More snow this morning and afternoon...3" flakes coming down like a lovely curtain atop the crunchy layer already in place. And so, after a lovely bowl of gruel with cocoa powder, cinnamon and brown sugar, I have retreated to my studio with tea, and my wonderful parabolic dish heater. Brady, youngest of my feline friends, sat and yowled outside my closed door, so I finally took pity on him. He's now curled up on my meditation pillow in front of the heater as the snow falls outside.
Listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong magically singing together on "Isn't It A Lovely Day" (to be cozy and warm), I thought I'd see if I could find a video of them singing that song. No luck with that, but I did happen upon my father's all-time favourite singer, Margaret Whiting, joined by Johnny Mercer (yes, THAT Johnny Mercer) on their marvelous hit "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
The wonderful and vastly underrated Johnny Mercer led me down a path that eventually found me watching 16 year old Ella Mae Morse sing"Cow Cow Boogie," a song my jazz-drummer mother used to sing to me when I was very little. And if this swinging tune doesn't flip your wig, try The House of Blue Lights, homie! This chick was SWINGING, all you cats and kitties!
Mom also taught me a bunch of terrific nonsense songs, such as Kay Kyser's Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Poo), Mairzy Doats, The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down, and Roll Or Bowl A Ball A Penny A Pitch. I used to go around singing those silly things and got the STRANGEST looks from my classmates. I've never cared much about what anyone thought of my musical choices, though. I just adore music of every kind. Well, except for reggae. Bet you thought I was going to say "rap," didn't you? Nope, there's a bunch of rap I really enjoy. More all the time, in fact. And to be fair, there are two reggae-ish songs I like (neither involves Bob Marley), but mostly I can't stand the treacly stuff.
And finally, a long-time favourite. Joni and Herbie each live a life in which re-examination plays a crucial part, as it does in mine. They re-examined and redefined and reimagined the already exquisite "River," creating a lovely blend of voice and piano that resonates with their years of life experience. Deservingly, Herbie Hancock won the 2008 Grammy for Best Album of the Year for River. I found a live version of Joni's from Albert Hall in London, 1970, and it's wonderful to hear, too, but having a plethora of life experience myself, I rather prefer the Hancock version now. Just lovely.