Friday, December 24, 2010

Monterey then, written as now

Michael Parrish has just written a fascinating review of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Not this year's festival, but the one that happened in 1969.

Did he discover old notes, or an old program, or a photograph that awoke 40-year-old memories? Writing about events that happened so long ago, he treats time as if yesterday and today are all the same. It's like watching a concert through a pair of binoculars that can view both time and distance. Zoom in to then, zoom out to now. It would have made me dizzy if it hadn't been done so well.

In Parrish's piece, the Modern Jazz Quartet is still together, still alive--and recording on the Beatles' Apple label. Roberta Flack is not yet a ballad singer. Bitches' Brew hasn't been released, but it's on the horizon. And you don't need press credentials to walk up to the front of the Arena stage and take pictures.

Makes me wonder if more reviews should be written from a distance. Makes me feel better about the many reviews I haven't yet written, the notes still in my pile of notebooks, waiting.

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