Cloister Commentary, Day 245: 59 Days

Counting up on these (will it reach 500?), counting down on a calendar on our kitchen table, given to us by our good friend, a very fine American named Mary Insley. That calendar, as I write, reads 59.

We had had a late night with some youngsters (see Day 244) and wouldn’t you know I’m not that great at staying up past midnight these days? I’m almost 60, and I get up 5ish in the a.m. So I was groggy all day, even with a plate of chilaquiles from Crazy Burrito to get me going. I slogged through commenting in tutorial mode on some student essays–a fine torture–and caught up on some new music. I haven’t updated my 2020 list, but just a tip: Kahil El’ Zabar, a master percussionist for years with Chicago’s AACM, has made my favorite album of the year, titled (without complete irony, with fine nuance) America the Beautiful. He and his killer band make that tune, as well as “Express Yourself” and “How Do You Mend a Broken Heart,” sound brand-new and freshly relevant; the originals are excellent as well. I have played it 5 times in two days, something I haven’t done with a new platter since I was a young buck.

Streaming for Strivers:

Hear it for yourself, if you please.