… all sorts of stuff gets drawn into its gravity field. In the blinding wake of michaeljackson’s death I collected a couple of odd, polar-opposite items.
Item one: michaeljackson writes an eulogy for Curly of The Three Stooges.
Item two: Miles Davis covers a michaelackson hit and it remains in his live set to the end.
ONE (via New Yorker Book Bench):
I posted this Three Stooges routine for a bit of cheer. It is almost certain michaeljackson enjoyed it too. In fact he liked the Stooges so much, and Curly in particular, that he wrote an introduction to a book about the latter (michaeljackson says he worked with Moe’s daughter on it). Here’s part of the curious and revealing intro:
‘In my childhood, around our house in Indiana, it was a daily ritual for me to watch the Three Stooges on television … Chaplin and the Stooges are the greatest to me – their humor survives each generation … Rehearsing as a team and watching the Stooges were the only times we got together as a whole family.
The Stooges’ craziness helped me to relax and to escape life’s burdens…
Curly was definitely my favorite Stooge. He was unquestionably a comic genius who understood ad-libbing better than anyone. I loved the Stooges’ slapstick action and especially Curly’s funny noises and his silly, child-like mannerisms and attitudes…
Joan, the author, asked me whether I thought that Curly had suffered when he had to shave off his wavy head of hair in order to become a Stooge. My answer was that I was sure he did, that underneath the smile may have been a tear–after all, he was a clown. But it is our duty as entertainers to satisfy the people–to give of our souls even if it hurts…
TWO (via Joy FM Bent Notes jazz program):
Fans of Miles Davis will be familiar with his late renditions of pop songs, but I hadn’t heard this story in full. After a drug-hazed sabbatical in the second half of the seventies, Miles Davis started performing again. One of his standard pieces from the mid-80s on was the michaeljackson hit from Thriller, “Human Nature”. It caused dismay in the jazz community – Branford Marsalis, explaining why he declined to join Davis’ band: ‘When you listen to him playing “My Funny Valentine” it’s just phenomenal … when you hear him play “Human Nature”, it’s not phenomenal … That was some shit I didn’t want to do … it was like ear candy for middle-of-the-road jazz fans.’ But Davis played it until a few weeks before his death in September 1991. Had Miles gone soft? You be the judge: here is Miles in Paris in July of that final year (first half of the song), and below, the phenomenal solo that Kenny Garrett plays at the end of “Human Nature” (Miles to Kenny, commenting once on the wild applause: ‘Shit, we do this every night.’):