You've got to hand it to Hitler - when it came to the arts, he had an uncanny, unerring ability to differentiate the good stuff from the bad. He always preferred the bad. Hitler used the label entarte Kunst to justify his repression of the work of artists like Max Ernst, Picasso, and Marc Chagall, not to mention anyone decadent enough to play jazz, but today the phrase seems like a badge of honour. The revival of Hitler's criticisms by one of the night of the living dead types at the top of the Catholic church can only be a compliment for contemporary art.
Speaking of degenerate artists, Joe Zawinul, who played organ on Miles Davis' classic albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, died last week. Miles' face and name are on the album cover, but Zawinul wrote most of In A Silent Way. When I suffered from tinnitus in my early twenties (too many loud gigs at Kurtz Lounge and Bob's Bar?) I used to listen to the oceanic murmur of Zawinul's tracks to help me get to sleep at night. My dreams were full of psychedelic reef fish and baobab trees.