Potatoes she peeled: a poem for my nanna

where to begin
maybe with the small cracks
in her skin
every afternoon
and again soon
she sat down
in a kitchen
basket on her lap
whilst you heard
the water
dripping from the tap
she peeled potatoes
part of her daily chores
that earthy fragrance
ingrained in her pores
taking out the pits
with a tiny knife
the homely joys
she thought
of her daily life

Featuring: James Carter

Today I’m featuring a jazz musician who isn’t that well known amongst many jazz lovers but to me this saxophone beast is as good as any of the famous players.
He has a very rebellious and sometimes humorous way of playing and is never boring. An effusive, dynamically gifted jazz saxophonist I can listen to for hours and hours, for days on end…

James Carter was born on January 3 1969 in Detroit , Michigan, and learned to play under the tutelage of Donald Washington, becoming a member of his youth jazz ensemble Bird-Trane-Sco-NOW!! As a young man, Carter attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, becoming the youngest faculty member at the camp. He began playing at age 11 and studied early on with trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. A prodigy, he progressed quickly. He first toured Scandinavia with the International Jazz Band in 1985 at the age of 16. At age17 he joined Wynton Marsalis on tour.

On May 31, 1988, at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Carter was a last-minute addition for guest artist Lester Bowie, which turned into an invitation to play with his new quintet (forerunner of his New York Organ Ensemble) in New York City that following November at the now defunct Carlos 1 jazz club. This was pivotal in Carter’s career, putting him in musical contact with the world, and he moved to New York two years later. Carter issued no less than six recordings under his own name between 1993 and 2000, all of them with different focuses, from a set of standards, Conversin’ with the Elders in 1995, to an electric funk record, Layin’ in the Cut, to a simultaneously released set in tribute to Django Reinhardt, Chasin the Gypsy. Three years later, he honored the legendary Billie Holiday with Gardenias for Lady Day.

He has been prominent as a performer and recording artist on the jazz scene since the late 1980s, playing saxophones, flute, and clarinets. On his album Chasin’ the Gypsy (2000), he recorded with his cousin, the jazz violinist Regina Carter.

Carter has won DownBeat magazine’s Critics and Readers Choice award for baritone saxophone several years in a row. He has performed, toured and played on albums with Lester Bowie, Julius Hemphill, Frank Lowe & the Saxemble, Kathleen Battle, the World Saxophone Quartet, Cyrus Chestnut, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Mingus Big Band.

Carter is an authority on vintage saxophones, and he owns an extensive collection of such instruments, including one formerly played by Don Byas.

“One of the most charismatic and powerful soloists in jazz,” per the New York Times, Carter harbors a command of his instruments that is astonishingly complete, though he only employs that technique in the service of canny ideas. Even when he appears on the verge of shattering his horn, overblowing rapid-fire lines to otherworldly effect, he’s evoking early jazz, jump blues, the avant-garde and other lessons residing inside his vast, scholarly knowledge of the music of the African-American experience.

Check him out (or not):

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, interweb, poetpas

Free tips for men: Who needs an iron

When you wash a shirt or a pair of pants or anything in your washing machine don’t put it on the highest spin cycle. It will become too dry and so your clothes may come out too creasy.

The next thing you do is hang it on a hanger (don’t use pegs!) and due to the weight of the water left in your garment it shall pull most of the creases out. There are all sorts of hangers one can purchase.

Extra tip: put jumpers (sweaters) on a flat surface as hanging could well stretch the fabric!

Who needs an iron ☺️

Stay tuned for more…