Crotchety Man has never been religious. He found the prevailing Christian teachings unconvincing and with so many other religions peppered across the spiritual landscape, all offering the One True Way™, it seemed foolish to commit to any one of them. Then, back in 2010, he came across the website for the British Humanist Association. The fuzzy philosophical clouds parted, the fog cleared from the green hills far away and the path to enlightenment became as clear as the yellow brick road underfoot.
It had suddenly become obvious that other Seekers of Truth shared my own world view. More than that, it had a name: humanism. This was a startling revelation for a man in his late fifties. As if a lightning strike was imparting life to Frankenstein’s monster, bony fingers jerked into semi-coordinated movement and seconds later I had joined the Association.
From time to time the Crotchety conscience is prompted to sign a petition or make a small financial contribution to the cause of humanism but my involvement has always been from the far end of the world wide wires. Until recently. Last year, after a re-branding exercise, the BHA changed its name to Humanists UK and this year its annual convention was held in the big city nearest to this blogger’s home. The time had come to make a personal appearance.
All of this preamble is really just an excuse for the late publication of this track-of-the-week. You see, the Humanists UK Convention this year was held over last weekend and blogging had to make way for comedy acts, panel sessions and erudite talks by eminent humanists such as Baroness Joan Bakewell (journalist and Labour party peer) and Professor Alice Roberts (anatomist, author and President of Humanists UK).
In an effort to catch up after my lost weekend I am indulging in some speed blogging. This track was selected simply because it came up in my listening and the artist(s) were completely unknown to me. And because we haven’t had any jazz here for a while. And because it features the deep, round tones of a bass clarinet.
The usual superficial research reveals that Henri Texier is a French double bass player who has worked with a number of jazz musicians over the years. He is best known for a collaboration with Don Cherry in the 1960s and as a member of the Transatlantik Quartet in the 1980s. The piece in this YouTube video, though, is from his 1995 album, Carnet de Routes, which features Aldo Romano on drums and Louis Sclavis on clarinets and saxophone.
The great oracle, Google, says that Annobon is an island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. It is, in fact, an extinct volcano, as you can clearly see from the air.
Humanists believe there is no afterlife and we should, therefore, make the most of the one life we have. And what better way to enjoy our brief lifetimes than relaxing on a tropical island or paddling a canoe in its clear blue waters.