Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Trombone

ABC Wednesday
May 27th, 2015

The letter is T for Trombone and Trombonists

A little history and a little music!

The trombone is not often heard as a solo instrument, but many legendary performers have left their marks on the history of jazz, tracing the line from Miff Mole and Kid Ory through Jack Teagarden, Tommy Dorsey and on to Bennie Green and now today's original sounding trombonists, like Ray Anderson and Craig Harris.

In the early 1900s to the 1920s Dixieland, primarily improvised music with the trombonist playing a countermelody to the cornet with glissandos and other raucous effects that could be produced with the slide trombone.

Most well known of these 'tailgate' trombonists were Edward "Kid" Ory and Irving Milfred "Miff" Mole, with Miff being perhaps more technical and with a brighter sound, avoiding the glissandos and growls that Ory favoured.  Miff's composition "There'll come a Time" (Wait and See) can be heard in the modern release of 'The Strange Case of Benjamin Button' (which I thoroughly enjoyed)

As the thirties wore on there was a new trend in jazz trombone, known as Swing, and it differed from Dixieland in several ways, the most obvious being in the greater number of musicians performing
in a band, and in the tendency to arrange the music prior to the performance, so that improvisation was eliminated.

Trombonists enjoyed a prominent role in the jazz ensemble of the swing era and were often featured as soloists.  One such trombonist was Jack Teagarden who developed a lighter and smoother tone, possessing a fluidity that many other trombonists tried to imitate.

Tommy Dorsey, who was to become one of the most popular trombonists of the swing era, so respected Teagarden's playing that he refused to play a solo while Teagarden was in the same room.

In the early 1940's a new style of jazz began to develop, known as Behop.
Prior to Behop jazz style were performed for dancing, but now jazz was being written and performed for its own sake, with smaller combos allowing more freedom than was possible in a big band.

Bennie Green was perhaps the first trombonist to play in the Behop style.  His music possessed a warm and smooth tone, influenced by trumpeters Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie 
with whom he played.

A little music to illustrate the lovely sounds of the trombone!

For more Ts - visit here at ABC Wednesday,
 with thanks to Roger, Denise and the visiting crew.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Another May....

Beautiful days, one after the other  -   'heart's ease'


The blessed stretch and ease of it -

heart's ease.  The hills blue.  All the flowering weeds

bursting open.  Balm in the air.  The birdsong

bouncing back out of the sky.  The cattle

lain down in the meadow, forgetting to feed.

The horses swishing their tails.

The yellow flare of furze on the near hill,

And the first cream splatters of blossom

high on the thorns where the day rests longest.

All hardship, hunger, treachery of winter forgotten.

The unfounded conviction:  forgiveness, hope.

Kerry Hardie, from  "A Furious Place"

Monday, May 18, 2015

S for Spoonerisms

May 20th, 2015
ABC Wednesday

The letter is S - for Spoonerisms......

Definition -  an unintentional interchange of sounds, producing a phrase with a meaning entirely different from the one intended.

Example -  we'll have the hags flung out    -     we'll have the flags hung out

Of course this produces many funny witticisms, and we have the Rev. William Archibald Spooner to thank for these sayings that "fickle our tummy bone", so to speak.

The Reverend Spooner was an Anglican priest and scholar  (an albino with poor eyesight) who studied at New College,Oxford, and then went on to lecture there for sixty years in history, philosophy and divinity.

He was a kind and hospitable man, with a keen intellect, which contributed to the manifestation of sound switching for which he became well known.  His tongue barely kept up with his thought processes.

Spooner was born in London in 1844, and he is buried in Grasmere Cemetery in the Lake District, but he left behind this marvelous word-play, some examples of which follow!  Enjoy......

nosy little cook                            cozy little nook

our shoving leopard                    our loving shepherd

it's roaring with pain                   it's pouring with rain

wave the sails                             save the whales

bedding wells                             wedding bells

our queer old Dean                     our dear old Queen

hiss and lear                                listen hear

Your turn now - can you think of any good spoonerisms???

Lots more Ss here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Roger, Denise and strong and steady helpers.

p.s.  Thanks to Martin Chilton for some of the information about the Rev. Spooner.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Stroll through the Garden

I took a little stroll through the garden this morning,

camera in hand

and found that spring has put all her lovely flowers to bed

to rest in peace and prepare for

next year's marvelous show of daffodils and tulips, swaying in the soft breezes

of April.

In their place summer makes a tentative entry

with that beautiful ubiquitous yellow ranunculus

and some lovely early peonies..

the first of the iris, the purple globes of the allium,

  and great growth on the hostas.

The roses are bursting with pink, and the clematis that

covers the gate are awash in long slender buds.

I take my lunch outside these days,

along with my new book

(McCall Smith's Forever Girl)

and sometimes I have a bit of ice cream and stewed rhubarb 

(fresh from the garden) for dessert.

Here is a little collage of some of the promises

summer is honouring.......

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Roses Eternally

ABC Wednesday
May 13th, 2015

The letter is R, for Roses

I have been lucky to have lived in Rose country all my life.......

In Alberta, - Wild Rose Country, where I grew up

I walked to school in June on a pathway through a great cluster of wild rose shrubs,
and the memory of the fragrances remains with me to this day.

today the road that leads to Ginty's pond is lined with the same wonderful scent.

On the farm red and white blaze roses came trailing through the open windows to the kitchen
and our bedroom.

When we moved to town roses and poppies and lilies grew in great abundance over the
fence Charles built to enclose the flower bed fron the street

and in October we brought the remnants into the house to see us through
cold November.......

In the hillside garden we grew roses against the house and throughout the garden -the Abraham Darby, the Prairie Princess, the Mister Lincoln
and just scads of other shrub roses.

and here in town, the roses climb over the gateway to the side garden
 and take prime place in the raised bed

Mary Oliver writes of Roses....

What happens/to the leaves after/they turn red and golden and fall/away?  What happens

to the singing birds/when they can't sing/any longer? What happens to their quick wings?

Do you think there is any/personal heaven/for any of us?/ Do you think anyone,

the other side of that darkness,/ will call to us, meaning us?/ Beyond the trees/
the foxes keep teaching their children

to live in the valley/so they never seem to vanish, they are always there/
in the blossom of light/that stands up every morning

to the dark sky/and over one more set of hills,/along the sea,/the last roses
have opened their factory of sweetness

and are giving it back to the world./If I had another life/I would want to spend it all on some
unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox, or as tree/full of waving branches./I wouldn't mind being a rose/
in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition/Reason they have not yet thought of.

Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what/
Or any other foolish question.

Well there, so much for roses and philosophy

Lots more on the letter R here at ABC Wednesday, with thanks to
Roger, Denise and relentless helpers....

A little addendum for my personal diary....

Here are the red roses I carried to the altar seventy years ago
on the 12th of May, 1945.....

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

ABC Wednesday
May 6th, 2015

The letter is Q

Here, for your delight is Quintessence

A saxophone Quintet playing Bach:  Fudge Fugue

For more great Qs visit here at ABC Wednesday, with many thanks to Roger and Denise and any quirky helpers who may be assisting them with this great meme.

Friday, May 01, 2015


May 1, 2015

I have just returned from a week's holiday in the East Kootenay, - land of magnificent mountains, hot springs, Hoodoos and eagles.

I was excited to find upon my return that the garden had taken flight and spread itself over all the little bare spots, almost obliterating those dratted violets that send out root tendrils and pop to the surface every few centimetres.  But not quite, and so I spent a couple of hours this morning removing their tender green leaves and admiring the new blooms, and the way the roses which lay dry and dead when I left have started to recover with lovely shoots....

We had a grand holiday!  Some days relaxing and reading

and some days traveling to places I have been through

but have never had time to really enjoy.

I went with our eldest son and his wife, and they couldn't have been

kinder or more solicitous....lucky me!!!

Here is a nice little Bavarian type village, full of gift shops and antiques and nice bakeries and restaurants.

 We went further afield to The Panorama, a Ski Resort high in the mountains. following the road
up beside a stream which in the summer would be full of torrents of water and wild rafters!!!

Our accommodation was  a comfortable 'time share' located beside the resort golf course, where each evening a herd of deer sauntered across the grass into the woods at the far side.

and in the distance the mountains rose steep and jagged.

Down the road, on the way to the southern part of the valley there is a long stretch of

bank, eroded by the winds of time and  elegantly turreted 

 Across the way is this this cone shaped sandstrone creation, with a unique embelishment at the side
which would make one wonder what erosion could have shaped it so delicately (click to enlarge)

Because of the height of the land spring comes much later, and the trees in the valley still bear that tenderness of brand new light green leaves, and the willows are still golden.....

Coming down from the ski resort we stopped at Lake Lillian and enjoyed the quietness
of the shoreline, and the birds that bustled amongst the dried bull rushes.

The time came to leave, and on our way home we passed once again through the many tunnels that
make this mountainous highway possible, - through avalanche country, and twice I missed a picture of the guns that are placed on the highway, and fired to bring the snow safely down.

As we descended and started down the Okanagan Valley at Sicamous

spring became more mature, and showed signs of summer approaching.

The fields were full of dandelions, and the leaves on the trees had that summery look.

We stopped to watch and feed the goats who perform for tourists at 'Dave's Goat Walk'

and I thought this was a fun ending to a perfect holiday....


Lovely to get home to one's own bed, where I will now retire and read a few pages of McCall Smith's new book "Emma", which I got from the library today!!