Something got me started this morning and I’ve been revved up all day, thinking about places to go, people to see, music to hear. Maybe it’s because I’m working on a novel which includes a road trip along what’s left of old Route 66. Or maybe it’s because summer so often just whispers, shouts, sings, “Road trip!” in my ear.
I took my road trip this year a little early at the end of April through country I’d never seen before, country very different from my usual stomping grounds which always include an ocean no more than a two-hour drive away. This time I’m in the desert instead and I’m a couple of hours away from a decent airport, more than that to get to a train station. I guess there are buses of one kind or another, but I haven’t seen them.
Of course, summer travel can include other means of transportation. I didn’t find any tunes I wanted to include regarding motorcycles or bicycles, and I opted against “The Wheels on the Bus,” but I am including a sweet ride in a surrey.
But let’s go back to Route 66 for a spin with Diana Krall and Natalie Cole, who was born with this tune in her genes. One commenter on the site refers to the misses Krall and Cole as “two superb chicks.” I couldn’t agree more and if the word “chicks” bothers you, you may be on the wrong site. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkVWEzr5hz8
Of course, there’s the grand old tradition of riding the rails, preferably in a comfortable seat or a roomette. Or if you’re Alabamy bound, you might want to put your tootsies in an upper berth. For now, let’s listen to the late Susannah McCorkle with her lovely version of “I Thought About You.” “I took a trip on a train…” Susannah includes the verse here, something too many musicians overlook even though the verse is everything. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZeV4acvr2E
If you want to get to your destination a little faster, you can take Frank’s invitation to “Come Fly with Me” and head for the friendly skies. You can even do what one pilot on a very bumpy and, let’s face it, frightening flight through a thunderstorm a few years ago advised us all to do, “Just sit back, have a toddy for the body and relax. We’ll get you through this.” And they did. I don’t think anybody does this tune better than old Blue Eyes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmQq6yLe2ww
That surrey I mentioned, the one with the fringe on top is coming right up, but don’t start thinking about an Oklahoma hoe down. With Miles Davis in charge, and he is, you’re in for a surprise and a treat. From his 1957 album “Steamin’,” here’s the man with the horn. And you might agree that his phrasing is amazing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NcvedJcQTw
No matter how you choose to travel this summer, make it a memorable trip, even perhaps a sentimental journey. I know you were thinking Les Brown when you read that, but give an ear instead to Jackie McLean, Mal Waldron, Donald Byrd, Art Taylor and Doug Watkins on this fine recording of “Sentimental Journey.” Go ahead and set your heart at ease. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w61gu-aJh88
Con amore, JazzBabies…