A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yeh Yeh #atozchallenge

Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames  "Yeh Yeh"  (1964)

Yeh Yeh

         My life has been like jazz.   Maybe a jazz symphony in like a hundred movements or more.  Themes and variations.   Music of the mind, body, heart, and soul.  My life in music.  The music of my life.

         Sometimes the melody is obvious.  You probably recognize it and might even hum along.   We're on the same track and you get it and I get it and it's like an old-fashioned sing-along.   Then there've been those times when I've gone off on some kind of improv.   I get in a groove and I'll be boppin' along or maybe just lolling low and mellow.  But I'm getting there.  Somewhere.  Maybe you're there or maybe I've left you lost far behind.

           I don't always understand jazz.  Maybe it's not meant to be understood, but to be heard, felt and wondered about with wonder and amused bemusement.  There are not necessarily any rules to jazz other than what rules might be putatively presumed by people who pretend to know all there is about music.  I think they're wrong.   Jazz can sound like many things.   And sometimes like nothing yet imagined.   Imagination set free, run wild.

           My life seems imagined at times when I look backward.   There are stories there.  Stories to be told and some to be held hostage in the secret places of my memory.   If I unleash my mind's treasury of memory, should it come in chapters, in books, in suspicious furtive looks.   This canister of thunken thoughts that I call my brain:   Will it safely retain the stories until they are lain down in written words that dance, that flow, that stumble across the paper or across my field of vision on my eyestrain computer screen?

           "Hurry, you've got a solo coming," the bandleader says, which is ironic since I am the leader of my band.  Play well and stay in tune unless discordant notes are called for.  Experimentation in the writing I do is sometimes my playful toil.   It's jazz after all, this thing that's my life.

          Accentuate the positive and play the sad parts sweet and low.  Slow down on the reflective passages and speed through the mundanities of the rush rush daily grind of life's same story.   It's a jazz life told in syncopations and synchronicities.   Tick tock, the clock counts the rhythm and time makes the rhyme.

           A good life has been lived and I aim to stay on the positive track.  Yeh, yeh.   Stay away from the downers.  Yeh, yeh.   Keep on gigging the good times in jazz.  Yeh, yeh.

          Do you tend to keep a positive outlook on life?    Have you had a tendency to be negative in your life?  Do you ever experiment with free-form writing styles or stream of consciousness?   

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  1. Loved Georgie Fame had many hits here.


  2. I try to keep positive but sometimes it's hard when I'm constantly worried about money and also fighting w/ my mother. I try so hard not to be negative but when I can't shut my brain off, I end up overthinking till I'm in a full blown panic attack!

  3. You've lived an interesting life especially with being on the road so much as a performer.

    Do you know what's after Y? Z Yep. We're that close, dear Lee.

  4. I think mine must be a kids song, like B-I-N-G-O....

  5. I try to be as positive as possible. I've been told I'm an optimist, but I believe nobody is either one or the other. Most of us fall in between--sometimes optimistic, sometimes pessimistic. Life is all about figuring it out, isn't it?!

  6. Yvonne -- Sadly Georgie Fame had just a few hits in the 60's in the U.S. and was forgotten by most.

    JoJo -- Sorry that you have to deal with that. Try to stay as positive as you can.

    Teresa-- Can you believe another April is at the end? This year is almost half gone!

    CW -- I had plenty of kids songs in my life when my kids were younger.

    Stephanie --I try to lean toward the positive, but you're right that we can't always be that way.


  7. I like jazz, it makes me feel classy ;-)

    I am so happy I've finally joined and completed A-Z April challenge this year! Cheers :)

  8. Like that, Yehyeh. A life well lived is a beautiful melody. Keep playing that beautiful music of life. Maria, Delight Directed Living

  9. Maria K-- Some jazz is very classy. Glad you enjoyed your A to Z experience.

    Maria D-- Hope the music never ends.


  10. I always think that I cannot stand jazz, but then I love Sting songs. One of my favorite songs that Sting did was I Am English Man In New York, and it is very jazzy. So I do not like jazz per se, but I love the kind of jazz songs that Sting has produced.


  11. LEE ~
    I missed this one at the time you posted it, but just now back-tracked a bit and found it.

    The text was ESPECIALLY GOOD in this one. Funny thing though, this was not at all anything like a Jazz tune I might have posted for the text.

    I felt this song was just way too "Pop" for a Jazz-inspired blog bit. But, oh well, if you and I always thought exactly alike, one of us would be unnecessary.

    Great blog bit, Brother!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  12. J.Hanna -- The genre name may be deceptive. There is such a wide range of styles under the jazz label and the influenced by jazz label that really there is something for everybody in the jazz universe.

    StMc-- Indeed it was "pop" but keep in mind that this also reflects a memory. This was the first piece of music that really hit me as being "jazzy" when I was a kid. I was certainly aware of jazz back then but at that time it struck me as a beatnik thing that I saw parodied on TV. I didn't know about the origins of jazz or the broad spectrum of music that jazz encompassed. Suddenly hearing Georgie Fame's organ and jazzy singing style I connected it with jazz and another musical door was opened for me. Jazz was less parody, less mystery, less history and more of something I liked. Since all of the songs I chose for my A to Z series here had to do with a part of my life, "Yeh Yeh" was a perfect choice for my purposes. Also it was short and it's a song that I love. Have you happened to have heard the 90's album that Fame did with a few songs in collaboration with Van Morrison, including "Moondance" and I believe they both sang on a revision of "Yeh Yeh". It's a great album.


    I believe I have heard OF the album you're referring to, and may have heard a track or two from it but not the entire thing.

    However, if memory serves me, the first album that Georgie Fame collaborated on with Van Morrison was 1991's 2-disc set 'HYMNS TO THE SILENCE'. I purchased that album within about a week of its release and, to this day, I would say that it's possibly my all-time favorite Morrison album, and Fame's keyboard playing is all over and throughout that album. It's simply wonderful.

    If I could only keep one album from my Van Morrison collection, 'HYMNS TO THE SILENCE' would quite possibly be my choice - it would be one of maybe 3 that were in the running.

    If you haven't heard that one, I give it my very highest recommendation, Brother!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  14. StMc -- I also obtained Hymns to the Silence shortly after it was released. By that time I was a rabid Morrison fan and was buying everything he released. I hadn't looked at the credits in many years so I don't recall who played on it, but it wouldn't surprise me if Fame was on it.

    It is a fine album. When my wife and I take our cross country trips I usually bring the disc in the set that has "Be Thou My Vision" since it's one of my wife's favorite songs and she loves hearing it.

    Seems like I recall you referring to the song "Quality Street" at some point in one of your blog bits. That's another good tune.


  15. BOIDMAN ~
    Well, we were both rabid Morrison fans at the same time then. I was thinking that I may have even purchased 'HYMNS TO THE SILENCE' on the very day it was released, but I hedged my bet by saying "within about a week of its release".

    Well, I just now pulled my copy from the shelf and discovered that I'd saved my record store receipt in the jewel case. It says 9/24/91. A quick Google search and I found that 'HYMNS...' was indeed released on September 24, 1991.

    Georgie Fame doesn't play on EVERY track, but he plays on a good majority of them.

    I might well have referred to 'Quality Street', although I'm not sure why I would have - in what context I might have mentioned it - but it's a good song.

    You mentioned 'Be Thou My Vision'. That's on Disc 2 (which also includes 'Quality Street') and is BY FAR my favorite of the two discs! In fact, I could even lose Disc 1 and not feel I'd lost very much as long as I still had Disc 2.

    I play 'All Saints Day' every All Saints Day! That's a huge favorite of mine, as well as 'Pagan Streams', which might seem like an odd favorite but I have STRONG memories and emotions attached to that "spoken" music piece.

    'Be Thou My Vision' is quite good, and I really love the title track, too. And 'By His Grace' is also wonderful. That Disc 2 is just full of winners!

    It was his album 'INARTICULATE SPEECH OF THE HEART' that turned me into a rabid fan (and played a major part in igniting my love of Jazz). Many years later, I discovered all the New Age 'Luciferian' allusions in that album and actually threw it away, even though, musically, I still LOVED it.

    Today, my other absolute favorite albums by Van-The-Man, along with 'HYMNS...', are 'INTO THE MUSIC', 'POETIC CHAMPIONS COMPOSE', and his early live album 'IT'S TOO LATE TO STOP NOW'.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  16. StMc -- You were on top of "Hymns" for sure. I remember seeing it about that time at the record store at Stonewood Mall in Downey, but I didn't purchase it until Christmas of 1991. My 2nd wife and I had moved to Downey in July of '91 and by summer the following year she had gone off into loonyland.

    I first became rabid about Morrison in the summer of 1987 when he released "Poetic Champions". I was familiar with Morrison's hit to that time but not much of a fan. "Champions" changed things for me and I set out to buy every cassette I could find of his music.

    "Champions" is still my favorite, but I have a place in my heart for "Hard Nose the Highway" and especially the song "Wild Children". I vividly remember on Saturday afternoon driving up the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and hearing that song come on the Canadian equivalent of an NPR station. Great song.

    I have not listened that much to disc 1 of 'Hymns" so don't recall that much of it, but the whole set is fine music.

    I don't recall where I thought I saw "Quality Street" mentioned on your blog. I have a feeling it was in the comments though. Maybe even a comment from someone other than you. Then again it might have been a comment that you left on my blog. But it could also have been my imagination because I like the title and lyrics to that song.

    Morrison's done some great music. After replacing some of the cassettes with CDs and new additions I guess I have about 10 of his albums on CD. I'm not sure how many I have on cassette, but probably a lot of them. None on vinyl.

    Now I want to go listen to some Van.



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