Three Duke Ellington Classics: Medley – Black and Tan Fantasy/Creole Love Call/The Mooch

16 October 2013 — Jazz on the Tube

 

I think I could have been no more than 13 or perhaps 14 when I bought my first jazz album and it was the 1957 classic, ‘Duke Ellington Presents – The Bethlehem Years Volume 2′ made I think after his epic return to fame at the Newport Jazz Festival, after some time in the doldrums. It blew me away, and to this day, whenever I play it I am astounded by the sheer perfection of the arrangements and by the virtuosity and soul of the soloists. Each track on this album, from the opener, ‘Summertime’ through to the last, ‘The Blues’ is a gem with Ray Nance (trumpet, violin, vocals) on ‘I can’t get started’, the Gershwin classic is total perfection. This is the classical music of the 20th century.

 

It was around this time I got to meet the man himself, backstage at the Gaumont Cinema in Kilburn. I even shook the master’s hand in his dressing room. In the concert I would stand right at the front, my elbows on the stage, glued to the orchestra as they joked and laughed but never missed a beat, like some kind of soul machine. It was heaven to a kid like me, addicted to jazz.

 

 This trio of songs was recorded in 1959 in Switzerland probably the time I met him. The recording sucks but so what, it’s the Duke…

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Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society – ‘Brooklyn Babylon — Chapter Five’

6 June 2013

Weaving together progressive jazz, early-American popular styles, Balkan folk musics, and the sounds of Brooklyn’s diverse contemporary music scene — from the dance-punk of LCD Soundsystem and experimental indie rock of Dirty Projectors to Missy Mazzoli’s blend of post-rock and quirky minimalism — Argue creates a vividly evocative musical narrative that is at once timeless and unlike anything heard before. Argue’s Secret Society is one of the most admired ensembles in contemporary jazz, having toured in Europe, Brazil, and North America and been twice featured at the Newport Jazz Festival. Its members include in-demand instrumentalists such as John Ellis, Ingrid Jensen, Ryan Keberle, and Sam Sadigursky.  Continue reading this...

Postcard from the End of America: Cheyenne By Linh Dinh

11 April 2013 — Dissident Voice

Of all the words uttered by a person, only a few remain unforgettable to any listener, for these can charm, haunt, humiliate, annoy or terrify even decades later. My friend Lan, for example, is reduced in my mind to a single joking sentence, “This time I’ll probably have to sell my body,” and I’ll never forgive X for sneering, “I ain’t got none!” With a public figure, the lingering words can even be misquoted, or conjured up out of malice or adoration, as likely the case with the incipiently subterranean Margaret Thatcher (the Milk Snatcher). Though there’s no record of it, she’s repeatedly cited as having intoned, “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.” The public likes this faux quotation because it neatly sums up Thatcher’s disdain for the bottom half, for “losers,” so to speak, and also because it sounds pretty funny.

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Jacob Collier sings ‘Pure Imagination’

3 April 2013 — Jacob Collier

Got sent this by a companero: a clever video by Jacob Collier performing his version of the title song from ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Pure Imagination’ with Collier singing six-part harmony and also on melodica. According to his website, he’s 15 years old and all his music was recorded in his own music room and he plays all the instruments as well. Lots more like this here. Enjoy!

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