thank you jazzman, davvero???, helen & edgar

amici miei–

1. train and trane

tante cose da dire. where to start? for one, i must thank the jazzman who serenaded me on the train the other day. i was on my way to the office-i-frequent-mondays-though-fridays, late as usual, and the public transit was experiencing “train delays.”

whoever supplied it denied it

no problem here, i thought. for a jazzman was playing on a quiet electric guitar and using some kind of dream rock effect. the resulting tunes were most soothing to the ears. lionel richie standards and billy joel’s “just the way you are” were among just some of the gems being plucked on that guitar. mm mm good.

didn’t know you juggled, billy!

the jazzman looked like something out of detroit’s back ally in the 80s. foppish blonde hair and a leather jacket that had seen better days. he had an affable, midwestern air. “i’ve got a full length CD. my name is trane. that’s trane like coltrane,” he intoned a full measure below the volume of usual train bellowers. i didn’t mind. i love a soft spoken steven and indeed that is what he was. wish i could have heard the rest of his speech but perhaps another time. a gal can hope. his focus was less on promotion on more on music. bravo.

eric clapton’s “layla” (got me on my knees) began. i closed my eyes. suddenly the train–but not trane–melted away. i was on a so-cal deck over looking the pacific. nibbling on some roasted “veggies” (not vegetables!) with a crisp glass of white wine and the gaze of my lover not far off. the joyful riffs rippled in my drums and when i opened my eyes we were nearing penn station.

the jazzman was too far at the other end of the train and i realized i wouldn’t reach him in time so i made a point of popping my head and giving a thumbs up. we shared a smile and off i went.

2. davvero?! buon appe-vietato!

it has come to my attenzione that munching round the historic monumenti of roma has recently become vietato and that touristi can incur a multa of up to $650. ma davvero! (but really?!) this seems especially harsh in a land that touts the sweet life. hmph! while i would agree that most tourists need to up their politesse, such a fine seems quite harsh. especially as i have observed more than one carabiniere preening instead of policing in the past…! for more read here.

baby, you look great

3. helen & edgar

speaking of europa. i recently saw edgar oliver’s helen & edgar at theatre 80 down on 4th street in manahatta. what a show! i first caught wind of oliver’s fine tale telling at dixon place‘s “little theatre,” curated by el jeffe jones among others. oliver spoke of a curious encounter with a handsome young man in brooklyn’s prospect park and i was immediately hooked. his voice is most distinctive and unusual but i believe it is just how he speaks. (imagine an old timey, almost english accent with a touch of transylvania and you’ll get the idea).

a theatre great

anyhoo, edgar oliver is a fine performer (i also caught him in april performing in a fine workshop by normandy raven sherwood)… he offers audiences a unique combination of vulnerability and knowing wit. at times he stands with his hands over his heart in a shy, child-like stance but at various phrasings he succumbs to a knowing wink. [wink!]

the story of oliver’s upbringing in savannah was most fascinating, hilarious and deeply moving (when was the last time you felt something at the theatre i ask you!). plus his poetry of prose is something that nourishes the ears while his simple delivery sans artifice delights the eyes. (there are also beautiful slides of paintings by oliver’s mother.) at the end of the story, which lasts for about an hour and a half, he described sneaking off to europa with his sister. it felt like the start of another story. i could have listened all night. go see it.

a bientot mes amis!


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