“I Am Your Food” caught the ear of Jazzinista host Alisa Clancy at KCSM Jazz 91, and she’s been playing some tracks. She has now invited me to come join her on her Desert Island Jazz program this Friday morning.
I’m surprised to learn that I Am Your Food = Jazz, but I am honored to be considered part of the Jazz pantheon. I’ve always loved jazz.
I’ve always loved the concept of Desert Islands. Not the actual starvation/privation part, but the philosophical musings of what would you wish to have in such an environment.
If you can’t listen live (9am on 91.1FM in the San Francisco Bay Area, live on KCSM website), you can hear the archived show for 2 weeks afterwards here. (Just click on the date of March 15th, and press ‘play’ on Desert Island Jazz)
If you don’t get around to listening, here is my my metaphorical message in a bottle encapsulating my choices…
Favorite all-time recordings that I’ve memorized, so I don’t need to bring them to the island:
- The Band – The Weight
- McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed
- The Bill Evans Album
- Every Beatles album
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not tired of these recordings. Every time I hear them, I enjoy them. But in my youth I played them so much that I know every nook and cranny, can hear it all in my head. I went to sleep to the Bill Evans album for a year or so in my teens, and that got buried deep deep deep into the grey matter.
Endlessly new, but no need to bring a recording:
- John cage 4:33
This is the famous piece where a pianist sits at the piano for 4:33 and plays nothing. The intent, or at least the effect, is a heightened sense of all the sounds in the world. On the island, I’d listen to the wind in the palms, the waves, the birds, whatever. It’d always be fresh!
What I’m bringing:
(Somehow, even if these are memorized, I need to hear them to really HEAR them)
- Joni Mitchell – Blue
- Paul Bley/NHØP – Olhos del Gato (from Paul Bley/NHØP)
- Thelonius Monk – Oska T. (from Who’s Afraid of the Big Bang Monk)
- Bill Evans Trio – Nardis (from The Last Waltz, Keystone Corner)
- John Kirkpatrick – Ives’ Concord Sonata – Movement III
- Lambert, Hendricks, Ross – Farmer’s Market
- Tower of Power – What is Hip (from Tower of Power)
- Bach – B minor Mass, Agnus Dei
BUT WHAT ABOUT DANCING?
I know all these records by heart, but it’s just not the same dancing to a song in your head – it has to be heard out loud!
- Stevie Wonder Dance Tracks:
Happy Birthday, Jungle Fever, Superstition, I Wish, Sir Duke
- Rolling Stones – Can’t you hear me knocking
- Tell me Something Good – Chaka Khan
- Dixie Chicken – Little Feat
- Speaking in Tongues – Talking Heads
- Whole bunch o’ Bob Marley
A Book, a Luxury Item:
These are the further stipulations of Alisa’s show. The book? Easy:
- Complete Works of Shakespeare (annotated)
I would finally, alone on a desert island, have time to dig into Shakespeare the way I’ve always wanted to. Over the years I’ve delved into it from time to time, but it takes practice to get into the archaic language and the rhythms. As long as a spotter plane or cruise ship doesn’t interrupt me, I should be able to enjoy all of his works!
Luxury? What do I want with luxury? I haven’t figured this one out yet. Holly Hunter had a piano on the beach, maybe I could have one, too? Or a blender, so I can make smoothies from the papayas and coconuts and mangoes? Or is it really a Desert with a capital D island, with nothing but one palm tree in the middle? Then I’d go with the piano, and get used to a diet of fish and fish, with a little fish on the side….