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David Bowie Tag

A Fan's NotesThanks to Kyra Kverno and Nikki Vee for the photos. Click on any photo for a larger image.

It was raining on Friday morning, and it looked like the first day of the Newport Jazz Festival was going to be a wet, soggy affair. But by the time I arrived at Fort Adams, the rain clouds had cleared, and the weekend-long event was in full swing.

The first rule of multi-stage, multi-day festival-going, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that you can’t see or hear everything, and trying to do so is a recipe for disaster. So you map out your weekend beforehand, hoping to stick with the schedule. Something unexpected always intervenes, but it’s often a delightfully unexpected surprise.

Soul Serenade - Earth, Wind & FireHave you felt the earth shaking over the last few weeks? Giants have been falling all around us and that has set off shockwaves that continue to rumble through our lives. First we lost David Bowie, then soon after that, Natalie Cole, and Glenn Frey of the Eagles. There have been other deaths as well, including Tower of Power trumpet player Mic Gillette, and soul singer Otis Clay.

Then last week we learned of the death of an artist whose considerable stature in the music world was established a long time ago, and has never receded. Maurice White was 74 years-old when he died, after many years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Although his health kept him from touring, he remained the power behind the juggernaut he created, and called Earth, Wind & Fire. What many people don’t know is that Maurice’s creativity extended well beyond his own band.

Soul Serenade - Otis ClayDavid Bowie died this week. He had been fighting cancer for 18 months, but very few people knew about his struggle. Last week, on his 69th birthday, he released a stunning, adventurous new album called Blackstar. Just as people were digging into it, word came that Bowie had died, and suddenly the lyrics on the album had a whole new meaning. It soon became clear that David Bowie had found a way to say goodbye to the world.

exit-lines-logoI had planned to write about Lazarus, David Bowie’s “music theater” concoction, last month, when I saw it Off Broadway. Then I decided to combine it with a review of the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, also directed by theatrical wunderkind Ivo van Hove. Then there were numerous movies to review. Christmas, New Year’s, and travel.  Lazarus‘ all but sold-out run ends Jan. 20, I mused. It can wait.

Then Bowie died.

I was stunned. First by sadness–then