Letters to the Editor
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Kudos to Matt Pugh
Dear Bay Weekly:
Seeking more information after an evening at 49 West, I found your site on the net and read Matthew Pugh’s review of jazz at 49 West in the July 1, 2004, edition.
In that review about Jazzmen Chuck Redd and his brother Robert Redd, Pugh wrote one of the best descriptions I have read of jazz. He captured the essence, the soul of jazz: communication amongst the musicians and the communication from the musicians and music to the listeners and full circle back to the musicians.
The musicians don’t necessarily know where the musical “conversation,” to use Pugh’s phrase, is going, so they pick up melodious phrases and sentences from each other. To do this, they must stay focused on each other’s playing and react on an immediate, spontaneous basis — or choose not to.
As a listener, you are part of that musical conversation. Your reactions directly affect the musicians’ discussion. The idea is to create a symbiosis between players and listeners. When this is achieved — as the Redds proved — the music is mesmerizing.
Kudos to Pugh and to your paper on an excellent article and description of the essence of jazz.
—Malinda Joyce Sutcliffe, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s note: After an absence of several months, Pugh returns this week, taking a second look at the band The Gold Mind Squad.
Dear Bay Weekly:
I would like to respond to your editorial on the Navy’s decision to restart the bombing range at Bloodsworth Island [“Over the Bay, Bombs Away,” Vol. XIII, No 10: March 10].
The Navy A-10 you cite in your paper is in fact an Air Force aircraft, likely to belong to the Maryland Air National Guard squadron up near Baltimore. You seem to mockingly describe how it puts “fear in the eyes” of enemy forces. It does a lot more than that; it kills a lot of bad guys. Unfortunately it also has been involved in friendly fire incidents.
I am in total support of some Maryland National Guardsmen and others using this island to hone their combat skills before going into combat. This training is likely to be vital in saving American soldiers and Marines’ lives, and increasing the ability to kill more of the enemy is good too.
Firemen set fires to practice firefighting skills, young surgeons practice on live animals to hone their skills and military people drop bombs and shoot guns on perfectly good real estate to improve their skills.
With all the presumed unexploded bombs on this island, it’s unlikely that Bob Ehrlich is going to try to sell it to cronies. Also this island will at some point be abandoned by the Navy and very possibly become a bird refuge.
—Jim Anderson, Churchton