13 November 2008

mi nombre Yma Sumac or Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, a usted.

I read a few nights ago that Yma Sumac died November 1, 2008 at the age of 86.

I love her sense of drama! Her voice! Her mystery! Ah! And that nose! An utterly unique Yma Sumac.

She had a 5 octave range at the height of her career, watching her sing it was hard to figure out how the hell those sounds came out of her.

One of her most famous albums was Voice of the Xtabay (can you say: shta-bye?).
But you gotta love a gal who, in the early ’70s, after a long hiatus (and about 20 years since recording a full album) came out with an LP of “rock” with Chuck (rockabilly hall of famer) Cowan’s guitar, the bass of his brother Roger, and Skip Switzer on drums.

I read somewhere that she sounded like a cross between Big Mama Thornton (the deep growls) and Kate Bush (the high wails). But I beg to differ. She was an original. (Then again, so are Willie Mae and Kate!)

Fire, Hawks and Slim

I am sitting in front of a gorgeous fire I just built. It has started to rain. The frying sound of the rain on my rooftop plus the metallic ticking of the wood stove are two of my favorite sounds. Slim*, my pussycat is curled up in her little plush winter bed in front of the fire. We both have full bellies and are feeling quite content.

Now, if only a million dollars would drip through one of my slightly open windows (I love fresh air through each season). Ok, if not a million how 'bout 250 grand? 50? Twenty bucks? A coupon for a dollar off Boca burgers?

*Slim: You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow.

And here for your viewing pleasure is a photo of the “real” Slim:

Slim Hawks and Jimmy Stewart, ca. 1940

And the other “real” Slim: