Monday, March 2, 2015

Two Songs

The two songs that follow were sung by my parents and their friends at almost every wedding, dance, party, etc., when I was a child.  "Mazolin de fiore" was done as a call and answer, while "Kucavica" was usually started by my mother. 

One is Italian the other Croat  --  I once spoke both the Croat dialect from my folks hometown and Italian ("la vera lingua").  Time and lack of practice make it difficult for me to speak or understand either today.

Back when my mother was alive we would often speak in "our" dialect.  One time a visitor from my moms hometown said he had not heard anyone speak that dialect for many years.  Who knows, I may be one of the last folks who speaks that "language".

Finding those two songs actually brought tears to my eyes  --  a sure sign I'm getting old

Radost playing Kucavica TamEXPit08

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jimmie Vaughan - Dengue Woman Blues

Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli - Lady Be Good (1937)

Jeepers Creepers - Django Reinhardt & Stéphane Grappelli

Brazil - Django Reinhardt

Dizzy Gillespie & Thelonious Monk & Sonny Stitt - Round Midnight (Newport Jazz Festival 1971)

Тrumpet - Dizzy Gillespie
Piano - Thelonious Monk
Sax - Sonny Stitt
Trombone - Kai Winding
Drum - Art Blakey
Bass - Al Mckibbon

Dizzy Gillespie/Sonny Rollins/Sonny Stitt-"The Eternal Triangle" from Sonny Side Up

Sonny Side Up is an album by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and the tenor saxophonists Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins, recorded in December 1957 in New York City. It was released the following year on producer Norman Granz' just launched Verve label.

Pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Tommy Bryant, and drummer Charlie Persip provide the rhythm section.

A Million Or More Times - Sonny Criss

Sonny Criss Quartet 1949 ~ The First One

Sonny Criss - Alto Sax
Hampton Hawes - Piano
Iggy Shevack - Bass
Chuck Thompson - Drums

Friday, February 20, 2015

"True Blues" (Milt Jackson),Modern Jazz Quartet in London.

Milt Jackson: vibes,
John Lewis:piano,
Percy Heath:bass,
Connie Kay:drums.

Milt Jackson and John Coltrane - Bags & Trane (1959)

Paul Quinichette - Blue Dots

Paul Quinichette - tenor sax
Curtis Fuller - tromobone
John Jenkins - alto sax
Sonny Red - alto sax
Mal Waldron - piano
Doug Watkins - bass
drums - Ed Thigpen

Friday, February 13, 2015

Back to the Nineteenth Century

The latest column from Robert Reich.  Please follow link to original.

My recent column about the growth of on-demand jobs like Uber making life less predictable and secure for workers unleashed a small barrage of criticism from some who contend that workers get what they’re worth in the market.
A Forbes Magazine contributor, for example, writes that jobs exist only  “when both employer and employee are happy with the deal being made.” So if the new jobs are low-paying and irregular, too bad.
Much the same argument was voiced in the late nineteenth century over alleged “freedom of contract.” Any deal between employees and workers was assumed to be fine if both sides voluntarily agreed to it.
It was an era when many workers were “happy” to toil twelve-hour days in sweat shops for lack of any better alternative.
It was also a time of great wealth for a few and squalor for many. And of corruption, as the lackeys of robber barons deposited sacks of cash on the desks of pliant legislators.
Finally, after decades of labor strife and political tumult, the twentieth century brought an understanding that capitalism requires minimum standards of decency and fairness – workplace safety, a minimum wage, maximum hours (and time-and-a-half for overtime), and a ban on child labor.
We also learned that capitalism needs a fair balance of power between big corporations and workers.
We achieved that through antitrust laws that reduced the capacity of giant corporations to impose their will, and labor laws that allowed workers to organize and bargain collectively.
By the 1950s, when 35 percent of private-sector workers belonged to a labor union, they were able to negotiate higher wages and better working conditions than employers would otherwise have been “happy” to provide.
But now we seem to be heading back to nineteenth century.
Corporations are shifting full-time work onto temps, free-lancers, and contract workers who fall outside the labor protections established decades ago.
The nation’s biggest corporations and Wall Street banks are larger and more potent than ever.
And labor union membership has shrunk to fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers.
So it’s not surprising we’re once again hearing that workers are worth no more than what they can get in the market.
But as we should have learned a century ago, markets don’t exist in nature. They’re created by human beings. The real question is how they’re organized and for whose benefit.
In the late nineteenth century they were organized for the benefit of a few at the top.
But by the middle of the twentieth century they were organized for the vast majority.
During the thirty years after the end of World War II, as the economy doubled in size, so did the wages of most Americans — along with improved hours and working conditions.
Yet since around 1980, even though the economy has doubled once again (the Great Recession notwithstanding), the wages most Americans have stagnated. And their benefits and working conditions have deteriorated.
This isn’t because most Americans are worth less. In fact, worker productivity is higher than ever.
It’s because big corporations, Wall Street, and some enormously rich individuals have gained political power to organize the market in ways that have enhanced their wealth while leaving most Americans behind.
That includes trade agreements protecting the intellectual property of large corporations and Wall Street’s financial assets, but not American jobs and wages.
Bailouts of big Wall Street banks and their executives and shareholders when they can’t pay what they owe, but not of homeowners who can’t meet their mortgage payments.
Bankruptcy protection for big corporations, allowing them  to shed their debts, including labor contracts. But no bankruptcy protection for college graduates over-burdened with student debts.
Antitrust leniency toward a vast swathe of American industry – including Big Cable (Comcast, AT&T, Time-Warner), Big Tech (Amazon, Google), Big Pharma, the largest Wall Street banks, and giant retailers (Walmart).
But less tolerance toward labor unions — as workers trying to form unions are fired with impunity, and more states adopt so-called “right-to-work” laws that undermine unions. 
We seem to be heading full speed back to the late nineteenth century.
So what will be the galvanizing force for change this time?