My blog is on holiday today

Today is a public holiday (ANZAC Day) where we remember the efforts of our past generations who fought in wars. I am not very enamoured by the hype that surrounds these days – commercialisation reigns and the black/white nature of the narrative (we were good they were evil) obscures the reality of war and the political machinations that typically accompany it. In Australia’s case our involvement in several wars has been the product of unnecessary colonial master-servant type arrangements (us being the servant) and/or ridiculous alliances with the war mongering US. But the soldiers certainly did it tough and I have sympathy with that – and personal association with my grandparents and parents. But, on a pragmatic basis, my blog is taking the day off so I can use the time to finish some work that has impending deadlines. We can listen to jazz today and wonder about whether humans will ever learn that war like is being prosecuted in Ukraine at present is never a reasonable way to conduct our affairs and mediate our disagreements.

You can find more about what today is about by consulting this blog post – 100 years ago today in France … (April 25, 2018).

Music – Coleman Hawkins

This is what I have been listening to while working this morning.

Coleman Hawkins – was one of the great tenor players who made it undoubtedly a jazz instrument.

He is famous for developing a unique style for sax improvisation, rather than following the standard of his day of replicating clarinet intonation.

He also used a lot of vibrato which enriched the bottom end and smoothed out the top register notes in the second octave.

This song – Body and Soul – is a jazz standrad that was written in 1930 and Coleman Hawkins covered the piece in a recording with his orchestra on October 11, 1939.

The interesting feature of his version is that he plays two choruses but improvises (and thus implies the melody) rather than replicate the written melody.

Observers consider this version, which departed from the swing genre of the period, marks the beginning of bebop.

Like a lot of the genius players of his day, he died of liver failure in 1969 after a period of heavy alcohol abuse.

I would have loved to have seen him live but only have his records which are extensive and span the period 1927 to 1967.

An incredible artist who taught me a lot about how to play saxophone.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2022 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Completely agree with the sentiments you express here, Bill. The final sentence just preceding the music section is especially noteworthy. I have often wondered, were humanity wiped out, given that natural selection is as it is, whether the final result would be much different.

  2. More than anything else, we all should be demanding for peace and the rule of law in Ukraine.
    And after that we should demand the same for Palestine, Iemen, Síria, Iraq, and all those countries were there are violations of human rights, as the right to live in peace, and free from serfdom.

  3. For some strange reason, the Prime Minister of Australia does not like the creation of foreign military bases on his country’s doorstep.

    Scott Morrison said that China’s construction of a military base in the Solomon Islands will be a “red line” for Canberra and Washington.

    However, the Australian Prime Minister totally supported Biden’s earlier statement that…….

    ” every sovereign country has the right to choose its own alliances? And no one has the right to interfere with this. ”

    Morrison completely ignored Russia and China red lines as the West encircled them both and placed missiles on their borders. That is just fine and dandy in Morrison’s warped mind and even encouraged it.

    The sheer hypocrisy of it all is mind blowing. Is a clear example of what happens when the state is hijacked by vested interests and money replaces the vote.

    Macron has won the French election and will do a complete 180 on his campaign promises and quickly revert to type. A war mongering authoritarian leader. Now that he has fooled the French voters for a second time the pace of ” EU uber alles” will quicken and more rights will be trampled on.

  4. @ Derek Henry


    The hypocrisy on display is truly mind-blowing. This doesn’t mean that Putin is not a thug – he is – but the simplistic, child-like, black and white view that the west are the good guys and Russia are the bad guys essentially gives the US-NATO leadership a free pass to behave in any manner it likes (which is the main cause of this war). After all, if we are the good guys, then everything we do must be justified or we wouldn’t do it because we are good. Simpleton thinking.

    The West have been resolutely determined for the past 14 years to see how far they could push before they provoked confrontation with Russia – the statement made by NATO at the conclusion of their 2008 summit that they would begin absorbing countries on the Russian border into the military alliance should NEVER have been made. They have had 14 years to retract it and offer Russia a binding guarantee of buffer space – had they done so it’s unlikely this war would have occurred.

    Why the US-NATO leadership has consistently refused to relent from engaging in such standover tactics right up until flashpoint has been reached seems unclear – perhaps 30 years after the Cold War ended, NATO has been struggling to justify it’s existence in a Europe where no great power was really threatening the West. Now after provoking a war (which has altered the geopolitical and economic status of the world), NATO is once again “needed”.

    One thing is for certain, it has triggered a new era of geopolitics with economic consequences and not all of it is likely to be in the West’s favour.

    Maybe Keynes could be re-animated so he can write “The Economic Consequences of NATO”.

  5. Derek,

    “Morrison completely ignored Russia and China red lines as the West encircled them both and placed missiles on their borders. ”

    Surely you’re not implying that Russia’s missile arsenal is “fake news”, merely Russian propaganda?

    Or is it OK for Russia to have thousands of nuclear missiles which threaten Europe?

  6. Derek,

    And of course the fact that Russia has attacked/invaded/occupied/subjugated every border state in Europe since 1939 is more “fake news”.

    And the fact that no NATO country has ever attacked Russia is also “fake news”.

  7. Please please stop arguing as to who is right and who is wrong in this War. ALL war is wrong. That is whether it is in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or Ukraine. And even worse is basing an economy on the sale of weapons.

  8. Bill, did I hear you correctly, “you learned a lot about how to play Saxophone” from the Hawk?

  9. Dear Yok (at 2022/04/27 at 9:29 am)

    You read correctly. What a great influence he is.

    best wishes

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