" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

November 26, 2017

Improvising Life, The Angel of Harlem and The Sacred Feminine?

I just listened to a 'Tao of Comedy' podcast ... again ... featuring Edi Patterson as the guest for this episode -
"Edi Patterson (HBO’s Vice Principals, BlackishCurb Your Enthusiasm) on why improv as a way of life."
What got my attention about Edi though was that in the intro to the podcast Kelly says Edi often sings and improvises songs in the style of Billie Holiday.
Billie also was known as "Lady Day".
"Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. 
Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing.
Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo
She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.
There were other jazz singers with comparable talent, but Holiday had a unique vocal style that captured the attention of her audience.
After a turbulent childhood, Holiday began singing in nightclubs in Harlem, where she was heard by the producer John Hammond, who commended her voice.
She signed a recording contract with Brunswick Records in 1935.
Collaborations with Teddy Wilson yielded the hit "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which became a jazz standard.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Holiday had mainstream success on labels such as Columbia Records and Decca Records.
By the late 1940s, however, she was beset with legal troubles and drug abuse.
After a short prison sentence, she performed at a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall, but her reputation deteriorated because of her drug and alcohol problems.
Though she was a successful concert performer throughout the 1950s with two further sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall, Holiday's bad health, coupled with a string of abusive relationships and ongoing drug and alcohol abuse, caused her voice to wither.
Her final recordings were met with mixed reaction to her damaged voice but were mild commercial successes.
Her final album, Lady in Satin, was released in 1958.
Holiday died of cirrhosis of the liver on July 17, 1959.
A posthumous album, Last Recording, was released following her death."
The first time I was listening to the podcast I was reading Tracey Rollin's book about Santa Muerte who Tracey was referring to as 'Our Lady of Holy Death', plus it was around the 'Day of the Dead' holiday when I had heard the podcast.
Santa Muerte by Eternal-Dream-Art
I wrote a post today about the Sacred Feminine and the light and dark aspects of such an archetype -
The rock band
U2 had written a song about Billie Holiday called 'Angel of Harlem' with the lyrics 

"Lady Day got diamond eyes, she sees the truth behind the lies...".
At the 18:28 minute of the podcast Kelly trips over her words and says, "it's somehow kinda easier to acting to U2..."
Kelly's podcast show 'The Tao of Comedy' is about interviewing comedians about their career and their views on life and death.
So, the theme of death and femininity runs right through this current podcast with Edi Patterson, I think.
Today while looking around the net, I found a story about worshiping "Our Lady of Holy Death" in Queens, which to me writing about U2's 'Angel of Harlem' seemed to be a bit of a similar synch, not that I'm saying Lady Day is the same thing as "Our Lady of Holy Death", but Lady Day is dead and is still influencing people today through her legacy of recorded music (future fossils?), so in a way she is like an angel interacting and influencing the living through her work.
Worshiping Santa Muerte, ‘Holy Death,’ in Queens
I guess death shows its face in many ways, but sometimes it's worth talking and thinking about and maybe even laughing about, to give us a sense of what life really means to us.
I think Kelly's podcast show does a good job of helping us to do that.
My Jolly Roger by Donnella
U2 will be someone's treasure soon, so that's something to think about on many levels I think;-)
Could you tell I was improvising this post as I wrote it?
What do you mean that's nothing new for my posts?-)

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