in performance: the john jorgenson quintet

john jorgenson

john jorgenson

Early into the first of two technically dazzling sets last night at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort, guitarist John Jorgenson jokingly admitted that the temperament of his quintet’s very worldly brand of gypsy jazz was dictated strictly by the color of the guitar pick he chose to use.

That, thankfully, was the only fraudulent aspect of the performance. Using the light, limber and exceptionally lyrical jazz popularized during the mid 1930s by Django Reinhardt as a springboard, Jorgenson designed patterns of swing that convincingly sailed far beyond the music’s French origins.

At times, the instrumentation alone dictated the geographic and stylistic globetrotting. Much of Jorgenson’s playing on guitar was light, speedy and brittle enough to approximate (as on Norwegian Dance) the sound of a mandolin, hence bringing the more classically structured music decidedly closer to bluegrass. In other instances, he switched to bouzouki (as on the title tune to his recent One Stolen Night album) for ensemble exchanges that sounded, for lack of better description, like a Greek samba. And on two tunes, Jorgensen left the strings altogether and switched to clarinet (as on Souvenirs Des Nos Peres) for jazz that embraced Dixieland inspiration.

But there were also the tango accents of Dark Romance, a lullaby-like reading of La Mer (the 1940s blueprint of the pop standard Beyond the Sea that nicely showcased violinist Jason Anick) and the flamenco flourishes that propelled Roma Arise.

Still, there was no denying the ensemble charm that surfaced when the quintet plugged directly into the Django muse. For Billet Doux, part of Reinhardt’s repertoire with the famed Hot Club of France, the quintet offered an introduction of understated, elegant beauty before the swing giddily accelerated.

The biggest treat was saved for last when Jorgensen and his band moved to the front of the Grand stage and played Reinhardt’s signature tune Nuages without amplification. The arrangement deemphasized the composition’s dreamy atmospherics, opting instead for a more streamlined but still immensely melodic approach. But the lovingly restless tradeoffs between Jorgenson and Anick still ignited the piece – and the majority of the concert, for that matter. Through such soulful dialogue, a proud gypsy heart proudly beat.

Confused About Oat Bran?; What Is Known About Different Fibers

The Washington Post February 6, 1990 | Sally Squires If you are feeling confused about the cholesterol-lowering properties of oat bran, you’re not alone.

Since researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported last month that oat bran “has little cholesterol-lowering effect,” there has been a flurry of various reports about what consumers should-and shouldn’t-eat. too much fiber

“I think that a lot of people are tearing their hair out about this,” says Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based consumer group.

Yet oat bran “never had all the benefits that it was touted to have,” notes John LaRosa, dean for clinical affairs at George Washington University School of Medicine and former chairman of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee. “It’s not a substitute for all of the other more basic dietary changes that the American Heart Association has been recommending for the last 30 years.” The lesson is that when it comes to nutrition, there are no perfect foods, no quick fixes and no magic bullets. “I tell people,” says Liebman, “that this is the way science works.” In the meantime, here’s what is known-and still to be determined-about various types of fiber, including oat bran:

– Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Oat bran is just one of the many plant substances, known collectively as fiber, that are indigestible to humans and other mammals. Few studies have been done to compare the benefit of one fiber against another, but researchers do know that soluble fiber (oat and rice bran are two examples) contains pectin-the stuff that makes jellies jell. At high enough levels, soluble fiber lowers blood levels of cholesterol and blood sugar but has little effect as a laxative. No one knows why soluble fiber is able to change blood fat levels, but it may be because soluble fiber is absorbed by the body. On the other hand, insoluble fiber-wheat, corn and soy bran, for example-speeds the so-called “transit time” of food through the intestine. That’s why this type of fiber is recommended to alleviate constipation and treat diverticulitis, an inflammation of small pockets in the colon.

– The more fiber in the diet, the less the risk of colon cancer. Rates of colon cancer in Finland-where most residents eat the same type of high-fat diet Americans consume-are much lower than those in the United States. The reason, research suggests, is because of the high-fiber diet consumed by most Finns. The theory is that the high-fiber diet helps to move carcinogens through the intestinal tract faster, giving them less time to affect cells along the way. Fiber may also help dilute bile acids, which are thought to be “co-activators” in causing colon cancer.

– Exactly how much fiber should be consumed each day is not known. Unlike for vitamins and minerals or other nutrients, there are no recommended dietary allowances for fiber. But in the early 1980s after much study, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report suggesting that Americans eat between 20 and 30 grams of fiber a day-about as much as is in one apple, one serving of high-fiber cereal and half a cup of beans. Another rule of thumb is to eat 12 to 15 grams of fiber for each 1,000 calories consumed. For example, on a diet of 2,000 calories a day, you’d eat 24 to 30 grams of fiber. Good sources of fiber include whole grain bread, cereal, crackers, pasta, rice, legumes (lima or garbanzo beans, for example), as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

– Some fibers can reduce blood cholesterol levels slightly. Despite the most recent report, numerous studies show that soluble fiber-oat and rice bran for example-does lower blood cholesterol slightly. But you have to eat large amounts to show any effect. “Even a bowl of pure oat bran a day will only lower serum cholesterol by about 3 percent,” says CSPI’s Liebman. The best prescription for lowering blood cholesterol is the same as it has always been: reduce dietary fat, particularly saturated fat, and eat less cholesterol. go to website too much fiber

– More fiber in your diet can help cut calories. The bulk in fiber helps make you feel full longer than other foods. A recent study of 14 healthy people at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minneapolis found that consuming two ounces of high-fiber cereal for breakfast led people to eat 100 fewer calories at lunch on average than people who ate cereals with no or little fiber.

– Too much fiber poses its own health risk. Fiber traps trace minerals such as zinc, preventing them from being used by the body. “This probably poses no danger to the average American,” says David Kritchevsky, associate director of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, “but it could be a danger among older people and for little kids.” The elderly tend to eat fewer calories and thus may be at greater risk for a nutritional deficiency from a high-fiber diet. In the young, too much fiber can produce stunted growth-a problem seen in Middle Eastern countries where the main staple is a crudely milled bread. More recently, sporadic reports of stunted growth have also been documented in the United States among children whose parents fed them low-fat, very high-fiber diets. “Some parents think if they feed their kids this way they will live forever,” Kritchevsky says. “And they may,” he joked, “but they will be just two feet tall.” The key, he says, “is moderation, not martyrdom.” Eating Right appears on alternate Tuesdays.

Sally Squires

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