"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthdays Today

Two great artists have birthdays today, one who is very famous, one who is not.   The famous one is Pablo Picasso, born in 1881.   The date surprises me... that means that Picasso was very young when he started creating great art in the early years of the 20th Century.   Here is one of Picasso's most beautiful early works, called "Motherhood," from 1903, when he was only 22.   It's a work from his "celebrated Blue Period":

The great jazz guitarist of the 1920s, Eddie Lang, was also born today, in 1902, which also means that he was quite young when he was making his revolutionary music in duets with the violinist Joe Venuti.   Here's a great cut from 1927, "Four String Joe," which I think also features Frankie Trumbauer on the sax:

It interests me that both Picasso and Lang were creating their greatest works in the 20s as very young men.   The Regular Son is already a remarkable artist (as you'll see this year on our Christmas card).   And he's also a tremendous guitarist for his age (more inclined toward Bruce Springsteen and Mark Knopfler than jazz).  I'm not sure I'm too thrilled with him trying to make a career in either art or music.   But if you don't try when you're young, you end up a blink or two later in your 50s wondering what happened.  

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