Spectrum Check

So this week was all about the Muppets and Miles. A better week of responsibilities could be constructed for me, but it’s hard to fathom how. I’ll cop to not loving the angle I took in writing about the new documentary about Kevin Clash, the Muppeteer who is the man behind Elmo. I feel like I’ve seen similar pronouncements about emotional steeliness in the face of emotional filmmaking as a precursor to confessing to prodigious tears. Still, it was absolutely the most honest way for me to write about the movie. Whatever flaws are in place, I can’t deny that I was practically weeping through the end of it. Listen, if you can watch the group performance of “Just One Person” from Him Henson’s memorial service without getting choked up, you’re just stronger than me.

On the music side, I took on responsibility for reviewing the new Miles Davis box set, as daunting of an assignment as I’ve accepted in my tenure at the site. Offer deep analysis of the mechanics of music–the time signatures, the interplay of different melodies and counter-melodies, things like that–is well beyond my capabilities. I need to convey what’s amazing about Davis’s music from a perspective that’s practically a music novice, somehow explaining why I’m rapt before his creations. I’ve tried this before–most notably when I featured him in a late night Jazzfest Weekend shift and spent the wee hours fumbling through words of inadequate praise–and surely will again. I’m actually fairly pleased with this piece, if only for the quote from Davis’s autobiography.