Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Kait Dunton - Phase/Faze

So – a new composer/musician today – and I think she’s a hotty.

In my mind there’s a fine line between rich instrumental jazz – and “easy listening” jazz. Maybe it’s the same difference between “popular literature” and “literary fiction”. I hate the term “literary fiction” because it just sounds so pretentious. And yet – as I grew in my reading habit I realized I was tired of reading the same romances and “everything turns out right in the end” novels. I wanted to learn something as I was reading. It didn’t really matter WHAT I was reading. After all, I am the kid who once sat in the dentist office for six hours and didn’t begin to panic until I was down to reading the dentists “Plane and Pilot” and “Flying” magazines (and wasn't at all concerned they hadn't called me back to have my teeth cleaned.)

This quest for substance is what led me away from reading books listed on the New York Times "Best Seller" list and towards the novels highlighted in the Indie Bestseller List or Kirkus Reviews. There’s all sorts of arguments to be made about what’s a “good book” and “who’s a good author”. Just mention the name “Dan Brown” at your next social gathering and see what sort of opinions you get. And that is not to say there are some REAL stinker’s out there with the Indie label. How many of you remember “The Celestine Prophecy”? (a self-publishing success story).

So – back to Ms. Dunton. Although her music is instrumental, I’d never classify it as “easy listening” or “light jazz”. There’s real substance behind her music. The song that caught my ear this morning was Phase/Faze. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until I searched for the meaning of the song that I found this quote on her web page.

The title “Phase/Faze” can be sourced to a paragraph of Bryan Garner’s Modern American Usage, a book on grammar and style which, despite my exciting description is really an excellent and well-written guide on English language usage (if you’re into those things). For example, I didn’t realize that the word “faze” even existed, and is the correct form of what I would usually write as “phase”. 'The sudden meter change didn’t faze him at all!' for example. In relation to the song however, it describes the way the song goes through different “phases”, as if someone were shifting a dial on the radio… The second half of the song is really the “phase/faze”, as the melody passes through a sort of phase-shifter and elongates and slows. Don’t be fazed.” Here’s the track.

Poke around on her site, you’ll find more to like, I’m sure! Here are a few more cool things about her. She’s a California native who left the state to attended undergrad school at the University of Virginia where she earned a BA in Spanish! and then went to grad school at The University of North Texas in Denton Texas. She has returned to her hometown of Pasadena and I expect we'll be hearing a lot more out of her.

Tonight is “Ladies of the Neighborhood Dinner Night”. I saw a recipe using zucchini a week or so ago – and knew we’d be getting some in our CSA box in the near future. So I mentally bookmarked it – as it was just slightly different than another zucchini/linguini recipe from my favorite book, Pasta Harvest. Imagine my dismay when I went searching for it and couldn’t find it on the Epicurios or Cooking Light websites. I went back through all my eMails hoping I’d linked to the recipe somewhere – or sent it to myself. No dice. I was flabbergasted that I might have to trawl through the forty or so cooking blogs I regularly read – to find it. In one last attempt to find it I finally pulled out my June Cooking Light and, instead of looking for the recipe in the index, went for “memory recognition” about what part of the page I remembered seeing the recipe. It worked! And the reason I couldn’t find it? It’s identified as Pasta with Zucchini and Toasted Almonds. I was searching for linguini/zucchini/cherry tomatoes/mint recipe … and discarded the ALMOND recipe each time it came up, because SURELY, as a California native I’d have recalled if there’d been almonds in it, right? WRONG.

And that’s all the news from this corner of music/writing/eating and memory today.

1 comment:

Woodstock said...

I find that when it comes to jazz I have difficulty dragging myself away from that utopian period between 1955 and 1959. The notes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Dexter Gordon slither and shimmy their way into my brain lodging there like iridescent seeds.

This sounds a lot like a certain strain of Herbie Hancock, the works that always sound to me as if he just sat down and banged out a little thing before lunch and yet...a beautiful flower in the middle of winter. Thanks for sharing this.