Jazz is viewed by many as the music of freedom, of creativity and emotion, yet it arose out of the stench of slavery and bondage.
Americans are proud of their heritage, and many are happy to proclaim that it is the home of jazz. On February 26, 1917 in Chicago, the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, an all-white band from New Orleans, recorded Dixie Jass Band One-Step, for the Victor Talking Machine Company having previously auditioned for, and been rejected by, Colombia. One-Step was a dance; on the other side of the shellac 78rpm disc is Livery Stable Blues, a foxtrot.
The previous dance ‘craze’ was ragtime, itself a hotchpotch of influences.
“The ‘light rag’ was based on a dance called the Cake Walk which was performed at minstrel shows. This dance was based on a dance called the Pride Walk performed by black plantation workers, descendants of African slaves. This dance in turn was a parody of dances performed by their masters.”
The genesis of jazz was among African slaves who retained something of their music culture as they were transported across the Atlantic. Once started, jazz soon circled the globe and reached Batavia just two years later, in 1919. Local senior high school students started their own bands using sheet music and a few 78rpm discs to forge their sounds.
In 1928, they were treated to a real American “negerband“, that of the orchestra of drummer Jack Carter*, whose sound was much better than their scratchy recordings. But that’s another story.
Jazz and African music have both since transcended regional and political borders. Just four of the musicians who head up my compilation are (or were) African-Americans, and Jimmy Dludlu is the only musician whose music has left Africa rather than vice versa. He is South African, as is Steve Eliovsson but whose only album was recorded for the ECM label in Germany while he was living in the States. (Jazz recorded in Africa deserves a separate compilation.)
The late Johnny Dankworth was a major figure in the post WWII British jazz scene, and a mentor to many of the UK’s finest, including John McLaughlin and the recently deceased Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor, who played in his various bands. Dankworth also travelled widely and played with the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman,and Oscar Peterson. His 1961 recording of Galt MacDermot’s African Waltz peaked at No.9 in the UK Singles Chart, and remained in the chart for 21 weeks.
Of the rest, few need an introduction to the Americans Jack DeJohnette and Bill Frisell. Bass player and cellist Lars Danielsson is Swedish – check your ECM and ACT album sleeve notes. Accordionist Régis Gizavo was born in Madagascar and guitarist Nguyên Lê in Vietnam, while bass player extraordinaire Krzysztof Scieranski is Polish.
Tracks 01. Jack DeJohnette w. Bill Frisell – Ode to South Africa 02. Johnny Dankworth Orchestra – African Waltz 03. Jimmy Dludlu – Afrocentric 04. Chico Freeman – Kings of Mali 05. Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus & Max Roach – Fleurette Africaine 06. Lars Danielsson – Africa 07. Régis Gizavo & Nguyên Lê – South Africa 08. Steve Eliovsson – Africa 09. Krzysztof Scieranski – African Cargo
* Jack Carter is seen and heard here singing Happy Feet in London two years later.)
Krakatau – Rural Raoul Björkenheim: guitars, shekere Jone Takamäki: tenor saxophone, krakaphone, toppophone, whirlpipe Uffe Krokfors: acoustic bass Alf Forsman: drums Lande, Samuels, McCandless – Duck In A Colorful Blanket (For Here) Art Lande: piano David Samuels: vibraphone Paul McCandless: woodwinds Misha Alperin – Twilight Hour Misha Alperin: piano John Surman: baritone saxophone Arkady Shilkloper: French horn, flugelhorn Terje Gewelt: double-bass Jon Christensen: drums Hans-Kristian Kjos Sørensen: percussion Norma Winstone – Just Sometimes Norma Winstone: vocal Glauco Venier: piano Klaus Gesing: saxes and clarinet Oregon – Ecotopia Trilok Gurtu: tabla, percussion Paul McCandless: soprano saxophone,oboe Glen Moore: bass Ralph Towner: guitars, keyboards Paolo Fresu & Daniele di Bonaventura – Kyrie Eleison Paolo Fresu: trumpet, flugelhorn Daniele di Bonaventura: bandoneon Quercus – This Is Always June Tabor: voice Iain Ballamy: tenor saxophone Huw Warren: piano Rainer Brüninghaus – Die Flüsse Hinauf Rainer Brüninghaus: piano Kenny Wheeler: flugelhorn Jon Christensen: drums Brynjar Hoff: oboe Sokratis Sinopoulos – Eight Winds Sokratis Sinopoulos: lyra Yann Keerim: piano Dimitris Tsekouras: bass Dimitris Emanouil: drums Tim Berne’s Snakeoil – Son Of Not So Sure Tim Berne: alto saxophone Oscar Noriega: clarinet, bass clarinet Matt Mitchell: piano, tack and Wurlitzer pianos Ches Smith: drums, vibraphone, percussion. Ulf Wakenius – Liberetto Ulf Wakenius: steel and nylon string guitars. Vitous (Miroslav) – Forthcoming Miroslav Vitous: acoustic bass Jan Garbarek: soprano & tenor saxophones Wolfgang Muthspiel – Ending Music Wolfgang Muthspiel: guitar Brad Mehldau: piano Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet Larry Grenadier: bass Brian Blade: drums X marks the empty spot Y not? Zakir Hussain – Water Girl Zakir Hussain: tabla, percussion, voice Hariprasad Chaurasia: flutes John McLaughlin: acoustic guitar Jan Garbarek: tenor and soprano saxophones
The record label Edition of Contemporary Music – ECM for short – will be familiar to all jazz musicians worldwide. Here in Indonesia, Pat Metheny’s ECM albums were a major influence on guitarists. The late Riza Arshad cited ECM pianists Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, John Taylor and Lyle Mays, as well as the Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek, as being an influence on his music’s development.
Those are some of the best known artists on the label. A browse through the label’s discography demonstrates an incredible range of music: there’s not only jazz, but contemporary classical, the spoken word, ‘world music’, and much which is unclassifiable.
Each album is of the highest audio quality, with artwork and packaging to match, and demands to be treasured and listened to on a regular basis.
Arild Andersen – Main Man Arild Andersen: acoustic bass
Ralph Towner: guitar Nana Vasconcelos: percussion Audun Kleive: snare drum. Barre Phillips – A-i-a Barre Phillips: acoustic bass Terje Rypdal: guitar Dieter Feichtner: synthesizer Trilok Gurtu: tabla, percussion Colin Vallon Trio – Tsunami Colin Vallon: piano
Patrice Moret: bass Julian Sartorius: drums David Darling – Darkwood IV (Journey) David Darling: cello Eberhard Weber – Silent For A While Eberhard Weber: electric bass First Avenue – Band Seven Denney Goodhew: alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet Eric Jensen: cello James Knapp: trumpet, fluegelhorn, waterphone Gallery – Soaring David Samuels: vibraharp Michael DiPasqua: drums, percussion Paul McCandless: soprano saxophone, oboe, English horn David Darling: cello Ratzo Harris: bass Harry Pepl, Herbert Joos, Jon Christensen – More Far Out Than East Harry Pepl: guitar, Roland midi guitar system, piano Herbert Joos: fluegelhorn Jon Christensen: drums Iva Bittova – Fragments XI Iva Bittovà: violin, voice John Clark – Silver Rain Part III John Clark: French horn David Friedman: vibraharp, marimba David Darling: cello Jon Christensen: drums
Rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. In fact, it is so important that this Wikipedia page has some 16, 631 words devoted to it.
It seems only natural then that there should also be many tracks in the IndoJazzia archives devoted to the grain. The first track is a 1969 pop song by the Lemon Pipers however, and is not about growing and eating it, but about the custom in America and elsewhere of throwing it over the heads of newly married couples as they emerge from exchanging their wedding vows. It’s not a wasteful action, though, as birds will soon descend and eat their fill.
01. Dave Brubeck – Three To Get Ready 02. Jim Hall – Three 03. Bill Frisell – Three 04. Andy Summers – Opus Three 05. Charles Mingus – Self-Portrait In Three Colours 06. Miroslav Vitous – Concerto In Three Parts 07. George Benson & Jack McDuff – The Three Day Thang 08. Keith Tippett Band – Three Minutes From An Afternoon In July 09. Riza Arshad – The Three 10. Slam Stewart w Errol Garner – Three Blind Mice 11. Michael Gibbs & Joachim Kühn – Three Angels 12. Neil Ardley – Three Poems 13. Yellowjackets w. Mike Stern – Three Circles 14. Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate – Three Postcards 15. Weather Report – Three Clowns 16. Magnus Öström, Dan Berglund & Pat Metheny – Ballad Three Part 1 of 2
Zippyshare 1969. Elementary Guitar Solo #5 1975. 11th House(at The Village Gate on November 10th 1975, streamed from Gordon Skene’s site Past Daily.) 1979. Mediterranean Sundance (w. Paco De Lucia, John McLaughlin) 1985. I Want You (Zakir Hussain’s Peshkar)
1994. Solar (Coryell – Vitous 4tet) 2004. Tricycles (w. Paul Wertico & Marc Egan) 2011. The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (w. Kenny Drew, Jr.)
There can be few music lovers who are not familiar with Maurice Ravel and his Boléro. It is one of his most famous works, originally written as a ballet score commissioned by Ida Rubinstein, but now usually played as a concert piece. It was originally called Fandango but has rhythmic similarities with the Spanish dance form as described in this article, a genre of slow-tempo Latin music and its associated dance.
So where, you may be asking, does Javanese gamelan enter the picture? Eva Gauthier spent a few years in Java studying the music before the outbreak of the first World War in 2014 when she returned to New York. A mezzo-soprano, she included a few Javanese songs in her mainly classical (Ravel, Stravinsky et al) performance repertoire, and later, in 1923, was the first singer of jazz music in a concert hall. She loaned her Javanese notebooks to Maurice Ravel, her favourite composer, who had been enamoured with gamelan since the 1889 Exposition Universelle de Paris,
(You will find a compilation of Jazz for Eva Gauthier here.)
That connection from 1923 is all that’s needed to offer you this compilation of jazz versions of Ravel’s classic composition. It also seems perfectly obvious to start with the recording by Jacques Louissier, who is better known for his trio’s jazz interpretations of Bach.
The Half Quartet Jazz Duo’s very unique version was found on YouTube, whereas I have the jazz-fusion album by Toto Blanke’s Electric Circus. Jacob Karlson, on the other hand is besotted with Ravel, and the version you’ll hear comes from his album Piano Improvisations Inspired By Ravel.
If you’ve been to a mall recently you’ll already know that today is Valentine’s Day. So, what better excuse to put together different versions of the well known standard My Funny Valentine?
Wikipedia has this: My Funny Valentine is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. The song became a popular jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.
In 2015 it was announced that the Gerry Mulligan quartet featuring Chet Baker’s version of the song was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for the song’s “cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation’s audio legacy“.
IndoJazzia has inducted the version of the song by the Gerry Mulligan quartet featuring Chet Baker, as well as Chet Baker’s version of the song on his album Chet Baker Sings into our compilation because they’re both good..As are the other dozen by, and in alphabetical order, Ben Webster & Teddy Wilson, Bill Evans & Jim Hall, Enrico Rava Quintet w. Pat Metheny, Frank Sinatra, Gary Burton, George Shearing, Lenny Breau, Mick Goodrick & Joe Diorio, Pat Metheny & Nils Landgren, Radka Toneff & Steve Dobrogosz, Shirley Horn, and Viktoria Tolstoy w. Esbjörn Svensson Trio.
To be honest, we think … nay, we know … that listening to fourteen versions of the same sentimental song is overkill. So why not download them all, choose your favourite version and sing along with one of them, either to your sweetheart or yourself.
My Funny Valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?
But don’t change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines Day