RARA-AVIS: John D. MacDonald and Pale Gray for Guilt

From: Richard Sawicki ( rsawicki@amherstcu.net)
Date: 24 Feb 2003

I love it when the subject of Travis McGee and jazz comes up. There are instances in the McGee novels where he goes on at length about Steve and Edie and what great singers that they are. he also rants about quadraphonic stereo and how he hates it because "I'm over here and the musicians are supposed to be over there, dammit!" I can't help but wonder what he would have thought of mega digital windowsxp superdolby 5.1a globular surround sound?

The part I like is that in true guy-dom he lets us know that he marches to his own jazz beat and no one else's. it's just that his beat marches right down the middle of the road.

Cheers, Rich

 Subject: RARA-AVIS: 1960s: Pale Gray for Guilt
> PALE GRAY FOR GUILT (1968) by John D. MacDonald is the ninth Travis McGee
> novel.
> | I switched the FM-UHF marine radio to the commercial frequencies
> | and tried to find something that didn't sound like somebody trying
> | to break up a dogfight in a sorority house by banging drums and
> | cymbals. Not that I want to say it isn't music. Of course it is
> | music, styled to accompany teen-age fertility rites, and thus is as
> | far out of my range as "Rockabye Baby.... As I was about to give up
> | I found some pleasant eccentric, or somebody who'd grabbed the wrong
> | record, playing Brubeck doing Cole Porter, and I caught it just as
> | he opened up "Love for Sale" in a fine and gentle manner, and then
> | handed it delicately over to Desmond, who set up a witty dialogue
> | with Joe Morello.
> This is classic McGee. There's the technical detail that it's an "FM-UHF
> marine radio," not just any old radio, and there's the snobbery about
> crass popular music. McGee's too experienced and intelligent to dig rock
> and roll, though it's fine for the kids. But who does he admire? Dave
> Brubeck, who played very nice but quite safe jazz. McGee didn't even like
> the way jazz had changed.

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