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I grew up listening to my father playing his favourite ‘jazz’ standards. This version of George and Ira Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm was recorded when he was 85.

Sadly, I felt that his playing was one-dimensional and after I left the parental nest I began to really appreciate the meditative zone induced by the artistry of some jazz pianists.

This download is one continuous track to keep you in the mood. Although Mingus (bass), Gismonti (guitar) and DeJohnette (drums) are better known for their primary instruments, they fit quite nicely in my selection.

Tracks
Charles Mingus – Orange Was The Color Of Her Dress, Then Silk Blues
Egberto Gismonti – Don Quijote
Tete Montoliu – Una Guitarra
Esbjörn Svensson – Like Wash It Or Something
Jack DeJohnette – Ebony
Jacob Karlzon – Gaspard de la Nuit II: Le Gibet (after Ravel)
Mara Rosenbloom – I Rolled and I Tumbled (tribute to John Lee Hooker)
Keith Tippett – Let The Music Speak

TC

Abercrombie had the “ability to fit any context – chameleon-like but always distinctly himself.”
John Kelman

The recent passing of John Abercrombie is sad yet as with the recorded output of all great (and not so great!) musicians, his lives on.

His albums as a leader were mostly with ECM, starting with Timeless in 1974. The year previously, he had released Friends, a fusion album on Oblivion Records.

Before that, a notable recording he appeared on as a guest was Dreams, recorded in 1970. This was also the name of the seminal fusion group set up by the Brecker Brothers, Randy and Mike, with Billy Cobham on drums. (Listen here.)

And it is Abercrombie’s role as a sidesman in albums lead by others which is the focus of IndoJazzia’s compilation, our tribute to an always interesting guitarist.

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Unless otherwise noted, the following are album title tracks.

1974. Horacee Arnold – Tales Of The Exonerated Flea
1977. Colin Walcott – Grazing Dreams (ECM)
1977. Jack DeJohnette – Picture 5 (fr. Pictures ECM)
1977. Kenny Wheeler – Deer Wan (ECM)
1980. Jan Garbarek – Eventyr (ECM)
1989. Danny Gottlieb – Whirlwind
1994. Bob Brookmeyer – Ugly Music (fr. Electricity)
2007. Mark Egan – As We Speak

A trio with two other ECM stalwarts …

A poster for a Tim Burton directed animated movieworth watching (video)

One listen to this compilation and you may be expressing yourself in German: “Nein, nein!”

There isn’t much flow to this assortment, with the first three tracks dithering over the number. Then Italian songstress Maria Pia De Vito interprets a Hendrix number from her album, Mind The Gap, described as an exploration of the crossover territory between freeform jazz, traditional European music and abstract electronica.

John Martyn mumbles his way through his own song with the help of Carla Bley’s favourite saxophonist Andy Shepherd, then two very capable acoustic guitarists offer some comfortable musings.

Sly and Robbie are the renowned Jamaican rhythm duo adding some rare clout to the Norwegian duo who have consistently pushed the boundaries of jazz, largely through their use of electronics.

Finally, Jack DeJohnette had the able support of Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock and Dave Holland at the 1990 Montreux Jazz Festival.

But that’s only eight tracks, you may think. That is some 49 minutes worth, though, and there are no more tracks in IndoJazzia’s archives which fit the monthly theme. However, do find twenty minutes to watch the original line-up of Caravan playing one of their legendary suites, and note that they are original members of the ‘Canterbury Scene’, as was the late Hugh Hopper on the first track.

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01. Hopper, Dean, Gowan, Sheen – One Three Nine
02. Kenny Wheeler – Seven, Eight, Nine (Pt.1)
03. Maria Pia De Vito – If Six Was Nine
04. John Martyn w. Andy Shepherd – Number Nine
05. Harry Manx – Nine Summers Lost
06. Mehmet Ergin – Nine Faces
07. Sly & Robbie w. Nils Petter Molvær & Eivind Aarset – Nine
08. Jack DeJohnette’s Parallel Realities – Nine Over Reggae

Play full screen and LOUD!

Once heard, Steely Dan has been one of those bands which demand ‘loyalty’. The strength of the song writing partnership of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen and the supreme musicianship of their bands has ensured that their “string of pristine, sophisticated albums with ‘calculated and literary lyrics’ that blurred the lines of jazz, pop, rock and soul” will endure as long as recorded music is listened to.

Walter Becker died yesterday from an undisclosed illness aged 67.

Read Rickie Lee Jones’ poignant tribute.


There are only eight Steely Dan studio albums, but such is their originality that many musicians cover the songs. There’s even a Facebook page called Steely Dan Covers.

The following tracks are from tribute albums and are listed in the order of release of the original albums, noted in brackets.

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1972. The Royal Dan w. Mike Stern – Dirty Work (Can’t Buy a Thrill)
1973. The Brian Setzer Orchestra – Bodhisattva (Countdown to Ecstasy)
1974. Bob McAlpine – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number (Pretzel Logic)
1975. Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist – Rose Darling (Katy Lied)
1976. The Woody Herman Band – Kid Charlemagne (The Royal Scam)
1977. Hoops McCann Band – Deacon Blues (Aja)
1980. Sara Isaksson & Rebecka Törnqvist – Gaucho (Gaucho)
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fr. 2000. Steely Dan – Cousin Dupree (Two Against Nature)

September Leaves Summer

In temperate zones of the world, September marks the changing of the seasons, the leaves turn into non-green colours and fall to earth to become nutrients for the seeds and fruits which nourish us and hibernating mammals. and migrating birds.

For we humans, it marks summer holidays past, a welcome return for parents of their children to centres of learning, but perhaps a less than welcome return to drudgery, of surviving harsh weather and disciplinarian teachers.

Living in tropical climes means that the passing of the seasons does not have quite the same resonance. Waiting for the rains to come, or go, is it, the metronomic tic-toc of a clock rather than the finality of tic-tac-toe.

Yes, September points to the passing of the years, from childhood to dotage and a final farewell. Naturally, there are songs about the month, and one in particular is now a ‘standard’:.

fr. Wikipedia

‘September Song’ is based on a metaphor in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73 which compares a year to a person’s life span from birth to death.

The song was composed by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson, and introduced by Walter Huston in the 1938 Broadway musical production Knickerbocker Holiday. After being used in the 1950 film September Affair, the song has since been recorded by numerous singers and instrumentalists.

First though, listen to Walter Huston’s original version

WFMU has umpteen versions to listen to, far more than trawled from IndoJazzia’s archives.

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Note: Lotte Lenya (18 October 1898 – 27 November 1981) was an Austrian singer, diseuse, and actress, … best remembered for her performances of the songs of her husband, Kurt Weill.

Today, 21st August 2017, much of the USA’s population will be watching a rare solar eclipse while the rest of the world will be watching it via live streaming on internet connected devices or TVs.

The moon’s gravitational pull affects the ocean’s tides and the internal equilibrium of members of the animal kingdom, e.g. lunatics and werewolves. We can therefore expect more craziness.

Howling Wolf has a song about the moon.

But IndoJazzia is not about craziness; it’s about jazz heritage, past, present and into the unknown. So, unwilling to be eclipsed or out-trumped by natural and unnatural events, we think today gives us a good enough excuse to offer a couple of compilations of Moon Jazz.

The first, Beautiful Moons Ago, is about the past; there are some familiar tunes and, we hope, some less so.

The second, Reaching For The Moon, highlights the contemporary fascination with the orb that pulls.

You don’t have to know that eight (8) is a perfect cube (23) or that it is the only nonzero perfect power that is one less than another perfect power, by Mihăilescu’s Theorem.

Nor do you have to know where the word comes from, although the following does tell us that English is a very dynamic language, continually absorbing influences from both invaders and immigrants.

From Middle English eight, aught, eahte, ahte; from Old English eahta; from Proto-Germanic ahtōu; and from Proto-Indo-European oḱtṓw. It is cognate with Scots aucht, West Frisian acht, Dutch acht, Low German acht, German acht, Norwegian åtte, Swedish åtta, Icelandic átta, Latin octo, Ancient Greek ὀκτώ (oktṓ), and Irish ocht.

No, all you have to know is that today is the eighth day of the eighth month which means that IndoJazzia is bringing you our monthly compilation with a numerical connotation, with the added factor of being listed in a pyramidal formation.

01. Lyle Mays – Hard Eights
02. First Avenue – Band Eight
03. Ray Russell – Eighth House
04. Michael Mantler – Movie Eight
05. Rufus Harley – Eight Miles High
06. David Darling – Eight String Religion
07. Sokratis Sinopoulos Quartet – Eight Winds
08. Ambrose & His Orchestra – Dinner At Eight
09. Mr Scruff – Black Milk-Eighth From The Egg
10. Fred Hersch & Norma Winstone – The Eighth Deadly Sin
11. Major Glenn Miller & The American Band of the AEF – Beat Me Daddy, Eight To The Bar

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Savoy Hotel

All over the the post war world of the 1920s ‘dancing’ was the major impetus in popular music, especially the popularity of the Fox Trot. Dancing was the force driving hotels and other elite places to provide venues for bands to play and where patrons could dance.

It happened here in Batavia at the Hotel des Indes, and in London, where the initial major influence was the Savoy Hotel.

Note the banjo, soon to be replaced with the guitar.

However, as in the USA, it was the development of radio broadcasting that may have done the most to establish dance bands as national institutions. From 1922 dances were broadcast weekly from the Savoy, and many dance bands were formed which had took the hotel name as part of their own. (In Batavia, there was the Tjikini Swimming Bath Orchestra …)

As well as the hotel house bands, record companies had their own in-house bands”. The best-remembered house-band leader was Ray Noble who led the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra at HMV. Not only did he write brilliant arrangements for his band and accompanied top HMV artistes like Jack Buchanan and Gracie Fields, but he wrote many great songs including Goodnight Sweetheart, Love Is The Sweetest Thing, The Very Thought Of You and The Touch Of Your Lips.

By the 1930s, most of the “name” bands had a singer. For example, Ambrose had Sam Browne, Elsie Carlisle and Vera Lynn (still alive at 100) Henry Hall (no relation to Albert Hall), had Les Allen; and Roy Fox had Denny Dennis.

Then there was there was Al Bowlly (1898-1941), killed in a German air raid). He sang with Roy Fox, Lew Stone, but recorded predominantly with Ray Noble, as well as having a very successful ‘solo’ career. Of note to IndoJazzia readers is that he gained his musical experience singing for a dance band led by Edgar Adeler on a tour of South Africa, Rhodesia, India and Indonesia during the mid-1920s. However, he fell out with Adeler and was fired from the band in Surabaya.

This compilation is culled from a triple vinyl collection issued by World Record Club back in 1976.


That is also the name of a very active FaceBook page. Another valuable resource of info is the website run by M.G.Thomas called simply The British Dance Band Encyclopedia. That no recordings apparently exist from pre-war Indonesia is a shame, but at least locals can get some idea of what a music genre briefly heard here sounded like.

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