R.I.P. Paul Buckmaster

Paul Buckmaster via YouTube.com

From The New York Times (Neil Genzlinger):

Paul Buckmaster, whose orchestral arrangements brought power and poignancy to signature songs by David Bowie, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Carly Simon and countless other rock, pop, country and jazz stars, died on Nov. 7 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 71.

McDaniel Entertainment, which represented Mr. Buckmaster, announced the death. The cause was not given.

Mr. Buckmaster was something of a child prodigy on the cello and might have made a career solely as a musician, but a few fortuitous introductions connected him to Mr. Bowie and brought him the assignment of arranging “Space Oddity,” the eerie 1969 Bowie song that begins with the lyric “Ground control to Major Tom.”

Not long after, at a concert by Miles Davis (with whom Mr. Buckmaster would later collaborate), someone introduced him to a singer and pianist then in his early 20s, Elton John, who was working on his second album, which would be released in 1970 as simply “Elton John.”

Mr. Buckmaster was invited to do the arrangements, putting his fingerprints on one of the most acclaimed albums of the period. (It lost the Grammy Award for album of the year to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”) His string enhancements elevate “Your Song,” Mr. John’s breakthrough single off that album. It was Mr. Buckmaster’s idea to put a harp at the start of “Sixty Years On,” which opens Side 2. He would continue to work with Mr. John regularly.

“He helped make me the artist I am,” Mr. John wrote on Twitter after the death, calling Mr. Buckmaster “a revolutionary arranger” who “took my songs and made them soar.”

Book Review: “Doughnut Economics” — Kate Raworth

This is an important book. Raworth posits a system where economies live in the sweet spot between the carrying capacity of the planet and providing the social needs of the world population and regenerative capitalism rules the day. Click here to buy your copy. Here’s a review from Resilence:

Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times.

Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.

That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.

Named after the now-iconic “doughnut” image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like.

Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas–from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science–to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?

Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.

R.I.P. Fats Domino you rocked the world

Legendary American jazz pianist and singer Fats Domino. Photo credit NPR.

From The New York Times (Jon Pareles and William Grimes):

Fats Domino, the New Orleans rhythm-and-blues singer whose two-fisted boogie-woogie piano and nonchalant vocals, heard on dozens of hits, made him one of the biggest stars of the early rock ’n’ roll era, died on Tuesday at his home in Harvey, La., across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. He was 89.

His death was confirmed by the Jefferson Parish coroner’s office.

Mr. Domino had more than three dozen Top 40 pop hits through the 1950s and early ’60s, among them “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t It a Shame” (also known as “Ain’t That a Shame,” which is the actual lyric), “I’m Walkin’,” “Blue Monday” and “Walkin’ to New Orleans.” Throughout he displayed both the buoyant spirit of New Orleans, his hometown, and a droll resilience that reached listeners worldwide.

He sold 65 million singles in those years, with 23 gold records, making him second only to Elvis Presley as a commercial force. Presley acknowledged Mr. Domino as a predecessor.

“A lot of people seem to think I started this business,” Presley told Jet magazine in 1957. “But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that.”