First Take

Book Review
12:30 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Book Review: Dr. Greer on Rapier’s ‘Power Plays’

With oil hovering at just under $50 a barrel, and the amazing technology of fracking present throughout America’s oil fields, it’s probably wise that someone decided to take an honest look at the current worldwide energy paradigm to see where we might be headed energy-wise.  Robert Rapier has done just that in his excellent assessment of America’s and the world’s energy options in his book Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil.

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Stories of Standards
9:49 am
Mon February 9, 2015

"Good Bait" | Stories of Standards

"Good Bait" - written by American jazz pianist/composer Tadd Dameron and bandleader Count Basie - was  first preformed in the 194o's.

Opinions differ as to when "Good Bait" was first performed. The earliest live performance recording of the jazz composition is by Basie's band in 1948 at the Royal Roost. Dameron recording the song with his own group the same year, featuring Fats Navarro on trumpet. The following year, the Miles Davis/Tadd Dameron Quintet recorded "Good Bait" in Paris.

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Jazz on Film
2:37 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Jazz on Film: Rollins - Last of the Great Jazz Redwoods

Once upon a time there were titans who needed only one name to be identified--Hawk, Prez, Bird, Trane; all of them saxophonists. Sonny Rollins is probably that last living link to these giants, and he played with them all, as well as Mingus, Bud Powell Miles, Dizzy, Monk, Clifford Brown and Max Roach. In 1948 he made his first recordings at age 17 and has led his own groups, made records, and toured the world for over 60 years. He is a master of tone and rhythm, with a simultaneously sincere and insouciant way of quoting popular tunes or phrases into his solos.

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Stories of Standards
4:22 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You" | Stories of Standards

Written by Cole Porter for the 1940 film Broadway Melody of 1940, "I Concentrate on You" was first performed by Douglas McPhail.

The song illustrates a man's decision to think about a lover when faced with difficulty.

"When fortune cries "Nay, nay" to me/And people declare "You're through"/Whenever the blues become my only songs/I concentrate on you"

This jazz standard has been covered by numerous artists including Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Dianne Reeves, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Washington. 

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Eats & Beats
1:33 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Chipotle cultivates thought, but not Mexican authors, again

Round two of Chipotle's "Cultivating Thought" series has been announced, with a diverse collection of 10 writers, whose work, thoughts, musings and ideas will appear on cups and wrappers.  This time, curator and NY Times bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Eating Animals) included three Latino authors in the mix, but none of them Chicano or Mexican.

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