Peter, 10, and Jane, 12, and told them she had a heart attack. Understandable, perhaps, but not to Peter, who wrote in his 1998 memoir, Don’t Tell Dad: “After that, no one ever talked about Mom. No one seemed to miss her. It was almost as if she had never lived. Jane and I never went to a funeral or service for her; I didn’t know where she was buried.”

Talking to Fonda in the late 1990s, he refused to wallow in self pity about his early years. “I was an asshole,” Fonda said bluntly, “rebelling, acting out.” Though he reconciled with his father before Henry’s death in 1982, they were never close (“I dig my father. I wish he could open his eyes and dig me”). Peter partied, drugged, wrangled with cops and hung with the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, even the Beatles; John Lennon quoted his words “I know what it’s like to be dead” in the song “She Said, She Said,” referring to Peter’s story about accidentally shooting himself in the stomach when he was a kid.

Peter hated his early movies, playing pretty-boy nothings in Tammy and the Bachelor (1963) and The Young Lovers (1964). It was his friendship with B-movie king Roger Corman, however, that changed the course of Peter’s career. Henry wasn’t exactly beaming when his son took the leading role in 1966 The Wild Angels, a Corman quickie that riffed on the bike culture of the Hell’s Angels with Fonda as a biker called Heavenly Blues. Critics did not do cartwheels, but the film was a hit.Seen today, you can still feel its raw, primitive energy and feel the sensitivity and nuance that Peter brought to a role that hardly demanded it. His eulogy at a funeral service particularly stands out. The next year, Fonda starred in Corman’s The Trip, with a script by Nicholson, about the hallucinatory LSD subculture that also found its way into Easy Rider. Fonda was forming friendships and a daring style that hinted at a new energy surging under old Hollywood tropes.

After the success of Easy Rider, Peter — no longer feeling alienated by his father’s disapproval — directed and starred in The Hired Hand (1971), a western that he always talked about with a justified pride. Playing a man who returns to the wife and the ranch he abandoned, only to be forced to work as a hired hand, Fonda brings a disturbing resonance to the film as actor and director. Today, the film, a commercial flop once dismissed as a “hippie western,” seems excitingly ahead of its time. Vindication for Fonda came when the film was restored and shown at festivals in 2001 and hailed as a minor classic. “Damn, that felt good,” he said.

Fonda scored a hit with the 1974 outlaws-on-the-run romp Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry and in 1979 stirred controversy by directing Wanda Nevada, in which his character romanced a 13-year-old Brooke Shields — it’s also the only film in which Peter and Henry ever appeared together. Through the next decades, Peter danced through various genres: action (The Cannonball Run), horror (Spasms), drama (Bodies, Rest & Motion, alongside his daughter Bridget Fonda) and a role in the TV series In the Heat of the Night. But he was losing career momentum, stifled by films that went straight to video or oblivion.

That all changed in 1997, when Fonda scored a major career comeback with Ulee’s Gold, a low-budget indie from director Victor Nuñez in which he plays Florida beekeeper Ulysses “Ulee” Jackson, a widower and Vietnam vet raising two troubled granddaughters. What Jackson can’t do is open up emotionally (shades of Henry). At the Sundance Film Festival where Ulee’s Gold debuted, Fonda admitted he felt his father inhabiting the stoic everyman hero. In this internalized, character-driven gem, the then–58-year-old gave the best and most moving performance of his career. Fonda remembers the “glow” he felt when he received an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. It’s a wry irony that he lost the gold to his Easy Rider pal Jack Nicholson for As Good As It Gets, bringing his career around to the film that made them both stars.

Fonda never held a grudge against Easy Rider for cementing his image in the public mind. His love of bikes (“riding them gives me focus”) got him inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Working in films as varied as 3:10 to Yuma to the upcoming The Last Full Measure, Fonda remained the man his sister Jane eulogizes as “my sweet-hearted baby brother, the talker in the family.” The talk sometimes got him in trouble, most recently for tweeting against Trump for separating children from their parents at the Mexican border, writing that we should rip Barron Trump from the arms of his parents and “put him in a cage with pedophiles.” A regretful Fonda quickly deleted the tweet and apologized. But he stayed passionate until the end, about family, friends, politics, movies, and most tellingly people he didn’t know. “How can I help?” was a phrase you often heard pass his lips.

When I Iast saw him, about a year ago, he was planning new projects and fresh mischief. “I’m working at it,” he said with that infectious smile. Remembering Peter Fonda means recalling his kindness, a generosity of spirit rare in ego-drenched Hollywood. At the end of Easy Rider, it’s Fonda’s Wyatt who rides back for help when those gun-crazy rednecks blast Billy off his bike. The final image of the film is Wyatt and Captain America going up in flames.” Fonda never saw the ending as hopeless. “It’s a bonfire,” he said. “Still burning.” That’s the attitude that makes the memory of the personal and public Peter Fonda an everlasting flame.

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Peter Fonda, ‘Easy Rider’ Actor and Screenwriter, Is Dead at 79

 

Peter Fonda in the counterculture classic “Easy Rider,” from 1969. He and two co-writers, Terry Southern and the actor and director Dennis Hopper, were nominated for an Oscar for the screenplayCredit Columbia Pictures

 

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Peter Fonda, the tall, lanky actor who became a star and a counterculture sex symbol in the film “Easy Rider,” carrying on the Hollywood dynasty begun by his father, Henry Fonda, died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 79.

The death was confirmed by his family, who said the cause was respiratory failure because of lung cancer.

During his acting and filmmaking career, Mr. Fonda earned two Oscar nominations, almost three decades apart. He shared, along with Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern, a best original screenplay nomination for “Easy Rider,” the story of two hippie bikers on a cross-country trip fueled by drugs and the thrill of youthful freedom.

Some may have been surprised by the film’s success, but Mr. Fonda believed that its enthusiastic reception made perfect sense, because of the very vocal generation coming of age at the time. “It was a market that had never been played to,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 2018. “Nobody had sung their song to them.”

Credit Columbia Pictures

 

From the time Mr. Fonda made his first Broadway and television appearances in the early 1960s, his looks and style — piercing blue eyes, firm jaw and imposing frame — were inevitably compared to his father’s, and it seemed that he might be the breakout star of his generation. But his career cooled — while that of his sister, Jane Fonda, flourished — and his next appearance on the list of Oscar nominees was in 1997 for “Ulee’s Gold.” He was nominated for best actor for his role as a widowed beekeeper with grandchildren.

“Peter is all deep sweetness, kind and sensitive to his core,” Jane Fonda wrote in “My Life So Far,” her 2005 memoir. “He would never intentionally harm anything or anyone. In fact, he once argued with me that vegetables had souls. It was the ’60s.”

Peter Henry Fonda was born on Feb. 23, 1940, in Manhattan, the younger of two children of the film star Henry Fonda and Florence Seymour (Brokaw) Fonda, a New York socialite. His mother committed suicide in 1950, when he was 10 and Jane was 13.

Less than a year later, Mr. Fonda shot himself in the stomach with a pistol. Interviewed by The New York Times decades later, he insisted that it was an accident, not a suicide attempt or even a warning. “You shoot yourself in the hand or foot if you want attention,” he said, “not the way I did.”

A Lost Album From John Coltrane, With Thanks To A French-Canadian Director ~ NPR

John Coltrane, photographed in his backyard in Queens, New York in 1963.

JB/© Jim Marshall Photography LLC

 

 

“There is never any end,” John Coltrane said sometime in the mid-1960s, at the height of his powers. “There are always new sounds to imagine; new feelings to get at.” Coltrane, one of jazz’s most revered saxophonists, was speaking to Nat Hentoff about an eternal quest — a compulsion to reach toward the next horizon, and the next.

More than half a century after his death, that restless pronouncement also carries implications for us, the beneficiaries of Coltrane’s music. Not only because his body of work represents a fathomless realm of insight, as his many admirers can attest — but also because it has recently yielded surprise discoveries from his prime.

Just over a year ago, Impulse! had a phenomenal success with Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album, a startling assemblage of studio recordings made by the John Coltrane Quartet in 1963. That two-disc set posthumously gave Coltrane his first-ever debut on the Billboard 200, at No. 21; according to the label, global sales have exceeded 250,000 copies.

Now comes word of another new album by the classic John Coltrane Quartet, with McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass and Elvin Jones on drums. Blue World will be released on Impulse!/UMe on Sept. 27, and like Both Directions it offers an unexpected view on a pivotal period in the band’s evolution. It was recorded at Van Gelder Studios on June 24, 1964 — a few weeks after the quartet put a finishing touch on the album Crescent — as the soundtrack to a Canadian art film. Because the date had gone unnoted in session recording logs, this music has occupied a blind spot for Trane-ologists, archivists and historians.

Cover art for John Coltrane's Blue World.

Courtesy of Impulse! Records

 

But it’s featured prominently throughout the film, Le chat dans le sac (The Cat in the Bag) — a coolly stylized, politically charged docufiction by Gilles Groulx, considered a landmark of Québec cinema. Within the first two minutes of screen time — during direct-to-the-camera intros by Barbara and Claude, the young idealists whose uncoupling provides the film with its narrative tension — you can hear Coltrane’s quartet start into his exquisite ballad “Naima.” (The curious can watch the film here, courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.)

Coltrane had first recorded “Naima” five years earlier, for the Atlantic album Giant Steps. His quartet had played it often in live settings, but this is a studio version, and a truly excellent one. It plays in its entirety, all four-and-a-half minutes, as Claude and Barbara make their opening statements. A following scene, revealing the lovers in a sensuous idyll, is also scored with new-to-us music by the Coltrane quartet, playing the saxophonist’s smoldering “Village Blues.”

In his liner notes for Blue World, Ashley Kahn outlines the circumstances that led Coltrane to contribute to the film. Barbara Ulrich, who played Barbara and was later romantically involved with Groulx, remembers the situation matter-of-factly. “When we moved in together,” she says of Groulx, “it turned out we had many of the same albums — jazz was holiness to Gilles and he had every Coltrane album that ever came out. Coltrane to him was an absolute master.”

Through a mutual acquaintance, Groulx was friendly with Jimmy Garrison, which seems likely to have been the opening he needed to approach Coltrane. At the time, Groulx was working for the state-sponsored National Film Board, honing his skills as a documentary filmmaker. He had also fallen under the spell of the French New Wave — in particular, the work of Jean-Luc Godard, whose visual cool, jump-cut edits and verité dialogue are all clear influences on Le chat dans le sac.

There was a glowing precedent of modern-jazz scores in Francophone films, notably Miles Davis’ celebrated work on Louis Malle’s Ascenseur pour l’echafaud (“Elevator to the Gallows”) and Thelonious Monk’s less-famous effort for Roger Vadim’s Les liaisons dangereuses (“Dangerous Liaisons”), which has recently begun to receive its due. When Groulx approached Coltrane with a list of possible songs, he surely had this ideal somewhere in mind.

His film also directly addresses the disenfranchisement of Québec’s Francophone population, drawing a parallel with anticolonial movements of that era. (Claude, though drawn as an insufferable mope, espouses a radical politics of the sort that Groulx seems to find agreeable.) For Coltrane, who had recorded originals meaningfully titled “Liberia” and “Africa,” this subtext of independence and freedom may have been especially appealing.

But Coltrane hadn’t seen a cut of the film when he recorded the soundtrack, which — probably due in equal part to Groulx’s taste and the onus of licensing — consists of new versions of prior material. (The album includes three takes of “Village Blues,” two takes of “Naima,” and one apiece of “Like Sonny” and “Traneing In.”) This was an unusual move for Coltrane, especially in the studio.

“For this reason alone,” observes Kahn, “Blue World offers a special opportunity, which is the chance to compare these versions with previous perspectives, revealing both Coltrane’s personal progress and the interactive consistency and sonic details the Classic Quartet had firmly established as their collective signature by 1964.”

A case in point is the title track of Blue World, which Impulse! has released today. This powerful performance, excerpts of which appear in the final stretch of Le chat, unfurls in undulating waltz time, with Tyner tolling dark-hued block chords against Jones’ polyrhythmic hum of cymbals and toms. Garrison is a pivot point, holding down the song’s center without sealing off any avenue for digression.

Which brings us to Coltrane, whose tenor is a revelatory voice throughout the song. He composed “Blue World” using an existing harmonic framework, from the Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer standard “Out of This World.” (He had, in fact, recorded that song in 1962, for the album titled Coltrane, in the same key and with a similar rhythmic arrangement, at a brighter tempo).

The harmonic language Coltrane employs in his improvisation, and the solid heft of his phrasing, feel distinct from that earlier version of the song. There are moments in his tenor solo on “Blue World” that point clearly in the direction of A Love Supreme, which the quartet would record months later, in December. Coltrane’s methodical yet unscripted push into different tonal centers, expressed as a form of incantatory fervor, should be familiar to anyone who has ever been entranced by “Acknowledgment,” the first movement in the Love Supreme suite.

That we’re just now latching on to this music, which was never exactly hidden but also never accounted for, recalls the expression of vastness that Coltrane once described. It also resonates well with a moment early in Le chat dans le sac, as Barbara stands before an oversize map of Montréal, where most of the film takes place.

“Right here,” she says amiably, pointing at a spot on the map. “Such a little city in that huge space, this huge country…” she trails off, scanning the territorial expanse, as if momentarily awed by the breadth of all that she has yet to know.


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Hello Colorado MindTravelers!

The 2019 MindTravel SilentHike tour heads your way this weekend and early next week with three experiences across the Colorado mountainscape!

On Sunday, August 18th, MindTravel comes to Aspen for a magical SilentHike up Hunter Creek Trail. After a short intention-setting, we will begin up the trail guided by the MindTravel music as the afternoon sun washes over the mountain. Once we hit the pinnacle of the SilentHike, we will take in the beautiful views before heading back down the to where we began. It’s a perfect way to kick off the last weeks of summer. Click here to reserve your headphones. The journey begins at 5:00pm.

Then, on Monday, August 19th and Tuesday, August 20th, MindTravel comes to Boulder for the first time with two SilentHikes up the Ute Trail to Realization Point. We are sold out for the experience on Tuesday, August 20th but headphones are still available for the SilentHike on Monday, August 19th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. Click here to reserve your headphones.

Reserve your headphones today for these magical experiences:
What: MindTravel SilentHike in Aspen
When:  Sunday, August 18th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Where: Meeting Location – Lobby of Hotel Jerome 330 E Main St, Aspen, CO 81611

What: MindTravel SilentHike in Boulder
When: Two magical experiences-
Monday, August 19th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Tuesday, August 20th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm *SOLD OUT*
Where: Realization Point, Flagstaff Road, Boulder, CO 80302

Let’s explore together!

Much love,

Murray

P.S. Don’t forget to share the love!

Forward this email to your friends and family in these cities so they may join us on this journey! We can’t wait to meet them along the way.
2019 SilentHike Tour Dates
8/18    Aspen, CO
8/19    Boulder, CO
8/20    Boulder, CO
9/9      Santa Barbara, CA
9/10    San Francisco, CA
9/11    Portland, OR
9/12    Seattle, WA
9/15    San Diego, CA
9/21    Los Angles, CA  *includes Live-Piano Experience!*

Why a Medieval Woman Had Lapis Lazuli Hidden in Her Teeth ~ Pocket

This set of teeth had a secret hidden in the tartar. Photo by Christina Warinner.

What Anita Radini noticed under the microscope was the blue—a brilliant blue that seemed so unnatural, so out of place in the 1,000-year-old dental tartar she was gently dissolving in weak acid.

It was ultramarine, she would later learn, a pigment that a millennium ago could only have come from lapis lazuli originating in a single region of Afghanistan. This blue was once worth its weight in gold. It was used, most notably, to give the Virgin Mary’s robes their striking color in centuries of artwork. And the teeth that were embedded with this blue likely belonged to a scribe or painter of medieval manuscripts.

Who was that person? A woman, first of all. According to radiocarbon dating, she lived around 997 to 1162, and she was buried at a women’s monastery in Dalheim, Germany. And so these embedded blue particles in her teeth illuminate a forgotten history of medieval manuscripts: Not just monks made them. In the medieval ages, nuns also produced the famously laborious and beautiful books. And some of these women must have been very good, if they were using pigment as precious and rare as ultramarine.

If pigments can be preserved in tartar—the gunky yellow stuff on teeth that dental plaque hardens into—that means that fibers, metals, and other dyes could be, too. “This is genuinely a big deal,” says Mark Clarke, a technical art historian at Nova University Lisbon who was not involved in the new study. You could imagine identifying metalworkers, carpenters, and other artisans from the particles embedded in tartar, Clarke says. “It’s opening up a new avenue in archaeology.”

Radini and her co-author, Christina Warinner, did not set out to study the production of illuminated manuscripts. Radini, now at the University of York, was initially interested in starch granules in tartar as a proxy for diet, and Warinner, a microbiome researcher at the Max Planck Institute, wanted to study the DNA of ancient oral bacteria. But the blue particles were too striking to ignore.

The semiprecious rock lapis lazuli is ground up to create a pigment called ultramarine, tiny particles of which can be found in dental tartar. Photo by Christina Warinner.

“Can you imagine the kind of cold calls we had to make in the beginning?” says Warinner. “‘Hi, I’m working with this thing on teeth, and it’s about 1,000 years old, and it has blue stuff in it. Can you help me?’ People thought we were crazy. We tried reaching out to physicists, and they were like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ We tried reaching out to people working in art restoration, and they were like, ‘Why are you working with plaque?’” She eventually reached physicists at the University of York who helped confirm the blue did indeed come from the mineral lazurite, derived from lapis lazuli.

But art experts were still skeptical. Some dismissed the idea that a woman could have been a painter skilled enough to work with ultramarine. One suggested to Warinner that this woman came into contact with ultramarine because she was simply the cleaning lady.

Warinner eventually reached out to Alison Beach, a historian at Ohio State University who studies female scribes in 12th-century Germany. Over the past couple of decades, Beach and other scholars have cataloged the overlooked contributions of women to medieval book production. The challenge, Beach says, is that while most manuscripts with signatures are signed by men, the vast majority of manuscripts are unsigned. But a small number of surviving manuscripts are signed by women, and scholars have found correspondence between monks and nuns about book production.

Beach even came across a letter dated to the year 1168, in which a bookkeeper of a men’s monastery commissions sister “N” to produce a deluxe manuscript using luxury materials such as parchment, leather, and silk. The monastery where sister “N” lived is only 40 miles from Dalheim, where the teeth with lapis lazuli were found. Beach also identified a book using lapis lazuli that was written by a female scribe in Germany around a.d. 1200. The pigment would have traveled nearly 4,000 miles from Afghanistan to Europe via the Silk Road. All the evidence suggests that female scribes were indeed making books that used lapis lazuli pigment in the same area and around the same time this woman was alive.

An illuminated page from the Scivias, a 12th-century book written by the nun Hildegard of Bingen and painted by two anonymous artists. The blue pigment comes from lapis lazuli. Photo from the Heidelberg University Library / Cod. Sal. X,16 / page 2r.

The team considered a number of alternative ways lapis lazuli could have gotten into the woman’s dental plaque. Could the particles have come from repeated kissing of an illuminated manuscript? This practice didn’t become popular until three centuries after this woman likely died. Could it have come from lapis ingested as medicine, as suggested in Greek and Islamic medical texts? There’s little evidence that prescription was followed in 12th-century Germany. The lapis lazuli particles were also especially fine, which requires a laborious grinding process. This detail in particular suggests that the stones were purposefully made into pigment.

The team concluded that two scenarios are most likely: The woman was a painter who could have ingested ultramarine paint while licking her brush to a point, or she breathed in the powder while preparing pigment for herself or someone else. You can almost begin to picture her, Beach says, sitting by herself laboring over a manuscript day after day. “For a medieval historian,” she adds, “this kind of clear material evidence of something from the life of an individual person is so extraordinary.”

Cynthia Cyrus, a professor at Vanderbilt who has also studied medieval scribes, told me that reading the paper was “the highlight of my day.” Like many monasteries, she noted, the one where this woman was buried was eventually destroyed in a medieval fire. There’s little evidence of what life was like there. But the woman’s teeth suggest that it could have been a site of highly skilled book production.

Warinner is continuing to study the particles embedded in old tartar. She and others have found everything from insect parts and the pollen of exotic ornamental flowers to opium, bits of wool, and milk proteins—all of which tell stories about what people ate and how they lived. The detritus of everyday life accumulates in the gunk that modern dentists are so vigilant about scrubbing off. “They aren’t thinking of future archaeologists,” Warinner jokes.

Sarah Zhang is a staff writer at The Atlantic.