Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"The artist" (2011)

Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist, added to the Cannes competition at the last minute, is both a surefire crowdpleaser and a magnificent piece of film-making. Whatever else, this is also surely the most enjoyable contender for the Palme d'Or this year.
It's a silent movie set in the Hollywood of the late 1920s. The story of a Douglas Fairbanks-like movie star (Jean Dujardin) fallen on hard times, it evokes memories of everything from A Star Is Born to Citizen Kane, from Scott Fitzgerald's Pat Hobby Stories to Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon and even Charlie Chaplin's Limelight. French director Hazanavicius (best known for spy spoof OSS 117) isn't the first film-maker in recent years to make a silent movie but he is doing it on a far grander scale than any of his predecessors.

The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville (French: Les Triplettes de Belleville) is a 2003 animated comedy film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. It was released as Belleville Rendez-vous in the United Kingdom. The film is Chomet's first feature film and was an international co-production between companies in France, the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, and Canada.
The film features the voices of Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, and Monica Viegas; there is little dialogue, the majority of the film story being told through song and pantomime. It tells the story of Madame Souza, an elderly woman who goes on a quest to rescue her grandson Champion, a Tour de France cyclist, who has been kidnapped by the French mafia for gambling purposes and taken to the city of Belleville. She is joined by the Triplets of Belleville, music hall singers from the 1930s, whom she meets in the city, and her obese hound, Bruno.
The film was highly praised by audiences and critics for its unique (and somewhat retro) style of animation. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards — Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for "Belleville Rendez-vous". It was also screened out of competition (hors concours) at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival

The Baroque Jazz Trio

The Baroque Jazz Trio was a French group who played avant-garde jazz, and who seemingly only recorded one self-titled album in 1970. They did not play music that in anyway related itself to “baroque music” (even though a harpsichord is one of the trio’s instruments), instead the “baroque” in their name referred to the bizarre and irregular sound of their music. The instruments featured in the trio were the cello, the tabla, and as previously stated, the harpsichord.

Jazzin Athens goes "Sheila Cooper"

Την ευκαιρία να απολαύσουν ένα μαγικό ταξίδι στο κόσμο της Τζαζ και Μπλουζ μουσικής, θα έχουν την ευκαιρία να παρακολουθήσουν όσοι παρευρεθούν στις δυο συναυλίες της Sheila Cooper, που θα πραγματοποιηθούν στο Penthouse21 του ξενοδοχείου President. 

Το Ξενοδοχείο President, με τη διάθεση 10 εκπτωτικών εισιτηρίων θα δώσει την ευκαιρία σε 10 μέλη του Jazzin Athens να παρακολουθήσουν τη συναυλία που θα πραγματοποιηθεί τη Παρασκευή 2 Δεκεμβρίου! Η τιμή του εκπτωτικού εισιτηρίου ανέρχεται στα 5 ευρώ και περιλαμβάνει ένα ποτό.
Για να κάνετε κράτηση αρκεί:
Α> Να έχετε κάνει ή να κάνετε like στη σελίδες  του Jazzin Athens και τού Penthouse21
Β> Να αποστείλετε ένα email στη διεύθυνση με θέμα  Συναυλία «Sheila Cooper cconcert». Θα σας παρακαλέσουμε να μη παραβλέψετε να μας αποστείλετε το ονοματεπώνυμο σας καθώς και ένα τηλέφωνο επικοινωνίας.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bojan Z quartet

Elmo Hope

St. Elmo Sylvester Hope (June 27, 1923 – May 19, 1967) was an American jazz pianist, performing chiefly in the bop and hard bop genres. His highly individual piano-playing and, especially, his compositions have led a few enthusiasts and critics such as David Rosenthal to place him alongside his contemporaries Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk (one could also compare him to Herbie Nichols), but he remains less recognized than his colleagues.
Hope began his career with the Joe Morris band. From 1953 he recorded in New York as a leader and as a sideman with Sonny Rollins, Lou Donaldson, Clifford Brown, and Jackie McLean, but moved to Los Angeles in 1957 after losing his cabaret card in New York City for drug use. He performed with Chet Baker before moving, and with Lionel Hampton after, and recorded with Harold Land and Curtis Counce in Los Angeles. He also recorded as a leader with Frank Foster, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Art Blakey, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones. Hope recorded on a number of occasions in the trio format and more rarely as a leader of a quintet for Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside and other labels.
Disillusioned with the West Coast scene, Hope returned to New York in 1961, where he went to prison briefly on drug charges then returned to playing, but recorded more rarely. He was hospitalized with pneumonia in 1967 and died a few weeks later of heart failure.
Later pianists who cite Hope as their main influence include bebop pianists Frank Hewitt (1935–2002), and Sacha Perry. Roswell Rudd composed a song for Elmo Hope named Hope No. 2. He called Elmo Hope (in a concert with Archie Shepp): "A great and fine composer and remains one of America's well kept secrets". Modern jazz guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has repeatedly mentioned Hope as an influence during seminars and interviews.
His wife Bertha (Rosamond) Hope (born November 8, 1936) also a pianist, participated in a duo recording with her husband in 1961 and has released albums dedicated to her late spouse's compositions.

Informal Jazz (1956)
Trio and Quintet (Blue Note, 1953–57) with Stu Williamson, Harold Land, Frank Foster, Percy Heath, Leroy Vinnegar, Frank Butler, Philly Joe Jones
Meditations (OJC, 1958) with John Ore, Willie Jones
Homecoming! (OJC, 1961) reissued in the 1970s as the second half of All Star Sessions with Donald Byrd, Blue Mitchell, John Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, Hank Mobley, Percy Heath
Plays his Original Compositions (Fresh Sound, 1961) with Paul Chambers, Butch Warren, Granville Hogan, Philly Joe Jones
The Final Sessions (Evidence, 1966) John Ore, Clifford Jarvis, Philly Joe Jones
As sideman
With Clifford Brown
Memorial Album (Blue Note, 1953)
With John Coltrane
Two Tenors (Prestige, 1956)
With Harold Land
The Fox (1959)
With Sonny Rollins
Moving Out (1954)

Charlie Rouse

Charlie Rouse (April 6, 1924 - November 30, 1988) was an American hard bop tenor saxophonist and flautist. His career is marked by the collaboration for more than ten years with Thelonious Monk.
Rouse was born in Washington, DC in 1924. At first he worked with the clarinet, before turning to the saxophone. He is best remembered for having worked with Thelonious Monk for eleven years, from 1959 to 1970, as the saxophonist of the Thelonious Monk Quartet.  He adapted his playing style, moving away from the usual bop to match Monk's music. Prior to working with Monk he was a member of big bands, those of Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington and also worked with Clifford Brown, Count Basie and others. 
Later, in the 1980s, he was a founding member of the group Sphere,  which began as a tribute to Monk. He also worked with Mal Waldron's quintet.
Charlie Rouse died from lung cancer at University Hospital in Seattle at the age of 64.

Billy Eckstine Orchestra: 1944;
Dizzy Gillespie Big Band: 1945;
Duke Ellington Orchestra: 1949-1950;
Count Basie Octet: 1950;
Bull Moose Jackson And His Buffalo Bearcats: 1953;
Oscar Pettiford Sextet: 1955;
The Thelonious Monk Quartet: 1959 - 1970

As leader
The Chase Is On, 1957, Bethlehem.
Takin' Care Of Business, 1960, Prestige.
Unsung Hero, 1960-61, Epic.
Yeah!, 1960, Epic
Bossa Nova Bacchanal, 1962, Blue Note.
Two is One, 1973, Strata-East Records.
Moment's Notice, 1977, Storyville.
Cinammon Flower, 1977, Rykodisc.
Upper Manhattan Jazz Society, 1981, Enja.
Social Call, 1984, Uptown.
Epistrophy, 1988, Landmark
Soul Mates (featuring Sahib Shihab)
Brazil, 2005, Douglas Records
As sideman
With Clifford Brown
Memorial Album (Blue Note, 1953)
With Benny Carter
Further Definitions (1961)
With Sonny Clark
Leapin' and Lopin' (1961)
With Bennie Green
Bennie Green Blows His Horn (1955)
Back on the Scene (1958)
With Thelonious Monk
Monk in France (1961)
Criss Cross (1962)
Monk's Dream (1963)
Live at the It Club (1964)
Straight, No Chaser (1966)
Underground (1968)
With Louis Smith
Smithville (1958)
With Mal Waldron
The Git Go - Live at the Village Vanguard (Soul Note, 1986)
The Seagulls of Kristiansund (Soul Note, 1986)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Jazzin Athens goes "Deep Vibes Quartet"

Μια σπάνια ευκαιρία για το Αθηναϊκό κοινό να απολαύσει το ηχόχρωμα ενός ιδιαίτερου μουσικού οργάνου όπως είναι το βιμπράφωνο, θα δοθεί με αφορμή τη συναυλία των Γάλλων Jaques Marugg και του Michel Saulnier, ιδρυτών του Deep Vibes Quartet. Το ρεπερτόριο τους αποτελείται από Jazz Standards, αλλά και συνθέσεις του group. Μαζί με τον Jaques Marugg (βιμπράφωνο) και τον επί χρόνια μουσικό του συνεργάτη Michel Saulnier (ακουστικό μπάσο) θα εμφανιστούν οι Βαγγέλης Στεφανόπουλος (πιάνο) και Βασίλης Ποδάρας (Τύμπανα). 

Το Ξενοδοχείο President, με τη διάθεση 10 εκπτωτικών εισιτηρίων θα δώσει την ευκαιρία σε 10 μέλη του Jazzin Athens να παρακολουθήσουν αυτή τη μοναδική συναυλία! Η τιμή του εκπτωτικού εισιτηρίου ανέρχεται στα 5 ευρώ και περιλαμβάνει ένα ποτό.
Για να κάνετε κράτηση αρκεί:
Α> Να έχετε κάνει ή να κάνετε like στη σελίδα  του Jazzin Athens
Β> Να αποστείλετε ένα email στη διεύθυνση με θέμα  Συναυλία «Deep Vibes Quartet». Θα σας παρακαλέσουμε να μη παραβλέψετε να μας αποστείλετε το ονοματεπώνυμο σας καθώς και ένα τηλέφωνο επικοινωνίας.

Jazzin offers

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Young man with a horn" (1950)

Young Man with a Horn is a 1950 drama film based on a biographical novel of the same name about Bix Beiderbecke, the legendary jazz cornetist. The film is considered to be the first contemporary big-budget jazz film, a genre that became common not soon after the release of the movie, as well as one of the first major Hollywood productions to suggest a lesbian relationship.
The movie stars Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, and Hoagy Carmichael, and was directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Jerry Wald. The screenplay was written by Carl Foreman and Edmund H. North.

"Mo' Better Blues" (1990)

Mo' Better Blues is a 1990 drama film starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, and Spike Lee, who also directed.  It follows a period in the life of a fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (played by Washington) as a series of bad decisions result in his jeopardizing both his relationships and his playing career. The film focuses on themes of friendship, loyalty, honesty, cause-and-effect and ultimately salvation. It features the music of the Branford Marsalis quartet and Terence Blanchard on trumpet.

The soundtrack to the film was composed and played by Branford Marsalis Quartet and Terence Blanchard.
In 1991, the soundtrack was nominated for a Soul Train Music Award for Best Jazz Album, but lost to saxophonist Najee for "Tokyo Blue".
"Harlem Blues" (vocals: Cynda Williams) 4:50
"Say Hey" 3:18
"Knocked Out the Box" 1:35
"Again, Never" 3:54
"Mo' Better Blues" 3:40
"Pop Top 40" (vocals: Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes) 5:40
"Beneath the Underdog" 5:07
"Jazz Thing" (Gangstarr, Kenny Kirkland, Robert Hurst) 4:48
Harlem Blues (Acappella Version)" (vocals: Cynda Williams) 4:46

Los Angeles Times > Movie review

Jazz and art


Let's face it jazz is not an easily likeable genre. Most of the standards lack a recognisable melody, something easy to hum or whistle — which results in the lack of air time, creating a vicious circle or a jazz ghetto. It is also true that it is a more demanding genre than your average pop music (but aren't the rewards all the greater for it?). Nowadays if at all consumed, instrumental music is also preferred as background music. Strident and/or sudden changes of chord hardly make the best accompaniment to dinners and cocktail parties.
There are many more factors which could help explain  jazzophobia. Key among them is the elitist views on jazz. For instance, mention the name of Michael Bublé. You'll be immediately frowned upon by jazzophiles who'd never call it jazz. "It's not real jazz!" would be their retort. — There's a book entitled "Girls Don't Like Real Jazz" by Walter Kolosky.

Jazz, it seems, has become the preserve of the happy few, who truly understand music. Those who can quote the different musicians on each of the 36 versions of "My Favorite Things" recorded by Coltrane by heart. Being a dilettante, I'm not bothered with such distinctions. I'm glad that people buy Norah Jones's discs because I believe the true music lovers will seek out more about the origins of her songs and the genre in which they're inscribed.
People often make the mistake of wanting to feel the music and then will blame jazz for failing to give them any sensations. They forget that listening is an active act requiring their participation. Only when they commit to it by actively making it theirs will they be able to "feel" the music. There must be an initial spark within for the kindling to burn.
Most of the time, I refrain from counting the ways in which I love jazz as nothing can disgust more than over-enthusiasm. While I appreciate the erudition available on such and such records (recording date, number of takes, musicians and so on), I don't forget these details can also awfully tedious. — I prefer letting the music do the talking. To be more precise, I'll let Thelonious Monk speak for me.
I sincerely believe that "l'appétit vient en mangeant:" by listening to jazz one cannot fail to feel the sound, the sensuousness, the sheer beauty of it and eventually come to enjoy the music. This is the optimistic view on jazzophobia: that someone's tastes can change provided they're curious enough.
If you're so inclined, perhaps will you perceive how Monk plays on his very own beat, "subdividing in so many different ways that where he actually chooses to place the note is played against the implied rhythm." You may also want to check out his solo: a quirky improvisation at times noisy but sparkling throughout. If you prefer, you can also enjoy how Charlie Rouse's sax keeps up with Monk's idiosyncratic metronome...
Now, I will understand if your jazzophobia has grown even stronger after reading this inane screed of mine. I won't blame you. Please do not let my clumsy wording stop from listening to the music. If Monk's "Bright Mississippi" is still unpalatable why not try some Duke Ellington & John Coltrane!

Two versions of a title sequence for a feature film entitled "House of Jazz". 
The film had a psychedelic horror theme and was directed by Jacques Boyreau. Unfortunately he changed the name of the movie after finishing these titles and the project stalled in the editing phase.

Joni Mitchell - "Goodbye pork pie hat"

"Goodbye Porkpie Hat" was Mingus' Eulogy for Lester Young. When it was time to write his own epitaph Mingus (finally)convinced Joni to collaborate on what he knew would be his last project before succumbing to Lou Gehrig's Disease. The result was Joni's 10th LP "Mingus." Ironically, he heard every final mix except the studio version of this song. Dedicated to Steve Richko. We shouldn't be writing his epitaph or eulogy this soon.

"Let's Get Lost" - Chet Baker Documentary (1988)

Let's Get Lost (1988) is an American documentary film about the turbulent life and career of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker written and directed by Bruce Weber. The title is derived from a song by Jimmy McHugh and Frank Loesser from the 1943 film Happy Go Lucky which Baker recorded for Pacific Records.

Bruce Weber first became interested in Chet Baker when he spotted a photograph of the musician in a Pittsburgh record store on the cover of the 1955 vinyl LP Chet Baker Sings and Plays with Bud Shank, Russ Freeman and Strings when he was 16-years-old. Weber first met Baker in the winter of 1986 at a club in New York City. and convinced him to do a photo shoot and what was originally only going to be a three-minute film.Weber had wanted to make a short film from an Oscar Levant song called "Blame It on My Youth". They had such a good time together that Baker started opening up to Weber. Afterwards, Weber convinced Baker to make a longer film and the musician agreed. Filming began in January 1987. Interviewing Baker was a challenge as Weber remembers, "Sometimes we'd have to stop for some reason or another and then, because Chet was a junkie and couldn't do things twice, we'd have to start all over again. But we grew to really like him".
In May 1987, when Weber's documentary Broken Noses premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, he brought Baker along to shoot footage for Let's Get Lost. Weber spent a million dollars of his own money on the documentary and filmed it when he had the time and the money, describing it as a "a very ad hoc film".The film's title comes from a song performed by Baker and recorded on the album Chet Baker Sings and Plays, which was the first Baker album director Bruce Weber bought when he was 16-years-old at aPittsburgh record store.

Let'sGetLost was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1988

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Horacio "Chivo" Borraro - "Half & Half" (1966)

Jazz and Civil Rights

From the days of bebop, when jazz ceased to cater to popular audiences, and instead became solely about the music and the musicians who played it, jazz has been symbolically linked to the civil rights movement. The music, which appealed to whites and blacks alike, provided a culture in which the collective and the individual were inextricable, and in which one was judged by his ability alone, and not by race or any other irrelevant factors. “Jazz,” Stanley Crouch writes, “predicted the civil rights movement more than any other art in America.”
Not only was jazz structured similarly to ideals of the civil rights movement. Jazz musicians took up the cause, using their celebrity and their music to promote racial equality and social justice. Below are just a few cases in which jazz musicians spoke out for civil rights.

Louis Armstrong
Although sometimes criticized by activists and black musicians for playing into an “Uncle Tom” stereotype by performing for mainly white audiences, Louis Armstrong often had a subtle way of dealing with racial issues. In 1929 he recorded “(What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue?,” a song from a popular musical. The lyrics include the phrase:
My only sin
Is in my skin
What did I do
To be so black and blue?

Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday incorporated the song “Strange Fruit” into her set list in 1939. Adapted from a poem by a New York high school teacher, “Strange Fruit” was inspired by the 1930 lynching of two blacks, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith. It juxtaposes the horrid image of bodies hanging from trees with a description of the idyllic South. Holiday delivered the song night after night, often overwhelmed by emotion, causing it to become an anthem of early civil rights movements.

Lyrics to “Strange Fruit:”
Southern trees bear strange fruit, 
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, 
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, 
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south, 
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth, 
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh, 
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck, 
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, 
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop, 
Here is a strange and bitter crop. 

Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman, a preeminent white bandleader and clarinetist, was the first to hire a black musician to be part of his ensemble. In 1935 he made pianist Teddy Wilson a member of his trio. A year later, he added vibraphonist Lionel Hampton to the lineup, which also included drummer Gene Krupa. These steps helped push for racial integration in jazz, which was previously not only taboo, but even illegal in some states.
Goodman used his fame to spread appreciation for black music. In the 1920s and 30s, many of the orchestras that marketed themselves as jazz bands consisted only of white musicians, and played a mawkish style of music that only drew sparingly from the music that black jazz bands were playing. In 1934, when Goodman began a weekly show on NBC radio called “Let’s Dance,” he bought arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, a prominent black bandleader. His thrilling radio performances of Henderson’s music brought awareness of the jazz of black musicians to a broad and mainly white audience.

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington’s commitment to the civil rights movement was complicated. Many felt that a black man of such esteem should be more outspoken, but Ellington often chose to remain quiet on the issue. He even refused to join Martin Luther King’s 1963 march on Washington, D.C.
However, Ellington dealt with prejudice in subtle ways. His contracts always stipulated that he would not play before segregated audiences. When he was touring the South in the mid 1930s with his orchestra, he rented three train cars in which the entire band traveled, ate, and slept. This way, he avoided the grasp of Jim Crow laws, and commanded respect for his band and music.
Ellington’s music itself fueled black pride. He referred to jazz as “African-American classical music,” and strove to convey the black experience in America. He was a figure of the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic and intellectual movement celebrating black identity. In 1941 he composed the score to the musical “Jump for Joy,” which challenged traditional representation of blacks in the entertainment industry. He composed “Black, Brown, and Beige” in 1943 to tell a history of American blacks through music.

Max Roach
Max Roach was not only one of the great innovators of bebop drumming, but also an outspoken activist. In the 1960s he recorded We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (1960), featuring his wife at the time, and fellow activist Abbey Lincoln. The title of the work represents the heightened fervor that the 60s brought to the civil rights movement, as protests, counter-protests, and violence mounted.
Roach recorded two other albums drawing focus to civil rights: Speak Brother Speak (1962), and Lift Every Voice and Sing (1971). Continuing to record and perform in later decades, Roach also devoted his time to lecturing on social justice.

Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus was known for being angry and outspoken on the bandstand. One expression of his anger was certainly justified, and it came in response to the 1957 Little Rock Nine incident in Arkansas, when Governor Orval Faubus used the National Guard to prevent black students from entering a newly desegregated public high school.
Mingus displayed his outrage at the event by composing a piece entitled “Fables of Faubus.” The lyrics, which he penned as well, offer some of the most blatant and harshest critiques of Jim Crow attitudes in all of jazz activism.

Lyrics to “Fables of Faubus:”
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em shoot us! 
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em stab us! 
Oh, Lord, don't let 'em tar and feather us! 
Oh, Lord, no more swastikas! 
Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!
Name me someone who's ridiculous, Danny. 
Governor Faubus!
Why is he so sick and ridiculous? 
He won't permit integrated schools. 
Then he's a fool! Oh Boo! 
Boo! Nazi Fascist supremacists
Boo! Ku Klux Klan (with your Jim Crow plan) 
Name me a handful that's ridiculous, Danny. 
Faubus, Nelson Rockefeller, Eisenhower
Why are they so sick and ridiculous? 
Two, four, six, eight: 
They brainwash and teach you hate. 
H-E-L-L-O, Hello
“Fables of Faubus” originally appeared on Mingus Ah Um (1959), although Columbia Records found the lyrics so incendiary that they refused to allow them to be recorded. In 1960, however, Mingus recorded the song for Candid Records, lyrics and all, on Charles Mingus 

John Coltrane
John Coltrane, while not an outspoken activist, was a deeply spiritual man who believed his music was a vehicle for the message of a higher power. Coltrane was drawn to the civil rights movement after 1963. That was the year that Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech during the August 28th March on Washington, raising public awareness of the movement for racial equality. It was also the year that white racists placed a bomb in a Birmingham, Alabama church, and killed four young girls during a Sunday service.
The following year, Coltrane played eight benefit concerts in support of Dr. King and the civil rights movement. He wrote a number of songs dedicated to the cause, but his song “Alabama,” which was released on Coltrane Live at Birdland (Impulse!,1964), was especially gripping, both musically and politically. The notes and phrasing of Coltrane’s lines are based on the words Martin Luther King spoke at the memorial service for the girls who died in the Birmingham bombing. Mirroring King’s speech, which escalates in intensity as he shifts his focus from the killing to the broader civil rights movement, Coltrane’s “Alabama” sheds its plaintive and subdued mood for a crackling surge of energy, reflecting the strengthened determination for justice.