Tom Vitale has a good report at NPR, and at the link is a podcast. Story begins:
In 1964, near the end of his career, Billy Strayhorn accompanied himself on a live recording of one of his best-known songs. It starts:
I used to visit all the very gay places
Those come-what-may places
Where one relaxes on the axis of the wheel of life
To get the feel of life
From jazz and cocktails …
When Strayhorn wrote “Lush Life” in 1936, he could only dream of the Paris nightlife described in the lyrics. He was a 20-year-old living in the poorest neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He had already written a musical revue called Fantastic Rhythm, but he wanted to play classical piano.
Strayhorn was working at a drugstore to pay for his lessons, and when he made deliveries, he played for the customers who had pianos. He had also written a number of original songs.
“They were unheard,” Strayhorn told interviewer Paul Worth in 1962. But “they were heard by the drugstore customers. And they got after me to have someone else hear them.”
Composer and arranger Billy Strayhorn would go on to create some of the most popular American music of the 20th century: songs like “Lush Life” or “Take The ‘A’ Train.” Born 100 years ago today, Nov. 29, 1915, Strayhorn did it his way — without ever hiding who he was.
His accomplishments are made all the more remarkable by the fact that he received little attention during his own lifetime. Strayhorn spent the bulk of his career in the shadow of his employer — bandleader Duke Ellington.
You Must Take The ‘A’ Train
In December 1938, a friend took Strayhorn backstage at the Stanley Theatre in Pittsburgh to meet Duke Ellington. Strayhorn played some of his music for Ellington, who invited him to New York — scribbling down directions to his home in Harlem.
Strayhorn turned those notes into a song, and took it to Ellington a month later. Duke Ellington hired the young composer and made Strayhorn’s “Take The ‘A’ Train” his theme song. . .
See also: Billy Strayhorn in Five Songs
Just under 20 minutes but well worth watching, assuming you enjoy watching snooker. The table layout became very gnarly and difficult for a while, requiring some astonishing shots. The commentary in this one is helpful.
A very fine shave indeed. Since the two appeared in the new starter kit I blogged yesterday, I used the S-Brush and Otoko Organics for today’s shave, and I have to say they are excellent. The S-Brush in the regular size really is a fine brush, and I do like the lather from Otoko Organic’s somewhat odd formula: it’s a somewhat stiffish lather, and has a very clean and refreshing smell.
The ATT R1 on the UFO handle did an excellent job. I did think that perhaps it did not plow through the stubble quite so easily as the S1, but it was hard to tell on separate shaves, so on Monday I’ll use both razors in the same shave, followed the next day by a shaving using both the Merkur 34G and the 37G, and then on Wednesday a shaving using both the iKon Shavecraft #101 and #102. By pairing in the same shave excellent razors of the same overall format, but one a slant and the other not, I think I’ll be better able to detect the difference.
Three passes resulted in a fine BBS result, and splash of TOBS Shaving Shop finished the job.
Another terrorist attack. So far no reported killed. (Since the guy is white, the media will refuse to label it as a terrorist act; terrorists can only be from the Middle East, so far as US media are concerned. But this is quite clearly an ideology-driven attack aimed at innocent people.)
UPDATE: The terrorist in Colorado Springs killed three people, including one police officer.
Full disclosure: I did make recommendations for the kit contents, but I have no affiliation with the vendor nor do I receive any consideration (complimentary product, discounts, money, etc.) for my mention. I point out the kit not only because it includes an excellent (IMO) basic kit of brush, soap, razor, and blade sampler, but also the soap, Otoko Organics shave soap, has not previously been available in the US. (I have used the soap, which I like a lot, but I had to order it from Australia—and I totally understand the issue Australians have with shipping costs.)
Just in time for the holidays.
UPDATE: I posted this on Wicked Edge and there is what amounts to some uproar over the pricing. The razor ($29), brush (just under $10), and blade sampler pack probably run to about $45, compared to other stores. So the soap in effect costs $19. That seems reasonable to me in comparison to what it would cost you to order it from Australia, if you live in the US. As noted, the shipping costs are high. The soap sells for around US$15 in Australia, and you cannot ship a tub of soap to the US for $4.
However, my main point was to comment on the excellent (IMO) choice of items. I was not commenting on the price. I figure the potential customer will decide for himself whether or not he wants to buy it.
We repeatedly discover just how bad prosecutors can be: deliberately sending an innocent man to death row, for example, or hiding evidence that would exonerate a defendant. And prosecutors enjoy some immunity from lawsuits. But Brandon Buskey describes some recourse:
WHEN it comes to poor people arrested for felonies in Scott County, Miss., Judge Marcus D. Gordon doesn’t bother with the Constitution. He refuses to appoint counsel until arrestees have been formally charged by an indictment, which means they must languish in jail without legal representation for as long as a year.
Judge Gordon has robbed countless individuals of their freedom, locking them away from their loved ones and livelihoods for months on end. (I am the lead lawyer in a class-action suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union against Scott County and Judge Gordon.) In a recent interview, the judge, who sits on the Mississippi State Circuit Court, was unapologetic about his regime of indefinite detention: “The criminal system is a system of criminals. Sure, their rights are violated.” But, he added, “That’s the hardship of the criminal system.”
There are many words to describe the judge’s blunt disregard of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Callous. Appalling. Cruel. Here’s another possibility: criminal — liable to prosecution and, if found guilty, prison time.
If this notion seems radical, it shouldn’t. Federal law already provides a mechanism to prosecute judges and district attorneys as criminals when they willfully deprive people of their civil rights: Title 18, Section 242, of the federal code.
This isn’t some dusty, rarely used legal tool. The Department of Justice typically wields Section 242 against police and correctional officers accused of physical or sexual violence. But Section 242 applies with equal force to those who prosecute and sentence, the state officials whose deliberate skirting of civil rights can be most devastating.
At least, that’s how it is on paper. The federal government has not in recent memory pursued a judge under Section 242, and it has only rarely enforced this law against prosecutors.
It is absolutely essential to bring rogue law enforcement officers to justice, particularly in a post-Ferguson world in which violations of constitutional rights have come under intense scrutiny. However, the government’s focus on abuses by law enforcement officials leaves the burden of curbing abuse by judges and prosecutors to private individuals.
This is a responsibility few lawyers are willing to accept, in large part because the United States Supreme Court has made pursuing a civil case against a prosecutor or judge practically impossible.
Consider the case of John Thompson, who spent 14 years on death row for a murder he didn’t commit because the New Orleans Parish district attorney’s office intentionally concealed forensic evidence establishing his innocence. After his exoneration, Mr. Thompson sued the office under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, landmark legislation intended to provide a federal forum to those deprived of their civil rights by state officials.
Though Mr. Thompson won a $14 million jury award, the Supreme Court set aside the verdict on appeal. Notwithstanding the fact that the New Orleans prosecutors had similarly withheld evidence in at least four other cases, or the fact that several prosecutors suppressed the evidence in Mr. Thompson’s own case, the court said that Mr. Thompson had failed to demonstrate a pattern of wrongdoing by the district attorney’s office, which it held was required by Section 1983. The court’s decision illustrates just one of a host of protections it has given to prosecutors and judges to shield them from liability. . .