Mere Coincidence? Or Did Jon Batiste Read My Blog?

 

Yesterday, I posted a blog at 11:10 a.m. My topic: Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 / Funeral March. The “angle” I had chosen to explain my suddenly renewed interest in this Classical masterpiece tapped both into my DJ roots and deeply rooted, post Inauguration Day ‘17 blues, blahs and disgust.

I then blogged onward to mention how NPR’s All Things Considered reportage of All Things Trumpian has been depressing me… to the point where I found myself seated at and slumped over my piano last week… cradling my head in my crossed over forearms.

Ironically, it had taken an NPR aired, prattling, Donny Downer soundbite to snap me out of my funk. In a split second, I sat up, took notice and took back my life. How so?

I had limbered up my 10 fingers to play the first 11 notes of Chopin’s Funeral March. In essence, I had riffed a musical op-ed piece to refute and marginalize Donny Downer. After I played that soundbite / bitesized dirge, I actually found myself chuckling! But laughter? Why laughter I wondered?

To elaborate, I’ve paraphrased the following passage from yesterday’s post.

Subconsciously, I’d been channeling the schtick of my newest keyboard hero… Jon Batiste. For the benefit of my international readers, I’ll briefly mention that he’s frontman for Stay Human… Stephan Colbert’s Late Show house band. During many a show opening, Colbert monologue, Batiste’s keyboard comedic timing is just as flawless and funny as the wisecracking Colbert’s routine. The genius of both of these super-talents truly compliments one another. True, I’ve yet to hear Batiste play this Chopin riff… but it would not surprise me were he to… someday… do so.

Well… imagine my jaw dropping, “Oh Wow” surprise… and my LOL reaction… when that SOMEDAY turned out to be LAST NIGHT!

At approximately 11:38 p.m.… over 12 hours AFTER my 11:10 a.m. blog post time… there Colbert was… cracking a Marylin Monroe themed Trump joke… inspiring Mr. Batiste to ACTUALLY play that Chopin Funeral March riff! This musically enhanced joke starts around the 1:40 point of this clip.

So… are we talking pure coincidence or had Mr. Batiste read and been inspired my Chopin blog? Any of my “tags”… especially – Late Show – Stephen Colbert – Jon Batiste – Stay Human… could’ve made the merger of our two worlds more than mere happenstance.

OR maybe this event transcends the tags? True when it comes down to the existence of miracles, there are plenty of naysayers. While I am spiritually inclined, in this case, even I would tend go the Doubting Thomas / mere coincidence route. Yet, what would account for my waking up this a.m. with a lingering grin? Seeing how I’ve been suffering a bad case of the blahs and the blues… such a smile… in itself… is nothing short of miraculous.

 

 

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In Memory Of Gregg Allman

 

As stated on his official website… on Saturday, May 27, 2017, musician Gregg Allman, age 69, “passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia.”

In 1969, Gregg and (brother) Duane Allman, along with Dicky Betts, Berry Oakley, Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson and Butch Trucks had co-founded the Allman Brothers Band.

This ensemble’s unique sound had boasted a tasty blend of southern rock, blues, jazz and country music… the two main songwriters being G. Allman and Betts. And oh what amazing songs they had written! “Revival”, “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed”, “Melissa” and “Midnight Rider” are just a few that instantly come to mind… that last listed tune featuring a lyrical sentiment, which every dedicated, touring musician can identify with…

“And the road goes on forever.”

Tragically, during the band’s early history, death had been no stranger to these men. Motorcycle accidents in 1971 and 1972 had claimed, respectively, the lives of both Gregg’s brother and Oakley.

Fast forwarding to the present, I spent the better part of yesterday, Sunday, giving a listen to the ABB’s considerable and durable discography, which could only confirm what I’ve known all along…

It matters not if you’re tracking through their toe tapping rock, a ballad of love lost or anything in between… these songs still sound as fresh and invigorating today as they had on their original release dates.

I also played back “Laid Back” Gregg’s 1973 solo album featuring the disc finale… his interpretation of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”… the 1907 Christian hymn originally penned by Ada R. Habershon and set to music by Charles H. Gabriel.

“Circle” having since lapsed into public domain, there has been no shortage of lyrical revisions… now inclusive of mine… which, of course is in memory of Gregg Allman…

 

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

 

I was standing by my window,

On one cold and cloudy day.

When I saw that, hearse come rolling,

For to carry our brother away.

 

Chorus… Will the circle be unbroken?

By and by, Lord, by and by.

There’s a better, home a-waiting,

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

 

I said to that undertaker,

Undertaker, please drive slow.

For this body, you are carrying.

Lord, I hate to see him go.

 

Chorus…

 

Oh, I followed, close behind him,

Tried to hold up, and be brave.

But I could not, hide my sorrow,

When they laid him in the grave.

 

Chorus…

 

I went back home, our world was lonesome,

Missed our brother, Gregg was gone.

Fans, friends, family, were all crying,

What a home so sad and lone.

 

Chorus…

 

We sang songs of, five past decades,

Rock and blues that made us strong.

Ones that brothers Gregg, Duane taught us,

Hear the angels sing along.

 

Chorus… Will the circle be unbroken

By and by, Lord, by and by.

There’s a better, home a-waiting,

In the sky, Lord, in the sky.

 

Perhaps our sorrow can lift just a bit? After all, in all likelihood, for Gregg Allman, “the road goes on forever” in the realm better known as eternity… he’s now reunited with loved ones and band mates who preceded him and… for we, who survive him… his vast, impressive body of work still lives on.

My outward bound, heartfelt condolences go to the family, friends and fans of Gregg Allman.