Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
"Improvisation, the seat of jazz, is a remorseless art that demands of the performer no less than this: that, night after night, he spontaneously invent original music by balancing emotion and intelligence, form and content, and tone and attack, all of which must both charge and entertain the spirit of the listener. Improvisation comes in various hues and weights... Great improvisation is rare; bad improvisation, which is really not improvisation at all but a rerun or imitation of old ideas, is common. No art is more precarious or domineering. Thus, such consummate veteran improvisers as Armstrong, [Vic] Dickenson, Hawkins, Buck Clayton, and Monk are, in addition to be master craftsmen, remarkable endurance runners. One of the hardiest of these is Hawkins.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Cecil Payne Dossier#2 - An ongoing series of posts on one of the giants of baritone sax
I just returned from Switzerland, but my heart is still there. I spent four wonderful days in Fribourg, attending FIFF, meeting friends and doing some side activities, including a couple of interviews I gave (on cinema) which in case you are a German reader and interested in Iranian cinema, could be accessed here.
Trying to re-live the memory of the place, nothing serves me better than the Cecil Payne-Ron Carter duo, doing their Lover Man in Bern, Switzerland, May 8, 1998.
The video is from my VHS collection. Still more to come as a part of the Payne dossier.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Cecil Payne Dossier#1 - An ongoing series of posts on one of the giants of baritone sax
The Cecil Payne-Benny Bailey Quintet
Laren, Netherlands, April 3, 1980
Benny Bailey (t), Cecil Payne (barysax), Cees Slinger (p), John Clayton (b), John Engels (d).
Blue 'n' Boogie
Notes on the rhythm section:
Cees Slinger (1929-2007): Influenced by Cedar Walton, Slinger was an important figure in Dutch modern jazz of the 1950s, both as the founder and leader of the hard bop combo "Diamond Five" and the accompanist of many visiting American jazz musicians. However, in post-Beatlemania Netherlands, he found it impossible to get gigs, so he gave up the idea of living as a musicians altogether and became a steel factory worker until 1974, when he was successfully persuaded by Philly Joe Jones to return to playing.
Friday, March 21, 2014
|image courtesy of Pablo Records|
Much of his soloing is preoccupied with building pyramid-like structures, deftly reaching the top and then releasing the energy by gliding through a series of brilliantly raging notes which always sound light and afloat. Oscar Peterson is a giant of piano (this is known as "stating the obvious"), both metaphorically and figuratively. His physical dominance over the instrument and the brain which is capable of producing huge melodic units has given us one of the most extraordinary musicians ever.
Found in my collection of jazz interview tapes, this CBC interview (no date mentioned on the cassette) is very enjoyable to listen to and highly illuminating, especially towards the end, when the usual mask of the gentle giant falls off and some of his anger over what seems to be the Canadian issues of the time are revealed.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
This would be the final post from the Trumpet Masters' session in Switzerland, a concert whose footage is now fully presented on this blog.
"Handsome, dark chocolate, a ladies magnet," is Clark Terry's description of Harry "Sweets" Edison, the subject of the first video. Terry met Sweets first in the Basie band: "Svelte physique draped in expensive threads, dripping with accents of rich gold and pristine diamonds. The note that floated through his trumpet made you feel his statement of 'Cool Daddy. Laid-back.'"