Stormy Weather- Rage to Survive

A moment of reflection on the joy that jazz has brought to my life:

In Louisville, I lived in an old house that was quartered up into four apartments. My upstairs neighbor was an idiot guy who constantly left his clothes in the dryer in our basement. 

Obviously, I had to punish this behavior.

The next time he did it, I put a huge rubber snake in there, nestled between his t-shirts. Then I listened for his footsteps on the stairs to the basement to hear his reaction. He screamed like a female cartoon. It was hilarious.

Thus began a long series of pranks that we pulled on each other. Another favorite of mine was to blast jazz music or sing really off-pitch renditions of ‘Sunday Kind of Love’ by Etta James, ‘Rehab‘ by Amy Winehouse, or pretty much any Billie Holiday through the vents. especially if I knew he had company over.

It is with a heavy heart that I say rest in peace, Etta James, who passed away this past week. I intend to read her autobiography, ‘Rage to Survive’ published in 1995. She had a pretty tumultuous life, from the little I know, which sounds like a juicy read.

 I do NOT intend to see the movie made about her, ‘Cadillac Records’ where she is portrayed by Beyonce. Apparently, James was not so impressed by Miss Fierce and said that she ‘had no business singing my song’. I wonder how she’d feel about my atonal shower renditions.


It is really cold today, and there is ice on the roads, which makes me really not want to leave my house. I would like to bundle up in any of these snow-covered cabins and listen to music all day.But, ‘stormy weather’ or not, the school I teach for NEVER has a snow day. I’m teaching jazz today, how fitting.

I think I have a pretty good idea of some music to dance to.

“My lonely days are over, and life is like a song”

Later this evening, I’m going to Edison Theatre on the Washington University Campus to see the Brian Brooks Moving Company. They performed at Spring to Dance so I’m excited to see them again. If you’re in St.Louis and looking for something cool to do, I would check it out.

I’ll end this post as so many terrible jazz dance combinations do……..

Jazz Hands!!!!

One thought on “Stormy Weather- Rage to Survive

  1. Good choice not seeing the movie. It was not about her directly , it was about Chess records and it was fiction. There was a similiar movie made that got less watches about the Chess brothers. Definitely read the book and some other history of those artist around her. The movie was entertaining and the music was great but a lot of untrue story in there there.

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