10-07: Ornette Coleman This Is Our Music 1960 - Dixie Dregs Atlanta 1982 - Morales : Missa Si Bona Suscepimus / Tallis Scholars - Mario Lanza EP : Granada | Lolita | 2 Rigoletto Arias

1553 – Cristóbal de Morales (Spanish composer)
1766 – André Chéron (French keyboardist, composer & conductor, teacher of Jean Marie Leclair)
1887 – George James Webb (English-born American composer)
1890 – John Hill Hewitt (American songwriter, playwright & poet)

1915 – Samuel Prowse Warren (Canadian-born American organist, choirmaster, music editor, composer & teacher)
1918 – Sir Hubert Parry (English composer, teacher & musicologist, "Jerusalem")
1925 – Hubert Platt Main (American teacher, publisher & hymn composer)
1959 – Mario Lanza (American tenor & movie star)

1966 – Grigoris Asikis [Γρηγόρης Ασίκης] (Turkish-born Greek rebetiko singer, songwriter & outi & bouzouki player)
1966 – Smiley Lewis (American R&B singer, songwriter & guitarist)
1976 – Nikolai Lopatnikoff (Estonian-born American composer)
1981 – Wouter Paap (Dutch composer, keyboardist & writer)
1988 – Billy Daniels (American pop singer & actor)
1992 – Ed Blackwell (American jazz drummer)
1998 – Arnold Jacobs (American tuba player & teacher, Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

2002 – Pierangelo Bertoli (Italian folk singer-songwriter, guitarist & political activist)
2003 – Arthur Berger (American composer & writer)
2006 – Abraham Afewerki (Eritrean pop, jazz, R&B & reggae singer, songwriter & guitarist)
2010 – T Lavitz (American jazz & rock keyboardist, reed player, composer & producer, Dixie Dregs, Jefferson Starship)

Cristóbal de Morales, a composer of sacred music, is regarded as the greatest Spanish composer of the Renaissance prior to Tomás Luis de Victoria. You'll recall, of course, that this year marks the 400th anniversary of Victoria's death, and thus we've been trying to pay particular attention to him.

Hubert Parry is best known for his setting in 1916 of a short poem which appears in the preface to William Blake's Milton, A Poem, first printed in 1808. Here is that preface as it appears in Blake's own illuminated version:

This of course is the anthem everyone knows as "Jerusalem." It's a song that's used for a number of particular occasions in England - it's sung, for example, at the end of the annual Labor Party conference, in some Anglican cathedrals on Jerusalem Sunday, and as the recessional music on St. George's Day, and by all those gathered each year as the closing music (save for the national anthem and the traditional "Auld Lang Syne") on the Last Night of the Proms, using an orchestration Edward Elgar made of the anthem in 1922.

Now, if you don't happen to be British, or Anglican, you may not know what Blake is talking about in the little poem set by Parry. He's making a reference to an old legend (whose veracity he does not take for granted - note that it's stated in the form of questions) that Jesus actually visited England, in Somerset, as a child or young man, in the vicinity of where Glastonbury Cathedral now stands, along with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea. It's one of several legends, Christian, Arthurian, and Neo-Pagan in nature, that surround this particular part of southwestern England, and made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the British Isles many years before they started having a music festival there! What, exactly, Blake meant in his reference to the legend has been the subject of debate. But regardless of your status as regards citizenship, religion, or political affiliation, I think there's something in the combination of his words and Parry's music that really stirs the soul.

(More later... on Mario Lanza, Ed Blackwell, Pierangelo Bertoli, and Abraham Afewerki...)



  1. Cool stuff Dale, don't know where you come across this stuff, but I like it.
    Mike D

  2. Nothing too exotic about it. Just regular old research. Knowing where to look for certain things. Plus the magic of photo-editing freeware.