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Watermelon T-Man


Continuing our summer series on Facebook ("SUMMER CUM LOUDAY"), today’s song was inspired by some DEEEElicious organic watermelon I foraged on Saturday at Thera Farms in Brentwood. It’s located on the cool campus of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood.

After a monthly men's circle (2nd Sat.) on the campus, several of my Muses (Musical Muse & Mealtime Muse) combined to entice me to explore other parts of these sacred grounds...but not before I spent a wonder-filled hour in their labyrinth. Then onto the Farm... I will be posting more about that day’s adventures, including my time at Thera Farms - where I was treated to friendly service, delicious food and live jazz.

(1) “T-Man? In our 20’s (no, not the Roaring ones), my surfing and partying friends used to call me “T-Man” – never exactly sure where the nickname originated…but, musing…I have 4 “T’s” in my first and last names and, then and now, I dig teas.

Song reference inspired by a delicious PURPLE PEPPER from Thera Farms - my first of this shade.

"Peter Piper picked a peck of purple peppers..."


--if you dig musical stuff, get into this article - filled with references to jazz, Afro-Cuban, R&B, Herbie Hancock (composer), Mongo Santamaria (most popular cover and in the 1998 Grammy Hall of Fame).

-- Recalling the piece, Hancock said, "I remember the cry of the watermelon man making the rounds through the back streets and alleys of Chicago. The wheels of his wagon beat out the rhythm on the cobblestones." The tune, based on a bluesy piano riff, drew on elements of R&B, soul jazz and bebop, all combined into a pop hook

Let’s remember the people who are picking the crops…hot sun, backbreaking work…when possible, try to find out if they’re being treated fairly.

As is my custom, I take my time looking thru search results to find appropriate versions. I check out the thumbnails to see what catches my imagination. Animations are a fav. So, “hear’s” one:


--this is a combination of the jazz legend talking about how the song came to be and his playing parts from both his original and later versions (this one influenced in part by the guy who copied Hancock – Mongo Santamaria). Miles Davis - Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man (08:07)

--all that jazz gotta satisfy your soul...for MORE...

(from video description) Led by founding percussionist Bill Summers; the line-up featured Harvey Mason standing in for drummer Mike Clark. Mason and Summers both featured on Herbie Hancock's Headhunters LP, from which this version of Watermelon Man originates. Joining them for this performance were bassist Chris Severin and keyboardist Kyle Roussel.

(from the Wikipedia article at the top) - Go to the article to see additional background at the many hyperlinks in the piece) On the intro and outro of the tune, percussionist Bill Summers blows into beer bottles imitating hindewhu, a style of singing/whistle-playing found in Pygmy music of Central Africa. Hancock and Summers were struck by the sound, which they heard on the ethnomusicology album The Music of the Ba-Benzélé Pygmies (1966) by Simha Arom and Geneviève Taurelle.


Regular readers know that I like to include children in my posts, especially those with music. Music often does what things like politics, religion, race and nationality cannot -

BRING FOLKS TOGETHER (Food's a second).

FYI - On Saturday, a lot of children were at Thera Frams and they graciously invited their parents to sample the organic treats.

Next one features kids from around the globe joining together in song to the Bobby McFerrin classic. It's produced by Playing for Change - a group I frequently cite in my posts. In addition with collaborating with some of the world's top music makers, they build music schools in under-served corners of our shared world - so children can has the experiences that only music can bring.


Enjoying the fine percussion in these jazzy jams, I went looking to see if one of favorite percussionists - Mickey Hart - had a video up of him doing Watermelon Man. No, but that gives me an opportunity to give you some leads and free passes to the other projects this former Grateful Dead drummer is into. As part of his Planet Drum project, Mickey collaborated with Playing for Change to produced this next number. Don't be SLY and get up and "dance to the music..."


I asked permission to take Teddy's picture...


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