This weekend we celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, commemorating the end of Monarchical rule. Here are some things to watch, listen to, and think about that embody our nation's pursuit of Liberty!
'PATTON' (1970) - FRANKLIN J. SCHAFFNER
Is there a more iconic cinematic image than George C. Scott as Gen. Patton, standing before the stars and stripes? Directed by Franklin Schaffner and screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola, 'Patton' portrays the delightfully controversial front-leading American general who was a born soldier and unabashed individual. Essential Americana.
'THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK' - LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1929)
Featuring the classic songs that dominated American Jazz from the 20's - 60's, but nobody owned them like Satchmo, bringing his personality to each track. His gritty voice and bright trumpet are unmistakable and as American as apple pie.
'THE VILLAGE VANGUARD SESSIONS' (1961)
After his time playing with Miles, he trekked out on his own as a band leader, forming The Bill Evans Trio. With Scott LaFaro (bassist) and Paul Motian (drummer), the original lineup played one of the greatest jazz recordings of all time. Remastered and released on 3 disks. Enjoy.
'LIVE AT THE MOLDE JAZZ FESTIVAL' (1980)
Two months before Evans' death, the Trio played an amazing set at Moldejazz in 1980. Bill is older, the shirt collars are wider, and the footage is saturated jazz bliss. Stick around at the end for an interview with Bill.
THE FEDERALIST PAPERS NO.10 - JAMES MADISON
In Federalist #10, James Madison argues for the ideal which our holiday celebrates: Liberty. Here he says that Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire...which is essential to political life. So though extinguishing air would put out fire, it would also kill life. And in the same way, extinguishing Liberty to eliminate dissent would destroy freedom. Though the Federalist Papers are essential to understanding our nation's story, #10 is especially relevant to ponder today.
YOU SHOULD READ "THE RIGHT STUFF' - POPULAR MECHANICS
Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff' transcends aerospace and tells a story of bravado, fear, and the American spirit. In Wolfe's words, the book is about something the astronauts and pilots would never address or discuss directly, even amongst themselves: "courage."