Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

Image ... Phillis Wheatley. Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29, 2010

Image ... Torso. South End, Boston.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bongo in Squaresville . 11 | Boston Jazz Week, April 23 - May 2, 2010: Made & played in Boston.

Bongo in Squaresville is a weekly webcast radio show devoted to the jazz music, of every style and genre, that's gone down in Boston through the last 10 or so decades. Join us at Radio Roofscape every Wednesday night. The music starts at 9:00 and there's never a cover charge or drink minimum.

Ray Santisi w/ Debby Larkin - Old Devil Moon (Been there, done that)
Gilad Barkan Band w/ Melissa Aldana - Fe
Bo Winiker & New Philharmonia Orchestra - In a Sentimental Mood
Blaque Lyte - Breakout
Al Vega - 88 Over 88 (birthday jam at Scullers)
Yoko Miwa Trio - Untitled original composition (live at WGBH FM, Boston)
Either/Orchestra w/ Mahoud Ahmed - Bemen Sebab Letlash
Rajdulari - Me and You
The Workingman''s Jazz Band - When the Saints Go Marching in Concord
Hal McIntyre & His Orchestra - Sentimental Journey
Sergio Salvatore & Antonio J. - Point of Presence 09
Wendee Glick - Baby, I'm Fine
Dominique Eade - Have I Stayed Away Too Long?
Ran Blake - Lost Highway
Ro Sham Beaux - Can't, Can't, Can't, Can't, Won't
Patrick Kunka - Live at the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

Image ... Bongo in Squaresville. The Starlight Room, Boston.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 28, 2010

Month of May upon us and the temps have been in the low 40's. Is it that ash cloud over Iceland? And windy, the wind chill notching it down to just above freezing. With a cold rain. November, not May.

Biked downtown. One project outdoors and another in. Guess which I chose. Yes, warm and dry. Although overall the nastier of the two, with demo and dust. Visited KA to set up her job. Biked back. Got greens at M&M, the BBG joint in the construction yard, a sand pit of sorts, just off Norfolk. Spitting rain, reeling wind. Climbed in bed.

Programmed Bongo in Squaresville . 11 for Radio Roofscape this morning, the second show devoted to the musicians and bands of Boston Jazz Week, April 23 - May 2 (see above).

Wrote in Roofscape Journal (here) for the first time in awhile. The daily entries have all been images with just captions recently. Comments from China. We love you!

Image ... Mirror Image. Photo: KS. Edit: SB.

April 27, 2010

Boat full of flowers. Dorchester, Mass.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010

Image ... Supta Virasana. This is a variation on the yoga asana called The Reclining Hero. Studio, Boston.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010

Image ... Knots. Roxbury, Mass.

Sunday Gospel Set . 46 | Gospel and Soul

Join us every Sunday to give praise with the Sunday Gospel Set on Radio Roofscape. This week we're listening for the intersection of gospel and soul music. Our featured video is Heaven by BeBe & CeCe Winans. Here's the current set list ...

Sounds of Blackness - I Believe
Fisk Jubilee Singers - When I Was Sinkin' Down
Kirk Franklin - Looking for You
Thomas Dorsey - Precious Lord
John Lennon - God
Otis Redding - Change is Gonna Come
Louis Armstrong - Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Swan Silvertones - Sinner Man (Newport, 1959)
Albert E. Brumley - Turn Your Radio On
Clara Ward - What the World Needs Now
Dixie Hummingbirds - Loves Me Like a Rock
Marvin Gaye - Come Live with Me Angel
BeBe & CeCe Winans - Heaven
Aretha Franklin - I Say a Little Prayer
Disciples of Christ (DOC) - Deeper
Doc Watson - Down in the Valley to Pray
Anita Baker - Body and Soul
LeeN & Klarity - See Clear
Art Ensemble of Chicago - Old Time Religion

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24, 2010

Image ... Wake.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 23, 2010

Fence. South End, Boston.

April 22, 2010

Image ... Sailboat. Blanche Lazzell.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bongo in Squaresville . 10 | Boston Jazz Week, April 23 - May 2: Made in Boston, Played in Boston

Bongo in Squaresville is a weekly webcast radio show devoted to the jazz music, of every style and genre, that's gone down in Boston through the last 10 or so decades. Join us at Radio Roofscape every Wednesday night. The music starts at 9:00 and there's never a cover charge or drink minimum.

Gang Starr - Jazz Thing
Charlie Kohlhase - The Explorers Club
Don Byron & the Bang on a Can All-Stars - Silver Wings
Lisa Yves - I Love a Piano
Joe Lovano & Gunther Schuller - Angel Eyes
Yoko Miwa Trio - Live in Boston
Ran Blake - Improvisation
New Black Eagle Jazz Band - Keyhole Blues
Florencia Gonzalez - Ayer Te Vi
Chris Potter & Kenny Werner - Giant Steps

April 21, 2010

Image ... Cherry Blossoms.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20, 2010

Image ... Swimmer. South End, Boston.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Image ... Garden in the South End, Boston.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 2010

Writing about bouldering. An unexpected and exciting subject, a forgotten passion from childhood. Sparked by three sites - the glacial erratics in Franklin Park, cliffs at Roxbury Crossing and the Puddingstone formations in the park at Walnut and Townsend Streets in Roxbury. All of which I'm curious to climb, just like a kid.

Started a new Radio Roofscape show, Ambient Air. The first installment is the Ibiza Mix - Oakenfold to Ligeti with lots of strange, chill stops in between.

Image ... Mural. Roxbury, Mass.

Art Talk . 1 | Christopher Wheeldon, choreographer (part 1)

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon talks about his early days, dancing from age 8, and coming to America on the back of a Virgin vacuum cleaner. Then read about his fractious departure from Morphosis, the dance company he created.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bouldering . 1

Cities offer many opportunities for climbing - status, walls and stairs. But hidden away in many urban areas there are actual, although maybe modest, mountain climbs to be made - on boulders. It's a sport called bouldering.

A boulder is a large rock, often one that's been rounded and smoothed by glaciation and/or other forms of erosion. But bouldering, rock climbing in its truest sense, is also practiced on cliffs and even buildings (AKA buildering). It requires minimum equipment and maximum common sense.

I became a boulderer as a kid, well before I'd heard the word, and not in the city but out in the countryside. Our neighborhood was littered with many massive boulders, called glacial erratics, left behind by the retreat of the glaciers 10,000 or so years ago.

Images ... 1 - Boulderer on unnamed (V4) problem at Black Mountain in Idyllwild, California (notice the crash mat at the base of the boulder). Ram Sripracha, courtesy of Wikipedia. 2 - Doane Rock, Cape Cod National Seashore. Courtesy USGS.

Sunday Gospel Set . 45 | Secret code of the spirituals

Join us every Sunday to give praise with the Sunday Gospel Set on Radio Roofscape. This week we're listening for the secret codes that the slaves hid inside the spirituals they sang. Our featured video is Yolanda Rhodes singing Wade in the Water. Here's the current set list ...

Yolanda Rhodes - Wade in the Water
Beyonce - Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
The Ishmel Sisters - Follow the Drinking Gourd
Sacred Harp 87 - Oh Canaan, Sweet Canaan
Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon - Steal Away to Jesus
Fisk University Jubilee Quartet - I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray

On the eve of his escape to freedom in the company of a few fellow captives, the mood on Frederick Douglass' plantation was jubilant. That happiness and determination were coded into song to keep their spirits up and steel them for the trials ahead.
We were, at times, remarkably buoyant, singing hymns and making joyous exclamations, almost as triumphant in their tone as if we reached a land of freedom and safety. A keen observer might have detected in our repeated singing of
O Canaan, sweet Canaan,
I am bound for the land of Canaan,
something more than a hope of reaching heaven. We meant to reach the north - and the north was our Canaan.
I thought I heard them say,
There were lions in the way,
I don't expect to Star
Much longer here.
Run to Jesus - shun the danger
I don't expect to stay
Much longer here.
was a favorite air, and had a double meaning. In the lips of some, it meant the expectation of a speedy summons to a world of spirits; but, in the lips of our company, it simply meant, a speedy pilgrimage toward a free state, and deliverance from all the evils and dangers of slavery.
My Bondage and My Freedom. Frederick Douglass, 1855.

April 17, 2010

There's a new pocket park in Lower Roxbury at the corner of Warwick and Greenwich Streets (I think), close to the corner where Tremont and Melnea Cass meet. It was designed with care, obvious community input and executed with class. There are places to stroll, picnic, swing, play and sit. There's even a garden shed which signals that ongoing maintenance is planned for. I noticed that they didn't restore the oil drum BBQ grills which had previously been prominent in the park. Perhaps a Weber is planned to stow the shed.

Pocket parks are a major urban amenity. Small - as their name implies, often just a few former house lots - pocket parks anchor neighborhoods by providing pleasant places for relaxed neighborliness. They offer a very different experience, more distinctly local and personal, than large city parks and urban park systems.

Programmed the Sunday Gospel Set. The theme this week is the coded communications that were hidden inside the slave's spirituals.

Image housekeeping, primarily from camera. I've been taking a lot of pictures lately in my travels around town. I always swear things will never again get out of hand and of course they always do. But now I'm caught up. Although let me just check the camera. Ah, free and clear. Compared with most photographers I'm absolutely parsimonious in making pictures - every frame has to count. How can they possibly cope?

On to the new Roofscape cover for 5/15, so it's late. Wretched weather. Rain, RH about 100%, low 40's, damp easterly wind off the ocean, wind chill near freezing. A good day to stay home, take care of business and rest up for what will be a crazy coming week, hopefully wit' mo' betta' weatha'.

Image ... Pocket Park. Roxbury, Mass.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

Image ... Two Trees. Roxbury, Mass.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello and Goodbye | Ugly Betty 4:20 | Rooftop Movie Night

Ugly Betty, the funniest and certainly the gayest comedy ever to grace the airwaves, was canceled by ABC after four seasons and this is the finale. This show had everything going for it, except the brainless, potty-mouthed cartoon characters who populate TV comedy. Which, I guess, weakened the bottom line.

UB was smart, urban and queer with complex, fully developed characters you could really care about. It moved effortlessly between the hilarious and touching with panache and polish. Betty will be missed by many, but I arrived midway in its run so I have the early episodes yet to enjoy. Goodbye and hello again.

April 15, 2010

An anonymous Concordian has started a FaceBook page for people who grew up in Concord, Massachsetts ... You know you grew up in Concord when ... My brother Pete turned me on to it. I added a post in the prevalent style.
Living in a cabin deep in the Estabrook Woods off Hugh Cargill Road for several years in my early 20's. Heated with wood, drew water from a well, cooked over a hibachi. What an adventure, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The property belonged to Mike and Anthea Christian, who were fantastic friends and lived half a mile... further up the dirt road. I wandered, walked and skied all those woods.
A garden supply store has just opened outside Dudley Square in Roxbury ... Boston Gardener

Image ... Chychy, Sunday best '03. Roxbury, Mass.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010

Image ... Nightfall. Jamaica Plain.

Bongo in Squaresville . 9

Bongo in Squaresville is a weekly webcast radio show devoted to the jazz music, of every style and genre, that's gone down in Boston through the last 10 or so decades. Join us at Radio Roofscape every Wednesday night. The music starts at 9:00 and there's never a cover charge or drink minimum.

Joe Lovano & Gunther Schuller - Angel Eyes
Roy Haynes - Afro Blue
Rebecca Parris - That Old Black Magic
Rebecca Parris - All of You
Rebecca Parris - I Wish I Knew
Donal Fox & David Murray - Ugly Beauty
Duke Ellington featuring Paul Gonsalves - Blow by Blow
Esperanza Spaulding - Live at City Hall Park, NYC (part 2)
George Russell Sextet - Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature
George Garzone, Brian Blade, Christian McBride - Chasin' the Trane
Dave McKenna - Some Other Time / A Time for Love
Serge Chaloff Sextet - Bob the Robin
Gary Burton Quartet featuring Pat Metheney - Falling Grace
Ruby Braff Trio - Mean to Me
Terri Lyne Carrington - Virtual Hornets

Image ... Rush Hour. Cover art, album by Joe Lovano & Gunther Schuller.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 13, 2010

Image ... Curiousity shop window. North End, Boston.

April 12, 2010

Image ... Anne Templeton, dancer. Studio, Boston.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010

An article appeared in this week's Boston Globe (April 5), our hometown newspaper of record, Leary's old house brings flashbacks aplenty about Timothy Leary's early 60's digs in Newton.

The rather slipshod article by James Sullivan coasts on the coattails of a new book, The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America by Don Lattin. Which I may one day read before I'm on the outside looking in. Anyway, it's now window pane clear that it's high time to tell my own small tale of Tim. Stay tuned, turn on, drop out.

Image ... Wood Blocks. Boston Naval Shipyard.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sunday Gospel Set . 44 | The Ishmel Sisters

Join us every Sunday to give praise with the Sunday Gospel Set on Radio Roofscape. This week we're looking at and listening to the intersection of the spirituals and jazz music. Our featured video is The Ishmel Sisters singing Follow the Drinking Gourd and reciting The Joys of Playing by George L. Davis. Here's the current set list ...

Duke Ellington & Mahalia Jackson - Come Sunday
Reverend J.C. Burnett - The Gospel Train is Leaving
Charlie Haden - Spiritual
Marion Williams - Michael Row the Boat Ashore
Louis Armstrong - Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
The Dixie Hummingbirds - Just a Closer Walk with Thee
Ramsey Lewis Trio - Wade in the Water
The Ishmel Sisters - Follow the Drinking Gourd

by George L. Davis, II

Play little ones, with the sun on your shoulder. With bright smiles and sepia skin, let the wind breeze through your hair. Your afro puffs glisten with the sheen of the starlight, and your full lips taste the cool waters of rivers flowing from your ancient past.

JANEL - Jarinne
See now the gentle rain fall on the playing sisters, in Sofala, in Soweto, in Savannah, in Santo Domingo. See them jump and play and shout and dance. See her twirl, arms uplifted, in parabolic joy. See her roll and roll and stop with her face to the wide open sky. See her laugh and chuckle and giggle and slap her knees at her sisters, while they share this moment to never come again, but always remembered in times yet born.

JARINNE - JaShanna
Play little ones, with the moon on your ear. With the silence of the half light and the call of the night, melt away into the twilight. Your bantu countenance to illumine the midnight sky, silhouettes of golden memories, to the night prime. A primrose path for your beckoning eye for these joys, we sigh.

April 10, 2010

Image ... Elizabeth Daggett, dancer. Studio, Boston.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9, 2010

Isn't this a marvelous mural? I've been riding by it recently following Peter's new secret route from Dot to JP. One of his rare shortcuts which don't make long ways, scaling mountains to follow the way the crow flies. I always prefer the great circle route. Great, no hills. Circle back, the terrain's similar. If crows had to bike they'd do the same.

Image ... Quincy Street Missional Church. Dorchester, Mass.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010

Image ... Lotus Designs, Boston.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7, 2010

To celebrate opening day, with a 9-7 win over the Yankees, the entire Fenway went up in flames. I wasn't there, but I've seen many fires in the Fens and this one must have been spectacular.

The fire started on Monday around 7:00 PM in the reeds behind the Duck House on Agassiz Road, an open air office for derelicts and drug dealers. It leapt across the river, set the phragmities on the opposite bank on fire and raced downriver to the Boylston Street bridge consuming everything in its path.

A clerk who works at a store on Boylston Street by Fenway Park described the scene as a towering wall of flames stretching along the length of the lower Fens, obliterating the view of downtown. The traffic went nuts he said, everyone sure that the end of the world was at hand. And the fire engines, dozens of them, couldn't even get through until it was all over.

As I said I've seen, or been in, many fires in the Fens. They are always awesome and terrifying. In the spring the Muddy River is lined with stands of last year's phragmities reeds, 20-foot tall rolled paper tapers, blond bone-dry tinder just waiting to explode. A spark from a cigarette or crack pipe sets them aflame with a sweeping unsuspected violence. The only time I've ever seen a mushroom cloud, the sort that forms after dropping an atom bomb, was over one of these wild fires. That's how violent they are. Plus they can move faster than a race car and turn on a dime.

I was photographing one of these fires, at what I thought was a safe distance, when it suddenly turned and started racing straight toward me. I ran like I've never run before or since and just made it beyond its fiery grasp. Behind me it lept the path along the river, set the community compost pile on fire, then a fallout of papery white ash sifted down.

Fortunately our prevailing winds are from the west or the gardens would have burned long ago. The fire, therefore, often tries to leap the river igniting the stands of reeds on the opposite bank along the Fenway. I remember a fire that was stopped just short of the Boston fire alarm headquarters.

Today the smell of ash, mud and pollen mingled in the air. After weeks of flood we've now had fire. Months of cold and today it hits 90°. The gardens were quiet and deserted. It was a good day.

Image ... Following the fire.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6, 2010

Image ... Blue Jug. Blanche Lazzelle.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bongo in Squaresville . 8 | Billie Holiday

Bongo in Squaresville is a weekly webcast radio show devoted to the jazz music, of every style and genre, that's gone down in Boston through the last 10 or so decades. Join us at Radio Roofscape every Wednesday night. The music starts at 9:00 and there's never a cover charge or drink minimum.

Check out Roofscape Journal too. Each week we'll be looking at a different aspect of the Boston jazz scene down through the years to today - digging the music, meeting the musicians, hanging out with the fans, making recording sessions and visiting the clubs. Today we're celebrating Billy Holiday's birthday, born April 7, 1915 and died July 17, 1959 at age 44.

Billie Holiday - Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans
Billie Holiday - The Man I Love
Billie Holiday - A Fine Romance
Billie Holiday - Stormy Weather
Billie Holiday - Autumn in New York
Billie Holiday - God Bless the Child
Billie Holiday & Louis Armstrong - New Orleans
Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit

Image ... Strange Fruit. Mural in the South End, Boston.

April 5, 2010

Got my game going for the week and biked to the South End. Met a previous client with a new project then a new prospect; both the nicest people, friendly (neighborly), appreciative of my past performance and/or time and attention, just the sort of people I want to work with.

Took the Orange Line from Mass. Ave. with bike to Stony Brook, then 2 blocks to Brewery Complex. Bike/train, multi-modal rocks, is the model.

Continued Boston Pretzel Bakery project, building lemonade side wagon. Exactly the sort of thing that I used to do, building wagons for stage sets in this very same space for the Opera Company of Boston.

Image ... Bus shelter roof at the Carter School, Boston.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010

Biked over to Fields Corner to visit A.B. A beautiful place tucked in a tranquil Dot neighborhood. A new area to me. But there are many places I go in Dorchester, once I get off my beaten path of Uphams Corner to the South End, that are entirely new to me. Dorchester is vast, with a dozen-and-a-half distinct neighborhoods, Boston's largest and most populous community. Saw a few photos along the way, but for another day. That's often the way it is, if something is fixed and not moving of course. I'll see something then return when I have time or the light is right. Especially the light. Everything is understood by the light in which it's seen.

Image ... Detail of sculpture on the Northeastern University campus.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sunday Gospel Set . 43

Join us every Sunday to give praise with the Sunday Gospel Set on Radio Roofscape. Our featured video this week is by Mary Mary, one of our favorite modern gospel groups, singing In the Morning.

Sounds of Blackness - I Believe
Clara Ward Specials - I Feel the Holy Spirit
Golden Gate Quartet - Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
Deep River Boys - Go Down Moses
Donnie McClurkin - I'm Walking in Authority
Fisk Jubilee Singers - When I Was Sinkin' Down
Dixie Hummingbirds - Just a Closer Walk with Thee
Rev. James Cleveland - I'm a Soldier in the Army of the Lord
Beyonce - Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Kirk Franklin - Looking for You
Five Blind Boys of Alabama - Look Where He Brought Me From
Mary Mary - In the Morning

April 3, 2010

Image ... Laundry Day. Roxbury, Mass.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010

Take an in-depth guided tour of the Carter School Sensory Garden Outdoor Classroom (SGOC) in Boston with Roger Swain host of The Victory Garden, the designer, landscape architect David Berarducci and principal Marianne Kopaczynski. Requires Real Player.

The Sensory Garden Outdoor Classroom. Courtsey of David Berarducci Landscape Architecture.

The Mexican Wild tomatoes, started from seed on January 19, are just starting to set flowers, 10 weeks after planting. They may need to be potted up. Still another month or so at the earliest before transplanting outdoors.

Working on integrating Garden Gitl TV into the magazine. Somehow GGTV got off to a rough start with us. Redoing the index, background color, navBars, episode pages, descriptions, advertising, etc. to bring it all up to the current graphic and editorial standards. It was tangled. I'll never let things get like this again!

Heading downtown for a meeting. Stopping by the garden.

Garden Bridge. The Fens, Boston.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1. 2010

Uploaded new cover, the April Fools image with the domino that scared Christopher Walken, at least when worn by Meg. Not to say that Meg's scary. Although CW sure seems so.

Programmed a cool Bongo set last night, Sort of Blue, delving into the blues side of Boston jazz. This is a set theme that I'll redo again and again. Johnny Hodges, Serge Chaloff, Charlie Mariano, Dave McKenna and Phil Woods - I mean, what's not to like? Listening to the whole set again, which I seldom, no make that never, do.

Duke's Blues is nuts, easily swinging out of the gate harder than anything I've ever heard. Compare this to the next cut. TLC introduces St. Louis Blues with a drum solo and the band takes like forever to get down to business. Which is cool, I guess. A little musical journey through the tune. Herbie Hancock on piano, a pupil of Madam Chaloff, I believe, Serge's mother and a famed Boston teacher of many greats. Too much fancy soloing in modern music, showboating, rather than intricate ensemble interplay. Legacy of the beboppers? And when did a Jew's harp (which takes out the tune) become a jazz instrument? Too cute by ten octaves.

Biking downtown this PM for an appointment. I'll stop by the garden, but I'm fearing the worst. Probably won't even be able to get in the gate after all the flooding from 13 inches of rain in the past month (a new soggy record). Taking pictures.

Image ... Stork Club. The Starlight Room, Boston.

All the World's a Stage | Ugly Betty 4:16 | Rooftop Movie Night

Hulu explains the episode this way ... Justin finds himself in an unexpected love triangle; Betty falls for a playwright she is profiling for Mode; Wilhelmina has an epiphany. And adds the tag ... gay kiss.