(Fill) In The Loop

Huge pile of dirt for fill-in of the Inner Loop in Rochester, New York
Huge pile of dirt for fill-in of the Inner Loop in Rochester, New York

It is certainly possible to correct your mistakes but often it takes forever to realize that you made a mistake. The Inner Loop, circling downtown Rochester, alleviated traffic alright. It choked the life out of the city core. Colorblind James used to lead chants at their gigs of “Fill in the Inner Loop.” Chuck (Colorblind) is gone now and soon one half of the loop will be buried as well. Let’s hope the new development in this area, the former moat between the Park Avenue neighborhood and downtown, will not resemble a freakin’ theme park.

The Brian Wilson movie, is really good. Not because it sheds any new light on the band for lifelong fans (I am one) but because the music comes first including long recreations of the making of “Good Vibrations,” “Pet Sounds” and the “Smile” sessions. I never get tired of the many official and unofficial boots of Brian and the studio musicians tracking and orchestrating snippets of these classic songs and,
in fact, appreciate Brian’s genius more and more as the years go by. A funny notion for a surf band.

The movie could never be “great” because the music it is based on is “great.” The movie can only pale. Elizabeth Banks, playing Brian’s second wife, was better than both the young and older Brian actors. Can somebody play “Surf’s Up” at my funeral? Sorry Van Dyke Parks, I have no idea what those words are about but I love Brian’s music and voice.

Which brings me to Ornette’s passing. As the headline in the paper read, he “Rewrote the Language of Jazz.” He rewrote it so I could get it under my skin. My first Ornette lp was “Science Fiction.” Maybe the two hauntingly beautiful vocal songs pulled me in, ‘All My Life” and “What Reason Could I Give?.” They may have been the footing I needed for the music. Ed Blackwell’s drums blew me away. Charlie Haden’s bass playing is god-like. And Ornette’s totally unique, joyous sax had me dancing in my head. From there the rest of the catalog took hold of me. Long live Ornette!!!!

1 Comment

One Reply to “(Fill) In The Loop”

  1. Science fiction was my first jazz album. I bought it because of the title. I am certain that I listened to it with curiosity as a 13 year old but it got me interested in jazz. What an introduction!
    Love and Mercy is the best film I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve listened to Pet Sounds twice this week after seeing it and am hearing a lot of things I didn’t pay attention to in the past. I thought all the acting was very good but she was the highlight. The first full album I ever owned was Little Deuce Coupe. So you hit two big things from my childhood and music background.
    Need to listen to the version of Smile that he finished in 2004. For Surf’s Up if nothing else…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.