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Santa’s Bag

Back in the mid-’60s, I passed countless nights dreaming of Santa’s sleigh piled high with new Ludwig and Gretsch drums, A. and K. Zildjian cymbals and-most unrealistically-shiny new McIntosh stereo equipment. The drums and cymbals materialized eventually, but the stereo-the most I could hope for was a hundred-buck Sylvania, just like the one my high-school pal, former Blakey and Scofield bassist Dennis Irwin, picked up on sale at the mall. Though the box we had in common was not the best, the music Dennis played for me was: he pushed me off a cliff into the world of jazz and I never looked back.

The early lesson: If you would like Santa to bring you the sound equipment you want, you might just have to wrap the box yourself. But since we don’t want to appear overly self-indulgent this time of year, it might be a good idea to keep our own special gifts priced within the reasonable range so as to not be too conspicuous in our consumption.

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