E’s song of the day

January 24, 2009

We here at Too Old respect a variety of musical genres, and I must say I’m ashamed that I haven’t dropped any Jazz on you at any point in the ever-expanding history of E’s song of the day.  Our boy Ronin has a smooth little jazz piece as one of his ringtones, but that isn’t today’s song.  No my friends, today, I’m dropping a track that I just read being big-upped in the new book, Slumberland, by one of my favorite authors of the past few years, Paul Beatty.  Steve has quoted his work in previous blogs, but I would like to include the excerpt from Slumberland to introduce this song:

“Stolen Moments” is Oliver Nelson’s signature tune, a song I find to be the ultimate mood setter; it’s a classic jazz aperitif.  Oftentimes, when I play hardcore underground hip-hop or punk gigs, after three or four especially rambunctious tunes the mosh pits begin to resemble the skirmish lines of Bronze Age battlefield, the warehouse windows start to shake, the record needle starts to skip, the women have that “I’m down with the pogrom” whatever-motherfucker look in their eyes, and I know the party is one more Wu Tang killa bee sting or Bad Brains power chord from turning into Attica, I play fifteen to twenty seconds of “Stolen Moments” to ease the tension, keep the peace.  Its incongruous beauty brings about the wry existential lugubriousness of the Christmas Eve carol coming from the enemy encampment on the other side of the fog-covered river in a hackneyed war movie.  “Stolen Moments” is that type of intrusion, a lull in the fighting, a time to finish the drink and forgive and forget.  The people know I’m providing a respite from the real by granting them a temporary gubernatorial death-row reprieve before I hit them with the next piercing Mobb Deep fuck-you falsetto, Bounty Killer lick shot, or soul-splitting, pre-sellout, angst-ridden, Biohazard scream.

I knew immediately that “Stolen Moments: would be the Slumberland’s signature tune; a smooth midtempo song, it would provide a sticky, almost humid, langourous background to an already sexually charged atmosphere.

– Paul Beatty, Slumberland, pgs. 81-82

READ THIS BOOK!  And enjoy the music…

Oliver Nelson – Stolen Moments

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