If this is your first visit, welcome to my blog of memories and observations. If you wish to be notified of new posts, enter an e-mail address above, and click on "Submit." As we move through a seventh year of this venture, I thank all who have made regular visits, as well as fellow bloggers who have found Stomp Off worth linking to. Doing this sort of thing is time-consuming, but I try to post fresh material at least once a week—let me know what you think. There is a Commentary option at the end of each post and a Guest Book can be reached by scrolling down and clicking on the quill image. I welcome your observations, reaction and/or suggestions in either spot—or both. As for blog content, the most current posts are on the home page, starting at the top. Earlier items are listed by month, year and title in the archive index. To zero in on a particular key word or subject, use the search option that is located directly beneath the blog's masthead. Most images can be enlarged with a mouse click, and there are links to some of my favorite blogs, etc. Since visitors have come from 150 countries, a translator with numerous languages is located below. You can at any time revert to English with a click at the top left of this page:

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A face in Central Park

Last night brought us more snow. When I looked down at Central Park this morning, I was greeted by a face. I thought I'd share it.


First snow of 2011

It's January 7, 2011 and Central Park has changed it's look, so I thought I'd share what I woke up to. A click on the image will give you a better look.


An apology...

They did not end up in the circular file! I apologize to visitors who wrote comments here in recent months and never saw them posted. I wondered why nobody had anything to say, but that turns out to have been my fault. This morning I discovered that nothing is posted unless I approve it, so I found and read all your comments (about 40), approving all but one, a spam. They are now all published where you placed them, and I will, little by little, respond to all that require an answer. Thank you all, very much. — Chris

The GO THERE archive

February 25, 2010
This is more a commentary than a recommendation. I am not quite sure what precipitated it—except that it has something to do with a recent discussion on jazz education—but one of my favorite fellow bloggers, Chris Rich, has suddenly decided to call it quits. The site, aptly named Brilliant Corners, is still running, kept alive by his friend and fellow poster, Matt Lavelle, who only gives a hint of what occurred.
Chris Rich is not someone I have ever met or spoken to, nor has it been long since I first stumbled upon his blog, but I have found his writing interesting in style as well as content. So, apparently have many other cyber nomads, for there is a mounting number of comments at Brilliant Corners.
I addd my own comment and, in so doing, checked the box that routes subsequent input to my mailbox, which is why I found one comment today that you will not see at Brilliant Corners. Mr. Lavelle obviously removed it. I have mixed feelings about the removal, although I have done the same when spammed or trolled, but I can understand Mr. Lavelle's decision. The comment in question is a typical hateful utterance from someone named Alan Kurtz, who may or may not still be writing for another jazz blog, Jazz.com. I will not quote from it, for there is nothing there of substance, but this sort of thing seems to be what Mr. Kurtz does. He comes off like a malcontent prig who delights in posting comments that say more about him than they do about the targets of his venom. I find it odd that he chooses to write about jazz, a subject that he clearly knows little about, stranger still is the fact that blog authorities have published his...well, someone called it "crap," and I'll go with that.
I join all who hope that Chris Rich has a change of mind.

January 24, 2010
Right now I highly recommend that you read a post on Chris Rich's blog, Brilliant Corners. This blog is consistently an interesting place to stop in for intellectual refreshment, but I find Chris's observations on "the Kelley Effect" to be particularly insightful. Please note that the Chris Rich piece to which I provided a link has been removed, apparently by the author. I wish I had preserved it.

In the pre-Marsalis/J@LC era, before corporate interests took some of the bombast out of live jazz enjoyment, we had in New York a wonderful community of great artists who represented both the past and the present. You didn't have to spend a fortune at Club Coca Cola or other cold tourist-oriented venues, you could hear the very best for a very reasonable price. Today, do you think you could catch a live show with even a fraction of the talent listed in the 1965 ad below? I don't think so. For that matter, could you even find so much genuine talent in one place today? Granted, we all made less money back then and the cost of living was considerably lower, but with the equivalent of four 2010 dollars in your pocket, don't waste time trying.
All this to lead into my next recommended link. It will take you to Marc Myers' excellent blog, JazzWax, where you will find a two-part 2008 interview with the late Art d'Lugoff, whose Village Gate was an eclectic, extraordinary breeding ground for talent. Here's the link, GO THERE!

Final comment on WBAI's Infomercial Marathon '10

Well, they finally ended their fund drive. The amateur doctors have taken their herbs and roots back to the village and one has to wonder if they didn't also make a deposit stop at their bank. This has in large part been a Guinness-worthy infomercial, dominated by a huckster named Natalie and—on the phone—her cigarette-voiced cohort, a Doctor Scott. They recorded this long, boring, "this is as good as it gets" pitch and replayed it morning, noon, and night. I wonder how much money the book and DVDs brought in, and how much of that went to WBAI? Perhaps all of it, perhaps these people are well-intentioned but misguided, but I have to wonder. Unlike early marathons, where the listeners knew at all times how things were going, there was no real accounting and the station never announced the final amount raised.

I commend David Rothenberg, Earl Caldwell, and some of the station's more serious hosts for not going the late night commercial route, and I hope management (if there is such a thing) re-evaluates the snake oil approach that for one month turned this important radio station into an unintended parody of everything its founders sought to counter.