Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bill Evans Trio: My Romance

(I am reposting this while I get my brain working again. Today isn't starting well. So, for awhile, lets ponder the troubles of my failed romance. It might be instructive.)

When I met Tom (the man I call first love/last love) he was just beginning to play the acoustic bass. I've always had a thing for bass players. There is something about the instrument--it's rather womanly looking, and the man playing it has it in an embrace between his legs. His arms are wrapped around her and he is fingering...

I like men with good hands, finger dexterity, and stamina. Bass players fit that bill, pianists, guitarists too. For a brief period of time, Tom used to ask me to sing to his bass or piano accompaniment. I was reluctant, but eventually gave it a try. I have a deep, smokey voice, fairly limited range, but almost perfect pitch and a great memory for the lyrics of jazz standards. Solo bass is one thing, bass and vocalist is another entirely. I would lead him through my vocal arrangement of My Romance in my key, and he would say, but that's not the right key, that's not the key it's written in. And I would say, but it's my key, my range. If you want me to sing with you, we will have to play it in my key. He would say, "Sing it. I'll follow." And we would run through the song over and over, and just when I would get comfortable with the arrangement, relax and really start enjoying myself, he would change it up, get loose and start throwing in a bit of bass virtuosity. Without warning, he would play a solo in the middle of a duet. It ruined everything for me as a singer. And then I refused to sing for him. It's a metaphor for what went wrong with us.


Randal Graves said...

I had something witty to say, clicked on 'post a comment' then it was gone. Oh well.

Soloing in the middle of the duet is akin the offensive line run blocking while the quarterback decides to not hand the ball off and pull some weirdo Fran Tarkenton improv instead.

Utah Savage said...

Team work requires teamwork. A duet can't be two soloists. Is that it?

Gail said...

I am married to a musician - guitarist-pianist -song writer, singer-lyricist and my playing the drums and in certain keys can do back-ground vocals, I hear ya! I too love hands, his hands, - magic I tell ya, magic.

Every time you write I find a commonality and I love it.

I did answer you on my blog, if you get a moment.

Keep singing.


simstone said...

My guess is that you will be hearing from men who even remotely play bass, piano, or guitar after the sizzling description that you gave about liking men, their hands, and their instruments.

What would you do if you met a man that had all those desirable attributes but hated politics with a passion?

My curiosity is killin' me.

Utah Savage said...

I minght be very relieved to find a man with all those characteristics, so long as he tolerated my passion for politics and writing. Tom knew I was writing a book when we were together, but he refused to read a word I ever wrote unless it was a letter to him. He read those reluctantly, and often just said, "nice handwriting." I may be such damaged goods at this point that no man could stand me. Besides that I smoke. This could account for the fact that few people visit me. Even I, upon first waking smell stale cigarette smoke. But once I have my espresso and hot milk and that first smoke of the morning (honestly morning for me cold be early afternoon for you) I'm fine and the smell doesn't bother me anymore. I'm no fucking prize, my friends. Oh, and did I say, I snore?

Utah Savage said...

Simstone, I just followed you home. Your site is both lovely and full of very interesting fragments. I wanted to comment. Why can't I? I will blog roll you, but please enable the comment thingy.

Anonymous said...

I always check out a guy's hands. MathMan has great hands. Ahem.

Two soloists trying to work together would definitely sound discordant.

Stella said...

Hi Utah. You don't have to do anything. I've nominated you for the 2008 Weblog Literary Award. I'm keeping my fingers crossed—this one's a biggie. Here's my comment:

Without question, I nominate Utah Savage, who is one of the most talented writers in the blogsphere, with her accompanying blogs, Savage Stories, Savage Poetry, and Maggie-A Novel One of the best literary blogs out there.

I really, really hope you win.

an average patriot said...

Hey I somehow missed this yesterday! Funny but I envisioned you with a smoky voice. Myself I sing great until I open my mouth and couldn't play an instrument for the life of me but stamina is mine for life I am happy to say!

Utah Savage said...

Oh Stella! Thank you so much! I have never been so thrilled, and I'm having a decidedly unthrilling day. Oh god, I would love to win that award for any little thing. I want to be discovered by a literary agent or publisher. Then I will have accomplished my life's one real ambition. And to make some money from this long investment in time and effort. If I got a million dollars, it would probably equal about $5 dollars an hour of writing, and endless editing. For thirty years. Yes, I know. I'm not exactly prolific.