Birthday Loot 2019.

Herewith the traditional posting of the goodies that have been given me to celebrate my (increasingly distant) appearance on the planet; I’ve had biscuits for breakfast and am looking forward to chicken curry and lemon meringue pie for dinner, and it’s a beautiful sunny summer day, so I’m a contented Hat.

Burning Down the House: Essays on Fiction by Charles Baxter
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
Understanding Chekhov: A Critical Study Of Chekhov’s Prose And Drama by Donald Rayfield

And an earlier gift I might as well tack on:
Stalin’s Scribe: Literature, Ambition, and Survival: The Life of Mikhail Sholokhov by Brian Boeck

I also got several jazz CDs, by Ruby Braff/Ellis Larkins, Terell Stafford, Cedar Walton, and Art Blakey; I’d like to give a fervent and grateful shout-out to whatever LH reader sent me the last — the great John Gilmore (of Sun Ra fame) playing with the Jazz Messengers is a dream come true, and I don’t know why the album isn’t better known.


  1. Looking forward to hearing what comes out of the Sholokhov book. Was he Good or Bad?

  2. I can’t wait to find out!

  3. Sorry for another off-topic comment, but I ran across this post in Russian because I was listening to an Alexander Galich song and could not figure out what the refrain “basan, basan, basana, basanata, basanata” meant. Googled it and found this interesting set of hypotheses. Not sure if any of it is valid, but I figured this blog has the highest percentage of people who could comment on Russian/Roma/Hindi/Persian/Arabic

  4. J.W. Brewer says

    I guess Gilmore’s tenure w/ Blakey was brief but I will check that out. FWIW I learned just last week that right around the same time Cannonball Adderley’s sextet cut an entire album of tunes from Fiddler On the Roof, imaginatively called “Cannonball Adderley’s Fiddler On the Roof.” I’m imagining some of the suits in marketing came up with the idea . . . A pity the Arkestra never tried their hands (AFAIK …) at that repertoire?

  5. Sorry for another off-topic comment

    Never apologize for an off-topic comment! If it weren’t for off-topic comments, threads would be much drabber.

  6. David Marjanović says

    I’ve spent our birthday in one of the two traditional ways: at a conference. ^_^

  7. Belated Happy Birthdays to both LH and DM!

  8. I just did a count — this makes 22 Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers CDs (counting each CD in a box set, like the 6-CD Mosaic set, and including the one I only have in Amazon Music), which is a tie with Mingus and one behind Monk; far in front are the ~40 Miles Davis CDs, but there’s nobody like Miles.

  9. J.W. Brewer says

    BTW here’s a clip of GIlmore playing w/ Blakey on British TV in ’65 — doing a Wayne Shorter composition not on that studio album.

  10. John Cowan says

    It’s my birthday today, and I’m working, but Gale and I are going out for dinner for the first time in a loooooooooooong time, thanks to a coupon from our favorite restaurant, North Square.

  11. BTW here’s a clip of GIlmore playing w/ Blakey on British TV in ’65

    Thanks, that’s great.

    Happy birthday, JC, and enjoy your dinner — I’d probably go for the rack of lamb myself, but the filet mignon is mighty tempting.

  12. John Cowan says

    We got the rack, lamb sliders, ginger beet soup special, chocolate mousse, and key lime pie. It’s enough for another meal for three.

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