One of those uniquely interpreted songs you can’t get out of your head.

It’s a perfect fit for Billie Holiday …

… and I’ve always thought she wrote the lyrics. But I was wrong.

Willow Weep For Me was composed by Ann Ronell who dedicated it to to George Gershwin, the composer who helped her get her start in the music industry. She was notable for being one of the only composers at the time to handle both music and lyrics.

The song was introduced by vocalist and whistler Muzzy Marcellino performing with Ted Fio Rito and His Orchestra. Their October 1932 Brunswick recording entered the pop charts December 3, 1932, and rose to number seventeen.

On December 17 Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra’s Victor recording with singer Irene Taylor entered the charts and was more favourably received, rising to number two in the US charts. Over thirty years later, in 1964, Willow Weep for Me re-emerged on the pop charts, this time by the British duo Chad and Jeremy.

But I always preferred the version by Alan Price: he sang with soul. All the other tracks have their individual jazz interpretation.

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Tracks
01. Ted Fio Rito Orch. w. Muzzy Marcellino voc.
02. Paul Whiteman Orch. w. Irene Taylor voc.
03. Alan Price Set
04. Etta James
05. Sarah Vaughan
06. Julie London
07. Dexter Gordon
08. Ray Charles w. David ‘Fathead’ Newman
09. Art Tatum
10. Thelonious Monk & Milt Jackson
11. Jan Johansson & Rune Gustafsson
12. Ron Carter

… and elsewhere.

Our compilation of Pre-War Stomps did not include the real classic, Stompin’ at the Savoy. This refers to the Savoy Ballroom which was located at 596 Lenox Avenue, between West 140th and 141st Streets in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.

The Savoy opened in 1926 and featured a large 10,000 square foot dance floor which began to attract the best dancers in New York. In 1927 the Savoy began sponsoring jazz band competitions. Chick Webb’s Harlem Stompers participated in the first of these cutting sessions which was called the Battle of Jazz. Over the next several years, Chick Webb and His Orchestra would become the Savoy house band and with his triumphs over the likes of the Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, and Benny Goodman bands, he would be crowned The King of the Savoy.

The soon-to-become-a jazz standard was originally composed by Edgar Sampson  in 1936 while he was alto saxophonist and arranger in Chick Webb’s band. He was later hired by Benny Goodman as an arranger, and Andy Razaf, Fats Waller’s frequent lyricist, turned the instrumental hit into the song, so all four share writing credits.

Tracks
01. Errol GarnerStompin’ At The Savoy (1951)
02. Chick Webb Savoy OrchestraStomping at the Savoy (1934)
03. Benny GoodmanStompin’ at The Savoy (1938)
04. Charlie ChristianStomping At The Savoy (Live in a small club 1941)
05. Remo Palmieri (w. Teddy Wilson?) – Stompin’ at the Savoy (1945)
06. Jazz At The Philharmonic –  Stompin’ at the Savoy 1 (1954)
The soloists are, in order, Flip Phillips, Bill Harris and Joey deFranco.
07. Jazz At The Philharmonic –  Stompin’ at the Savoy 2 (1954)
The soloists are, in order, Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Eldridge.
Both parts are from the 1954 Norman Granz Jam Sessions.

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong sing, swing, and stomp about the Savoy in 1957 …

The ballroom closed permanently in October 1958, but the music has lived on..
08. The Three SoundsStompin’ at the Savoy (1961)
09. Louis StewartStomping At The Savoy (1994)
Count Basie’s band, like all the other bands, did play in other venues.
10. Count Basie & His OrchestraSwinging At The Daisy Chain (1937)
The only reference I can find to the Daisy Chain is this: Buffet flats such as Hazel Valentine’s Daisy Chain offered sexual tableaux – both hetero and homo- staged in apartment chambers.
11. Count Basie & His OrchestraJumpin’ At The Woodside (1937)
12. Duke Ellington & Count BasieJumpin’ At The Woodside (1961)
The Duke also played at the Savoy and, presumably, the Woodside Hotel in New York.
13. Branko KraljJumpin’ At The Woodside (1962)
14. Albert AmmonsBoogie Woogie At The Civic Opera (1946)
Was it the Chicago Civic Opera House?

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This was the ‘house band’ at the Savoy Hotel in London between 1923 and 1927. They broadcast live once a week on BBC radio.


Martin Taylor is, like the Savoy Orpheans  were, British.

That was the title chosen for a compilation used as the centrepiece of this month’s three hour podcast on Canterbury Sans Frontières (CSF).
Download and Stream.

I hoped that Indonesia’s remarkable musical path – from 70’s prog-rock to avant-garde jazz –  would be clear from the chronological order. I originally included Karimata’s Seng Ken Ken from their 1992 album Jezz. However, MRW, the curator of CSF, swapped it for a track from the Yogya group Mo’ong.

These were the notes I sent.

1971. The Gang Of Harry RoesliDon’t Talk About Freedom
Harry Roesli was a social activist, some say eccentric. It was unwise to talk about freedom during the Soeharto era …

1977. Guruh GypsyBarong Gundah
Guruh Soekarnoputra, son of the former president, and brother of recent President Megawati, loves Balinese gamelan and recruited prog-rock group Gypsy to interpret his songs. This track is based on the barong dance. The singer, Chrisye, went on to a very successful solo career.

1989. Bubi ChenKaranginan
Keith Jarrett meets Sunda kecapi (zither) and suling (bamboo flute) from Kedamaian, an album which cries out for a digital release.

1992. KarimataSeng Ken Ken
From an album with GRP alumni Lee Ritenour, Bob James ++ who were in town for the JakJazz Festival. Bar one song with Phil Perry on vocals, the album consists of jazz interpretations of ‘ethnic’ music from across the archipelago. This one is the kecak (monkey) dance in Bali.

1999. DiscusViolin Metaphysics
The album Discus 1, available on Mellow Records Bandcamp, is a bravura display of no one particular genre. In its minimalism, this track calls to mind Soft Machine’s Out-Bloody-Rageous.

2002. simakDialogAlternate Jeda
From sD’s second album Baur when they were still going through their Pat Metheny phase, before Riza Arshad, the leader-composer, ditched the drums, opted for Sundanese percussion and recorded four ethno-jazz albums. This track is unlike anything else I’ve heard from him.

2007. Aksan Sjuman & The Committee Of The FestHungry
Senior drummer Aksan got bored making “pleasant music” and assembled a group associated with his music school to see what they could collectively come up with. Aksan Sjuman & The Committee Of The Fest was the result, and this track fits in nicely with Annette Peacock.

2010. Jaduk KuaetnikaBarong
Djaduk Ferianto is a cultural artist/festival and workshop organiser at home and abroad. For the Balinese, Barong is the symbol of health and good fortune, and appears in ceremonies as a masked dancer fighting evil in the form of the witch Rangda.

2010. Rully Shabara & Wukir (Senyawa) – Angin
Senyawa are ‘noise’ merchants based in Yogyakarta, the cultural centre of Central Java. They are widely travelled,with recent gigs inthe UK, the USA and Germany. Seeing them live is a primeval experience … and truly life affirming.

2016. Railroad Trio Reflection
Adi Wijaya, was keyboard player in the now defunct I Know You Well Miss Clara from Yogya, whose album Chapter One was one of the top prog-rock albums of 2013. This track is from his privately circulated album Railroad Therapy, a dreamlike passage through life.
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And this is the IndoJazzia download.

Check out Mo’ong N’ Friends here.

 TC. 15.11.16

There are several reasons for music, all of which enhance us in some way: spiritual and mental enhancement (hymns, chants and storytelling), and physical (dancing). And it is dancing, the movement of feet in tune and time with rhythms that this compilation is all about.

Given that jazz was a development of ragtime and boogie-woogie played in the bars and shebeens of the urban African-American community at the turn of the last century, it’s worth having a cursory look at one form of dancing in South Africa which seems to have found its way into the USA in the twenties. And, no, I’m not referring to the Charleston but to the Stomp.

Stomping is different, done with the whole shoe or, as in this case, wellington boots, with addition claps and slaps to provide a lighter touch.

Gumboot dancing was originated by miners in South Africa. Facing oppression and hardship at the mines, including punishment if they talked to each other while working, they were forced to adapt and create new forms of communication and entertainment. The fact that many ethnic groups and languages existed side by side also contributed to developing their associations through the shared language of rhythm and music.

The boots were provided by mine owners because they were cheaper than draining the mines.

And gumboot dancers stomp : v.tr. to bring the foot down forcibly onto a surface.
The word was first used in 1899 as the name of a jazz dance marked by heavy stamping.

This selection features pre-war American jazz, from boogie-woogie pianists, to guitarists, to full bands, all aiming to at least get your feet tapping if you haven’t got the time or inclination to stamp around your floor.

Download
1924. Jimmy Blythe – Chicago Stomp
1925. Original Memphis Five – Indiana Stomp (sorry ,this seems to be a dud track)
1925. Jelly Roll Morton – Black Bottom Stomp
1926. Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers – Kansas City Stomp
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1927. Cannon’s Jug Stompers – Minglewood Blues
1927. Fats Waller – Geechee Stomp
1927. Jeanette James and Her Synco Jazzers w. Mary Lou Williams – Midnight Stomp
1928. Lonnie Johnson – Stompin’ Em Along Now (solo guitar)
1929. Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra – Stevedore Stomp
1929. Eddie Condon’s Hot Shots – I’m Gonna Stomp Mr. Henry Lee
1929. Neil Montgomery and His Orchestra – Auburn Ave. Stomp
1929. Roy Johnson’s Happy Pals – Happy Pal Stomp
1931. Blind Willie McTell – Stomp Down Rider (actually a blues number)
1934. Chick Webb – Stompin’ At The Savoy
1934. Gus Viseur – Philippe’s Stomp (a French band)
1934. Louie Bluie & Ted Bogan – Ted’s Stomp (very rural)
1937. Chu Berry and his Stompy Stevedores – Chuberry Jam
1938. Benny Goodman – Stompin’ at The Savoy
1938. Count Basie & His Orchestra – Panassie Stomp
1939. Jimmy Yancey – Yancey Stomp
1940. Sidney Bechet – Stompy Jones

Stephane Grappelli’s London Quintet in 1942.

When the WWII broke out, Grappelli was in a London hospital and, unable to return to France, he established a band to play in hospitals and military bases. “But all the Englishmen had been called up, and so I had to recruit the handicapped. Blind George Shearing was on the piano and the bass player had one leg,

Post-War Stomps are here and Non-Jazz Stomps are here.

Following the inter-regnum of WWII, there was a natural revival of spirits in the jazz world and a good ‘stomp’ was one way of expressing them. Hence the memory jerkers which start this compilation. As my compilation shows other jazz genres entered the fairly straight forward boogie-woogie essence of ‘stomping’, while only a few – step forward Keith Jarrett – seemed to miss out on the danceability factor.

Whatever, from 1899 until now is quite a good run …

Download
1946. Pete Johnson – 1946 Stomp (1280 Stomp)
1948. Albert Ammons – Ammons Stomp
1951. The Johnny Dankworth Seven – Stompin’ At The Savoy
1960. Ray Charles – Stompin’ Room Only
1961. The Three Sounds – Stompin at the Savoy
1967. Keith Jarrett – Lisbon Stomp
1982. Jazzensemble des Hessischen Rundfunks – Stomp Blasé
1994. Louis Stewart – Stomping At The Savoy
2001. Bill Frisell & Ron Miles – King Porter Stomp
2009. Christian Wallumrod Ensemble – Stompin’ At Gagarin
2016. Tuba Skinny – Blue Chime Stomp

If you can’t stomp, you can just clap your hands along with these guys and one gal.

Pre-War Stomps are here and Non-Jazz Stomps are here.

Following the inter-regnum of WWII, there was a natural revival of spirits in the jazz world and a good ‘stomp’ was one way of expressing them. The early post-war years in the UK, primarily London, with ‘trad jazz’ groups to the fore, saw British jazzers relearning the genres.

Through the likes of trombonist Chris Barber (still playing gigs at 86!), his sidesmen Alexis Korner, ‘a founding father of British Blues’, and Lonnie Donegan, the King of Skiffle, the early 60’s saw the visits of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker, and others. Blues became part of a jazz musician’s vocabulary (vide John McLaughlin) as it was in the USA, and ‘Stomp‘, first used in 1899 as the name of a jazz dance marked by heavy stamping.

And the British blues boom begat beat groups …


Almost nothing is known about ‘The Brand’ other than that they hailed from Birmingham. Their lone single, I’m a Lover Not a Fighter b/w Zulu Stomp was released in 1964.

From jazz > blues > beat > zydeco > rock ‘n’ roll > prog-rock >  ? ?

Moondog – Stomping Ground (1969)

It’s all here in chronological order, not that it matters.
1947. Willie Dixon – Big 3 Stomp
1954. Boo Zoo Chavis – Boo Zoo Stomp
1955. Clifton Chenier – Zodico Stomp
1960. John Lee Hooker – Walkin’ The Boogie
1963. John Fahey – Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania-Alabama Border
1965. Georgie Fame – Soul Stomp
1968. Fairport Convention – If (Stomp)
1969. Ten Years After – The Stomp
1971. James Burton – Suzie Q Stomp
1995. Quincy Jones – Stomp
1999. Bela Fleck & The Flecktones – Stomping Grounds (Live)
2004. (Beefheart’s) Magic Band – The Floppy Boot Stomp
2011. Marbin – Bar Stomp
2015. One More Grain – Leg Stomper

Pan-Ra – Rattenfanger (Rat Catcher) 1974

Pre-War Jazz Stomps are here and Pre-War Jazz Stomps are here.

Going out, or as in my case staying out, on a rainy Friday night in Jakarta is asking to be stuck in horrendous traffic. Just sometimes, though, it’s worthwhile as Friday 28th October was to prove.

Nesia Ardi had been kind enough to make sure that I and my two young companions, both looking to make music of their own, had our ‘free tickets’. There seemed to be no other way to “grab” them. Arriving early we were able to wander around the shiny lobby area, noting that bottled water and a strange coffee drink, and snacks of sliced fruit, which were more than welcome at the end of our lengthy day, were also there to be ‘grabbed’.

R. has a passion for singing jazz and is on the bottom rung of the jazz ladder, so I introduced her to Nesia, who was later to receive the iCan ‘Artist of the Year’ Award, and well deserved too.  With selfies taken and connections made, we found our way to comfortable seats with ample legroom. (Note: This was my first visit, and for those two reasons, I hope there will be many more.)

The evening proper began with Ican Wallad introducing his board members  – and all these years I’d been thinking that iCan Studio was so named because of iPod or Obama’s election catch phrase of “Yes we can!”.

Indra Aziz started the music section of the evening by leading the assembled audience in a rendition of Indonesia Raya. Given that he is the vocal coach on Indonesian Idol and other TV singing contests, it sounded fine.

Bass player, producer and iCan board member Barry Likumahuwa then introduced the Indonesia All Star (sic), who included guitarist Oele Pattiselno , ‘Pop’, trombone player Benny Likumahuwa, singer Margie Segers, Jeffrey Tahalele on double bass, and pianist Fanny Kuncoro. Benny Mustafa is in the middle of this photo, informally dressed as befits the drummer on the seminal album Djanger Bali recorded in 1967 by the original Indonesian All Stars.

Pak Benny spent a minute or so getting into his groove while the others settled into position and then they swung into action and Ms. Segers sang Almost Like Being In Love, the Lerner-Loewe song from 1947. And my, what a powerful voice she has for such a petite lady. The second song was Semua Bisa Bilang, a hit for her in 1975. What I particularly liked was how Benny L’s trombone floated harmoniously over her singing while Pak Oele’s guitar floated under it.  It was music of a bygone era, perhaps, but performed with the love these veterans of Indonesia’s jazz scene have for it. That was much appreciated from the audience.

Next on stage was Tesla Manaf clutching a small green solid guitar. I hadn’t seen him or heard him play for over a year,  but I still expected that he would play something from A Man’s Relationship With His Fragile Area, his album with an international release on the NYC based MoonJune records album.

Yes, he played as per usual focussed on his guitar, not looking at us, but then produced washes of sounds which kept us totally entranced. Looking down from my seat I could see that except for a couple of gossip-mongers heads were still, as mine was. It was a rare spell that he cast. We were sucked in and taken wherever the music and our imaginations lead us.

Applause was hesitant at first, because we didn’t want to leave our trances? I certainly could have listened to a lot more, but it had been that kind of day. Tesla told me afterwards that he hadn’t got a new album, so if those who were there wish to recapture something of the mood, then seek out Pat Metheny playing his Pikasso guitar, Al di Meola, Vini Reilly (Durutti Column), or Robert Fripp-Brian Eno.

That music is in stark contrast to what came next from Nita Aartsen.  According to her Twitter feed, Ms. Nita is “a classically trained pianist who is striving to create a new paradigm in music, mixing Classical, Jazz, Latin and Eastern music.

She sat at the back of the stage at a grand piano, while at the very front a percussionist sat on cushions with an array of kendangs and faced her.  A double bass player was behind him offering a powerful, if swamped, underbeat and a trumpeter who stood immobile behind a microphone adding a sweet flavour.

What we heard certainly presented her “new paradigm”: snatches of Mozart and Sunda tunes with Cuban rhythms was what I deciphered above the over-miked kendangs. However, due to constant and irregular shifts it was fidgety with little cohesion or flow to carry us along into the realms which the other artists presented to us.  It was a relief when the bass player had the opportunity to take a solo, it was not only something he richly deserved, but the coherence we, the audience, sorely needed.

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Rifka Aola writes

Having been chosen as the iCan Freedoms Festival Artist of 2016, Nesia Ardi and her friend and piano accompanist Irsa Destiwi were on last. Unfortunately, the hour was late and what had been a half empty hall before became even emptier.

Nesia sang three songs, two her own compositions – Undefined and Minya, about a cat – and the standard Don’t Put Sugar In My Coffee.

I especially liked Undefined, a song about a boy and girl falling in love but …

I felt that Nesia was singing to me!

John Lewis’ sublime and serene title track Django is dedicated to the memory of guitarist extraordinaire Django Reinhardt. This musical paean aptly recaptures the essence of Reinhardt’s enigmatic gypsy-like nature, especially evident within Jackson’s leads, which emerge from the thoughtful opening dirge with a refined, warm tone throughout. Reinhardt’s playfulness is recalled in Lewis’ well-placed interjections between and beneath Jackson’s lines.”

So wrote one reviewer (not this one) of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s playing on their 1956 album.

Judge for yourselves if they still had it in 1982.

Download this compilation and consider how each musician plays the same tune in their own way.

In alphabetical order they are Bobo Stenson & Mike Mainieri / Dorothy Ashby / Grant Green / Joe Pass / John Lewis & Svend Asmussen / Nial Djuliarso / Oscar Peterson / Roland Kirk.

Apparently going out in a group to a bar, restaurant or party and then staying silent, perhaps by reading a book or sitting in an asana position, is the new ‘in’ thing to do.

I hope it catches on in Jakarta.

The big thing in the Indonesia’s TV entertainment appears to be shows featuring show offs, so-called, possibly self-styled, selebitis. They, along with the hosts, have hand held microphones into which they shout what I presume are witticisms. I say “presume” because whatever is shouted is followed by mass hysterical laughter. Apparently much of British TV is similarly plagued.

Silent Spring, Gary Burton track from 1967, is a reference to the book by Rachel Carson  which, in 1962 with its exposé  of how DDT used as a universal pesticide got into the food chain, “ignited the modern day environmental movement.”

I interpret these other tracks as the musicians attempting to define ‘silence’ through their music.

Download
01. Steve Khan – In A Silent Way
02. Kenny Drew, Jr. & Larry Coryell – A Silent War
03. Bill Frisell – Silent Comedy
04. Gary Burton – Silent Spring
05. Basquiat Strings w. Seb Rochford – In A Silent Way
06. Bruford, Towner & Gomez – Silent Pool
07. Nils Petter Molvær – Silent
08. Eberhard Weber – Silent For A While
09. Cæcilie Norby w. Nguyên Lê – Silent Ways

It is often said that it is the spaces between the notes which makes for great music. By that token, John Cale’s most popular composition 4’33” is truly exceptional.

Here’s the version for a symphony orchestra.

If you’ve read so far, no doubt you were expecting a track from the classic Miles Davis jazz-fusion album In A Silent Way. However, that segues into It’s About That Time, an exciting groove which doesn’t fit the overall mood of my compilation.

Instead, here are two of the musicians on that album – Joe Zawinul, the composer, and John McLaughlin – playing the tune in 1992, some 22 years after the album’s release.

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Note: Download a bonus companion compilation entitled Silence.