The Jazzonian
Jazz is Diversity. Jazz is Democracy.


From the demented mind of Rusty Taylor
Jester and Vocalist for jazz band
Southern Standard Time
A Weekly Newsletter
April 9, 2018 A.D.

A jazzonian e-newsletter published weekly unless the author is somehow incapacitated. It details the thriving jazz scene in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding Chattahoochee Valley, written exclusively by Rusty Taylor, a Mercer alumnus and the quadriplegic jester-singer for the vocal jazz band Southern Standard Time
This Just In

Songbird Myrna Clayton & Friends Celebrate International Jazz Day with the WORLD and UNESCO, bringing together musicians and jazz lovers from across metro-Atlanta to celebrate jazz and highlight its important role as a form of communication that transcends differences. Jazz performers are invited to join in the celebration! At the RedLightCafe in Atlanta, Friday, April 20th.

7pm — Standards / Swing
8pm — Latin / World
9pm — Contemporary / Fusion

Help us raise $3,000 for Abel 2, Inc. to support performing artists with disabilities. You can make a donation here.

$10 Adv – $20 Door
Doors @ 6:30 PM



It’s been a quiet week in the Chattahoochee Valley. Spring is in full bloom; the azaleas that line my front porch dazzle in red, pink, purple, and white as the Red Maple blazons its copper leaves through the fenestration that debouches into the arboreal canopy of pines and hardwoods that are gently waving in a crisp breeze. I love this time of year almost as much as I love the Steven Segal sushi roll made by Mike Patterson at Eighth and Rail in Opelika. It is actually off-menu, but I must confess that I wasn’t made privy to the item because of my devastating good looks or my notable intergalactic celebrity. No, I merely asked Mike one day if he had anything spicy. He then told me of the Bruce Lee .

Before I continue, I must confess: I don’t know nutt’in’ about no cookin’ no vittles, although… I can’t imagine many who have eaten as much as I within the same amount of time. I'm not proud, but I finished a four-month diet in three weeks. Be that as it may, Mike done tolt me that the Bruce Lee has a sweet and fiery sauce and that, along with other ingredients—some of which compose an eel sauce—the sushi roll is made with two jalapenos, an habanera, and a ghost pepper.

I declined.

However, I ordered the Chuck Norris in Panties , which is a sushi roll that has the same sweet and fiery sauce, the two jalapenos, the habanera but no ghost pepper. I tried this, but I had to eat it slowly. The burn is intense, but the sauce is so sweetly comforting that my brain forgets about the fire… briefly. I have to wait about ten minutes between bites or else my head starts to ooze liquefied mucus through every orifice, especially through my ears from which molten earwax flows with pyroclastic intensity. There have been a few instances when Mike runs out of habaneras so the sushi is made with just the two jalapenos. I call this the Steven Segal , and I like it the best. It has enough heat but doesn’t incapacitate me. The only problem is that I scarf this plate down in a few scant seconds, which is so embarrassing. The guttural grunts alone bring shame to the more refined sensibilities of the venue's patrons.

Yes, Eighth and Rail has become a wonderfully supportive community of progressive, diversity-embracing jazz enthusiasts blending together in a creative, improvisational, ad hoc celebration of life. If you think that jazz is the bees knees, then I strongly encourage you to check out the weekly jazz jam in Opelika… or Venkman’s in Atlanta… or Brin’s Wings in Montgomery… or Red Light Café in Atlanta… or 1048 in Montgomery. I haven’t participated in all of the jams but have been assured and reassured that many of the musicians do, so the camaraderie is similar. Admittedly, I have no idea what jazz jams are like in New York, New Orleans, Paris, or Amsterdam; I can only comment on the area jazz jams, but if the other jams across the planet are as positive and beautiful as what I’ve experienced, then I can’t help but to wonder, incredulously, why Jazz is so tacitly maligned. I challenge all jazzonian naysayers to listen to Charlie Parker’s solo on his composition “Confirmation,” actively listen, follow the journey of notes as they guide you through primeval peace. If that doesn’t move you to tears, then all I can do is wish you well on your life’s journey to acclaim mediocrity.

Unfortunately, I was unable to join the jazzonian community at Eighth and Rail this week; my brother had total knee replacement surgery in Perry, Georgia in the single-story hospital that shared space with a pottery shop and lawn mower repair. (We got a discount on the oil we need to lubricate my brother’s shiny titanium patella, which would’ve shattered Tanya Harding’s tire iron, but I digress…) Fortunately, I got my jazzonian fix when I went to hear Nick Johnson’s Valdosta ensemble CommonMind Music. (Check out the section labeled Jazzonian Spotlight below for the encomiastic praise I slather on these cats… deservedly… they can play!)

I am also proud to announce that on Friday, April 20 th at Red Light Café in Atlanta, my mentor, friend, and beautiful person with the voice of an angel, Myrna Clayton, is promoting a fundraiser for her non-profit Abel2, Inc.

Are you a Performing Artist (singer, dancer, musician, actor, comedian, poet, etc.)? Do you have a disability? Do you know anyone who is?

Abel 2 wants you to promote your talent!

We are in the process of building a database of performing artists with disabilities who reside in the Southeast. Send us the contact name and information on our "Contact Us" page or email us at Be sure to include your talent, level of experience, head shot, and video of one of your performances.

Serendipitously, this event will be held at the Red Light Cafe in Atlanta, and I've been wanting to check out its accessibility. Here's my chance. I'm really looking forward to the event 'cause I can listen to Myrna sing beyond forever. Jus' cain't wait.

Peace Through Music
Jazzonian Spotlight

CommonMind Music (follow them on Youtube, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.)
facebook: @CommonMindMusic

  • Neo Soul
  • Jazz
  • R&B
  • Pop
  • Funk
  • Valdosta, Georgia

Last week, The Loft's weekly jazz concert featured CommonMind Music (CMM— music for the soul ), which is a neo-soul/jazz band that originated in 2011 in Valdosta, Georgia. CMM is a musical ensemble led by saxophonist Nick Johnson. Many of you readers of this weekly e-newsrag know that saxophonist Nick Johnson, who has been taking post-graduate courses at CSU, has quickly garnered a formidable following simply from the uncompromising musical integrity that he displays every time he plays. We now have and opportunity to catch a glimpse of a few factors into the growth of Nick Johnson as a musician along with what has forged his development as a man.

Obviously, I am taken aback by Nick's playing, and I feel fortunate to have him included in the area sax players I truly dig. I will always make an effort to hear Nick's playin' when I get a chance. Straight up, and I wasn't surprised to hear his band mates from Valdosta; they were as kickin' a group as I expected. I was especially taken with keyboardist Colby Straughter. His style is unique. I was talkin' to Jan Hyatt during the break; I was trying to describe Colby's style as rhythmic but with notes that jump around in almost ad hoc confusion but the notes were perfect. It was like a mountain goat's jumping from precipice to precipice where footing is precarious and one false move would send the goat into some serious hurtin'. Jan mentioned Monk, and I could hear a bit of Monk's influence, but it wasn't until I talked to Colby later when he insisted that he was a drummer. That's it! Colby Straughter plays a percussive piano, whether playing a consecutive line of single notes or chords, Colby's music is rhythmic improvisation, very unique, very appealing.

Admittedly, I was confused when Nick introduced his bassist Ant Bussey. My confusion arising 'cause I heard 'Aunt Bussey,' and Ant is clearly a dude. I later discovered on their business card that for booking info, one calls Anthony Bussey at 912-816-8782. Anthony... Ant... I get it. Regardless, Ant laid down a steady, solid, fun-moving bass line that, with Travis King, Jr.'s percussion, provide a solid foundation for improvisational thaumaturgy. These cats have played together for a while; their musical confabulation is simply enchanting. I am willing to bet the life of someone I don't know that CommonMind Music will return to The Loft, and I will be in the audience with eager ears.

CommonMind officially began in the fall of 2011 when most of its members started in the music program at Valdosta State University (VSU). Brought together through the school's jazz bands and gospel choir, they wanted to expand upon their knowledge of music as a group.

After being contacted by former vocalist Alicia DeBerry, CommonMind played their first show as a group in September of 2011. The performance was on the 1st Friday of the month at Fruits of the Garden Winery in downtown Valdosta where the owner was Blanche Boykins. Fruits of the Garden became a regular showcasing for CommonMind on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month until the closing of the Winery in May of 2013.

CommonMind's group members include vocalists: Iborya Jones, CaShala Huntley, and Brittany Mackey and instrumentalists: Nick Johnson (Saxophone), Brian Mathis (Keyboards), Darren Riser (Keyboards), Anthony Bussey (Bass), and Travis King, Jr. (Drums/Percussion). Past members include Alicia DeBerry, Joseph Isagba, Nikki Dickson, Victoria Dubose, Ashley Dudley, and Justin Brown.

CommonMind has been performing all over Valdosta and surrounding areas since its start up. Events have included weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, fashion shows, festivals, and church events. They have also performed numerous times on the campus of VSU with their most notable performance being on April 3, 2013 at VSU's Battle of the Bands during the inauguration week of the university's ninth president, William J. McKinney. CommonMind took home 1st Place in that competition.

This talented group of common-minded musicians share a passion for music and they love to share it with everyone they can.
Bad Joke of the Week
Tweet of the Week

Jesus was the most progressive of all history’s social justice warriors. You [a myopic Christian conservative agitator] are a Pharisee who hates the poor, the sick and other people’s. I’ve read Jesus’ owners manual and he warned us against men like you. #HowarePilatesBedsheets?
--Malcolm Nance
Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Thursday, April 12 from 8:00 - 11:00 pm EST, Michael Feinberg will play at Elliot Street Deli and Pub in Atlanta with Brian Hogans and Ian Froman. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, April 13 from 7:30 pm EST, Michael Feinberg will play at The Velvet Note in Atlanta with Brian Hogans and Ian Froman. Fo' mo' info, here.
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018 – 2:00 PM 6:00 PM – Jazz Matters, Inc. will be holding auditions for Emerging Jazz Artists in elementary, middle and high school, to perform as opening acts during our summer Jazz Matters at The Wren's Nest, Experiencing Jazz Summer Concert Series. This outdoor series is held the 3rd Friday of June - September at The Wren's Nest in Atlanta's Historic West End. Audition details will be posted early 2018. For more information, feel free to call 404-474-1211.
  • Sunday, April 15 starting at 12:30 pm Eastern Time at Venkman's in Atlanta, Bob Bakert Quartet. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, April 20 at Rialto Center for Arts in Atlanta, Rene Marie sings starting at 8 pm ET with Gordon Vernick. In a span of two decades, 11 recordings and countless stage performances, vocalist René Marie has cemented her reputation as not only a singer but also a composer, arranger, theatrical performer and teacher. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Her body of work is musical, but it’s more than just music. It’s an exploration of the bright and dark corners of the human experience, and an affirmation of the power of the human spirit. Marie brings her wide-ranging, highly-adaptive jazz artistry to a special evening with the Georgia State University Jazz Band led by trumpeter Dr. Gordon Vernick. Fo' mo' info, click here. Free parking is available at the 100 Peachtree Garage for this Rialto Series event.
  • Sunday, May 6 JOE BONAMASSA will perform at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts begining at 8:00 PM. $79 - $129. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, June 1, 7:00 PM doors / 8:00 PM show ET – An Evening with Leo Kottke at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. Leo Kottke (born September 11, 1945) is an acoustic guitarist. He is known for a fingerpicking style that draws on blues, jazz, and folk music, and for syncopated, polyphonic melodies. He overcame a series of personal obstacles, including partial loss of hearing and a nearly career-ending bout with tendon damage in his right hand, to emerge as a widely recognized master of his instrument. He currently resides in the Minneapolis area with his family. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, June 15, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Experiencing Jazz - Jazz, Blues & BBQ. Style. Relax, relate, release, as we open up our 3rd Annual Jazz Matters at The Wren's Nest Concert Series. T. C. Carson, singer/actor, best known for his portrayal of Kyle Barker on the hit sitcom "Living Single" will open up our series, along with performances by The TuTuff Band, The Edwin Williams Experience & Emerging Jazz Artists and more. Tickets Available Online: For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
  • Friday, July 20, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Experiencing Jazz: With a Little Soul, Funk & A Whole Lotta Jazz. Artist not yet available. Tickets Available Online: For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
  • Friday, August 17, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Artist not yet available. Tickets Available Online: For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
  • Friday, September 21, 2018 - 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM. The Wren's Nest. Artist not yet available. Tickets Available Online: For More Info, call 404-474-1211.
This Week at The Loft
Columbus [GA's] Home For Jazz Music
This week at The Loft will be the Schwob Jazz Combos under the leadership of Bryan Canonigo, whom we all love. These cats are the creme-de-la-creme of CSU’s jazz studies program under the direction of the inimitable Dr. Kevin Whalen. Unfortunately, at publishing time, I was unable to confirm who all will be playing. I do know that two groups will be featured and that Yair Ophir (bass) and Tommy Embrich (drums) will be featured, and I dig these guys. This is why I include the section Last Week at The Loft in this newsletter… so that I can post the info I couldn’t collect beforehand. Be that as it may, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt─and with as much conviction as my determined insistence that butterflies are just freakin’ awesome─that whoever is on stage will represent herself, her college, and our city very admirably. I will, hopefully, expound Friday’s ensemble in next week’s newsletter. Until then,

Peace Through Music

Upcoming schedule:
  • March 30, Bill Perry Quartet
  • April 6. Common Minds, This is Nick Johnson's quartet from Valdosta State Univ.
  • April 13. CSU Combos, Under the direction of Dr. Kevin Whalen
  • April 20. Greg Robbins. He is a jazz vocalist headliner from Atlanta. Kevin Bales is his pianist.
  • April. 27. The Schwob Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Whalen

Make Concert Stages Accessible
The next time you go see a live musical group, check out the stage. Does it have a wheelchair ramp leading from the audience to the stage or are their steps? Is there a wheelchair ramp backstage? Is there handicapped parking where the performers load and unload? Chances are that the venue doesn’t provide these accommodations. It’s like this: my biggest challenge as a quadriplegic jazz vocalist is finding accessible stages on which to perform. I was once raised up to a five-foot high stage using a forklift and a wooden palette because the stage was not wheelchair accessible. Fortunately, I didn’t die. Point is that there are
few wheelchair accessible stages; otherwise, I’d sing much more often.

It’s easy to see why this isn’t a mainstream problem: there are few “physically challenged” performers, but that’s merely an excuse encouraged by indifference. We handicapped performers exist and are eager to share our dreams with fans who dig what we do. But why are we unconsciously ignored? That’s easy: Being unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living is a major downer; the wheelchair, quite frankly, is a symbol of lost hope. Let’s face it; it’s a marketing problem, and this is where you come in to save the day.

Physical handicaps are wrapped in lugubrious imagery, but not every moment of life in a wheelchair is steeped in mournful decay. Believe it or not, I laugh every day… some days more than others, but if life were perfect, I, for one, would take a bite of forbidden fruit to find some excitement from the decay of entropy (the hypothetical tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity). What I’m trying so desperately to connote here is the fact that having a physical challenge can, at times, be fun and inspirational. What we need is positive imagery, and here’s where I ask for a favor from you, dear reader, and it has to do with social media, more specifically, using the ubiquitous #hashtag: will you help by coming up with a #hashtag meme that has positive connotations for the handicapped and send it to me. This could be fun. Maybe I can come up with prizes for creative contributions. Regardless, this could be the beginning of a social movement that witnesses an outcry of creative energy by talented people who have difficulty overcoming the obstacles that are hidden from people who can hop out of bed running full tilt. By the way, I’ve come up with a possible #hashtag meme that might work: #FantastAbility. What do you think?

The gauntlet has been dropped. Do you accept the challenge? Please reply to this email with as many suggestions as you want, and challenge your friends as well. Let’s see if we can extend this conversation internationally. (Actually, when you send in your suggestions, include the name of your hometown city. We’ll see how far this request goes.) Let’s make the wheelchair a symbol of fun… or grace… or intelligence… or, dare I say it? Let’s make the wheelchair Sexy!

Jazz Poetry

Mina Loy (born Mina Gertrude Löwy; 27 December 1882 – 25 September 1966), was a British artist, writer, poet, playwright, novelist, futurist, feminist, designer of lamps, and bohemian. She was one of the last of the first generation modernists to achieve posthumous recognition. Her poetry was admired by T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, Basil Bunting, Gertrude Stein, Francis Picabia and Yvor Winters, among others.

Lunar Baedeker
BY Mina Loy

A silver Lucifer
cocaine in cornucopia

To some somnambulists
of adolescent thighs
in satirical draperies

Peris in livery
for posthumous parvenues

Delirious Avenues
with the chandelier souls
of infusoria
from Pharoah’s tombstones

to mercurial doomsdays
Odious oasis
in furrowed phosphorous

the eye-white sky-light
white-light district
of lunar lusts

       Stellectric signs
“Wing shows on Starway”
“Zodiac carrousel”

of ecstatic dust
and ashes whirl
from hallucinatory citadels
of shattered glass
into evacuate craters

A flock of dreams  
browse on Necropolis

From the shores
of oval oceans
in the oxidized Orient

Onyx-eyed Odalisques
and ornithologists
the flight
of Eros obsolete

And “Immortality”
mildews ...  
in the museums of the moon

“Nocturnal cyclops”
“Crystal concubine”

Pocked with personification
the fossil virgin of the skies
waxes and wanes
Jazz Etiquette 

There are few absolutes in life, but this is a definite one: do not stand in front of the bandstand playing air guitar, air trumpet, air bass, or air drums. This activity irritates the musicians. It is disrespectful to both musicians and fellow listeners. It also makes the air player look like... well, there's really no need to spell this one out. Please, save those air moves for the National Air Guitar Championships held annually in Las Vegas.

In today’s society, texting is as ubiquitous as sunshine is to day. Please, do not text while watching live jazz; if you're not into the performance, leave. Along the same line, turn off the cell phone. If you are so important that you cannot miss calls, perhaps you - and everyone else in the audience – would be better served if you did not go to hear live music. If you'd get upset watching somebody else do it then it's wrong for you, too.

Try not to get up and walk out in the middle of a song. It is rude, akin to walking away from someone who is speaking directly to you. Likewise, please refrain from talking during the music. No one came out to hear about your day. More often than not, other audience members came to hear the music.

Most jazz musicians and seasoned listeners will agree that it is acceptable to clap after the solos that each musician takes. However, it is a good idea to keep this applause to an enthusiastic minimum because the next musician usually has already well begun her solo. By the time the claps and cheers fade, the audience has missed a good section of the next solo. Be a good listener. Learn to notice the interaction amongst musicians on stage. An understanding of their communication with each other will help novice listeners, and those not familiar with the song, to learn when the song has ended. Clap, cheer, whistle, or shout, after the last notes of the song are played, not during.

The most important rule of etiquette when it comes to live jazz deals with the type of common sense your grandmother believes you possess: be respectful. Other than that, have fun. Jazz is inclusive and strongly embraces peaceful harmony. It is the type of music that demands active listening to maximize the musical experience to its most positive conclusion. If you have an uncontrollable urge to get aggressively plastered, go listen to a more kitsch musical performance. Hardly anyone there will notice.

Peace Through Music
It's A Quad Thing...
You Might Not Understand

Icarus Illuminated

It hit him suddenly, with such unnerving force, and its veracity shined as undeniably as the August sun, intensely, irrevocably. It was in no way malicious, but its effects were emotionally shattering. He sat there quietly, but an emotional squall was unleashed deep within, and although he continued to speak without showing any signs of his revelation, it was irrefutable: his complete solitude. Other than family, he had absolutely no one in his life who really cared for him. He would never have a partner with whom to share his life intimately.

When he was twenty-two years old, he was involved in a single-car accident that left him a quadriplegic, a complete spinal cord injury at the fourth and fifth vertebrae. He was paralyzed from the chest down; he couldn't even feel his hands. Everything just below his nipples became a vacuum of sensation and utility, offering no other value than
as objects of visual curiosity, and his youthful body quickly metamorphosed from a comparably Olympian paradigm to a collection of body parts that were useless, empty, soulless, repugnant.

But he still had his youth and its undying accompanying optimism. In retrospect, he believed that he would've been much better off had he never met her, but Jillanna became his primary nurse-angel when, two weeks after he had broken his neck, he was transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center, where he would rehab for four months. She had just finalized her divorce from a man she described as violent, and when she talked to her paralyzed patient, she looked so sincere and vulnerable that he fell for her almost immediately and with such passion that the aftermath was a combined Hiroshima and Vesuvius. For four month's a friendship had kindled, and this conflagrant relationship was fanned by his innocence; he was very sure at that time that he could never again be attractive to the more gentle gender, but this was because all of his previous relationships had quickened primarily through his aesthetics, and this kind of reward-conditioning led him to falsely believe that he had nothing left of quality for any woman.

When he left Shepherd Spinal Center, Jillanna told him that she'd like to come visit him. He agreed and was happy that she was so kind to him, but he couldn't bring himself to believe it. She lived in Atlanta, and he lived one hundred miles south in Macon; she was beautiful, and he was hardly worthy. He sincerely believed that his only contact with Jillanna would be an annual Christmas card, and he would cherish each
"Love, Jillanna" that would end each card; however, she called the very next week, and he went to visit her the following month.

He never thought it would happen, but he made love to her, and even though he had no sensation and was as immobile as Stone Mountain, it was such an overwhelming expression of love that he cried. For a year they carried on their love, despite the miles that separated them. He would've gladly spent the rest of his life with her, but she became restless. She was so beautiful and spirited, a Leo, and he realized that she had merely misinterpreted her respect for him as love; besides, she was just coming off of a second failed marriage, so she was riding a volatile emotional roller coaster herself. They remained friends, a friendship that ultimately evanesced in time... and distance.

For the next five years, he worked hard and finally graduated from Mercer University with a BA in English and a minor in Computer Science. The following January he landed a job as a computer programmer in Columbus, Georgia, the town where he grew up. The most exciting aspect of the employment opportunity was that
he'd be on his own as much as possible, but he had plenty of family to help him, and he moved into a house that was right next door to a high school buddy.

Of course, he needed help with even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, so he placed an ad in the paper for a live-in attendant. Maria answered. A Pisces, intense, passionate. Ultimately, he and she formed relationship number two, but she was the innocent lover in this affair. Again, the relationship lasted about a year, then she went back home to the small town of Talbotton to live with her mother.

He was still only in his late twenties, and he felt really good about life in general; after all, he was a professional, making more money than he'd ever dreamed of, and he was as independent as he could be under the circumstances; he felt like he was just like every other guy in the world, except for the fact that he couldn't walk. He couldn't use his hands either, but he never considered that; he used a mouthstick to type, and he used a wrist-splint to ineffectively feed himself and brush his teeth. That was pretty much the extent of his physical prowess. He needed help getting in and out of bed, dressing, washing and combing his hair, bathing, urinating, shitting; hell, he needed help with everything, but he had overcome so many things in his life that he felt he could do anything, even fall in love.

He had a spinster aunt who was ten years his senior, and he felt sorry for her because he knew that she was never going to find her soul-mate; she stayed at home with her aging mother and had nearly no opportunity to get out and meet anyone; she even worked from her home. But he worked for a company with thousands of employees, and there were many women with whom he worked and who were intelligent and very attractive; one was bound to discover that he had many positive qualities and characteristics that would outweigh his physical inadequacies.

For ten years he worked as a computer programmer, a decade of learning about himself, work, the world, and he was well liked; he had an almost magical ability to make people very comfortable with his paralysis. He smiled most of the time, sang aloud, was pleasant to almost everyone, and he was intelligent, or, at very least, he could communicate very effectively so that many of his cohorts thought he was intelligent.

When the subject of relationships came up in conversation, he would casually state that he was an eternal bachelor, too wild to tame, too free to be controlled by one woman, the usual banter from one who had no relationship and no future prospects, but just under the surface he inaudibly screamed his desire to find whomever it was with whom he was to share eternity.

He asked a few women out, and they graciously rejected his advancements, but he justified each rejection. He had lived long enough to realize that many people ended up in broken relationships because they were afraid of being left all alone at the end of their lives, but he was now in his late thirties, and he enjoyed his solitude. He knew all too
well that a relationship undeniably involved compromise, and he had no desire to give up the freedoms he enjoyed just because he didn't want to be alone. He would only make that sacrifice for an intelligent, internally beautiful woman, and she'd grow old with him, maturing in wisdom until the winter of their content where, as octogenarians, they'd sit
together on the front porch of their house, holding each other's withered hand and dreaming of the future. He still felt that his destined woman existed somewhere in the vast world and would be drawn to him through some celestial power, so he was patient, realizing that each rejection only advanced his spirit closer to ultimate happiness.

He rarely got sick, maybe a bad cold would keep him homebound for a few days once a winter, but for the most part, he was healthy. His wheelchair, however, would occasionally break down, and he'd have to miss work on these occasions. It was during his tenth year of employment when the major power source of his electric wheelchair
went out. The wheelchair vendor was in Atlanta and his wheelchair maintenance worker was in Columbus, so what he initially thought would be a three-day work absence wound up being two full workweeks. It was during this time that he realized why he went to work. He was, in effect, under house arrest, and he sat all day in one spot watching television; there was nothing else to do and nothing on television during the day worth watching—six million channels of infomercials or banal daytime programming. Occasionally there'd be a good movie on the classic movie network, but when there wasn't, he had to choose the least offensive of programming. He could really take only so much of the home and garden network; although, he did get excellent advise on how to fertilize his azalea bushes.

On the Monday of his return to work, he saw a friend of his, a young, attractive woman, and he asked rather spiritedly "Anita, did you miss me while I was gone?" She smiled brightly, beaming like aurora borealis as she coyly replied, "I most certainly did; I cried every day! I missed you terribly!"

"You missed me so much that you cried, huh? And yet you didn't even come to see me while I was home... alone! I was crying, too, as I was staring out my window, unable to move, watching every car that slowly passed in front of my house, wondering where they were going, envying their freedom."

He meant it as a joke, and it was funny, but she quickly turned and faced him with an astonished look and said as she put her hands over her gaping mouth, "You are so right! Oh my God! I am so busted! I didn't even think about coming to see you..."

It was at that moment when he realized that his joke turned out to be a dramatic overstating of the obvious. She hadn't come to see him. 

No one did.
Interesting Blogs and Websites by Interesting People

  • A Blog by Dallas Smith
  • A Blog by Susan E. Mazer
  • Collaborating since 1984, Susan E. Mazer and Dallas Smith create some of the finest contemporary instrumental music available. Our compositions for harp and woodwinds merge the aesthetics of jazz, classical, and world music into an experience that feeds both the intellect and spirit. Extending beyond the boundaries of genre, our unique sound has a richness in melody, rhythm and sonority. Visit their website by clicking here.
  • Now available in more than 750 healthcare facilities in the U.S. and Asia, The C.A.R.E. Channel’s stunning nature video and original instrumental music provide a therapeutic tool for use at the patient bedside, waiting areas, and public spaces in acute care hospitals, residential care facilities, hospice/palliative care units, cancer centers, children’s hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • The Rude Pundit - Proudly lowering the level of political discourse.
  • Randy Hoexter is a jazz pianist, composer and educator living in Atlanta. He is currently the Director of Education at the Atlanta Institute of Music. His recent release, “Fromage” Featuring bassist Jimmy Haslip, Drummer Dave Weckl, and the finest of Atlanta jazz musicians has been receiving rave reviews. His previous recording “Radiant” with Mike Stern, Dave Weckl and more, also received critical acclaim. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Jimmy Haslip  World-renowned bassist
  • Sam Skelton  Saxophone/woodwind virtuoso and educator
  • Trey Wright  Gifted guitarist and composer
  • Kit Chatham  Brilliant percussionist and drummer
  • Carl Culpepper Virtuoso guitarist and educator
  • Jazz Evangelist Great jazz blog and reviews.
  • Wonderful freelance writer CandiceDyer
Weekly Area Jams
Eighth and Rail
Every Tuesday 7 - 10 pm CT
The Eighth and Rail in historical downtown Opelika, Alabama is the venue for a wildly groovy weekly jazz jam as hosted by the Jane Drake Jazz Band. It's a cozy celebration of life that has become a buzzing collection of jazz-loving fanatics gathered together in a coterie of peaceful, fun-loving positive energy. I am downright proud as a peacock with enhanced LED-flashing feathers to participate in the jam on a regular basis, and I really love it! Proprietor Mike Patterson makes the wonderful sushi and Miss Tiffany keeps the affable atmosphere at a lovely level of emotive satisfaction. Plus... they serve an awesome cheesecake that'll make you wanna slap yourself so hard as to tell horrific knock-knock jokes to mimes. No lie. We have really talented musicians come in from the bi-state area: Auburn, Montgomery, Tuskegee, Columbus, LaGrange, Fort Valley, et al. The jam begins at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm CT. Hopefully, I'll see you there.

Eighth and Rail
Venkman's Jazz Jam
Every Tuesday starting at 8 pm ET
Venkman's is a nightclub in Atlanta, a venue that Joe Gransden uses for his weekly jazz jam. This is where the Who's Who of the Atlanta Jazz Scene come together to dazzle us mortals. It's free and starts at 8 pm ET. Fo' mo' info, click link below. I've participated in this jam a couple of times, and I love it as well. Joe Gransden always welcomes me with a smile that will melt antarctic glaciers in the middle of winter, which, oddly enough, is during June through August... when it's so hot and humid in middle Georgia that my toenails sweat. Nevertheless, Joe's band often includes keyboardist Kenny Banks (sometimes Kevin Bales), drummer Chris Burroughs and bassist Craig Shaw, and these cats kick it. When I find the transportation, I'm going.

Red Light Cafe Jazz Jam
Every Wed at 8 pm ET

I have not been to the weekly jazz jam at Red Light Cafe, but it is hosted by the Gordon Vernick Quartet, and I am a huge fan of Gordon's, so I'm planning to go soon, and when I do... Ha! I'm very likely to get excited. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Apache Cafe in Atlanta
Every Wed at 9:00 ET

Al Smith's Midtown Jam Session @Apache Cafe!  Contemporary Jazz , Soul, R&B vocalists jam Session. Featuring live band led by keyboardist Al Smith! Vocalists are invited to sign the list and jam with the band, musicians can sit in too... a must attend! Different Dj spinning on the back patio each week! SPECIAL GUEST HOST EVERY WEEK! Doors open at 9pm and list-sign up is at 9pm. Event admission, the day of, at the door, is CASH. Fo' mo' info, click here .
Brin's Wings in Montgomery
Every Wed from 6 to 9:00 CT

Brins Wings in Montgomery presents Coleman Woodson Jr. Jazz Jam from 6-9 CDT. No cover. Fo' mo' info, click here .
La Salle Bleu Piano Bar in Montgomery
Every Wed from 6 to 9:00 CT

Jazz jam La Salle Bleu Piano Bar, 9 until, no cover. Fo' mo' info, click here .
The Suite in Columbus, GA
Every Thursday at 9:00-11:30 ET

Thursday, January 11 from 9-11:30 p, EDT Live Jazz - Big Saxy Thursday, The Chemistry Project Band starting at 9 pm at The Suite Bar and Grill .
Irish Bred Pub in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT

Third Thursday jazz jam session at the Irish Bred Pub Montgomery, 78 Dexter Ave, Montgomery, Alabama 36104, Corner of Dexter Ave and Perry St, 3 blocks from Capitol. Fo' mo' info, click here .
1048 Club in Montgomery
Every Sun at 9:30-12:30 CT

The 1048 Cafe is in Montgomery, AL. The weekly Jazz Jam led by Sam Williams, 9 pm CDT, $5 cover. I don't really know that much about it, but the 1048 has a jazz jam every Sunday from 9ish 'til whenever. Apparently the jam draws some incredible musicians. Fo' mo' info, click here .
The Suite in Columbus, GA
Every Sun from 6:00-11:30 ET

Michael Johnson and the Silent Threat Band plays at The Suite in Columbus, GA from 6-11:30 pm ET at The Suite Bar & Grill, 5300 Sidney Simons Blvd. Fo' mo' info 'bout the band, click here .
Piccolo's Lounge, Auburn

It's not a jam, but the Piccolo lounge offers a comfortable, clubby environment. Leather club chairs, a cozy fireplace and comfy banquettes serve as a relaxing getaway. Enjoy a single malt scotch and relax and unwind from a hectic day or meet friends to hear live jazz every Friday and Saturday night, of non-home football game weekends. Fo' mo' info, click here .
A Little Lunch Music
at Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn University
On Thursdays at Noon, make a lunch date with our region’s finest musicians. A Little Lunch Music is an informal, come-and-go performance presented by JCSM and coordinated by musician Patrick McCurry. You can sit in and listen to the entire performance, dine in the Museum Cafe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT, browse the Museum Shop or explore the galleries.
For more info, click here.

  • February 15 - pianist Vadim Sarabryany
  • February 22 - TBA
  • March 01 - guitarist Luther Enloe
  • March 08 - soprano Patty Holley
  • March 15 - no concert - Spring Break
  • March 22 - pianist Lawrence Quinnett
  • March 29 - Wolf and Clover
  • April 05 - soprano Noemi de Silva with pianist Beibeilin
  • April 12 - mezzo-soprano Janet Hopkins
  • April 19 - David Banks Gospel Jazz Experience
  • April 26 - Duo Echo
  • May 03 - TBA
  • May 10 - TBA
  • May17 - euphonium artist Marie Robertson

Dream A Little Dream of Me

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper, I love you
Birds singin' in the sycamore trees
Dream a little dream of me

Say nighty-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longin' to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

lyricist - Gus Kahn

Video of the Week

Bernstein, The greatest 5 min. in music education
Jazz Association of Macon
We Promote Jazz in Macon
and Middle Georgia
Our purpose is to:

Encourage and support creation, presentation, and preservation of jazz music.
Support the creation of new audiences for jazz music.
Provide education and information about jazz.
Encourage young musicians to learn and appreciate jazz.
Develop a network among local and regional jazz advocates.
Increase awareness of jazz events and musicians in our community.

To read their blog, click here .
Area Musicians
Actually, this is a link to a page of my personal website, but it makes it much easier t maintain. It is a dynamic list of area musicians that will, hopefully, be continually updated until I can no longer do it. If you are a musician who is not listed or you are listed but with invalid info, please let me know, and I'll make the appropriate revisions. Thank you, and click here to visit the link.
High Museum of Art: Atlanta Jazz
Live jazz in the Robinson Atrium at the Atlanta High Museum of Art every 3rd Friday of the month. Fo' mo' info, click here .
On-line Radio
  • WCUG 88.5 Cougar Radio - Columbus State University.
  • KUNR 88.7 Reno, Nevada.
  • KNCJ 89.5 Reno, Nevado.
  • Saturday Night Jazz hosted by Scot Marshall and Dallas Smith (Columbus, GA native) - Scot and Dallas bring their rich musical experiences together in "Saturday Night Jazz" to feature music which ranges from the latest releases to jazz classics and occasional recordings by local artists, as well as announcements of upcoming local jazz events in the Reno-Tahoe area. "Saturday Night Jazz" is supported by the Reno Jazz Orchestra and For the Love of Jazz. Dallas' program airs on KUNR ( from 10pm-12am PST/1am-3am EST. The 9pm-1pm EST broadcast is on KNCJ (streaming via the kunr.orgwebsite).
  • WCLK 99.1 Atlanta's Jazz Station, Clark Atlanta University.
  • Adore Jazz - Adore Jazz makes listeners relax, feel, think and smile through listening to the finest vocal jazz.
  • WTSU 88.9 Troy State University - Ray Murray's Jazz Radio Show Saturday nights at 10 pm Central Time.
  • WVAS 90.7 Montgomery - Jazz, Blues, News, and views.
Jazz Matters @ The Wren's Project
Preserving a musical culture, tradition & Art Form
Jazz Matters , Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that believes Jazz Matters, because music matters.  Jazz is America's only original art form and this national treasure was created by African Americans.

It is our vision to Preserve a Musical Culture, Tradition & Art Form by:
  • educating & developing new audiences;
  • inspiring new Jazz artists; and
  • providing a forum for artists to perform and perfect their craft

Peace Through Music

I have moderate to severe quadriplegia with a disturbing, chronic aesthetic impairment and olfactory emanations that oft offend even the dung beetle, yet I still make a conscientious effort to be seen by the fine people of my community. One of the main reasons I gracefully glide my electric “chick magnet” wheelchair in public is to manifest my skills in singing and, to a lesser degree, any other minor skills I may possess despite certain obvious obstacles, to show my supporters, kith and kin, as well as to anyone else curious enough to initiate investigation, that with preparation, education, and a little luck, one can overcome the seemingly non-navigable calamities of Life. I want to embrace solidarity with our nation’s quickly-growing disenfranchised population; I hope to encourage the ubiquitous yet neglected constituency of our nation to actively seek out their own slice of the American Dream, to kindle them who are uninvited to the current national discourse that has encroached our media with the effectiveness of swarming insects but without any beneficial scavenging qualities that are conducive to a salubrious society

The chasm that separates the very wealthy from the extremely impoverished is more vast than the distance between the sun about which our planet orbits and its nearest star: young black men are incarcerated for decades for smoking pot while the CEOs of huge banks destroy hundreds of thousands of lives and receive multi-million dollar bonuses; the homeless are shipped out of townships while billionaires own palatial houses they’ve never even visited, some with elevators for their luxury automobiles and $100,000 toilets; the Boston Marathon bomber receives the death penalty but Citibank remains unaltered and Standard Oil continually kills off oceanic life with exemption of any noticeable penalty; financially stressed young women are neglected so dispassionately (and thereby unworthy of sympathy), that they feel abortion—the heart-rending murder of part of their very selves—morbidly transmogrifies into her best option while the male counterpoint to the unwanted pregnancy cries out “harlot” with impunity, and similarly protuberant women of means travel abroad to abort their unwanted gestation within the borders of countries whose indifference to the act doesn’t seem as morally disgusting to Pecksniffian sensibilities; Spanish-speaking children are incarcerated and deported to the hostile region from which they came because they are not welcome in a country whose aboriginal inhabitants were decimated by hypocritical citizens whose ancestry similarly emigrated from distant shores, again, with impunity; and instead of sharing empathy with our undesirable terrestrial siblings, we caricaturize them, making them much easier to hate and blame for… well, for anything our whims dictate: like the waning economy, the decline of a fabled family unit, the death of traditional marriage (as if the once “traditional” wife-as-property betrothal is the paragon of any couple’s spiritual union); or the fact that our high school graduates read at a third-grade level, a pandemic of ignorance that encourages lauding the 43rd president as a “decider” and “liberator” instead of as the war criminal that History will unerringly record and the 45th president as a demagogue with the behavior of a sadistic pubescent with the mental acuity of a beached sea slug.

I am a hemp-inspired jester, poet, and jazz singing quadriplegic unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living, and I, too, am marginalized; although, I must be quick to admit that my personal sequestration is not as excessive as the systemic lowering of social status that the people I long to inspire experience diurnally: young black males, young women worldwide, woman who aren’t paid equally for equal work, the many who are incarcerated with excessively extended sentences in order to increase revenue for the many for-profit prisons, graduates imprisoned with usurious student loans for which they are encumbered from declaring bankruptcy, or the folks of Appalachian tradition whose tap water is flammable as a direct result of unconscionable fracking operations. I am marginalized to a much lesser extent because I love jazz music and I live in the deep South where Fox News is embraced as the “infallible news source for the new Confederacy.”

Peace Through Music
If you can afford it, and you think this newsletter worthy, please send a $5, $10, or $20 check or money order to:

The Jazzinian FUN’d Drive
962 Washington Road
Hamilton, Georgia 31811

It ain’t that I’m a Luddite, it’s just that I don’t know how to add a donate button that auto-magically-electronically transfers funds into my banking account. Besides, “the man” always seems to have his too-large-to-fail hand reaching out, palm upwards, in anticipation of remuneration he doesn’t deserve, fees he assesses for banking services rendered electronically via a computer application written by an underpaid intern. I guess, in a sense, I am more like Ned Ludd, the English laborer who was supposed to have destroyed weaving machinery around 1779 because he felt that technology would destroy employment for the laborer, except that I won’t physically destroy anything… other than, perhaps, the practice of usury; I merely want the practice of charging interest on loans to die of entropy. So, I reckon that I am a Luddite in that I believe in moderation and that humanity thrives when the mind and body are engaged instead of when one uses her wit to absquatulate with unjustified and excessive wealth, especially when she’s done nothing to earn it.

I currently pay out $20/month to use Constant Contact to publish this weekly newsletter. Well, it’ll be $20/month after the $10/month introductory offer expires… soon. If I could, I’d earn the money by singing, but my options are limited to accessible stages, which are not very common at all, and there aren’t many stages exclusively for jazz. Jazz is only granted a small piece of the pie… but it’s my passion. Seems like my only concert options are The Loft in Columbus, GA and Eighth and Rail in Opelika, AL; although, in Opelika I use a portable ramp to get onstage; one does what one has to do. When I sing at Venkman’s jazz jam, the soundman brings the microphone to my table, but I’d love to be on stage. How else can I perfect my secondary ambition to be a standup comedian. Incidentally, I currently take a sleeping pill because one of the side effects is somnambulation, but I’m still waiting to awaken ambulating.

I also have ambitions to sing onstage with my friend Ted McVay whom I’ve known forty years. We have a unique sound that, I believe, can and will be appreciated by a wider audience. We harmonize really well together, and the songs he writes are creative, witty, poignant, and fun to sing. Once we get a bit o’ steam, we’re bound to be a formidable, creative musical energy, positive, peaceful, loving. I will then, hopefully, make enough dough to overpay the people I need to assist me in acts of daily living. My family has already done so much for me and need a break. Thirty-one years is an awful long burden… thirty-two this April 18. ‘Til then, if you are able to comfortably part ways with a few bucks, I sure could use it.
Social Media Experiment

In an ignorant attempt to exploit social media to expand my personal fan base, I've created this section to list hashtags and other metadata that might auto-magically give more access to the newsletter I write. Hope it works.

#Wheelchairistacracy #SouthernStrategy #QuestForBest #GroovicusMaximus #FantastAbility #WheelChairistotle #SCI #Handicapplication #Impairistotle #MuscoviteMarionette #BlackLivesMatter 
#Wheelcherry #RudePundit #MakeStagesAccessible 

@SSTJazzVocalist @frangelaDuo @JoeGransden @AtlantaMagazine @VenkmansATL @rudepundit @MalcolmNance @EricBoehlert @CharlesPPierce @StephMillerShow @JohnFugelsang @Thom_Hartmann @anniesellick  @TheRealTBone