Nothing is capturing my fancy from the various birthday lists, and after all we’re down to the last two days, so I’ll just go with stuff I really, really like if that’s okay.

This is something I remember hearing on college radio very late at night: jazz fusion guitar wizard Larry Coryell (with his wife on backing vocals) performing “Beyond These Chilling Winds” at the Village Gate in 1971. I tracked it down and bought it the very next day. Eat your heart out, Slowhand.

UPDATE: To commenter Gandalf33–Think you’re reading way too much into it; I’m not terribly competitive about anything. Noting Coryell’s “pure technical ability” is if anything a tribute to the fact that this guy, who could clearly have become a Rock Guitar God had he wished, instead went acoustic a bit later on. I saw him in a relatively small venue in the early 80s and he seemed happy as a clam.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.