This weekend, the Cal women's basketball team faces off against UConn in the Sweet16. It might be the worst draw of the tournament, because, well, the UConn's women's basketball team is good. Fairly good. Pretty good. Decently good.
For example, they have released the finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy, which is described as follows:
This most prestigious award, regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball", debuted in 1978 as the first-ever women's national player of the year award in college basketball.
Ashley Walker is a finalist! So is Janye Appel! And 3 (3!) women from UConn. 3! That's like having Kevin Riley, Jahvid Best, AND Verran Tucker up for the Heisman Trophy. There is Maya Moore, there is Renee Montgomery, and there is Tina Charles.
Wait a second, Tina Charles? This Tina Charles??
I can only assume, yes.
Well, OK, it's highly unlikely that Alexis Grey-Lawson will be facing off against that 70s Disco Queen this weekend. This is the real Tina Charles (who has a dearth of recent videos on YouTube):
The next player is Renee Montgomery, who also has a dearth of recent videos:
Lastly and perhaps the best player is Maya Moore:
She can dunk!
Some more videos:
And finally, a Syracuse player attempts to trip the coach Geno Auriwemiaoghaoihgfa.
I went back and forth this week on what song to use. Something from trumpeter Don Ellis or something from pianist Stan Kenton. They both were in the business of progressive big band (later perfected by the Mingus Big Band). And so they both have similar styles of big sounds, interesting arrangements, and even weirder instrumentation. Stan Kenton, at one point, had a 39 piece band. 39! I feel as if Don Ellis was in Stan Kenton's band at one point, but can't seem to find verification of it. Ellis was in Maynard Ferguson's band and Maynard was in Kenton's band.
But if Kenton was the basic progressive big band, Ellis was out there. WAAAAAAAAY out there. He worked on the electric trumpet at times. He created a 4 (4!) valve trumpet. And like many musicians of the 60s (up to AND including Ferguson), he went through his Indian music and Middle Eastern music phase. I think he even beat the Beatles and their Maharishi (who I can only assume is like Rishi, but, yknow, Great) to the punch on that style of music.
My favorite song, by far, of Don Ellis' is in this Eastern style. It would not be Indian, per se, insomuch as the title is "Night In A Turkish Bath" and I'm not smart enough to clearly delineat which scales are used, but it certainly isn't a straight ahead number.
This was the song that really got my excited about jazz music. We played it in jazz band with an interesting arrangement of a soprano sax and a clarinet playing intentionally out of tune. The German band below does it with an entire sax section. I couldn't find the original version here, so this German band is the only version I could find. It is a weaker version, IMHO, but this is basically one of my favorite songs ever. To me, a legendary piece that was the spark for my musical interest. Too bad, the original isn't available.