Admiral Ted Brinkley

Admiral Ted Brinkley (semi-ret.) directs the Verrugoso Vista Junior Junior College Grads of ’77

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College jazz bands have released albums ever since the first generation of pulchrimose gibberish-benedicts ascended ivy covered masonry under fool-moonlight and re-entered ancestral dormitoria from Long Beach to North Texas. Like quivering lichen clinging to windswept crags, collector fetishists emerged in short order, drooling into this murkpuddle of pseudo-documentation. Is this shlub-genre a barely-known Stubby Little Nub on the tree of jazz history? A much maligned loathe-child of misguided delusionaries who molder and malinger awhile in the musty and interminably flourescent halls of academe? Outsider-art generated by a hopeful-to-be-hip strobe-satori-seeking subculture unaware of itself as such? Mid-century surely saw the emergence of strategic parasitism as academies were populated by a tweed with-leather-patch-encrusted rabble of roadband-refugees and didact-aspirants who thought to stimulate, penetrate, and even dilate the pupils they encountered. DiaQuintaPrimagogues put down roots and spread like hydroponic gardens with mega-carbon-dioxide infusions. Who cares to remember to forget the annual doses of ecstasy afforded listeners by the nation’s best-known (vitamin) “A” bands? A rabble of felon-zealots armed with combustible pedigrees from the name-bands of festeryear marched into the dodeca-pedagogic wilderness of the suburbs and shrub-herbs seeking to bestow clinics, masterclasses and carpet-cavorting parties upon the warty-faced toothy-grinned instrument-toting lasses, asses, and callipygian masses. Defying belief and affording little relief, their documents received critical appraisal in spurious journals from Credence to Signal to Nose. (Laughably, we here at Collegiate Jazz And Halftime Daily are here to perpetuate that dismal tumescent blemish upon the pimple-bootied surface of “literacy”).

Admiral Ted Brinkley strode, rowed, and even flowed into the shadows of this abstruse chartreuse milieu. He was a shelf selected pretender-scion of a fratrilineage of cave-dwelling moss-boiling and corpses-into-peatbogs-chucking neo-cromagnae (bubbler ever at the ready). Upon misreading the title of a well-known album and concluding that “Jazz Goes To Collage”, he could no longer recall how jazz managed to get itself sent up the river. In any event how it came to this is a story better left to the bile-emanating ooze-congealing spittle-spraying goatee-scratching troglodyte myopia-cognoscenti fronting as scribe-like data-entry drones in the infernal realm of ³post-doctoral research² and/or neighborhood internet quasi-journalism.

Soon enough a flotilla of cruise (plus booze plus blaze equals craze) ships weighed desultory anchor after stuffing themselves to the gills, their holds bulging with the erratically-fed yet-to-be-laid arpeggio-slinging graduates of heresy-instigation programs thither and yon. Ted Brinkley obambled delirious onto the helm of one such musician-ship, with a bongwaterlogged sheaf of charts under his latest good arm. The admiral belatedly observed that such epitomes of venerated Chartist tradition might not be of much help in his effort to cross an ocean of ambivalence and shelf-loathing, round the Cape of Good Horn, and navigate some kind of mixed ensemble passage. Raiding the stashes of pre-grads from brixton to braxton, Brinkley injected frothing and roiling pan-dameronium and lurid-turbid arkestration, the crashing swells recalling the din-din of the dilettante landlubbing yak-milkers at (nocturnal-e)mission district aryan narcissus-mating centers. Moored for a spell near cliffs that might have been familiar sights to Aldhelm or denizens of Lindisfarne, Brinkley draped himself in a warm Dover patina often found through stock-arrangement mail-order firms at nominally exorbitant fees. In this thalassic netherworld characterized by hefty assaults of surf and rock the moist briny climes proved suitable for the petri-dish-like cultivation of myriad molds, causing admiral and crew to appear (not least to themselves) as wild-eyed messianic-mycologists bent on inculcation of guilt-free depravity and ephemeral thrills. Immersed in the tasks and flasks at hand they sought not to disavow such free association, and instead steered a course propagating and instigating perpetual thalassic rosanna-danna-baptismal ablution.

Thus it has come to this and we entreat thee: listeners pry open those freaking auriculi (use hot salt water and ayahuasca if necessary) and behold the sound of hard-fought demi-god-wrought diplomas going up in smoke!!

— nach o¹hargman, editor, College Jazz and Halftime Daily


Here’s a press release for a prior gig by Admiral TEd Brinkley (semi-ret.):

Ted Brinkley’s Jazz Argosy…january 31st

Are the big bands really back? What a freakin’ pain in the ass …silence really is golden…like an 800-pound gorilla under a new moon–you sure can smell it, but you try to ignore it since you can’t see it…sooner or later it elbows its way into the periphery of your semblance -of consciousness, much like this unsolicited email.

Admiral Ted Brinkley (semi-ret.) is soon to be no longer on Terra Firma. His ashen pallor, leathery scab-encrusted odoriferous flesh, and biohazard-grade halitosis all testify to his utter disregard, or at least obliviousness to, the supposed advances of Civilization (at least as manifested by the so-called modernists and post modernists alike in the endeavor of sonic emanation).

Idealists and geeks expound and pontificate, high-concept art forms labor upward, often somewhat ponderously…meanwhile, like an amphetamine-infused mole burrowing out in the yard, no-concept-happy-stupid music asserts itself semi-intrusively off to the side–figuratively and literally flipping the bird at people, things, itself, concepts, and the void. like any self- respecting civilized being , please close your drapes and ignore if you wish. report back about your high concepts with your data and your findings–we will (pretend to) listen sincerely and take it all under advisement.

Ted Brinkley’s music is gleefully nostalgic, and happily, dare-i-say militantly, devoid of any pretense of conceptual profundity. As Ted himself was heard to remark, after disembarking from the HMS Prince Hairy at Heather-On-The Moor, “I am the musical equivalent of a guy who builds little dioramas out of popsicle sticks”. He is also suspected of saying: “In the chain restaurant that is culture, i am merely the sonic manifestation of a newly hired and soon-to-be-fired ever-pubescent busboy.”

Critics (would) have used terms like “pathetic…frivolous…mind-numbing display of a complete lack of originality…slice the frontal lobe…” (if they had been invited).

Eons spent literally and figuratively “at sea” gave Ted ample opportunity to manifest the personal consequences of self-inflicted gangrene, mildew, and overexposure (or the lack thereof) on the malleable salty psyche of a dude (un skilled at the breathtakingly obsolete technology called studio-band arranging.

Shortly before he returns to a crawl space near the boiler room of whatever maritime vessel he can wangle his way onto, and after a brief detour at vintage car shows and RV parks, with a few low-ball wagering pick-up rounds at local municipal golf courses…Ted lassos along his entourage of deluded non-visionaries, misguided mercenaries, savants and nonsaviors (and not a few crusty sorts who love to talk trash) for a one-set dusting-off of Ye Olde Parchment full of dots and lines.

At the point where the eyes glaze over and roll back into the head, the lines and dots appear as prison bars and tiny scampering cockroaches…the musicians themselves become in their own mind’s eyes like vermin cavorting on the drifting flotsam-remains of the truly s(t)inking ship that is the repressed, ashamed, needlessly ascetic twenty-four-hour-a day partay known as the Music Scene. No problems or puzzles get solved, no cosmic questions are asked or answered, the question “why bother?” is intoned, mantra-like… (however, in the end, a few beers are consumed). Like maggots squirming over the rotting carcass that is the so called “culture workers’ community” these sonic culturati are bloated and lethargic after gorging on the staples of their auditory diet…a large band is the perfect vehicle for the ultimate realization of their aspirations: they squat, they read, they blow spittle, occasionally rising to spray that spittle all over their colleagues and any zombie hominids who may have occidentally obambulated near the bandstand, while delivering solilloquies against the ticking clock. (needless to say, Ted Brinkley is the most bloated and lethargic of them all!!)

All of this in an ultimately inconsequential underutilization of what some refer to as “potential”.

with: Lou Frankenhauer, a Choir including sonya hunter,ches smith…. , erik pearson, nancy clarke, john finkbeiner, alex candelaria, dan seamans, elaine difalco, miranda, jewlia eisenberg and beth custer….musicians, sleep cravers, bon-mot droppers and chronically distracted nightmare self-inflicters like sheldon brown, ches smith…. , marty wehner, mark bolin, jarrett rossini, ches smith…. , aarons bennett and novik, tom griesser, devin hoff, cornelius boots, darren johnston, john ingle, ben goldberg, ches smith….