BLUE CAMUS is the follow up to DONT CRY FOR NO HIPSTER. If the latter spoke to the hipster’s inner monologue, this project reflects the external input source that the hipster has been taking in. The references in BLUE CAMUS go back almost one hundred years to Garcia Lorca’s poetry (referenced in “The King of Harlem”), Orwell’s fantastic fiction (found in “A is for Alligator”) and a bit more recently to Albert Camus’ philosophy of existentialism.
So there is a direct connection from the February afternoon in Mexico when I began writing the songs for DON’T CRY FOR NO HIPSTER, a somewhat autobiographical, jaundiced view of today’s world through the eyes of a jazz man who has been around for several decades, to BLUE CAMUS. The classic hipster, as I see him, with his roots going back deep into the jazz life, was a reader of literature and a lover of philosophy, particularly, during the bebop era of the 40s and 50s. The starting premise of Camus’ existentialism can be compared to jazz in that in both jazz and existentialism, we begin with a world of open possibilities and rely on our own experiences and emotions to figure out the next move, rather than what we are taught or by following some other theory. For Camus (and the beboppers) all thought originates in action just as all jazz music originates in swing, not notes.
We may be confused, but that could be the good news, because so much is clearly going amok, if we thought we knew what we were doing and that this was it, we’d be in even worse trouble than we already are. Make sense? No? Welcome to existentialism!
In a world that appears to be swallowing itself whole, jazz and literature, combined here as BLUE CAMUS, provide a starting point to ask some questions about where we are and resolve them in swing.