The following questions about the Paris terrorist outrages were asked in a chat box on an American music blog: Where were the outpourings of grief here when 224 Russians died on a airplane? Or the 38 on a Tunisian beach? Or the 137 at Sana’a mosque? Or the 147 at Garissa University? Or 145 in Maiduguri? Or the 102 in Ankara? Or the untold numbers in Nigerian villages? Or the many thousands across the Middle East & the Levant who live like this every day since the regions were destabilised by western invasion and bombs? Or, indeed, the 300+ killed so far this year in shootings by gun-toting crazies in the USA?
Are some lives more important than others? If we are to retain our humanity we must mourn all in the same way.
The list could go on, but doesn’t. There are so many more suicidal terrorist outrages being planned and carried out on an almost daily basis across the world that we onlookers via TV news can become desensitised to them all. We may ponder “there but for fortune …”, and then carry on with our lives.
Unless, that is, we feel an emotional connection, as this scribe does with Paris.
Paris is one of the few cities to have a contagious joie de vivre, one that can capture one’s soul, albeit a veneer hiding its disadvantaged. Foreign artists and musicians, Russian tsarist emigrés, even Hitler’s Nazi occupiers, have all been captivated, and that certain something has spread through films and music. jazz being no exception.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité, the national motto of France is mirrored in Indonesia’s Bhinneka Tunggal Ika: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity = Unity in Diversity.
All simply expressed in Jean Julien’s symbol.
01. Django Reinhardt – Echoes of France
Belgium-born Frenchman Django Reinhardt was the first European jazz musician to have a significant influence on American musicians.
02. Sidney Bechet– Petite Fleur
Bechet relocated from the USA to France in 1950. He recorded this track, among many others, for the French Vogue label, and died in Paris on May 14, 1959, on his 62nd birthday.
03. Errol Garner – Early In Paris
04. Thelonious Monk – April in Paris
05. Dudley Moore – I Love Paris
These jazz pianists, the first two American and the latter British and probably better known as a comedian and film actor, were an inspiration to your scribe’s father.
06. Ron Collins (aged 85+) – American In Paris
07. Baroque Jazz Trio – Orientasie
In 1970, this French ‘jazz’ group were “guided by an obsession for the discovery of forgotten or lost sounds” and looked outwards beyond national borders for them.
08. Nils Petter Molvær – The Little French Man
09. Eberhard Weber – Nuit Blanche
A Norwegian trumpeter and a German bass player close with contemplative tunes, jazz music for the soul.