miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2015
Slim Harpo made his impressive entrance into the world of blues recordings in 1957. Here was a man with an unforgettable name, a strong song – I’m A King Bee – and a finely-crafted minimalist style, at once familiar and novel. In 1961 Slim Harpo made a crossover entry into the American Rhythm ‘n’ Blues and Popular Music charts when Rainin’ In My Heart became one of those barely-categorisable hits that just couldn’t be ignored. Then came Baby, Scratch My Back, a soulful rhythmic number that led to tours with the rock elite. The story of Slim Harpo and his music is among the most fascinating in all blues and Rhythm ‘n’ Blues. Harpo’s music had timeless and mellow qualities that made his sound both authentic and accessible. By many benchmarks he was a success, and for periods in his life he was in the spotlight, yet little, really, is known of him beyond his fading circle of musicians, friends, and family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Born in 1924, he was among the last of the original down-home bluesmen, but also one of the first to register hits in the popular music charts. Harpo lived, worked, and performed most of his life in Louisiana, but he was feted in the rock music circles of New York and Los Angeles when he did appear there in his last few years. Apparently an unassuming and calm man, he nevertheless developed a very polished and slick stage appearance. He died at the age of forty-five, leaving behind one of the most consistently good and coherent bodies of blues recordings. Harpo made music that was ‘pure’ blues in a number of forms but also borrowed from and wandered into soul and country styles without losing face.
It’s easy to listen to, easy to love, but real. It has an underlying intensity that continues to make it appealing to generations of performers who have recorded Harpo’s songs down the years. Slim Harpo’s songs were recorded in Crowley, Louisiana by pioneering record man J. D. Miller, among others, and issued on Nashville’s Excello label. Down the years his songs have been covered by artists as diverse as the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, the Grateful Dead and Hank Williams Jr. His sound and style is at the forefront of the music that became known as ‘swamp blues’ or ‘swamp pop.’
martes, 29 de septiembre de 2015
Violinist Joe Venuti, 73 at the time of this recording and only a little more than a year away from his death, was in typically swinging form for this quintet set with Dick Hyman (who doubles on piano and organ), guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, bassist Major Holley and drummer Cliff Leeman. In addition to the six standards, there are four lesser-known Venuti compositions performed by this fine group. The music alternates between romantic ballads and stomps such as "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Clarinet Marmalade."- by Scott Yanow, AMG
It's difficult to think of superlatives to use in describing Joe Venuti's s playing. All of the words have been used so many times that they've lost their surprise. To put it simply, Joe was the first jazz violinist, and after sixty years of playing and nearly as many years of recording he is still the best. No musician in jazz has so completely dominated the style of his instrument. - by Sam Charters.
lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2015
Review by Scott Yanow
Considering that this album was an obvious follow-up to "The In Crowd," it is surprising that the music is not more commercial; that would happen in the near future. As it was, pianist Ramsey Lewis (assisted as usual by bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt) had another big hit in "Hang on Sloopy," and the set (as with the previous one) was recorded at a club before an enthusiastic crowd. The enjoyable LP also includes a couple of Beatles tunes (their version of "A Hard Day's Night" caught on), "He's a Real Gone Guy," "Billy Boy," and "Hi-Heel Sneakers" among the highlights. This was the final full-length recording by the group before Young and Holt left to form their own band.
viernes, 25 de septiembre de 2015
It is a shame that Stuff Smith did not live to see the revival of interest in swing violin due to his premature death in 1967, almost three decades prior to the passing of fellow violinist Stephane Grappelli. Almost all of Smith's recordings languished out of print until a two-CD set finally appeared on Verve, soon followed by this more complete four-CD Mosaic collection of Smith's recordings for the label, which adds three completely unissued sessions and five additional previously unreleased tracks.
The first two studio dates were scheduled for release but never put out by Verve, yet the music is simply astonishing. Smith is in top form throughout all ten sessions. The supporting cast is tremendous: pianists include Jimmy Jones, Carl Perkins, Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly, Shirley Horn (who was overlooked and credit was originally given to John Eaton, who likely appears on two tracks), and Paul Smith. Bassists include Red Callendar, Curtis Counce, Ray Brown, Red Mitchell, and Milt Hinton; other important musicians are Dizzy Gillespie, Barney Kessel, Alvin Stoller, J. C. Heard, Kenny Burrell, and fellow violinist Ray Nance. Smith plays quite a few enjoyable originals (including his blazing "Hillcrest," the very catchy "Calypso," and the exotic "Desert Sands"), but he also covers an extensive collection of Gershwin songs and other standards from some of the best composers of the Great American Songbook, and classic songs from the playbooks of Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson. While some tracks are clearly stronger performances than others, there is not one song that won't be devoured eagerly by fans of Smith's swinging jazz violin.
jueves, 24 de septiembre de 2015
Review by Thom Jurek
In England in the 1960s, Harriott was something of a vanguard wonder on the order of Ornette Coleman. And while the comparisons flew fast and furious and Harriott was denigrated as a result, the two men couldn't have been more different. For one thing, Harriott was never afraid to swing. This work, written and directed by Mayer, offered the closest ever collaboration and uniting of musics East and West. Based almost entirely in the five-note raga -- or tonic scale that Indian classical music emanates from -- and Western modalism, the four ragas that make up the suite are a wonder of tonal invention and modal complexity, and a rapprochement to Western harmony. The band Harriott assembled here included his own group -- pianist Pat Smythe, bassist Coleridge Goode, and drummer Allan Ganley -- as well as trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, flutist Chris Taylor, Diwan Mothar on sitar, Chandrahas Paiganka on tamboura, and Keshan Sathe on tabla, with Mayer playing violin and Harriott on his alto. Of the four pieces, the "Overture" and "Contrasts" are rooted in blues and swing, though they move from one set of ascending and descending notes to the other, always ending on the tonic, and involve more than the five, six, or seven notes of Indian classical music, while the latter two -- "Raga Megha" and "Raga Gaud-Saranga" -- are out to lunch in the Western musical sensibility and throw all notions of Western harmony out the window. The droning place of the tamboura and the improvising sitar and alto shift the scalar notions around until they reflect one another in interval and mode, creating a rich, mysterious tapestry of sonic inquiry that all but folds the two musics into one another for good. Amazing.
miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015
martes, 22 de septiembre de 2015
Review by Thom Jurek
Jimmy McGriff's B-3 sound was always rooted in blues and gospel, and his soloing could be very smooth and polished. But every once in a while, he had to break out of his own soul box and tear it up on a session. The Worm, issued on Solid State Records in 1968, is the very first place he did. This is the first true, all-out funky burner from McGriff, and it sounds very different from most of the other titles on his shelf. Having a band like this helps: trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Fats Theus (with Bob Ashton on baritone and Danny Turner on alto), alternating drummers Mel Lewis and Grady Tate, bassist Bob Bushnell, and guitarist Thornel Schwartz were all in their prime in 1968. The title track, written by McGriff, Theus, and producer Sonny Lester, sets the tone for the whole platter. The saxophone section lays in the cut and is prodded on in a driving, funked-up, hard soul groove by the expanded rhythm section (a B-3 album with a bassist wasn't unheard of, but it wasn't standard procedure either). Solos by both McGriff and Mitchell are choppy and punchy in the extreme. The trumpeter is amazing here, offering a small taste of the sound he displayed on 1969's Collision in Black. But check out the next two tunes, both McGriff originals that push the LP into the red zone and keep it there. "Keep Loose" takes the organist head-to-head against Schwartz's electric six-string, and forces a showdown. McGriff is like an out-of-control soul singer (James Brown in a concert setting comes to mind), incessantly forcing his band to play faster, greasier, and choppier on chorus after chorus. He ups the intensity level until there is nowhere to go but over the ledge. He takes them there on "Heavyweight," the very next number, a swinging boppish blues. The horns actually keep the track grounded as McGriff gets terse, dense, and finally unhinged: he's more adventurous in this solo than he had been before, then he double- and even triple-times the entire band! He brings Bushnell's bass up the ever-narrowing stairs of the riff until they become a single player, all groove, grit, and grease. McGriff's cover of Aretha Franklin's "Think" keeps the exuberance level high. As the horns move right into the Memphis soul vamp, McGriff again plays the part of a vocalist: charging up and down the melody on his keyboards, popping in slippery side chords and harmonic flourishes. Tate's drums swing freely yet forcefully, and bass and guitar lines are simply nasty. The readings of Kenny Burrell's "Lock It Up" and Billy Strayhorn's "Take the 'A' Train" are the closest things to "straight" jazz here, though they're full of razored edges and hard angles. The reading of Neal Hefti's "Girl Talk" features the horns strolling leisurely on the melody and vamp, but McGriff goes into overdrive again and his solo hits the stratosphere. The Worm is a monster album through and through. Not only is it a revelatory example of McGriff on the wild, it marks one of the first places where the new funky urban soul met jazz and blues and evolved into jazz-funk.
Bosporus Bridges: A Wide Selection Of Turkish Jazz And Funk 1969-1978 is a 2005 compilation CD. This album was released by Twimo Records.
This is a good choice if you are just learning about Herbie Mann. Most indivduals don't think of the flute as a jazz instrument, but Herbie proves them wrong. This collection showcases Mann's different moods,including his interesting "The Evolution of Mann". A good first buy CD, that will open you up to other of his music. ~ A Customer, Amazon
While recording for Verve records in the late '50's Herbie Mann's music reflected a decidedly Latin bent. This was a very good thing! The flute, especially Herbie's flute, lends itself well to this genre. He single-handidly popularized the instrument and this collection of tunes provides a good example of how he did it. Besides the Latin-tinged numbers, there's also a fair share of standards. His versions of "Stardust" and "You Stepped Out of a Dream" are particularly beautiful. ~ Glenn R. Ellison
lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015
Review by Michael G. Nastos
Michigan's Doug Deming has fronted his band the Jewel Tones for a decade, becoming one of the most popular and likeable blues bands on the local Metro Detroit scene. With this recording on a nationally distributed label, guitarist/vocalist Deming can showcase his band to everyone, helped by a hefty lineup of guest all stars, including harmonica master Kim Wilson and nutty genius keyboardist Bill Heid. Deming hearkens back to a simple time, where the lines blurred between urban electric blues, honky tonk, rockabilly, swing jazz, and rock & roll. Yet he is beholden to nothing specific, dipping into all of these styles, doing them all quite well, and having a real good time in the process. Deming's guitar and vocal work never waft away from being on the mellow side, a slight degree on the slick side, not all that distinctive, but always authentic. Drummer Julian Van Slyke and acoustic bassist Bob Conner keep things steaming right along in the true tradition of hardship-turned-to-good-times urban and traditional big city blues. Three tracks with saxophonist Keith Kaminski and trombonist John Rutherford from the Motor City Horns, and veteran jazz trumpeter Dwight Adams up the ante on the soul quotient. "It Was the Wine" comes from vintage shuffle swing, "Everynight When I Get Home" uses the horn minimally on a ballad with Heid tinkling the 88's, and the excellent "No Sense" is another jazz-type tune, with Deming in a more contemporary statement, confused about his significant other's vagaries and indulgences. Four tracks with the famous Wilson (ex-Fabulous Thunderbirds) include the rockin', scolding "sit you down, stop your runnin' around" lyric of "Momma Didn't Raise No Fool," and the Muddy Waters-type urban blues "Only Time Will Tell" also featuring Bettye LaVette, and music director and extraordinary pianist Al Hill. Dennis Greuning and Dave Morris also guest on the harmonica, with the train-tine rock sound of "Tonight Is the Night" and the sly, bompity-bomp, Ventures-style surf tango "Put It Down" their best features, respectively. Though in retro form, Deming always gives a good account of being present in the modern world, giving his style a universal appeal. Where the title track is a slow, downhearted, and accessible blues, two versions of "Don't Worry Me" jam out with a lot of excitement, or for part two, a much slower duet with Wilson that keeps the energy in check. Born to be a skilled instrumentalist, Deming unfurls his jazzier sails on the hard swinger "East Side Hop" with Greuning in call and response, while "Heading Out!" sports a simple melody, but allows Heid on the B-3 organ to stretch out, therefore cutting the guitarist loose to strut his stuff as well. Surely there are many Midwest bands that do the nightclub circuit in their local environs, but Deming and his band are due for some regional, national, and international recognition with this set of tunes that come across as ultimately pleasing, competent, and professionally played. They are the perfect band for any blues-chasing occasion.
Wang Hui, the most celebrated painter of late seventeenth-century China, played a key role both in reinvigorating past traditions of landscape painting and in establishing the stylistic foundations for the imperially sponsored art of the Qing court. Drawing upon his protean talent and immense ambition, Wang developed an all-embracing synthesis of historical landscape styles that constituted one of the greatest artistic innovations of late imperial China.
This comprehensive study of the painter, the first published in English, features three essays that together consider his life and career, his artistic achievements, and his masterwork—the series of twelve monumental scrolls depicting the Kangxi emperor's Southern Inspection Tour of 1689. The first essay, by Wen C. Fong, closely examines Wang Hui's genius for "repossessing the past," his ability to engage in an inventive dialogue with previous masters and to absorb their stylistic personae while making works that were distinctly his own. Chin-Sung Chang next traces the entire trajectory of Wang's development as an artist, from his precocious youth in the village of Yushan, through growing local and national fame—first as a copyist, then as the creator of groundbreaking panoramic landscapes—to the ultimate confirmation of his stature with the commission to direct the Southern Inspection Tour project. Focusing on this extraordinary eight-year-long effort, Maxwell K. Hearn's essay discusses the contemporary sources for the scrolls, the working methods of Wang and his assistants (comparing drafts with finished versions), and the artistic innovations reflected in these imposing works, the extant examples of which measure more than two feet high and from forty-six to eighty-six feet long.
Presented in this volume are twenty-seven of Wang Hui's major paintings, including two of the Southern Inspection Tour scrolls, drawn from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and from museums in Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai, the United States, and Canada. These are supplemented by a wealth of comparative images that range from ancient Chinese paintings and seventeenth-century woodblock maps to works by present-day artists. Invaluable information is provided by a scholarly catalogue, compiled by Shi-yee Liu, Research Associate in the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum, which details the inscriptions, colophons, signatures, and seals of each work.
pdf / 250 páginas / Idioma: ingles
domingo, 20 de septiembre de 2015
sábado, 19 de septiembre de 2015
The monastery of Osios Loukas was built in the early 11th century to house the relics of the monk, Blessed Luke who was by then a famous local saint. It soon became one of the most important pilgrimage sites in all Greece. Abbots from the ranks of the aristocracy ensured that the construction and decoration of the "katholikin" (main church), befitted the prestige of the community's founder. The grandeur of the building and its sumptuous decoration indicate the patron's wealth and social standing: the sophistication of the iconographic program indicates their profound theological background.
viernes, 18 de septiembre de 2015
The Faux Frenchmen are acoustic guitarists Brian Lovely and George Cunningham, acoustic bassist Don Aren, and violinist Paul Patterson. They’ve played Hot Club-driven gypsy jazz in and around Cincinnati and the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. since 2002.
Guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli fronted the Quintette of the Hot Club of France in and around Paris from 1934 to 1939, and constituted the first generation of European jazz musicians. The Hot Club blended backgrounds in traditional gypsy and European popular and classical music with the then-new sounds of American jazz artists like Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong to create a new musical genre, now often called “gypsy jazz.”
The Faux Frenchmen adapt the Hot Club’s instrumentation and style in forging their own re-Americanized take on gypsy jazz. Their three CD releases, Faux Frenchmen (2007), Oblivion (2008) and The Swing Shift (2010) bend the relationship between American and European jazz, utilizing elements of both to create a distinctive stylistic voice.
A mere eleven months after the release of their first eponymous CD, the Faux Frenchmen release their second disc, “Oblivion,” which highlights the band’s compositional talents.
The Frenchmen are bassist Don Aren, guitarists George Cunningham and Brian Lovely, and violinist Paul Patterson. Seven of “Oblivion’s” eleven titles are original compositions, and all band members contribute pieces to the project. Compositions are based on, but not chained to the style pioneered by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with the Hot Club of France during the 1930’s in and around Paris.
The Brian Lovely-produced disc features elements of gypsy jazz (Lovely’s “Little Baby Beck”), ‘30’s American and Euro-tinged jazz (Patterson’s “Chromatic Drag” and “Allee Royale,” Aren’s “Edna’s Knot”), and Raymond Scott-fueled cartoon music (Cunningham/ Patterson’s “The Opposite of a Nurse.”). Also featured are Argentinean tango composer Astor Piazzolla’s title cut and timeless jazz staples by Duke Ellington and others.
Critic’s Pick. “Pop genius Brian Lovely, roots maven George Cunningham, preeminent Jazz bassist Don Aren and peerless CSO violinist Paul Patterson all pretty much abandon everything they do regularly to make a gorgeous Gypsy Jazz noise here with the Faux Frenchmen. The quartet swings like crazy, mixing Django Reinhardt Jazz classicism with Raymond Scott whimsy to create a sound that can only be described as serious fun. The band’s second CD, Oblivion, is another mix of pop and jazz standards plus some excellent originals.” (BB) City Beat 9/08
jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2015
Auguste Rodin was a French sculptor, usually considered the progenitor of modern sculpture. But actually Rodin did not set out to revolutionary against the past.
He was educated traditionally, took a craftsman-like advance to his work, and desired academic respect, although he was never accepted into Paris's leading school of art. Many of his most notable sculptures were severely criticized during his lifetime.
pdf / 106 páginas / Idioma: ingles / texto editable (copiar y pegar en traductor)
Review by Michael G. Nastos
Recorded in the great year of music and especially jazz -- 1957 -- Herbie Mann at the time was gaining momentum as a premier flute player, but was a very competent tenor saxophonist. Teamed here with the great alto saxophonist Phil Woods and criminally underrated vibraphonist Eddie Costa, Mann has found partners whose immense abilities and urbane mannerisms heighten his flights of fancy by leaps and bounds. Add to the mix the quite literate and intuitive guitarist Joe Puma, and you have the makings of an emotive, thoroughly professional ensemble. The legendary bass player Wilbur Ware, who in 1957 was shaking things up with the piano-less trio of Sonny Rollins and the group of Thelonious Monk, further enhances this grouping of virtuosos on the first two selections. Ware spins thick, sinuous cables of galvanized steel during the Mann penned swinger "Green Stamp Monsta!" with the front liners trading alert phrases, and into his down-home Chicago persona, strokes sly, sneaky blues outlines surrounding Mann's tenor and the alto of Woods in a lengthy jam "World Wide Boots." Bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Bobby Donaldson step in for the other six selections, with three originals by Puma set aside from the rest. "One for Tubby" (for Brit Tubby Hayes) has Mann's flute in a gentle tone as Woods and Costa chirp away while keeping the melody going. The midtempo bopper "Who Knew?" (P.S.; the phrase was coined long ago before its contemporary hipness) is shaded by Costa and deepened by the colorful saxes, and the excellent "Opicana," is a complex and dicey chart, showing the most inventive side of this group and Puma's fertile imagination. You also get the quintessential bop vehicle "Yardbird Suite" with the classic flute and vibes lead spurred on by the alto talkback of Woods. An early version of the enduring, neat and clean bop original "Squire's Parlor" from the book of Woods in inserted. Costa's "Here's That Mann," brims with swing and soul from the perfectly paired, harmonically balanced saxes, demonstrably delightful as the horns, especially the celebrated altoist, step up and out.
Big Band Bossa Nova is a 1962 bossa nova album by American impresario, jazz composer, trumpeter, arranger and record producer Quincy Jones and his band. It features the popular song "Soul Bossa Nova." The title Big Band Bossa Nova was also used for three other 1962 albums, by Stan Getz, Oscar Castro-Neves and Enoch Light.