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“Taps” sounded at Riverside Memorial Chapel on February 22. A color guard folded Old Glory, handing it to conguero Ray Barretto’s widow—a military moment made more somber by acknowledgements that, as an Army recruit, he’d found he hadn’t seen the last of institutional racism by leaving postwar New York.
Recently I’ve had ample opportunity to put my most special Christmas present into action. I was given a pair of those Bose “Quiet Comfort” earphones, ads for which often feature in the Sunday glossy inserts, by my lovely wife.
Over a gradual layering of harpsichord arpeggios and swelling electronic keyboards, singer/composer Ed Askew repeats the vivid chorus gently and deliberately, like a painter methodically applying brushstrokes to a canvas, until the image hovers stubbornly in the fading keyboard drone.