Sunday, October 12, 2008


As someone who prefers his jazz with plenty of edge, I wish KCSM, "the Bay Area's Jazz Station," were a lot more adventurous in its programming. Which is not to say it is not a pleasant station to listen to almost any time of day. But KCSM has one genuine treasure, and that is Jesse "Chuy" Varela, host of the Latin Jazz show Sundays at 2. Jesse is amazingly knowledgeable, and has nearly impeccable taste. Plus, his enthusiasm is truly infectious. It's pronounced Chewy... You can listen on-line.

No on Prop 8

I'll leave the presidential politics to others, but fellow Californians, do the right thing and vote No on 8. There are two reasons. The first is a negative argument: that the state should not be in the business of discriminating in conferring important legal status on its adult citizens. The second is a positive argument: that a committed loving relationship between consenting adults is fundamentally a good thing. It's that simple. Really.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nice 'n' Easy?

Hardly. The album starts with the teaser title track, which does suggest the kind of breezy swing you get on Come Fly with Me. But the mood is overall contemplative, if not somber. Frank's deepening and darkening voice pulls against Nelson Riddle's somewhat brighter arrangements, and the result is, well, among the best of the Capitol albums. Which is to say one of the great pop albums ever recorded.

The bonus tracks on the CD version are mostly hard to argue with: The Nearness of You, Someone to Watch Over Me, My One and Only Love... beautiful songs sung by the master. The exception is Day In-Day Out, an overblown mood-breaker here. You can program over that one.