Toe Jam

Of the many advantages of living in NYC, Doctors has got to be one of the biggest. Many, many good, no nonsense ones to choose from, if you or your insurance can pay. Cosmic Justice. I survived HE 2007 only to fall prey to my own impatience. Instead of sliding the vegetable drawer in my refrigerator out slowly like a normal person, my tired, irritable and schmoozed out self jerked it and it jumped its track and smashed my foot. Damned apples and carrots weigh too friggin' much. After three days of denial and whistling in the graveyard about how it was gonna be fine, I finally broke down and dipped a damaged toe in the health care system. One scalpel slice later and things are looking up on the sore paw front.

While waiting for the surgeon's art to heal me, I ended up sitting in sun-drenched Washington Square Park with my leg up, watching a crazed collection of street musicians doing their thing. Along with the Hendrix imitator and the inevitable gaggle of saxophone players, one of whom could actually play something other than "I Got Rhythm" and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," there was a small Dixieland/swing combo (trumpet, National steel guitar, clarinet, washtub bass) sitting in chairs, really swinging their asses off. They had a female vocalist (middling) and a killer couple of jitterbugging fools who were a very welcome visual accompaniment. Young and tireless, they were up on the balls of their feet, whipping each other around, having a hell of a time. On and on it went and I noticed that a large percentage of the crowd that had gathered was broadly grinning. That music is the very definition of the word "infectious" Bad toe and all, there ain't much that can beat Spring in NYC.

Saw the great Chandler Travis Philharmonic on Wednesday and was suitably awed. Much Zappa and Sun Ra in their music. Great hornwork and a charming addiction to wearing hats of all types on stage. Too bad they only play off Cape Cod every so often. Their new recordTarnation and Alastair Sim is all about being eclectic yet they know about putting hooks into the music and mixing the accessible with the more esoteric moments. Sort of intellectual and gritty at the same time. Quite a feat in my book.

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