From New Orleans:
The Latino jazz pianist extraordinaire, Hilton Ruiz, has given up the ghost down in New Orleans Hospital, expiring while still in a coma. His family is forcing a police investigation of his death. An eye witness says Hilton was beaten by a large man on a New Orleans street. That's all I've heard. Like I've said, one of the most powerful piano solos I've ever seen--for its washing out of one man's total energy into an instrumental solo--was Hilton soloing during a Latin big band reunion show with all the big Latino stars, and he built it from a low crouch over the keyboard on and on and on and up came his body gradually, on each finished chorus rising higher, until the build built it up so high it couldn't go any further until it became Utter Chaos and Hilton was standing straight up on his tip-toes, actually trying to climb up on the piano bench when his solo ended and the band and the applause drowned him out and he fell back down on the bench and there was no piano for the rest of the tune. As a note: all jazz players know when you get to Utter Chaos in a working solo--you are totally drained but satisfied just like finishing a great performance of love--for a male I speak, ladies, though I've seen several women piano players who know what I mean, I'll bet ya! Gerry Mulligan's theme song with his great Quartet was "Utter Chaos," which was a very simple blues. Maybe a jazz soloist does go from a birth (the blues) back to the way out of Chaos (a simple blues). We'll play a serious blues for Hilton today when we go down to the house piano and just sit and give him some peace of mind. A serious jazz musician very seldom experiences a peace of mind. BB King wrote and recorded a song about that.
From Out of Nowhere
Then I heard that one of the most fascinating musicians I've ever seen and heard, Billy Preston, gave up his ghost at about the same time Hilton Ruiz let his go, from a coma, too. Billy had been in a coma for a long time. The music business killed him, too, except Billy was better able to fly through life than was Hilton. Billy was a Ray Charles production. Ray took him under his big blue wing and taught him show biz. Billy was a protege of Ray's already on the piano. So, Ray, who played it himself, put him on the organ. Then Ray put him in his band back in the fab '70s, so far the best decade I've lived through (1969 to 1982 (the year AIDS came on the scene and put an end to our fun)). From there Billy became a star, on the piano then, with "Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing" and the great "Everything Goes in Circles." Billy got to hanging out with the Brits, Sir Paul, Sir John, you know, hanging in London and making records and scoring all the good chemicals in life...the good life for a musician. Unfortunately, it's the worst life for a human being. Billy had it all, but in the end he had to pay with his body giving up before Billy's musician head thought to. It's funny, people in a coma, and I've just experienced a family member being in a coma, seem to be still alive. I mean they're breathing normally; their eyes may open and their eyelids blink. They seem to be alive, dammit; I can understand those Schiavo parents thinking their daughter was still alive; it takes intelligence based on science and not religious hoodoo to know the truth about a person in a coma who you have to pull the plug on when they're truly gone, when they finally stop breathing, the last thing any body does--they stop breathing. Life is in breathing in the elements, drinking in the elements, and partaking of the elements, the trinity of most religions if you think about it.
They said every organ in Billy's body was diseased--heart problems, liver problems, kidney problems, artery problems, more and more drugs needed to keep it going. It's difficult to beat a good piano to death but it's easy as hell to beat a good pianist to death. "They never shoot horses," ya know. So, hell, we'll blow some heavy B17 for Billy today. It's a crying shame to me when these great musicians leave. I'll be leavin' one day, too, and I always wanted to leave like Lil Hardin Armstrong and she was one hell of a well-trained and improvising, hard-playing pianist. She once sat right behind Jelly Roll Morton while he was performing in Chicago and she said from watching him she learned how you had to play the piano, with every ounce of energy you could muster up in your body and let the music ride that energy directly from your solar plexus to the keys--powerful fingers working like the tappets on a powerful combustion engine, which is what a piano player has to be. So Lil was in her late seventies and she was performing at the Playboy Jazz Festival in Chicago--back in the seventies and while she was conking out on one of her specialties, she dropped over real gone. Her ghost gave up and moved right into that piano, which if I'd a been rich, I'd a bought on the spot and treasured it. I mean Lil's ghost was in that piano. That's the way I, as a pianist, and I'm pretty good, too, so don't sell me cheap, want to go. I'd hope it will be while on stage in front of thousands of screaming mimis but hell even if it's at my Korg in my own studio; that'll be fine with me.
I Play the Blues for the War-torn Blue, Blue World, Too
And my blues go on into the Utter Chaos of what life is becoming in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iraqi president is releasing prisoners today--he already has as I compose this. They are trying to convince us they are taking over; poor bastards. They'll never get rid of the Bush Babies under Unka Dick's dictatorial direction; I mean, come on, the US is building the gaudiest combo fort/embassy on the banks of the Tigres ever built by man right there. The damn thing looks permanent to me. It's bigger and more gaudy than one of S. Hussein's famous palaces, one of which is a military headquarters to this day. US troops still control the big oilfields, too, don't forget; US troops and Halliburton's private army always heavily guarding those oilfields. The oil disappears by millions of barrels a day at $75 a barrel--I remember when oil went to $35 a barrel right after the windfall oil profits act was voided by the Reaganites. So it's all about OIL afterall; never was about Al Queda or Bin Laden or any of those other supposedly 9/11 dudes. A commenter on
yesterday set me straight about Bin Laden. I had commented that Bin Lauden claimed the reason his boys hit the WTC on 9/11 was because the US was using Saudi-Arabia as a take-off point to attack Islamic people and that was an abomination to him and he was punishing us by finishing the job the blind Egyptian caliph from Newark, New Jersey, and his office boys botched in the first attack on the WTC. [Bye the by, just a passing fancy, the Irish terrorists did more damage to NYC back in the 1860s--they burned the whole damn town down over blacks getting more respect from the white Amuricans than they were--nanner, nanner, nanner.] Anyway, a commenter corrected me by saying at first Bin Laden denied he had anything to do with 9/11. That's true, too, folks. Wonder how much money the Bushes gave him through Prince Bandar Bush to take the blame for 9/11? The political assassinations or terrorist acts all seem so suspicious, don't they?
I recall the same kind of suspicions arose daily in the Kennedy assassination. I was in Dallas that day. Every story I heard, every person at the scene they interviewed, cops on motorcycles escorting the parade, I mean every body, said the gunfire came from in front of the motorcade, to their rights, all of them pointing toward what became known as "the grassy knoll" at the time of the shots, directly facing the motorcade just before it would have slid a bit left to go under the Commerce St. viaduct to get over to Stemmons Expressway and barrel-ass out to the Trade Center where JFK was giving a speech that day. Instead, once they got on that expressway, they went past the Trade Center up to Parkland Hospital, where the president was pronounced dead around 1:30 or so pm and Lady Bird Johnson at the same moment was kicking Jackie O off Airforce 1 and on whose board Lyndon was later sworn into office by Judge Sarah T. Hughes. JFK must have been rolling already inside his soul knowing old scroundel LBJ had taken over the controls and that Jackie O and the kids were left stranded out on the tarmac of Love Field in Dallas (named after a man named Love and not the physical emotion) waiting for a gyrene helicopter to whisk them over to Air Force 2, if there was such a thing. Didn't the Kennedy family have a private jet in those days?
Another blues goes out to the people of Peru who just got this crooked-as-a-python-at-night asshole as president again, Al Garcia; oh my God and Jesus, this has Bush Baby/CIA intervention written all over it. This bastard who took his country to Utter Chaotic ruin last time he was president and like we said above then he was crooked as a jaw-jutting robber baron and treated the Peruvian people like so much llama shit; the guy he was running against was a social reformer who unfortunately used Hugo Chavez (not really as shining an angel as he appears) as his idol, thus causing Condi to have to run down there and give those assholes the right way to vote. "Here, boys, use these Florida voting machines to count your votes so we'll make sure Al wins. You, boys, wanna keep taking small-plane flights safely don't you?" Remember Condi's trip to an economic conference in that area recently?--I think she actually went to Peru. Al Garcia has already started bullhorning how he's throw Hugo Chavez out of Latin American politics--he's a roadblock to his political steamrolling. I guess the Peruvian Army will attack Venezuela now. How about a massive war in the Caribbean! Wow, I think I'll email Unka Dick that idea...WHAT! Paul Wolf O'witch and Richard Perils have already written up plans for such a war. Damn, I'm always late with my ideas. I must be a wimp.
Have You Noticed
Those oil company ads that explain how carbon monoxide is LIFE? Absurdness rules!
The amendment banning Gay marriage fell flat on its damn face in this Repugnican-bowling alley. Pobrecito, Little Georgie Porgie.
Did you know there's a Baptist church in Topeka, Kanned-Ass (a very backward state) that send groups out all over the USA and they attend funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and shout and carry banners declaring "Your son or daughter died because of homosexuality taking over Amurica." You believe that? It's true. How f-ing bald-ass demonistic is that? It's like Charlie Manson shows up at your baby shower and starts spraying "Redrum" all over the walls. One soldier's father is suing them for invasion of privacy after they came to Ohio for that funeral. One right-wing nut commentator said that wasn't an invasion of privacy because it was a public cemetery. These absurd bastards have turned everything scientific as being sin--and their answer to this sin they are so afraid of (original sin to these freaks is sex, ya know) (Philip Wylie said the price we paid for having sex is death--think about it) is, of course, DEATH. These assholes worship a FEARSOME, WRATHFUL JEHOVAH--an F-ing Big Daddy terrorist supreme! I really thought the fabulous Jesus said he did away with those Torah-jiving Ten Commandments--he had only one commandment, "Love thy neighbor as thyself"--anybody know Jesus? Isn't that what he rabbinically believed? Didn't he say he took the place of the Passover or the sacrificing of a lamb every year--what's that in the Jewish faith--Atonement?
Mostly Essene principles I've heard, though I'm not Judaically knowledgeable. It's all Jungian, right Philip Wylie?
I'm Goin' Down and Play Some Downhome Blues...
For Hilton Ruiz, Billy Preston, the regular folks in Baghdad (they yesterday found a sack filled with 9 decapitated heads on a street in Baghdad--Damn how cruel!), the good citizens of Afghanistan, the good citizens of East Timor (here we go again over there--it's about oil there--we just solidified a big military agreement with the Indonesian crooked-as-hell government, the massacring sons of bitches who hate the East Timorans, probably for religious reasons but also because they have so much untapped oil beneath them. Praise the Lard OIL, EARL of OIL.
May God or all the other gods stay out of your lives,
for The Daily Growler