So many greats are gone – some long gone: Trane, Louis, Ella, Ellington, James Brown, Miles. Not just in music, but other intellectuals: da Vinci, Poe, Socrates… Obviously, the list could go on endlessly. We all know that no one is around forever.
What sets some apart, though, is their contribution to the world. All of the names I’ve mentioned above continue to be remembered and their work retold or glorified dozens, hundreds or even thousands of years later.
Why is it still so enjoyable? What makes it continue to be so important? Surely the life experience of someone who lived in Greece more than 400 years BC (Socrates), could not effect the present day person. Could it? Today, we are given more information by the time we reach age 18 than some of our grandparents attain in their entire lives. This makes us no smarter (and that’s too often plain to see) but it seems to make it all the more amazing that great artists and thinkers of generations passed could have been so knowledgeable. Or perhaps its inspiration – that intangible thing that drives one to create.
With all of the great artists (I deliberately use that word) who have tread the Earth, it’s surely impossible to learn of them all, but some of them stand out immeasurably.
Have you ever fantasized what it would be like to have a cappuccino with Leonardo da Vinci? Just the opportunity to hear him speak would have been overwhelming. What if you could go for a beer with Duke Ellington? The stories he would be able to tell…
So I ask you that question that one so often ponders in admiration or curiosity (although imposing some of my own parameters upon it):
If you could have a conversation with any one [now dead] artist (musician/writer/painter/poet/philosopher/dancer/etc.), whom would it be?
This is one:
1. Herbie Hancock – Call It ’95
2. Caribbean Jazz Project – The Gathering
3. Nikki Yanofsky – Take The “A” Train
4. Jimmy Smith – What’s New
5. Tom Waits – Time
6. The Lazy MKs – Dusty
7. Andrew Bird – Skin Is, My
8. Pop Levi – Fountain Of Lies
9. Sarah Slean – Duncan
10. Ray Lamontagne – Can I Stay
This one is also one, but also two:
11. Marlena Shaw – At Last
12. Jory Nash – Citizen’s Waltz
13. Astor Piazzolla – Tristango
14. Andy Shauf – To Leave
15. Bob Marley And The Wailers – Roots, Rock, Reggae
16. Kyrie Kristmanson – Symmetry
17. gutbucket – Side Effects May Include
18. Yusef Lateef – Sister Mamie
19. Kid Koala – Drunk Trumpet
20. Buck 65 – Wicked And Weird