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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Dizzy Gillespie 'Salt Peanuts' and more…

23 March 2013Jazz on the Tube

Recorded at a time when Diz was fronting his fabled post-war big band featuring jazz greats such as pianist John Lewis, vibraphonist Milt Jackson or bassist Ray Brown, this concert film catches the irrepressible trumpeter in top artistic form. In a format that was typical of the day, dancing acts and singers such as Helen Humes or Kenny ‘Pancho’ Hagood were featured alongside the headlining Gillespie Orchestra. More than fifty years have passed, but watching Diz and his men enthusiastically attack bop classics such as Salt Peanuts, Shaw ‘Nuff or Things To Come still makes for wonderful viewing. All clips have been selected from the 1947 ling feature Jivin’ In Be-Bop.

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The Political Pied Pipers on the Road to Mangaung: A Different Kind of Tale By Dale T. McKinley

5 December 2012 — SACSIS

Picture credit: Jacob Zuma courtesy World Economic Forum

Picture <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>credit: <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>Jacob Zuma courtesy <strong class=’StrictlyAutoTagBold’>World Economic Forum

He advanced to the council-table:
and, “Please your honours,” said he,
“I’m able, by means of a secret charm,
to draw all creatures living beneath the sun,
that creep, or swim, or fly, or run,
after me so as you never saw!
and I chiefly use my charm
on creatures that do people harm,

~ Robert Browning – ‘The Pied Piper: A Child’s Story’ (1842)

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Ed Neumeister ‘ESP’

27 April 2011

Readers might be curious as to why I also publish music videos on a site dedicated to investigating imperialism. Well the short answer is that I’m an ex-muso raised on jazz, funk, reggae, latin and african music and amidst all the gloom and doom, I need a shot of syncopation every now and then and this an opportunity to share it with you.

From a concert in Theater Bouwkunde in Deventer (NL) on 1. december 2010. The arrangement is by Ed Neumeister who is taking the first solo, alto-sax solo is by Gerlo Hesselink, the song composed by Wayne Shorter.

Odetta Live in concert 2005, “House of the Rising Sun”

Odetta Holmes 1930-2008

I remember seeing her perform in one of those small gardens alongside some towering skyscraper in Manhattan with a waterfall at her back and her saying to the small audience that she’d have to retune her guitar so it didn’t collide with the noise the water made.

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