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 Monthly Newsletter
July 2018

The Jazzonian is a quirky e-newsletter published monthly unless the author is somehow incapacitated. It details the growing 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 as well as the harmonizing voice for the progressive folk duo McVay and Taylor . The newsletter takes a rhetorical approach to current events from the point of view of a progressive student of Life who, for thirty-two years and counting, has been unable to perform even the most rudimentary acts of daily living.

But he can write... and sing.

Shameless Self-Promotion

Join us Saturday July 14 as The Sound Wall Presents Ted McVay in concert in the live room with special guest performers Rusty Taylor, Seth Taylor, and The Electric Rangers This is a live show & video shoot. The Sound Wall will have a film crew taking video of Ted's performance. Come be a part of the live audience and support Ted in this live film project. This event is BYOB. For mo' info about this concert, click here .

To join Ted's facebook fan page, click here .

Points of Interest
in this month's issue

  • Jazzonian Priority
  • Salutations
  • Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Tweets for the Month
  • Judgment Versus Observation
  • I'm Feeling Optimistic
  • The Guantlet Has Been Thrown
  • Decisive Uncertainty
  • Autobiographic Essays
  • It's A Quad Thing (You May Not Understand)
  • It's Mueller Time
  • Lyrics of the Week
  • Video of the Week - pretty funny
  • Valediction
Priority News

Kevin Bales’ CD Release Party
June 24, 2018

Friday Evening Jazz at The Loft is Columbus, Georgia’s only venue for traditional jazz in Columbus, Georgia, but it is viewed as a groovy venue by some heavy hitting jazz personalities, even earning laud from premiere jazz artists in Atlanta and Montgomery. On June 24, Atlanta-based pianist/composer/teacher Kevin Bales had a CD Release Party for songs from his new recording “ Beyond the Neighborhood, The Music of Fred Rogers ,” which includes Kevin’s jazz arrangement of songs written by Fred Rogers of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” celebrity.

Did you know that Fred Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 40 honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award? He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and was recognized in two congressional resolutions. The Smithsonian Institution displays his icon cardigan sweater as a “Treasure of American History.” He also earned his piloting licence while still in high school. After graduating from Dartmouth College, Fred earned a Masters degree in musical composition from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and wrote most of the songs he sung on the show as well as many others, including 13 operas, and he wrote over 36 books. But that’s enough about Fred.

Kevin Bales is a Grammy-nominated pianist currently based in Atlanta. According to his webpage:

Kevin’s initial career move was to the University of North Florida and a budding if little-known jazz program. There he met and performed with, and went on to record and tour with, a number of monumental artists who had settled into that burgeoning North Florida jazz scene. Giants like Wynton Marsalis, Louie Bellson, Eddie Daniels, James Moody, Ben Tucker, Ira Sullivan, Sam Rivers, and Nat Adderley. He counts among his mentors bassist Ben Tucker, multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, guitar legends Nathen Page and Jack Petersen, and the fiercely individual saxophonist Bunky Green. His meeting with Bunky Green led to five years of tours. His encounter with guitarist Nathen Page blossomed into 15 years of spot tours and four albums. And his work with trumpeter extraordinaire Marcus Printup has become a lifetime association that has included recordings on Blue Note/Capital records. Ten years touring and recording with vocal iconoclast Rene Marie culminated in the a Grammy Nominated album.

Kevin has amassed a long list of awards and a reputation as one of the finest jazz pianists performing anywhere. In 1994, less than a decade into jazz, he won the American Pianist Association’s Jazz Piano Competition. In addition to nearly every important jazz venue in the South, he has performed in some of the most acclaimed clubs and festivals in America and around the world: the JVC Jazz Festival in New York, The Bakery in Los Angeles, The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center jazz series, the Toronto and Edinburgh jazz festivals, and the Moscow Center for the Performing Arts.

Kevin led a quartet of monster musicians for his CD Release Party that included Chicago-based vocalist Keri Johnsrud, whose website can be found by clicking here . Keri’s voice is sublime; she made me think that she was singing for me exclusively, which, of course, swelled my much too vacuous head with misguided pride. Rick Lollar played the guitar with a fastidious mastery that sent my sensibilities reeling with phantasmagoric dizziness; he also sang wonderful harmonies with Miss Keri. Kevin Smith hovered majestically above the acoustic bass that he played seemingly effortlessly but with the precision and accuracy of Einstein’s calculating differential equations. Marlon Patton slapped the skins with the rhythmic intensity of a pharmaceutically enhanced woodpecker influenced by epilepsy. I’m told that they should return to our fair city this Fall. I await with the autumnal anticipation of a glacier’s awaiting the comfort of acute brumal influence.

The medium-sized crowd of admirers sat sparingly throughout the venue, but they were all active listeners and very responsive, which, I believe, encouraged the phenomenal musicians to play with a synergetic vibe that sated downtown Columbus, Georgia with palpable positive energy. I was moved with an internal emotional reverie that I haven’t felt in a while.

The Loft has featured a few killer acts over the past few months, including Tyrone Jackson’s new CD “Melody In Nede.” Yes, jazz is alive in Columbus, Georgia, and I’m looking forward to the cool, swinging elements of jazz to ameliorate the intense estival steam of mid-Georgian predictability.

Peace Through Music

Keri Johnsrud
Kevin Smith
Marlon Patton


Before we get started here, I must first make a confession: I, like too many “others” whom I subjectively reproach with soi-disant authority against prodigal behavior, must put a stricture on my budget. I must, temporarily, end my sojourns to The Loft’s weekly jazz concert. I punctuate this confession of profligate behavior with the regret that I will no longer be as visible a supporter of the jazz movement I have been hoping to inspire. I will try to enjoy the weekly jazz jam with some of the local jazzonian votaries with whom I have developed laudable platonic relationships, but that depends on my finances for that particular week and not, necessarily, on the relationship I have with each week’s featured jazzonian performer. The Revolution is still progressing; Jazz will return to the forefront of the contemporary music scene, so until then...

I am still going to try to make the weekly jazz jam at Eighth and Rail, where I’ve been embraced by the local patrons with an especial coziness that warms the soft cotton fabric of my affection for not only the people of Opelika but for the history of the small railroad town itself. There exists in the real world of three-D tangibility (as opposed to the virtual fantasy of the nebulous ‘likes’ of internet kinship) a small yet loyal group of people who have put aside facts concerning the contumelious indignity of my sad lack of physicality... as well as pulchritude... in order to enjoy even a modicum of the plausible beneficence my crooning may afford: a dulcet sonority that, hopefully, helps better assimilate supernumerary thaumaturgic energies from the terrene ennui that oft go unnoticed: a southern sunset through a copse of vigilant pines pledged to preserve within the rings of each trunk every lunar trek across the nocturnal firmament, the taste of peach cobbler, the softness of a kitten, a nacreous pearl of dew hanging from the pink petal of a rose, the wafting aroma of frying bacon (not Canadian bacon, mind you… that’s merely circular ham), holding the hand of someone whom you totally admire, or finding out that your hero is truly emulous.

We all recently received the news that the New York Attorney General is suing Donald Trump, his two sons, and his daughter for misappropriating funds meant for their “charity” but used for their own insatiable personal gratification. Smack loads of money! It saddens me that I am unable to pay for the 24/7 attendant care I need to survive while mean-spirited money hoarders with slight cerebral acuity vote themselves embarrassing amounts of money. We are grossly rewarding evil people who are callously absconding wealth with impunity while others are sentenced to die for actions that Trump supporters would make if their identities were reversed with the desperate people whom they slander. Fo’ mo’ info on my writings, gigs, or anything else that stimulates my capricious interest, join my facebook group entitled Southern Standard Timers , where I regularly post. Click here to visit the page.

I could easily wish for a patron with grossly offensive amounts of money to sponsor me, but if I were to receive that kind of patronage, how could I claim to be different than any politician, regardless of party affiliation, who takes money from lobbyists? The only way I could justify receiving money from anybody would be to share the money equitably with somebody else who needs economic assistance. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about such things; however, I do wonder if I would be strong enough to share any proffered largess. In all honesty, I fear I am not that strong, which makes me even more conscious of the unnerving fact that I so bitterly oppose congressional lobbyists or the fact that I abhor the current usurper of our nation’s highest public office and his using his ill-gotten position to make his already too ludicrously opulent lifestyle even more plush—an egregiously decadent lifestyle that Trump the Kleptocratic Moron does not deserve?—How can I disparage others for executing a set of spurious tasks that I could so easily consummate? I hope that I’d use that kind of excessive money to overpay the kind of attendant care that I need, but…

Regardless, I shall still try to keep up with the Chattahoochee Valley area’s jazz scene as best I can. It would be helpful if any of you jazz aficionados could email me your concert gigs, public appearances, commentary (musicians and listeners alike), recording opportunities, birthdays, celebrations, etc. Some of you already contribute your time with similar efforts, and I truly appreciate it. My ultimate dream is to keep the main focus of this monthly newsletter jazzonian in theme while maintaining an interactive format that strongly encourages audience participation. We are becoming a formidable community for which The Jazzonian may become the central repository. Yes, our main goal is jazzonian supremacy in the world of music; the accompanying progressive rhetoric is merely a fagot of quickly conflagrant kindling for the bonfire of our passions. It’s the decoder ring prize in the box of Cracker Jacks. (For any younger readers, ask you mother… or grandmother.)

Still… I would fain accept massive amounts of money for my singing… or dancing… or telling really bad jokes, but especially for eating really good and nutritious food and testing mattresses for comfort. I’m just saying.

  • fag·ot also fag·got (f²g“…t) --n. 1. A bundle of twigs, sticks, or branches bound together. 2. A bundle of pieces of iron or steel to be welded or hammered into bars.
  • fain (f³n) adv. 1. Happily; gladly: “I would fain improve every opportunity to wonder and worship, as a sunflower welcomes the light” (Henry David Thoreau). 2. Archaic. Preferably; rather. --fain adj. Archaic. 1. Ready; willing. 2. Pleased; happy. 3. Obliged or required. [Middle English, from Old English fægen, joyful, glad.]

* * *

And now for the beginning of this month’s newsletter. I sincerely hope you dig it…

It is summer time. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high; freedom rings the loudest for those of us who have nothing left to lose, and, yes, I’m feeling confident… well, at least at this moment, so I am going to say it: Columbus, Georgia needs more live jazz music.

There. I feel much better.

Columbus, Georgia is the second largest city in the largest state in the Union east of the Mississippi River; Columbus is a mere 100 miles south of the mega-metropolis of Atlanta; Columbus is home to the RiverCenter, which is a primo venue for serious musicians; Columbus is the home of Columbus State University, and it’s Schwob Jazz Orchestra and varying combos (under the direction of Dr. Kevin Whalen) are paradigms of positive jazzonian energy… our city is crawling with jazzonian talent that is forced to share two hours per week of stage time because The Loft is the only venue that features traditional jazz; although, there are a few restaurants that feature a soft jazz, R&B- and Blues-based live music experience. Point is that our fair city needs a venue that features jazz music as its primary modus operandi.

For years, The Columbus Jazz Society had a formidable voice in the city; its monthly jams had been well attended, but then something happened with The Liberty Theater and a certain past president with odious intentions that caused a hiatus, which turned into a temporary funerary valediction. However, the Columbus Jazz Society has a pulse that is getting stronger.

Our society has been responsible for bringing Pat Metheny, Bela Fleck, Chick Corea, Doc Severensen, and the Count Basie orchestra into town, but thar's a new sheriff in town. Dr. David Banks is now the society's president. As of the publication of this issue, I do not yet know our officers, but I will publish the info when I get it. Regardless, we've been asked to set aside Sunday, July 29 for a Columbus Jazz Society event. Not sure what it'll be, but when I find out, I'll post it on my facebook fan's page Southern Standard Timers , which you can access by clicking here .
Peace Through Music
Abel 2, Inc.

Mission Statement: To enhance the Quality of Life of People with Disabilities and the Under-served by Creating Music and Arts opportunities for Employment and Enjoyment!

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. Click on banner for more info.
Bad Jokes of the Week

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

Actually, I am president of ADA... Dyslexics against Drugs. Our motto is 'Just say ON.'

An E-flat, G-flat, and B-flat walk into a bar, but the bartender doesn't serve minors.
Tweets for the Month

If you are a Trump supporter, you are either apathetic or ignorant. I do not know which is worse.

With regards to our nation’s illusory mass acceptance of Trump’s ignorant and morally lax egocentric and nepotistic agenda, I have gotten to the point where I no longer care whether or not I hurt the feelings of people whom I love but who support the man who will ultimately be ostracized by the majority of planetary citizens for his arrogant destruction of the principles espoused by our nation’s founders.

Trump lies as incessantly as his queer coiffure screams the illegitimate usurper’s insecurity about his own waning virility and nonexistent perspicacity.

I’m attempting to create a push for everyone to call the biased commentary of right-wing propaganda Fox Pravda with the motif “Is that true or did you hear it on Fox News?”

Yesterday, the usurper of the presidency signed yet another Executive Order that “prevents” governmental agents from callously separating family members from each other, even physically removing babies from the mammiferous (and emotionally salubrious) nutrition of their matriarchal entelechy; however, it does not eradicate the “zero tolerance” agenda of being a dickish nation of irrationally sycophantic fealty towards an uneducated bully with the charismatic appeal of Adolph Hitler’s bigotry against cultural differentia spurred by misology that massages easily bruised egos into advocating amoral policies that, if executed against their own personal agenda, would be decried as unconscionable.

Recent stories of thousands of children separated from their families by governmental agents of the U.S.A. has saddened me beyond deeply. My disappointment in family and friends who still support Trump has turned into shame. I wonder if they are even capable of crying.

I scream with pyroclastic intensity the fact that pro-lifers who support Trump’s zero tolerance for incarcerating children. Does pro-life sanction prison for children? Emotion separates humanity from the feral doctrine that the human being is purely an animal with no spirit, no connection with the divine… that facilitates one’s ability to ignore intellectual debate for a faith-driven acceptance of humanity’s nexus to preternatural energy (God) that encourages ignorant sycophantic idolatry for inhumane activity.
Groovy Upcoming Events
  • Sunday, July 1 - The Joanne Smith Experience will be performing at Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint beginning at 7 pm Eastern Time at 200 Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Tuesday, July 3 - at 8 pm Eastern Time – The City Winery of Atlanta presents MADOCA™ Kawahara a.k.a. MADOCA™ [pronounced "ma du ka"] is a world-class keyboardist and composer, Grammy voting member & publisher: ASCAP member, and national recording artist, whose latest release is on the Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Charts. Her style is a fusion of contemporary/classic jazz, soul, funk, Latin and salsa -- providing musical sustenance for your mind and soul. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, July 6 - Mausiki Scales and the Common Ground Collective will be performing at Venkman's in Atlanta beginning at 7 pm Eastern Time. Fo' mo' info, visit their website by clicking here.
  • Sunday, July 8 - Mike Kelly Trio will be performing at Venkman's for their Bottomless Mimosa Brunch beginning at 12:30 pm Eastern. Visit Mike Kelly's facebook page by clicking here.
  • Sunday, July 15 - Carol Albert Band will be performing at Atlanta City Winery beginning at 8 pm Eastern. Fo' mo' info, visit Carol's website by clicking here.
  • Friday, July 20 - Laura Coyle and Trey Wright will be performing at Fire Stone Wood-Fired Pizza 120 Chamber Street, Woodstock, Georgia beginning at 7 pm Eastern. I truly dig these two performers. Fo' mo' info, visit their website by clicking here.
  • Friday, July 20 - Jazz Matters at the Wren's Nest begins their summer concert series beginning ast 8 pm Eastern Time with Soul, Funk, and a whole lotta jazz. Fo' mo' info, click here. Featured artists, Distilled Butter Band, Wilson "JJ" Miller, Jr., Yvette Moore, Dennis Springer, LaMonte Williams & The Edwin Williams Experience and more.
  • Sunday, July 22 - Wade Ford Presents Eric Benet, Euge Groove and Terence Young at Mable House. Fo' mo' info, click here.
  • Friday, July 27 - Broadway Duchess (Yacht Rock Schooner plays Steely Dan) beginning at 9 pm Eastern Time at Venkman's in Atlanta.
  • Sunday, July 29 - Shakta Jazz Trio will be performing at Venkman's beginning at 12:30 pm.
This Month at The Loft
Columbus [GA's] Home For Jazz Music

Upcoming schedule:
  • July 6. Six String Theory with Neal Lucas
  • July 13. Bryan Canonago and Friends
  • July 20. TBA
  • July 27. Common Minds with Nick Johnson

Peace Through Music
Judgment Versus Observation

The GOP and their ovine followers are hypocrites when they plangently espouse irrevocable loyalty to a “Christian conservative” agenda while silently accepting the mass murder of children in schools then offering only prayers in a passive effort to maintain the status quo of selling weapons to everyone regardless of any detrimental recoil; they continue to corroborate their hypocrisy with their continual censure of penury as a threat to national security, the ripping apart of immigrant families, the promulgation of racist bigotry, the fact that a certified mentally nescient person can legally acquire a weapon of mass destruction, the indiscriminate and imputative murder of young black women and men by police officers, the lengthy incarceration of nonviolent victims of a for-profit prison system, the amoral acceptance of the deaths of far too many people due to a for-profit healthcare system, the eager acceptance of voting restrictions that hinder the political authority of minority voters that is justified as a deterrent to a phantasmagoric deluge of illegal voting that doesn’t exist. This kind of selective democracy gained traction with Nixon’s Southern Strategy , and has been the GOP’s foundation for decades. How can any of this be ascribed as Christian ? I don’t mind so much anybody’s adhering to these political ambitions, just refrain calling them Christian.

I have in the past… and often… decried the “judge not lest ye be judged” and “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers [and sisters], that [is what] you do unto me” quotes from Jesus, which has created a backlash of response on my personal social media from adversaries with little mental acuity who claim that I am, ironically, judging GOP followers as hypocrites. This is not true. I am not judging. I am an observer… a poet… and I am merely pointing out their hypocrisy. I am not judging them; I accept the fact that their racism belies their false claims of Christian behavior. I still love them; I merely accept that I am unable to change their bigotry into a diverse acceptance of eclectic and disparate ideologies. Again, I am not judging, just pointing out that actions speak louder than words.

The emperor has no clothes, and everyone can very clearly see the insignificant reason that Donald J[ackanapes] Trump the Kleptocratic Moron needs to have a relationship contract with each of his three wives (and the nubile women he has coerced into accepting the adulterous penetration of his turgid intentions into their respective distaff receptacles), yet the supplicant GOP and their cult continually assail the usurper’s sartorial genius.

Peace Through Music

I'm Feeling Optimistic

Pessimism is easy. Like Hatred, pessimism is a volatile passion that ignites into fury with vesuvian pyroclastic intensity and with the celerity of an alpha lioness’ ambuscade of an injured piglet. (I’m very sure that lions love bacon, but not Canadian bacon… that’s merely round ham.) And pessimism burns with a paroxysmally sustained fury that desiccates everything in its wake

Pessimism is also difficult to maintain over an extended period of time; that is why I am confident that Trump’s popularity will wane, and it will evanesce into complete indifference really quickly, especially when Robert Mueller’s investigation concludes. It is nearly impossible to maintain impassioned negative energy without constant fomentation of cult members’ emotional centers with querulous angst bemoaning the nefarious political motive of creating illogically impassioned ambiguity, which encourages acquiescence to one’s baser habits; it’s much easier to react negatively to emotional stimuli than to assiduously investigate meretricious rhetoric that is proffered by spurious politicians bent on hoarding incredulous amounts of wealth instead of serving the needs of their easily goaded constituents.

Again, pessimism is easy, and I can already hear the desperate rebuttals to my optimism from less confident progressives who worry that Trump and his lackeys will merely shut down Mueller’s investigation before its conclusion, but I have faith in Mueller and his crack team of investigators. This internal investigation was predicted to be over last year, but evidence has been continually mounting. This seems to indicate that more and more evidence has been collected, yet Mueller’s team isn’t leaking any information about the investigation.

Additionally, people are generally unable to sustain anger; it quickly morphs into ennui. Deep down, Trump supporters are wearied with the usurper’s incessant use of shock and awe. Each day brings to the forefront of political discourse yet another outrageous act of dickishness executed by the Kleptocratic administration, and it must be grating on the nerves of people who ignorantly trusted a man who has demonstrated throughout his life the inability to act like a civil human being; he’s been a bigoted bully his entire life, raised by an ignorant bully himself. These desperate Trump supporters backed the wrong man in much the same way as many Germans accepted Hitler; it’s easier to accept harsh directives when the hardship falls on someone else. Yes, Trump supporters may be ignorant, but they also lack compassion. All this negativity insidiously wears down the emotional urgency to fight against amorality; soon, the intellectual center retains the function of reasoning. When this happens, depression and inaction will consume the fervor that quickened with the incipience of Trump’s megalomaniacal aspirations to become the United States of America’s first despotic authoritarian. Fortunately, the Blue Tsunami will flood the dwindling bigotry and replace it with a substantial period of peace and prosperity.

Peace Through Music
Recent Area CD Releases
Joe Gransden's Big Band

Kevin Bales and Keri Johnsrud
Tyrone Jackson
Solar Quintet
The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown

A very upsetting video has been ubiquitous in the media, a video that has recorded the sickening reality of I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents and their unconscionable behavior of not only separating children from their “illegal” alien parents, even incarcerating them in separate states, but they are deporting parents without their children! Agents even lie to these people, telling parents that they’re going to bathe a child and then escorting toddlers away from their parents without offering any assurances of safety or returning the child back to her mother’s arms. The video is heart-wrenching… six- to eight-year old children being processed, walking through fenced-in single file queues like chattel somnolently drudging in sacrificial bovine holocaust towards the septic abattoir of their collective terrestrial conclusions with interminable crying for mothers and fathers; one six-year old girl beseeches any adult who will listen to help her call her mother to come pick her up; she’s memorized the phone number, which she repeats ad nauseam against a depressing backdrop of waling children. If you are a Trump supporter, you are promulgating this despicable behavior.

The New York City District Attorney is suing Donald Trump, his two older sons, and his daughter for misusing funds from their “charity,” paying off legal fees with the money, purchasing really expensive portraits of themselves, etc. DJ Trump has never released his tax returns—and I am as anticipatory as my pet dog’s indefatigable expectation to be fed—for Robert Mueller’s investigation to corroborate not only Trump’s prodigal business failures but the fact that he’s as dense as the singularity that controls the Milky Way—I anticipate when Trump’s tax returns irrevocably corroborate the fact that the business man, who the entire city of New York deplores, is jus’ dumb… as hell. His brain’s rolling down the sharpened side of a razor blade looks like a pea rolling down the right-wing lane of a six-lane highway.

Trump’s supporters want a theocratic government based on their errant interpretation of Christianity’s radical preference for glabrescent-pated, pasty white patriarchic mediocrity; Trump merely wants to own an outsized gilded statue of himself sculpted with corporeal exaggeration that ameliorates the usurper’s deliquescing corpulent anatomy he is desperate to be remembered, falsely, as the golden idol of an Olympian god with exaggerated features that the Trump supporters can rally around while chanting illusory aphorisms that lack veracity, “Lock her up!” or “Rip that child from its mother’s dug!”

I honestly believe that many Trump supporters are currently energized by a myopic social fold that includes them as viable participants when the rest of the world finds them... not deplorable but exceedingly banal and insignificant; their zealous emotional euphoria is based on a reality that does not comport with veracity. Very soon, after the emotional buzz of excitement wanes into disinterest, these people will realize that the demagogue that they’ve supported is, very simply, a mean-spirited prepubescent tantrum-throwing bully who is only interested in self-satisfaction and self-preservation.

Peace Through Music

Decisive Uncertainty

Time. As far as I know, it is infinitely and unilaterally linear, although my perceptions of the world milieu by which I’m diurnally influenced, at times, creates illusory peaks and valleys in the monochronic timeline... i.e. Time randomly slows and quickens. For a while now I have been writing an innocuous weekly e-newsletter delineating the local jazz scene in and around my hometown of Columbus, Georgia. Recently, I decided to post my e-newsletter monthly. I can now allocate my time better; I’m not nearly as stressed.

I have an acquaintance who is a metaphor for the paradigm Trump supporter. She’s a bibulous corpulent sexagenarian woman with thinning hair who has never been married nor has had any children. As the daughter of a military man who was killed while in active duty, she had an opportunity to attend college relatively inexpensively through the GI Bill; she took classes to cut hair, which she rarely used to gain employment. She is in the cults of Catholicism and patriotism, so she strongly yearns for a theocracy based on Christianity with emphasis on Biblical interpretation patronized by the Pope. Additionally, she has a job working for a Catholic church in a position created by the church’s priest. Basically, she and I are paragons of White Privilege, yet she has failed, at least in her mind, even though the rules of success were written to facilitate her success. 

For years, this acquaintance has espoused her maniacal support for Bill O’Rielly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Fox Commentary, Reaganism, etc. She’s swallowed the hook, line, and sinker of the GOP’s Southern Strategy, and she’s done so for decades. She’s even murmured her discontent with my progressive rhetoric, claiming that I don’t know what I’m promulgating when the fact is that I am merely a poet recording my observations, mostly objectively. I have posted regrettable emotional content too hastily; I am far from perfect, but for the most part, I am holding up a mirror reflecting the flaccid faces of disappointment from ovine sequacity that is slowly realizing that they’ve been irrevocably loyal to a party of people who are mean-spirited bullies attempting to hoard as much speciosity as possible even if it totally destroys everything else in its wake.

Now, Trump’s charitable foundation is being sued, Trump overtly lusts for “his people” to sit obediently while he talks (as they do when Kim Jong Un, the North Korean despot, speaks), and the Trumpeters for Trump are quoting the Bible to justify our government’s current policy to rip children of people seeking asylum away from their parents—there is a video of an ICE agent taking a baby from her mother while she’s breastfeeding… (And these actions that would inculpate any other politician have occurred since last month’s newsletter! My concern is that Trump and his lackeys commit so many felonious malfeasances that these few I record now for posterity may seem irrelevant, but I digress…)

I notice that my acquaintance no longer tweets nearly as often her support for this monster that currently resides in the White House; maybe she’s finally realizing what progressives (and New Yorkers) have known since the 80s: “Dumbass” DJ Trump the Kleptocratic Moron is a dick!

My acquaintance now must be rethinking her support for the GOP and its nefarious politics that it has blazoned since Nixon. Keep in mind, Nixon was Harry S. Truman’s vice-president, and although Truman was a Republican, he was a progressive; he was NOT a conservative. Nixon used the Southern Strategy and initiated the illusion that the conservative Christian platform of nationalistic segregation, i.e. White Supremacy, would be the GOP’s modus operandi. 

It must be tough to give so much loyalty to someone and to support him with such fidelity that one totally rejects and alienates family and friends, especially when the man the sycophant reveres is a celebrity with questionable morality, but it happens more than even I am aware. I have an acquaintance who married a man who she claimed was perfect:

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, 
how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how 
express and admirable! In action how like an angel, 
in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the 
world. The paragon of animals.
Hamlet II.ii.

You may have already surmised that this “paragon of animals” not only mentally abused my friend but abandoned her for a more vernal specimen of plastic pulchritude. She is still reeling in disbelief. My friend spent her life being cultivated by family, religion, and country… the triumvirate of propaganda. She’s a lifelong Republican, and I wonder if she’s proud of her party’s current amorality. I further wonder aloud how anyone can expect an invitation to eternal paradise by creating hell for other human beings on this planet who, although different, are still Jesus’ siblings. It must be hard to accept that what you had interpreted with the certainty is really vexing ignorance.

Peace Through Music

Autobiographical Essays

I've been writing for a while but have only recently shared my rhetorical themes with very few of my kith and kin, so I will use this section to post autobiographical archived essays. The following is a link to an essay that was revised in 2013, but the original was written before the turn of the century. It is entitled An Introduction To Quadriplegia . Enjoy.

Last Month's Essay:

This Month's Essay:

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 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

I recently found out that during the incipience of my paralysis, while I was still an in-patient at The Shepherd Center , my family was told that my life expectancy was a decade. Talking to my nephew a few weeks back, I learned that he never expected me to live as long as I have. That got me wondering how many of my friends and family had similar speculations. Could this be the reason no one has even considered me a viable soul mate? Have I outlived the expected time allotted by the people who care most about me? Have I outlived my usefulness? Have the resources used to maintain my life-force exceeded the amount of resources I generate? During the epoch that harbors the moored vessel that is my terrene existence, a span wherein corporations are citizens of our nation and money is free speech, my Life is being downsized for profit for a resource-exploiting capitalistic body that is granted a charter, i.e. a legal document recognizing it as a separate entity having its own rights, privileges, and liabilities distinct from its members.

This sudden realization of my expected demise seemed, initially, highly disturbing, but in the wake of last summer’s renal failure, I have been preparing myself for the transition of my life’s force to whatever awaits, not that anything’s been carved in marble; like most everyone else on the planet, I expect, at very least, quite a few more years of life; although, I also possess enough life experience to realize that if I were to suspire before I finish writing this essay, few would be surprised. None of us is promised tomorrow. I’ve already lived much longer than Jesus, Charlie Parker, Mozart, and Joan of Arc. Why do I have more life experience than these people?

Some of you beloved readers may recall my approaching Death’s door last July, my touching and even turning its knob before being pulled back into our collective tellurian experience. About two weeks after my near-death experience, I wrote the following in my journal:

I went to the emergency room just after noon on Thursday, July 20, and I was put in ICU almost immediately. Renal failure leading to the putrefaction of my kidneys. When my family physician came to see me, he asked if I had my spiritual affairs in order. He then took my parents outside the room to tell them to alert our family priest. My kidneys had gone septic, and I came close to dying. Interestingly enough, I felt no pain, nor did I ever feel that my life were in peril. I was almost immediately hooked up to intravenous antibiotics.

Later that evening, a couple nurses tried desperately… twice… to put an NG tube through my nose and down my esophagus to release the pressure that was building in my abdomen and turbidly roiling, with the power of a dozen vesuvian pyroclastic flows, from the ensuing cytochemical warfare. It just didn’t work. I gagged, wheezed, cried, choked, but they couldn’t work that goddamned NG tube into my stomach, and the pressure continued to build. The process really wrecked my throat, which is still very tender and soar.

A team of doctors then came in to attempt to insert a draining tube into my kidney, which was filled with puss and other sebaceous contagion and needed draining. For this, I needed to be placed prone [face down], which I abhor. (I feel beyond totally helpless when I lay on my stomach; I can barely breath and can I move nothing but my head, although with frustrating effort. I HATE it!) After a while, I told them I’d try to get on my stomach, so they began the procedure. Unfortunately, I started retching blood…. nearly liquid… about three kidney basins full. They then decided to put me under.

I felt the effects immediately. A warm wave washed over my entire body and I was totally paralyzed… couldn’t move anything and yet everything jumped into incredible focus in ultra high-definition detail and against more vividly sharpened hues than can be visually interpreted by the human eye. I could feel everything in that small microcosm with incredible detail. It was like I was inside the CPU of a giant computer and watching every binary movement of electronic synapses as they pulsed through the micro-universe before me. I went from feeling like I was the most important circuit in the electronic architecture to the least important than back again. The ebb and flow of energy was overwhelmingly powerful and positive. I could sense that everybody and everything in the room—the microcosm that was, in that instant, my entire universe—was focused on getting my corporeal imbroglio into a restorative, nurturing manifestation. I remember that one patriarchal doctor, the one who was determined to force the NG tube down my throat, tried, once again, to insert the NG tube with a bit of aggression. I felt no pain, but I could sense the tube going from my nasal cavity and back into my mouth. It still wouldn’t go down the esophagus.

Although I was totally motionless, I could sense everyone’s presence as well as the flow of energy possessed by the microcosm itself. Glenn, a classmate from high school, was there as an x-ray technician, and I remember his specifically reassuring me that I was going to be fine and that he loved me. I also remember my father’s taking my photo when I was still under but in the recovery room. The wait ‘til I was able to open my eyes seemed interminable.

I remember that, after the plangent buzzing chaotic frenzy of vibrantly hued electric energy, after the highly agitated molecular madness that had aggregated together with the common goal of keeping me alive—both carbon-based and mineral—that after all exaggerated motion had died down and faded into a more sedative calm, in the denouement when the main task of attaching the tube into my kidney had been successfully completed, I was still very incapacitated. I couldn’t move. I could not open my eyes even though I consciously wanted to; my corporeality was still totally severed from my consciousness, mutually exclusive; my personal sense of identity was still in max efficiency but my body was a lump of empty stardust. Time had stopped. I lay there… perfectly aware that I was still sedated, still aware that I could not move… could not talk… could not blink.

I wondered if I were in control of my breathing. I sensed, calmly, that I had more than enough oxygen, but I wanted more; I wanted to take that deep inhalation of relief that the worst was over. I also felt just a bit warm, but I embraced the understanding that everything was beyond my control. I simply had to wait. But for how long?

I remember being in the recovery room, and I could sense the calm. I tried desperately to open my eyes, but I could not. I wanted to talk, to tell everyone that everything was copacetic. I knew with all my being that I was going to wake up eventually, but I also knew that it would all be beyond copacetic even if everything went suddenly dark and I quietly entered into “the undiscovered country from which there is no return,” to wherever one goes after shuffling off her mortal coil. Yet I still could do nothing but wait. To think about the future was wasted energy, so I tried to concentrate on nothing.

When will I awaken?

I am now at home but will have nurses come in for the next few weeks to continue a fairly regimented schedule of intravenous antibiotics. I talked with my bassist Jeff this afternoon… we have postponed our Aug. 18th gig until September 8th. Can’t wait.

July 20 is the anniversary of my near-death experience. What a difference a year makes.

Peace Through Music


Back in 2004, at about the apex of discontentment with my self-imposed corporate incarceration, I wrote the following poem inspired by Ozymandias.

Unfinished Statue

Varying winds blow and water flows,
insidiously engraving sculpture-stone that is I.
Scattered shards of marble callously fly by
a lovelorn infernal hammer that daily shatters
my fragmented burdened relief.

Responsibility laves vacant cerebral caves.
Morality etches dermal indigo webbings—
emotional estuarial fibrillary rivulets
that empty into scar-shaping craterlets
formed by diurnal decisions and indecisions
made and unmade through each day.

Play carves but little,
yet its art is infinitely more beautiful.
Silence has contributed least of all,
but its work is immeasurable.

I follow an unfinished map to sunless waters
left undisclosed by crafty cartographers,
yet I could ornately detail
my diminished unfinished masterpiece
if I but consciously chart more…

July 2004

It's Mueller Time

As of May 17 of this year, seventeen indictments and five guilty pleas have already taken place. Here’s a brief summary (from Los Angeles Times written May 17, 2018):

  • May 17, 2017 - Robert S. Mueller III is appointed as special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia investigation because Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions recused himself. The appointment comes a little more than a week after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director. Although his administration says Comey was dismissed for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Trump later tells Lester Holt of NBC News that “this Russia thing” was on his mind when he made the decision.
  • June 2017 - Frustrated by the Russia investigation, Trump reportedly orders the firing of Mueller. But White House Counsel Don McGahn refuses to relay the order to the Department of Justice and threatens to quit. Trump backs down, leaving Mueller in place.
  • July 2017 - Trump helps draft a misleading statement about a meeting that took place at Trump Tower during the presidential campaign. At the meeting, Donald Trump Jr. expected a Russian lawyer to provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attend.
  • October 5, 2017 - George Papadopolous, a former foreign policy advisor to Trump’s campaign, pleads guilty to lying about his contacts with Russians who claimed to have “thousands of emails” on Clinton. The guilty plea, the first secured by Mueller, is not revealed until Oct. 30.
  • October 30, 2017 - Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, are indicted on charges of money laundering and tax evasion. Though Manafort ran Trump’s campaign and Gates was his deputy, the charges involve their work in Ukraine and are unrelated to the presidential race. Both plead not guilty.
  • November 2017 - The special counsel’s office begins contacting corporations that hired Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, including pharmaceutical manufacturer Novartis and telecommunications giant AT&T. Cohen was paid through Essential Consultants LLC, a company he created in Delaware to funnel $130,000 in hush money to the porn star known as Stormy Daniels three weeks before the election.
  • December 1, 2017 - Michael T. Flynn, a retired lieutenant general and Trump’s former national security adviser, pleads guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition. Flynn and the ambassador discussed sanctions imposed by the Obama administration in retaliation for Russia’s election interference. Flynn agrees to help prosecutors.
  • December 13, 2017 - Rosenstein, testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, rejects Republican concerns that Mueller’s team is biased against Trump. “The special counsel’s investigation is not a witch hunt,” he says.
  • February 2, 2018 - House Republicans release a memo that accuses the Justice Department of improperly eavesdropping on Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy aide, during the presidential campaign. Some information in the application for a warrant to surveil Page, the memo says, came from Democratic-funded opposition research.
  • February 16, 2018 - Thirteen Russians are indicted for allegedly interfering in the presidential campaign with stolen identities, fake campaign events and social media accounts. Mueller also charges three Russian companies, including the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which is considered to be a “troll factory” connected to the Kremlin. The indictments do not include any allegations that Trump aides were involved, but a California man, Richard Pinedo pleads guilty to identity theft for selling information to Russians.
  • February 20, 2018 - Alex van der Zwaan, a former lawyer at a prestigious law firm, pleads guilty to lying to federal agents about his work with Manafort and Gates on a controversial report used to defend the former pro-Russian government of Ukraine against accusations that it had improperly prosecuted a political opponent. He is later sentenced to 30 days behind bars.
  • February 22, 2018 - Mueller files 32 new financial charges, including money laundering and bank fraud, against Manafort and Gates in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • February 23, 2018 - Gates pleads guilty to charges of conspiracy and lying to federal agents, and he agrees to cooperate with the special counsel’s office. Prosecutors file additional charges against Manafort alleging bank fraud and undisclosed lobbying on behalf of a foreign entity. He [Manafort] faces two trials, one in Virginia and one in Washington.
  • February 24, 2018 - Democrats release their own memo defending the decision to start surveillance on Page. The judges who approved the warrant and renewed it three times knew some information in the application came from sources with political motivations, the Democrats point out. It also says “valuable intelligence” was obtained.
  • March 2018 - After conversations with the special counsel’s office about a potential presidential interview, Trump’s lawyers draft about four dozen questions they expect prosecutors may ask. The list, which is leaked to the media on May 1, includes a number of inquiries that could factor into an obstruction of justice investigation, such as “what did you mean when you told Russian diplomats on May 10, 2017, that firing Mr. Comey had taken the pressure off?”
  • April 9, 2018 - Using information passed along by Mueller, the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan launches raids on Cohen’s home, hotel room and office. Trump called the raids “disgraceful.” Prosecutors later tell the court that Cohen is the subject of a “months-long investigation” into “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings.” He has not been charged.
  • April 19, 2018 - Prosecutors tell a judge they began scrutinizing Manafort because they wanted to know if his longtime ties to Moscow provided a “back channel to Russia.” He has not been charged with any campaign-related crimes.
  • April 20, 2018 - The Democratic National Committee files a federal lawsuit accusing Trump’s campaign, the Russian government and Wikileaks of conspiring to sway the election. The suit echoes a similar one after the Watergate burglary, which was settled after President Nixon resigned from office in 1974.
  • May 8, 2018 - The lawyer for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti, releases a document saying Cohen was paid $500,000 by Columbus Nova, a New York-based investment firm with ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Payments from other corporations that sought Cohen’s insight into the Trump administration are also revealed.
  • June 8, 2018 - New charges have been brought by special counsel Robert Mueller against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik — a former aide to Manafort who has been suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence and worked for Manafort's company and oversaw its office in Kiev. The charges against both Manafort and Kilimnik include conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges in an alleged attempt to influence other's testimonies. Mueller also brought charges, including conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lying to authorities, against Manafort.

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.

A Little Night Music is on hiatus until the fall. Have a sweet summer.

Video of the Week

The following video is an allegory of our nation's current political scene depicting a bullying bulldog named Spike (Michael Cohen) and his weaselly pal Spike (Jeff Sessions) as they get ready to beat up a cat (separate infants from their immigrant mothers).


Silently crying
midst humid isolation,
day after day, all alone with little smilin’
on this desert island.
Suddenly before me: footprints…
smaller than mine!

Anxiously wond’ring
should I return to base camp?
Is he alone or with dreadful sanguine pirates
dripping blood-red silence?
Or he could be a castaway like me,
stranded in time.

Music by: Wayne Shorter
Lyrics by: Rusty Taylor
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

The sun sets on the horizon as crepuscular shadows stretch into the elongated themes of tangible reality until the umbrage of quotidian disinterest envelops terrestrial assiduity into the goose-down quilt of total darkness, so we bring to close yet another aureate explosion of lexical superfluity. Before I return to my research cave and initiate the process of composing next month’s rhetorical oblation to the Jazzonian Revolution, I feel the strong urge to thank you, the readers of this… whatever you may define it… collection of essays? …collection of whiny-ass diatribe? …an opus of erudite observations? Y’all decide; I’m already worrying that my Muse may capriciously abandon me and leave me haplessly floundering in a gumbo of incoherent themes and absurdly foolish words that would so easily transmogrify my intentions into the unintentional buffoonery of our current president’s lust for his subordinates to sit erect in their chairs as Kim Jong Un’s lackeys are encouraged to do under the desperate reality that noncompliance equals violent death.

Last month’s readership for this quirky e-newsletter grew by 750%. OK, it was closer to 25%. (Apologies… I merely got caught up in the act of pulling obviously absurd and laughably incongruent statistics out of my anal orifice in the hopes to deceive my base, but that would be like… well, I can’t think of a personification for an incessant liar other than the boy who cried wolf, a shepherd boy with a ridiculously laughable toupee, tiny hands, a churlish attitude, the egomaniacal attitude of a two-year old child prone to tyrannical demonstrations of apoplexy generally associated with delusional prepubescent fantasies of omnipotent predomination… but that would be too easily cliché.)

Point is (or, rather, the point is supposed to be) that we saw a major increase in the number of people who actually read The Jazzonian , and that makes me happy. Thank you. Of course, this may have been an anomaly; many may have clicked the link as a curiosity only to be subjected to the reality of whatever this is, and they may dislike it strongly. Only time will tell. As of now, I am encouraged. If you dig this monthly intrusion, dear reader, then, please, help spread the word. I can’t help but think that there are far more like-minded people in the world who may become inspired by our loyalty to peaceful diversity and speak out against anyone else who blazons irrevocable fidelity to interrupt at all costs any potential for eclectic global assimilation.

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 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