Thursday, April 16, 2009

"How Do You Define the Blues?"

I'm asked this question so often, I thought I'd answer it here. To me, blues is music that lifts you up without lying to you. It doesn't ask you to believe anything you can't feel. It takes you outside yourself without disrespecting any aspect of your life. And when it's right, when "everything comes together," it takes you to that place where you realize -- sometimes quite suddenly -- that the music is listening. Sun Ra called it "outer space." Others might call it some kind of mythocratic transformation. You don't have to call it anything. Why argue about it, when you can go there right now?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rockin' Out With Sun Ra

On Saturday night, April 4, I was a guest on Tom D'Antoni's show on KMHD in Portland. We talked mainly about the Paul deLay memorial show at the Aladdin Theater (which took place the following night), and about the music of Sun Ra. I played some of my favorite Ra tracks as a sort of "introduction" to his music, with emphasis on his juke-joint roadhouse origins. Here's the interview:

Don't miss Ra's astounding live solo version of Take the A Train, which starts at about 21:00 minutes into the show. You'll also hear some of my own music.