Peace For Ferguson, Change For The World (I Hope)

This post is a bit different than any other but I feel compelled to address the current situation in this country. I know, it’s Thanksgiving and all but I need to get some things of my chest as off character as it may seem for this blog. I don’t want to get too deep but I cannot stand by silently.

I’ve been sharing some short thoughts, song lyrics and links like THIS ONE about protest songs on social media but I need the room to get it all out. I feel like if we all stand up for peace and equality we can make a difference.

The verdict came through in Ferguson this week. The news hit and I cried. I cried because it’s 2014 and throughout this beautiful planet, we have an ugly plague of inequality.

I see all sides. My dad was a police officer in Lowell during the time it was known as Crack Town USA. I know the worry an officer’s family feels. I also know that deadly force should absolutely be a last resort. Perhaps Mike Brown wasn’t being an outstanding citizen, but you know what, there are many possible endings that don’t result in death.

My father was an amazing police officer from the stories I remember. I love looking at pictures of him on the force, he’s my hero and an amazing role model after all. He had some intense stories, like when they were chasing a suspect and the guy bit his partner. Not just teeth marks, a chunk was taken from his arm. I’d always ask “Did you shoot anyone?” because I had this dumb idea in my head as a little girl that a cop needed to shoot somebody to be a hero. He never did, not even at the end of those stories. He risked his life everyday on the job and never had to resort to deadly force.

I then look at my own family’s reactions and the members of my family. They’ve all made mistakes, I’ve made mistakes. What we have on our side is white privilege. I said it and I don’t care, it’s true. There are members with DUIs, restraining orders and federal drug charges. But yet, they’ve just made mistakes. Of course they’re not thugs but Mike Brown is?!? Some of these actions put civilians at risk, not just police officers that did, at the end of the day, sign up for a very risky job. By that reasoning, perhaps they should have been gunned down. That’d be equality right? I love them all, despite mistakes and know that people can change and learn from mistakes. Michael Brown was never given that chance. The system is what failed and is still failing if we all believe that people cannot change.

Perhaps my thoughts are wrong, misinterpreted but you know what? I’m willing and open to discussing the matter. I try to listen to all sides, but at the end of the day, I have my own opinion and I believe there was an injustice in the verdict. Excessive force was used. This is the damn USA and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We are the first to judge another culture for chopping a hand of for theft but yet, we execute people without trial.

I am not defending the riots going on but I understand the rage and passion behind them. They’re fighting for justice and their lives. They are not rioting because a hockey team won or pumpkins (looking at you Keene, NH), yet we look back at those instances with a sort of comedic fondness. It’s a double standard.

Please, let’s work together and find the peace and love we need to respect all people. I want all of my friends – white, brown, gay, straight, male, female, transgendered, WHATEVER to be treated equally because they are all amazing (and yes, I’m talking to everyone reading this – you’re my people!).

The Ellington Showcase

“By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn’t want your daughter to associate with.” – Duke Ellington


Ellington Showcase

Duke Ellington

Side One

Harlem Air Shaft
Serious Serenade
Clarinet Melodrama
Theme for Trambean

Side Two

Gonna Tan Your Hide
Falling Like a Raindrop
La Virgen de la Macarena
Don’t Ever Day Goodbye
Big Drag

Flames From Foundation

Well, this is another album where I know very little about the group, Foundation. I found out that this album was produced in 1987 and produced by Jack Ruby. It was one of his final works as a producer due to failing health.




Side One

Animal Mind, Human Body
Beverly Hills
Some People

Side Two

Dance if You Dancin’
Reggae Music
Just to See Love
Blackman World

By The Rivers Of Babylon


By the Rivers of Babylon

Pure Gold

Side One

Ubani Oku Holayo (He Who Has Faith)
Guoa Utandaze (If You Have  a Problem)
Wawuhlaleni (Why Did You Remain)
Emlanjeni Yase Bhabiloni (By the Rivers of Babylon)

Side Two

Thum’ Imvuselelo (Send Revival)
Thuma Mina Baba (Send Me to Other Nations)
Nginethuba Lami (I Have My Own Time)
Malindi (Is a Girl’s Name)

Toshiko Akiyoshi Lew Tabackin’s Long Yellow Road

Toshiko Akiyoshi (born 12 December 1929) is a Japanese American jazz composer/arranger and bandleader. She has received 14 Grammy nominations, and she was the first woman to win the Best Arranger and Composer awards in Down Beat magazine’s Readers Poll.

Lew Tabackin (born March 26, 1940 in Philadelphia) is a jazz flutist and a tenor saxophonist. He is married to Toshiko Akiyoshi.


Long Yellow Road

Toshiko Akiyoshi – Lew Tabackin Big Band

Side One

Long Yellow Road
The First Night
Opus Number Zero

Side Two

Quadrille, Anyone?
Children in the Temple Ground
Medley: Since Perry / Yet Another Tear