Educated Guesses

A Blog Full of Guesses

Educated Guesses

A Blog Full of Guesses

Latest stories

My Memories of my Uncle Sack and Mr. Ellis Marsalis


Three days ago, during a text conversation, my cousin Leslie asked me if I had talked to her father , my Uncle William “Sack” Guess, lately. I told her that I hadn’t spoken to him since I went to say goodbye to him last year as he was leaving Louisville to move to  Atlanta to be closer to her.   “Give him a call,”  she said. “He’d love to hear from you.” I was obedient and called...

Parasite – 5 Lessons Learned about Technology from the Oscar Award Winning Movie


A couple of days ago, a friend of mine texted me and asked if I had seen the Academy Award Winning movie, Parasite.  He was looking for someone to have a conversation with about the movie.  Knowing this brother, he wasn’t interested in having a thumbs up / thumbs down, Siskel & Ebert type of conversation.  He wanted to get into the cultural, social, political and economic thematic aspects of...

“That’s Me Up There Baby”: Milt Grayson and the Love Jones Soundtrack


Back in 2000 when I first moved to New York City to work at Jazz at Lincoln Center, I had the pleasure of meeting Milt Grayson. Mr. Grayson occasionally sang with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – now know as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  He also sang with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.   Milt Grayson Grayson sang the song Jelly, Jelly on the album They Came to Swing. ...

6 Things That Will Emerge as New Normal Because of the Coronavirus Crisis


I think there will be a new normal that will emerge out of the coronavirus crisis.  Many of the changes that we will see are not drastic sea changes but instead just a more rapid path to what was becoming inevitable.  1) Office and Home will be One and the Same I have been self-employed and have worked from home since 2006, so the shelter in place aspect of the pandemic has not...

The Omni-Americans: White Supremacy Folklore and Black Pathology Fakelore 50 Years Later


Last month Albert Murray’s The Omni-Americans was re-released in celebration of the book’s 50th anniversary with a new foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.   I had the privilege of getting to know Mr. Murray during my tenure at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  He was a co-founder of the institution and was also secretary of the board of directors. One of the things that I was most excited about...

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and the Complexity of Freedom


Colson Whitehead’s critically acclaimed and award winning book is an intriguing and a thoughtful fictional account of slavery. Whitehead reimagines the Underground Railroad – literally – as a series of locomotive stations connected via subterranean tracks. ## Caution this essay contains plot spoilers ## The book centers around Cora, a young teenager on the Randall plantation in...

What I Learned from Binging Hulu’s High Fidelity


As we kept our social distance from the rest of the world in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, my wife and I binge watched the Hulu Original series High Fidelity over the past couple of days. The 10 episode first season of the series is a remix or reimagining of the Nick Hornby 1995 book and the 2000 movie starring John Cusak as the protagonist Rob who owns a record shop. Rob recently...

My Musings on McCoy


Legendary jazz pianist, McCoy Tyner passed away on Friday. He was 81 years old. I had the great fortune of meeting and getting to be around Mr. Tyner during my time with Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) 2000–2006. I was even able to introduce him to my prepubescent son, Wynton Kelly Stone Guess, who got the chance to sit at the piano before him and play Thelonious Monk’s Crepuscule with Nellie. The...

Minstrelsy, the Specter of Jim Crow and Donald Trump as the Coon!


As a student of history, the more I delved into the past, the less I believed in the common notion that history repeats itself. However, recently I’ve had a change of heart. Recently, I’ve undertaken a deep dive into certain eras of American history for a project that I am working on and the more I read, the more I see our current society in the past. It is akin to the realization upon growing...

LeBron James is the G.O.A.T.?


This past weekend, LeBron James and the Lakers went 2-0 against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks and Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers in what many believe to be a preview of the Western Conference and NBA Finals. James’ performance has ignited the debate over whether or not he should be considered the front runner for league MVP over Giannis. Does James deserve to be the...

Educated Guesses A Blog Full of Guesses