Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thank-You Notes

Artist: Cannonball Adderley
Albums: Somethin' Else; Know What I Mean?
Source: Promo (SE); Bought used (KWIM)

My wife, Eileen, is very good about writing thank-you notes. After we got married, I constantly heard from people how astonished they were at the speed with which we dispatched our thank-yous (and personally written; no cookie-cutter notes here). It's a good trait, and one I don't resist when she works to instill it in me.

It's easy to think to write a thank-you note when someone gives you a thing; there is a physical transaction made, and you know to refer to the object. But what about when someone turns you on to a great band or a near-perfect record? It's a "gift" that, oftentimes, will stay with you longer than the china placesetting or decorative knick-knack will...but I can't think of a single time I've written a thank-you note when someone has given the gift of a stellar recommendation.

Lee is probably my closest friend, one of those long-serving soldiers who I continue to meet anew as we grow older together. I've known him since college, and we've never lost touch or been out of each other's lives since then. He was the best man at my wedding, and I look forward to being there for his (whenever that may be), and having him there when we have kids, when we become old (or at least older) men, and whatever else is ahead of us.

One thing that has always been a bond between us, from the beginning, is music. In our 30s, we can still count on each other to head out to a show or get excited about a band. In college, when I was just starting to get into jazz, Lee was a buddy who was already steeped in the genre, and so I casually sought his advice. Right off the bat, he pointed to Somethin' Else as one of his favorites, and told me to give it a listen. I did, and dammit if he wasn't right on the nose. It was just a quick tip, but also a gift that has kept on giving for more than a decade now.

The other Cannonabll Adderley disc I own is also kind of a gift-tip from Lee. He gave me a book about the making of Miles Davis'Kind of Blue, and one of the essays talked up Know What I Mean? as a stellar piece of post-Blue modal jazz. I eBay'd it, and dammit if this one wasn't right on the nail, too.

Two gifts, and I've never gotten around to the thank-you note. Well, better late than never, right? Thanks, buddy - you didn't put these in my hands, but you got them to me nonetheless, and that's a hell of a gift.

SISOSIG? If anything, I don't have nearly enough Cannonball records; having fewer would be a crime against the state. These two are near-perfect, and a joy to hear every time.


  • I've only recently been turned on to jazz and this is one of the first half dozen albums I bought and it really is phenomenal. I kinda wish I hadn;t been so prejudiced against jazz in my youth - firstly because it means I've missed out on years listening to this and secondly becasue it would have been so cool to be the only jazz-lover in a school full of headbangers...

    By Anonymous Andy, at 5:51 PM  

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