Letters to the Editor March 2018

Cortland, not Corning

Cortland-CountyTo the Editor:
Thank you for the front-page article on Colin Hancock, an amazing young musician and more whom I’m privileged to know. But I did not recognize the author, Joe Bebco—until I got to page 3. The piece was very well written, and I look forward to reading more from Joe.

There was only one small error: Spiegle Willcox lived not in Corning, but in the opposite direction from Ithaca, in Cortland, NY. Actually, in his last years he lived about 20 miles east of there, in Cincinnatus, NY.

Bill Hoffman
Lancaster, PA

The Editor takes full responsibility for all factual and typographical errors, as well as any stray smudges on the company beer glasses. Seriously, we do our best to fact check, but at times we feel like that plate-spinner on the Ed Sullivan Show. Occasionally one falls and hits the floor; we’re somewhat consoled that it’s not a chain saw. – Ed.

The Blues Get Bluer

To the Editor:
In “The Professor’s Guide to The Blues” in the February issue Professor Cunningham appears not to have sufficiently illustrated the seriousness and pathos of the blues. I herewith submit two of my songs which I trust will correct this omission.

The first is to be sung in the style of Bessie Smith by a disappointed and angry wife: “Some Strange Woman Left Her Lipstick On Your Old Kazoo.”


The second is to be sung by an old man who can’t get no. (Surely not me.)

All the women love me
They say I’m their best friend
They tell me how much they trust me
Then they go home with other men.

Eliot Kenin
Martinez, CA

Your composition is deeply moving. The Editor in his youth dabbled in the form, with the following as an example. It may be sung in the usual 12 bars, with a Taco Bell or two along the way:

I’m a celibate male—
Overweight, and a little pale;
I’m a celibate male—
Not quite like the Great White Whale:
I haven’t got the tail;
I’m a celibate male.

An actual Editorial Blues would begin with the line “We woke up this morning.” (But that is a blues for another deadline.) – Ed.

Trad Is Not Dead

To the Editor:
I don’t make a habit of writing to media publishers, but feel compelled to do so after reading Joe Bebco’s article on that marvel, Colin Hancock. Who said, “Trad is dead?” I think what has happened over the past few years is that the jazz scene is changing, not disappearing.

We are not happy with change, and all too often see only the negative effects. Reading about all the other new and enthusiastic young musicians such as Mike Davis, Molly Ryan, Stephanie and Paolo, Chloe Feoranzo, Jonathan Russell, and so many more, should dispel any anxiety about the future of OKOM.

Yes, festivals are dropping out, but the ones still around are keeping the faith, and local gigs are taking up the slack. It’s out there, we just have to look a little harder.


Walt Brenner
Jackson, GA

Absolutely! – Ed.

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