This week what's making me happy is the meeting of two jazz geniuses, getting to spend time with my son, and getting to spend time with my wife:
- Duke Ellington and John Coltrane's self-titled collaboration has been popping up a lot on my iTunes playlist lately, and every time I hear it I have to marvel. When they met for this collaboration in 1962, Ellington was 63 and Coltrane was 36. You wouldn't think they'd be able to come together well--Ellington was and is a hugely influential composer and bandleader, but he's always been known for his work with big bands; Coltrane had gotten his start playing bop and cool in the 50's, but by the early 60's was branching out into more avant-garde areas. Yet on this album they complement each other perfectly, neither one overshadowing the other, producing a sound more intimate than a big band can usually pull off and more restrained than the free jazz that Coltrane later developed. Have a listen to the opening track, "In a Sentimental Mood."
- Weekday mornings with Jason are usually hectic and more than a little trying. I'm rushing around trying to get him fed and dressed, not to mention get myself ready for work, which runs directly counter to his intentions of lying around, playing, watching TV, and asking me "Why?" over and over again. As you might imagine, there's often friction. But there's sweetness, too. Today I was sitting on the edge of my bed putting my socks on, and the sight of Jason's eyes peeking around the covers where he'd buried himself brought a smile to my lips. And when I picked him up and carried him around the back yard while we were waiting for the dog, he spontaneously declared "I like you, Daddy." It makes all the pouting and tantrums and outbursts a little more manageable, knowing that there will be moments like that as well.
- Of course, as much as I do love spending time with my son, it's nice to have a night off once in a while, too. Tonight, thanks to a couple of good friends, Juliette and I are going to check out the new Cinépolis luxury movie theater in Del Mar. What with our daughter's birth just around the corner, this is probably the last time we'll get a night to ourselves for a while, so we're taking advantage of the opportunity to try something new. Leather reclining seats and gourmet snacks ought to make for a pretty cushy movie-watching experience!
Have a great weekend, everybody!