Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Message 2011

My New Year's Eve message comes to us courtesy of the great jazz trio of Cedar Walton, pianist, bassist Ray Brown, and Mickey Roker, the drummer.

The composition is Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's Satin Doll. Later on, vibraphonist Milt Jackson joins them to perform In A Sentimental Mood, also an Ellington classic.

Music speaks louder than words.

However, if you want words, all I'll say is to try and avoid the twin vices of New Year's Eve. By this I do not mean drink, drugs and so on. I mean, rather, the wrap-up and the Resolution.

The wrap-up is the habit of sending corporate styled wrap-ups that summarize how good life was for you this past year, and all of your various achievements, the accomplishments and genius of your children etc. When I first encountered this curiosity I had to ask someone what it was. "Why that's a wrap-up. You know, it's a year end summary." It didn't seem like it was written by one person for another person or the world, but rather by a public relations committee.

The New Year's Resolution is not in itself a vice. Indeed there is much to recommend in both self reflection and in self improvement.

Whether the rest of us want to hear about it is quite another matter.

Happy New Year!

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