Link to the issue: https://www.downbeat.com/digitaledition/2022/DB22_01/DB22_01.pdf
Have you picked up that my family lives/loves to express ourselves? 🤣 My dad Don Sexton has adored jazz music since he was a little boy, saving his money to buy vinyl at the local record store in Shelbyville, Indiana. He told me the owner helped him discover what “good music” was, directing him to try selections that weren’t necessarily being played on pop radio. For my dad, all musical roads begin and end with Duke Ellington. And those early days of musical exploration have gifted him with a lifetime of musical adventuring. (His dad / my grandfather adored music too, taking a run at being a big band vocalist and singing in the church choir his whole life.)
Well, add music critic to my dad‘s growing list of accomplishments. His letter is published in this month’s DownBeat Magazine! He accidentally (on purpose … and adorably) FaceTimed me and John to read it to us and to celebrate together. As I may have mentioned before, one of the great sources of joy in my life has been how vibrantly my parents – Don and Susie – would talk about film and music and literature, both critically and appreciatively. In our house, watching a movie or a taking in a play or listening to a record was not a passive activity. It was something to be discussed, dissected, celebrated, debated. Hell, it inspired me to even get a master’s degree in theater history and criticism. Obviously, college education in pursuit of highly lucrative careers was not necessarily on our agenda. Lol.
A few months back, as my father is wont to do, he asked me to track down a CD by a new favorite John Chin. Postal Service being what it is in pandemic, the first copy got lost in the mail. Mr. Chin himself was kind enough to send my father a replacement copy, along with a second CD, autographed and with a lovely note. My dad, enthusiastic about the music he heard as well as the lovely interaction, reciprocated with this wonderful letter.
With the loss of my mom, this year has been impossibly hard, but moments like this remind you how special life can be and how important human connection is.
Text of my dad’s letter:
A Little Chin Music
Excellent review of Anything Mose in your October issue. I received Mr. Chin’s signed CD along with another, Fifth. Both CDs are tremendous. Please do an article regarding John Chin’s creativity and originality. Being a long-time music enthusiast, it takes a special talent to get me excited — and believe me, John Chin is the real deal! He should be on everybody’s play list.
COLUMBIA CITY, INDIANA