Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Miles Davis!
May 26, 1926

Miles Dewey Davis III
American Jazz Trumpeter, Bandleader, & Composer
(1926 - 1991)

“For me,
music and life are all about style.”

Do not fear

There are none.”

you have to play a
ong time
to be able to play like

yourself” "Music is as much about the silence
as it is about the notes.

Without silence, music is just noise."

"If you understood everything I say,
you'd be


“A legend
is an old man with a cane
known for what he used to do.
I'm still doing it.”

"I know what I've done for music,
but don't call me a legend.

Just call me Miles Davis."

Miles Davis & John Coltrane 1958
Preforming: So What

Miles Davis Live in Montreal 1985
Performing: Human Nature

Harlem Sites Associated with Miles Davis:

Miles Davis Birthday Celebration
Friday, May 30 through Saturday, May 31

288 Lenox Avenue
near 125th Street
Phone: 212-427-0253

206 West 118th Street
near St Nicholas Avenue
Phone: 212-864-8346

APOLLO Theater
253 W 125th Street
between 7th and Lenox Avenues
Phone: 212-531-5300

Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Baby Mama" Drama...
From Your Mouth, To Their Wallets!

"... you done taken my Blues
and gone."
- Langston Hughes

From Jerry Springer to Maury Povich the drama of "Baby Mamas" has served as a dollar generating, bottom-line staple of daytime television "reality" talk shows. Introduced with "earnest concern" by the program host, the typically teary or vengeful teenage Mama tells her tale of love and loss. The Daddies follow. With Hip Hop swagger, these Romeos dis' even the most genteel of baby mamas... to the point where you wonder why these women choose to publicly broadcast their connection with such mean spirited and juvenile men.

At best, these Mamas and Daddies enjoy a trip to the big city, a night in a hotel and maybe a limousine ride to the studio. Their most realistic "reality" however, is based in a tug-o-war of allocation and resources. The baby Daddies are battling, until DNA proof and beyond, any obligation to trade their limited dollars for pampers over the purchase of the latest Nikes. With each damning accusation and "bleeped" curse, the diminished value of the child in question becomes more cripplingly obvious. While this debate will continue off camera, the networks, Mr. Springer and Mr. Povich are headed to the bank.

All this brings me to the recently released film, "Baby Mama" where despite its Tyler Perry-esque title, the movie is about a monetarily comfortable white female, with a Baby Daddy and a $100,000 to buy off a surrogate Baby Mama at her disposal. Unlike her TV counterpart, she gets to call all the shots... baby gain, no pain, spared even the worry of stretch marks!

That this film got produced, and its leads Tina Fey and Amy Poehlar get described as "edgy" and "hip" comic talents, served to remind me of the kudos lavished on John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd for the film, "Blues Brother's." They too, mined African American language and culture, to the enhancement of their "hipness" and enrichment of their careers. In that film, we were at least treated to the impressively natural cinematic skills of Aretha Franklin and the well honed talents of James Brown, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway.

Even as I marveled at all the African American talent on screen, I was haunted by the realization that Aretha Franklin could never have proposed the exact same script and talent, called it, "Blues Sisters" and gotten it produced (25 years later, she has yet to star in another film). For me, the film, "Baby Mama" goes one insulting step further, it employs just a single African American actor as doorman and ever-ready "Baby Mama" language coach.

Like the white, mousy, suburban office worker in the movie, "Office Space," who, while driving his car and groovin' to the blast of the radio's rap music, suddenly rolls up the car window at the approach of a Black man, "Baby Mama," also takes, enjoys and withholds, offering no acknowledgement or empathy for the people or culture of its title's source.

The Harlem Eye -HarlemOneStop

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Harlem's Social Diary 1.2.2008
Thelma Golden & Duro Olowu

A Completely Biased,

Entirely Opinionated Hot Pick ...

Thelma Golden, Director & Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Nigerian born designer Duro Olowu got married on January 2nd. Golden told Vogue, "I always imagined I would spend ages planning my wedding, yet this felt perfect." Olowu, proposed to Golden just before Christmas and soon after the couple with friends, Artist Glen Ligon and Paper's editor Kim Hastreiter as witnesses headed to New York's City Hall, where they were married. According to Vogue, celebratory parties are being planned in New York, London and Nigeria.

And the bride's dress?

Duro Olowu!

A HarlemOneStop introduction to
duro olowu
Mr. Olowu is a fashion designer based in London, UK