Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jazz Is the River: Last Notes from 2011

© Reza Hakimi | Sep 2011
1
This is my last post from the nearly finished year of 2011; a year that was marked by unrest in Middle East, continuance of a crippling recession, and the beginning of a global awakening against the cruelty and injustice of the capitalist system. Jazz had a small role in these affairs. Jazz "occupy", too, since it was and it is the music of social consciousness.

2
In the second half of the year I started my radio programme for Iran. It is obviously a jazz show, broadcasting weekly from an internet-based radio in Atlanta, Georgia. The idea is to bring jazz to a wider audience in Iran, mostly the younger generation who are evidently open to new things. I'm trying to provide an easy to access space that gives them the chance to hear this music, to learn about its history and the people who created it. Some of the shows are my selections of the tunes from different periods and different musicians, and some of them are focused on the lives and career of a particular artist (Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, etc.). In between, certain themes and concepts in history of this music is explored and explained, among them the theme of "father", or "vibrato in jazz" or as my last programme for the year 2011, "female vocalists of the 1950s." 

Responses, especially from Iran, is heartwarming and despite all the difficulties folks have in Iran to access to the internet, listening to it, or downloading the podcasts, the number of downloads and clicks show it has good number of listeners. I'm really proud of this, and feel that my heavy dues to this music is partially paid by spreading the sound of truth. This activities even were reflected in Canadian CBC radio and they interviewed me about jazz in Iran and my concept of jazz as democracy.

3
Also in the year 2010 some great messengers of jazz left us, among them the departure of George Shearing, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Ray Bryant and Bob Brookmeyer really broke my heart. The generation of the giants is vanishing and there is nothing we can do about it, except regenerating this music with new talents and new ideas. But even in the second decade of 21th century some of those giants still had extraordinary things to offer. It worth mentioning, among the gigs that attended (mostly at London Jazz Festival) how some of these past masters were as powerful as their 20s and 30s.  I will never forget Cedar Walton Quartet's magical performance at Ronnie Scott's, and Roy Haynes's magnificent combination of jazz and pure theater in Queen Elizabeth Hall, almost a month ago. As Philip Larkin, British poet and jazz critic says "one of the oddest features of the American jazz scene is the way the past refuses to be over." So I would argue there ain't no "past" in jazz. It's all about "now". That aspect of jazz reminds me of great Persian poet Khayyam. Charlie Parker is Khayyam of 20th century. But that's another story!

4
From this so called past, many great recordings shape my thoughts and feelings during the year that witnessed my move from north-eastern Iran, or city of Mashhad to London. Pepper Adams, like any other year, was a major figure, this year with Ephemera. A seminal statement on alto from Mr Phil Woods on Alive And Well in Paris. Thelonious Monk and his London Collection set. Rediscovering John Lewis. Digging Stan Tracey and seeing him in person in Kingstone. Exploring the hard-to-define musical territory of Tony Scott. A moving return to Ted Dunbar. Discovering forgotten masterpieces such as Paul Gonsalves's Humming bird (1970) and Jimmy Hamilton's Can't Help Swingin' (1961). Feeling like going out and shouting the names of Georges Arvanitas or Joe Albany in the open spaces. Getting acquainted to the velvety voice of Kenny Dorham who sings too. Deeply appreciating Charlie Barnet and his 1940s big bands. And finally, thanks to Mosaic and their new Ellington box set spending a golden month just playing those tunes over and over again.

By the way, in my humblest opinion, Teddy Wilson's piano is the best soundtrack for London town. That's enough for now!

5
Many European TVs and news agencies have their own treasure of jazz footage, whether a simple reportage, a proper TV appearance, or recording of a jazz event. Some of these treasures have leaked in the internet and one can find them on Youtube or other assorted websites. Some of them rarely been seen outside their native countries. Jazz archive of French TV, INA.fr, belongs to the latter group. They have many great archival materials that can be accessed on their website.

Unfortunately one have to pay to watch the whole show (and sometimes it's as long as a complete gig), otherwise it suddenly interrupts and leaves you with some regrets of not being able to watch it to the end. A little bit of generosity was needed to at least include one complete tune for free. Anyway, that's French style and segments are still too great to not be missed, including these favorites of mine:

Slide Hampton 1972 Complete 1 2 3 4
Johnny Griffin Trio (Klook & Arvanitas) 1973
and
Duke Ellington solo from 1965. Take the "A" Train is here.

Art Blakey in his INA.fr's interview points out "jazz is like a river, it has to flow." Indeed, it is like a river, and from my point of view, broad enough and deep enough to swim in it, float on it, and occasionally get drowned in it.

6
Some friends and colleagues believe that my appraisal of Nat Hentoff is overstated. This year, reviewing, re-reading and first-reading of his oeuvre showed that it could be anything but overstatement. Still, in my view, he is the best jazz writer we ever had. You can argue that we have better writers in terms of historical accuracy or academic substance, but as a whole, as a Writer, I'll go for Nat. He wrote about me on Wall Street Journal. So maybe 2011 was the most important year of my life, jazzwise!

7
Allow me to bid you a 2011 farewell with Strut that Thing by Clarence Lofton. "Pre-electric recording and dated instrumental technique make the historical sense necessary to enjoy some tracks," says Mr Larkin, "and the gaiety and colour is sometimes tiny and distant, like a miniature." But in this case is as vivid as someone who's playing it "now" and for you. See you next year and don't forget to STRUT THAT THING!




P.S. [28 December]

Duke at the airport, Switzerland, 8/2/1965

Radio Hawkins#19: Female Vocalists of the '50s

راديو هاوكينز: جاز براي ايران
اپيزود نوزدهم
خوانندگان بزرگ زن سال هاي 1950
با آثاري از
دايانا واشينگتن، جولي لندن، كريس كانر، آني راس، هلن هيومز، آنيتا ادِي، سارا ون، اتا جونز، ليزابت اسكات، جون كريستي، ابي لينكلن، دايانا شور، بيلي هاليدي، الا فيتزجرالد، هلن مريل، رزمري كلوني، شيلا جردن

بخش اول

       
   



 بخش دوم

       
   



دانلود

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nat Hentoff Interviews Lenny Bruce


From Lenny Bruce Without Tears (1972)
Directed by: Fred Baker

Radio Hawkins#18

عكس زمينه از رضا حكيمي

اپيزود هجدهم
راديو هاوكينز: جاز براي ايران
برنامه اين هفته به پخش آلبومي كامل ار چيكو هميلتن كوينتت (با اريك دالفي) از سال 1959 اختصاص دارد و سپس آثاري از
بيگ جو ترنر، جو آلباني، نينا سيمونه، بادي تيت، تد دامرن، ال كان و باب بروك ماير، بيل اونز و چت بيكر

به برنامه در اين جا گوش كنيد
       
   


برنامه را در اين جا دانلود كنيد

فهرست قطعات و موزيسين هاي برنامه هجدهم به ترتيب پخش

Fat Mouth
Theme for a Starlet
Little Lost Bear
Champs-Elysées
Pretty Little Theme
Lost in the Night
Cawn Pawn
Lullaby for Dreamers
Opening
Lady E
Truth

Chico Hamilton Quintet
Eric Dolphy (reeds), Dennis Budimir(guitar), Nathan Gershman (cello), Wyatt Ruther or Ralph Peña (bass), Chico Hamilton (drums)
19 & 20/5/1959  Chico Hamilton Quintet feat. Eric Dolphy

Pennies From Heaven
Big Joe Turner
Bob Smith (alto sax), J.D. Nicholson (piano), Herman Bennett (guitar), Pee Wee Crayton (guitar), Winston McGregor (bass), Charles Randall (drums), Big Joe Turner (vocal)
10/3/1976 In the Evening

For the Little Guy
Joe Albany
Joe Albany (piano), Al Gafa (guitar), George Duvivier (bass), Charlie Persip (drums)
1982 Portrait of an Artist

Fontainbleau
Tadd Dameron and his orchestra
Henry Coker (trombone), Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Cecil Payne (baritone sax), Joe Alaxander (tenor sax), Sahib Shihab (alto sax), Tadd Dameron (piano), John Simmons (bass), Shadow Wilson (drums)
9/3/1956 Fontainbleau

Alone Together
Chet Baker
Chet Baker (trumpet), Herbie Mann (flute), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Connie Kay or Philly Joe Jones (drums)
30/12/1958 Complete Legendary Sessions

Goduka Mfundi (Going Home)
Buddy Tate
Buddy Tate (tenor sax), Cecil McBee (bass), Roy Brooks (drums)
25/8/1977 Buddy Tate Meets Abdullah Ibrahim

Don't Smoke in Bed
Nina Simone
Nina Simone (piano, vocal)
12/1957 Little Girl Blue


Winter
Al Cohn Quintet
Bob Brookmeyer (trombone), Al Cohn (tenor sax), Mose Allison (piano), Teddy Kotick (bass), Nick Stabulas (drums).
4/12/1956 Al Cohn Quintet feat. Bob Brookmeyer

Summertime
Big Joe Turner
Bob Smith (alto sax), J.D. Nicholson (piano), Herman Bennett (guitar), Pee Wee Crayton (guitar), Winston McGregor (bass), Charles Randall (drums), Big Joe Turner (vocal)
10/3/1976 In the Evening

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dizzy Gillespie's Bebop Reunion


Dizzy Gillespie's Bebop Reunion
Chicago, IL @ PBS Soundstage 1976 
Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet
James Moody - sax
Milt Jackson - vibes
Al Haig - piano
Ray Brown - bass
Kenny Clarke - drums

Original broadcast is 58 minute long, with singers Joseph Carroll and Sarah Vaughan.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Johnny Griffin: I Want to Explode!


Johnny Griffin-Arthur Taylor Quartet
Classiques du Jazz, 1971, ORTF
Johnny Griffin (ts)/René Urtreger (p)/Alby Cullaz (b)/Arthur Taylor (d)
set list: Now's the Time, My Little Suede Shoes, Blue Monk, Blues for Harvey


"A nervous person when I'm playing. I like to play fast. I get excited, and I have to sort of control myself, restrain myself. But when the rhythm section gets cooking, I want to explode." - Johnny Griffin

"Griffin is an energetic player, but the forcefulness with which he plays seems to be somewhat inhibited by the pinched quality of his tone. His basic sound is more that of an alto than a tenor sax. He creates the illusion of a bigger sound with hardness, giving the impression that he's driving a column of air through a small opening with such violence that it shatters. I like his imagination, courage, and his feeling for keeping the time swinging." - Bill Crow, Jazz Review, August 1959



Johnny Griffin Quartet
Le città del Jazz: New York, 1970, Roma
Johnny Griffin (ts)/Kenny Drew (p)/Jimmy Woode (b)/Kenny Clark (d)
When We Were One

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Radio Hawkins#17

اپيزود هفدهم؛ راديو هاوكينز: جاز براي ايران
دوك الينگتن به ديدار لويي آرمسترانگ مي رود
و
ال هِيگ، تايني گرايمز، جيمي ريني، جيمي راشينگ، ديو بروبك، جان مك لاكلين، تلانيوس مانك

برنامه را در اين جا بشنويد


فهرست آثار پخش شده در اين برنامه

Duke's Place
I'm Just a Lucky So and So
I'm Beginning to See the Light
Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me
The Beautiful American
Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
Louis Armstrong (trumpet), Trummy Young (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Duke Ellington (piano), Mart Herbert (bass), Danny Barcelona (drums)
4/61 Album: Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Summit

Don't Blame Me

Al Haig-Jon Eardley Quintet
Jon Eardley (trumpet), Art Themen (tenor sax), Al Haig (piano), Daryl Runswick (bass), Alan Ganley (drums)
16/9/77 Album: Stablemates

Hassan's Dream
Jimmy Raney Trio
Tommy Flanagan (piano), Jimmy Raney (guitar), George Mraz (bass)
30/12/85 Album: Wisteria

Callin' the Blues
Tiny Grimes
J. C. Higginbotham (trombone), Eddie 'Lockjaw" Davis (tenor sax), Ray Bryant (piano), Tiny Grimes (guitar), Wendell Marshall (bass), Osie Johnson (drums)
18/7/58 Album: Callin' the Blues

Bridges of Sigh
Shakti
John McLaughlin (guitar), L. Shankar (violin), Zakir Hussain (tabla), T.H. Vinayakram (ghatam)
7/77 Album: Natural Elements

My Melancholy Baby
Dave Brubeck Quartet & Jimmy Rushing
Paul Desmond (Alto Sax), Dave Brubeck (Piano), Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums), Jimmy Rushing (vocal)
29/1/60 Album: Brubeck & Rushing

Boo Boo's Birthday
Thelonious Monk Quartet
Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), Thelonious Monk (piano), Larry Gales (bass), Ben Riley (drums)
14/12/67 Album: Underground

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Open the Door, Basie, Dylan and The Band

A friend, half-jokingly, called me a polytheist last night, in response to me saying "Joe Albany [another forgotten master/poet of jazz piano] is God!" Well, I can see myself more as an atheist polytheist, and in that case one of the non-jazz guiding sounds of my early teens was Bob Dylan and The Band's Basement Tapes (released 1975). The cassette that was bought by an Iranian friend in San Francisco, circa 1975-76 was inherited to me in 2000, and I wasn't the same person after that.

I'm not going to talk about the album, but about a surrealist song of that set, among other surrealist takes, called Open the Door, Homer. The problem I had, because of the lack of confidence, knowledge or whatever you call it, I couldn't understand why Homer in English sounded like Richard. It took some times to understand, yes, he is singing Richard, and not Homer. That was the beginning of a rather long story about the song which originally should have been titled Open the Door, Richard!

Dylan is famous for using other people's songs, changing the words, and making it something of his own. In this respect he reminds me of French painter Marcel Duchamp and his idea of "ready-made" objects in art. During the Basement Tapes sessions in Big Pink and other club-houses of Woodstock, New York, he and The Band performed many of other people's songs, and sometimes the choices were really odd.

Open the Door, Richard started out in 1919 as a Harlem black vaudeville routine by John Mason. It was first recorded in 1947 on the Black & White Records label by saxophonistist Jack McVea and became the number one song on Billboard. The same year Count Basie recorded the song with his orchestra (Lewis, Newman, Berry, Young, Edison, Robinson, Johnson, Matthews, Donnelly, Love, Rutherford, Gonsalves, Tate, Washington, Green, Page, Wilson) and humorous vocal part was done by Harry 'Sweets' Edison and Bill Johnson. It was released by RCA Victor Records and reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on February 7, 1947 and lasted four weeks on the chart, peaking at number one.

After these successful singles, it became a safe bet for many artists through the years, including Louis Jordan. According to Wikipedia, "the phrase 'Open the Door, Richard' passed into African American Vernacular English and became associated with the Civil Rights Movement. When college students marched in 1947 to the state capitol demanding the resignation of segregationist governor Herman Talmadge, some of their banners read 'Open the Door Herman'. The Los Angeles Sentinel used 'Open the Door Richard' as the title of an editorial demanding black representation in city government and a Detroit minister used the title for a sermon on open housing."

Now flash-forward to an unknown day between April to early/mid-May 1967 in Big Pink, when Dylan pays his tribute to Count Basie, the world of vaudeville, drunk songs, André Breton, and Jesus Christ by playing Open the Door Richard, in a slightly different way. Sid Griffin, in his study of the Basement Tapes recordings says "it is a nonsense song based on a nonsense song." Here Dylan plays acoustic 12-string guitar. Rick Danko on bass backs Dylan's vocal, so does Richard Manuel who also plays Piano. Hudson is on organ and Robbie Robertson produces his signature rattling sound on electric guitar. Not many listeners notice that the famous Basement Tapes recordings (especially all the materials from Big Pink) are drumless and no Levon Helm is ready to kick yet.

And concerning Homer sang Richard, Rick Danko explains that Dylan changed the name of the title to Homer so folks would not think it is reference to Richard Manuel. Obviously one can notice that Richard has changed to Homer, and not John for instance. The vaudevillesque nonsense context of the song has changed to a religious nonsense which I find moving and poetic. 

In Basement Tapes many references to the Old and New Testament are present. And when Dylan sings “Take care of all your memories/Said my friend, Mick/For you cannot relive them/And remember when you’re out there/Tryin’ to heal the sick/That you must always/First forgive them” Sid Griffin argues that Dylan must have been reading the book of Matthew, chapters four and five which "deals with such deeds as a sign of powerful prophecy and a sign of God's love." (Griffin, P. 212)


Listen to this audio file which starts with Basie, switches to Dylan and The Band, and again returns to Basie for the finale. Also some classic interpretations of the song is complied in this playlist from Spotify.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Duke Ellington in the Middle East


Duke Ellington here makes one think of Mozart. I don't know whether the jazz fan will appreciate the significance  of such a comparison, but I feel safe in making it because this  composition deserves to be considered not merely as a specimen of jazz,  which is only one kind of music, but as a specimen of music, period. --  André Hodeir

Set List:
Afro-Bossa; Stompin' at the Savoy; Guitar Amour; Perdido; Honeysuckle Rose; Tootie for Cootie; Kinda Dukish & Rockin' in Rhythm; I Got It Bad; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; The Eighth Veil; Medley (Satin Doll + Solitude + Don't Get Around Much Anymore + Mood Indigo + I'm Beginning To See the Light + Sophisticated Lady + Caravan + Do Nothin 'Till You Hear from Me + I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart + Don't Get Around Much Anymore); Diminuendo in Blue & Wailing Interval; Lush Life & Take the "A" Train.

About this concert: At Duke's Panorama Anders Asplund writes: "I am convinced this is from the Middle East tour in 1963, and by comparing the programme with those of other venues, I believe it must be from November."
And now the interesting comment comes from Sjef Hoefsmit:
"This must have been a live telecast. There were two live telecasts according to Klaus Stratemann page 680. One on 5 November 1963 from Tehran and one on 14 November at the Khuld Hall in Baghdad. Ken Vail helps us out. He writes on page 230 of the second volume of his Duke's Diary that the 5 November 1963 live telecast came from the ballroom of the Royal Tehran Hotel. He does not give details of the second live telecast on 14 November 1963. It is obvious that it was not played in a ballroom but on the stage of a large theatre. That makes us conclude that the date was 14 November 1963."
Smoking Shisha in Iraq, 1963

Though I'm not totally convinced by his argument (guessing from size of the theatre when there are entertainment venues in old Hotels of Tehran, suitable for a concert like this. Also many hotels in Tehran have amphitheaters), I wish we could find more information about this broadcast, and if it is really from Baghdad, then spend the rest of our lives in quest of the holy grail: Duke Ellington concert footage of November 1963 in Tehran!

PS:
Watched it over and over again, now I'm sure it's not Tehran. It is whether Lebanon or Iraq. This is definitely broadcasted from a Lebanese TV (Al-Mashregh), but could be originally recorded in Baghdad as Hoefsmit argues.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Radio Hawkins#16: Jimmy Smith Special

اپيزود شانزدهم
راديو هاوكينز: جاز براي ايران
موسيقي هشتمين شگفتي عالم، جيمي اسميت
1956-1966





فهرست كامل قطعات پخش شده در اين برنامه
1
Track: The High And The Mighty
Album: A New Sound, A New Star: Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol.1 
Recording Date: 18/02/56
Musicians: Thornel Schwartz (guitar)/Donald Bailey (drums)     
2
Slightly Monkish 
The Incredible Jimmy Smith at the Organ / At the Organ, Vol. 3
18/06/56
Thornel Schwartz (guitar)/Donald Bailey (drums) 
3
The Preacher 
The Incredible Jimmy Smith at Club Baby Grand Vol. 1
04/08/56
Thornel Schwartz (guitar)/Donald Bailey (drums)
4
Summertime 
Jimmy Smith at the Organ, Vol. 1
12/02/57
Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone)/Kenny Burrell (guitar)/Art Blakey (drums)
5
Champ 
Groovin' at Small's Paradise
14 or 18/11/57
Eddie McFadden (guitar), Donald Bailey (drums)
6
Flamingo 
The Sermon
25/08/57
Lee Morgan (trumpet)/Kenny Burrell (guitar)/Art Blakey (drums)
7
I Got A Woman 
Home Cookin'
16/06/59
Percy France (tenor saxophone)/Kenny Burrell (guitar)/Donald Bailey (drums)
8
Back At The Chicken Shack 
Back At The Chicken Shack
25/4/60
Stanley Turrentine (Tenor saxophone)/Kenny Burrell (guitar)/Donald Bailey (drums)
9
Walk On The Wild Side 
Bashin' - The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith
28/03/62
arr/cond: Oliver Nelson    
trumpets: Joe Newman, Doc Severinsen, Joe Wilder, Ernire Royal
trombones: Tommy Mitchell, Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, Britt Woodman   
saxophones: Babe Clarke (Tenor), Robert Ashton (Tenor), Gerry Dodgion (Alto), Phil Woods (Alto), George Barrow (Baritone)
guitar: Barry Galbraith
bass: George Duvivier
drums: Ed Shaughnessy
10
Organ Grinder Swing 
The Organ Grinder's Swing
14/06/65
Kenny Burrell (guitar)/Grady Tate (drums)   
11
OGD 
Further Adventures Of Jimmy And Wes
21 or 28/9/66
arr/cond: Oliver Nelson    
trumpets: Joe Newman, Jimmy Maxwell, Clark Terry, Ernire Royal
trombones: Quentin Jackson, Jimmy Cleveland, Melba Liston, Tony Studd   
saxophones: Babe Clarke (Tenor), Robert Ashton (Tenor), Gerry Dodgion (Alto), Phil Woods (Alto), Danny Bank, Jerome Richardson.
guitar: Wes Montgomery
bass: Richard Davis
drums: Grady Tate
percussion: Ray Barretto         

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Roy Haynes Talks and Dances!



I was always looking for a jazz event like this. An event that gives me the feeling of observing an overflowing volcano of creativity and force, standings on the crater and watching the fire and ash clouds coming out. Seeing history been made, and in the meantime feeling good and relaxed. I couldn't imagine that one day the drummer of Charlie Parker with Strings (in live recordings from 1950 with Mr. Al Haig on piano) will gratify this wish of mine. I couldn't dream of seeing an 85 year-old man who has played with Lester Young or Thelonious Monk, in 2011, and the very same person in the very same date shows me that fire and explosion, that fun and charisma in jazz which is extremely rare now. Yes, Roy Haynes was in town for the London Jazz Festival, and he performed one the most magical sets in the two weeks of unstoppable concerts and events. What an auspicious night! His gig was about music, history, comedy, improvised jazz and improvised gags, and a lesson in how keep the pulse of every single audience in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Before the 7:30 PM gig with Fountain of Youth Band (Jaleel Shaw on alto sax, Martin Bejerano on piano and  David Wong on bass), he appeared on stage for a short interview with BBC3. I used my mobile camera to film a part of the conversation. The camera is far from stage. I've used maximum zoom and a big head in front of me blocks the view. These issues have resulted a poor quality in this video, though it is still listenable and watchable, especially if you want to see the man tap-dancing at 85!

same band, one year earlier

Radio Hawkins#15


 برنامه پانزدهم راديو جاز براي ايران
تقديم به جيمي راشينگ

مضامين اين برنامه
من و تويي كه قرار بود باشيم، شِكوِه، آخر شب و شايد خيلي دير، دوستت دارم و همينه كه هست، چند آمريكايي در پاريس، آذرماه در خراسان، خسته ام اما حتي خسته ام از تو سرخوش تر است، سمينار موزيسين ها، عاشقانه ها به روايت سويينگ چي ها، جاز ساخته شده براي و به وسيلۀ مردم، خانه


با آثاري از
جيمي راشينگ
آرت بليكي، زوت سيمز، فوبي اسنو، بابي تيمونز، دكستر گوردون، باد پاول، لي مورگن، بانكي گرين، و بسياري غول هاي ديگر

اپيزود پانزدهم

دانلود با كيفيت بالا (1) يا (2) و با كيفيت متوسط و حجم پايين تر اين جا

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jazz in Iran Demographics

Click on to enlarge!
This very interesting demographics, showing gender and age of people listening to my recently started Jazz for Iran radio program, reveals something that needs more study and more appreciation: most of them are born during, or shortly after the revolution. They are born in a time that music, listening to it, or playing it was something out of question and simply belonged to the realm of satanic pleasures. Now one wonders how this affection, understanding, or curiosity emerged among this generation and how they kept exploring whatever was "forbidden" to them. This comes from Facebook page of the radio. All comments are welcome!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Radio Hawkins#14

راديو هاوكينز: جاز براي ايران
اپيزود چهاردهم
 تقديم به روي هينز

مضامين اين برنامه
تنهايي، تلفن، مِه، خداييش من آدم خوبي برات نبودم؟، سيب حوا، ديروز، طبيعت، بلوز، جاهايي كه نبوده ايم

موزيسين هاي اين برنامه
جان لي هوكر، روي هِينز، لويي آرمسترانگ و الا فيتزجرالد، دوك الينگتن، ارل گارنر، تل فارلو، باك كليتن، جيمي راشينگ، وين شورتر، راجر كل اِوِي

Friday, November 18, 2011

Getz/Burton/Swallow/Haynes Revisited

"We are very happy to be in this wonderful London town [audience laughs]...what are you laughing at, I mean it! Especially after being all over the world and trying to speak languages you don't speak, it's good to speak my American English."  -- Stan Getz

Isn't it marvelous that after 50 years two of the gentlemen in this video from 1965 (or 1966) are playing in London again within a week. This is an episode from Jazz Goes to College TV programme, a phrase probably coined by Dave Brubeck as an attempt to take jazz to smaller, more intellectual, or more "hip" venues. (another jazzy coincidence: Brubeck family played at Ronnie Scott's last week and I managed to have a chat about Iran and middle east with wonderful Darius Brubeck!) In this show recorded at London School of Economics (it's good for students to learn how play economical!), master of tenor sax, Stan Getz, is playing with his quartet consisted of Gary Burton, vibes, Steve Swallow, bass, and Roy Haynes on drums. The rhythm section, Swallow and Haynes are now swinging in London again, though in a slightly different direction.



Last Sunday at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Swallow and his quintet played new original tunes by Swallow. It was an amazing evening. He had a story, a text. And he had textures and colors to illustrate his story in sound. Most of the gigs that I've attended in last 10 days had good numbers, beautiful solos, unforgettable passages, but as an overall act, as a gig -like a film played in a cinema from beginning to end - they lacked that inner line of storytelling, that basic concept that puts the whole thing together and gives the performance a sense of unity. Swallow and his amazingly melodic electric bass guitar did this. He created a cheerful drama

For instance, he played three originals which drove from his passion for detective novels. "I don't read a book in which nobody gets killed in the first chapter," Swallow said. The light noir mood of these tunes were something that one has to add to the growing influence of noir heritage in popular culture and other forms of art.

Carla Bley, Swallow's life-long partner on keyboard, was as stylish as ever. Providing dark and somehow humorous plates of warm colors with her Hammond B3, she reminded me of Ida Lupino, a film noir femme fatale, playing piano in Roadhouse (1948) and putting her cigarettes on the instrument, an iconic image of noir world. Significantly she wrote the piece Ida Lupino and we can hear it in his then-husband Paul Bley's records , as well as her owns.

To see and hear how Swallow can knock out the audience by what he plays on his bass, this could be a good description: sometimes, especially in duos, he was playing the lead melody and Steve Cardenas, the guitar player, was his rhythm section. The best kind of jazz I know is when rhythm section comes to foreground and show the power of beats, rhythms, stops amd whatever make jazz music so vibrant and moving, and then slowly and modestly goes back to the background and allows the front line to take off again.

Let's not forget Chris Cheek who was playing mellow and humming tenor sax in a very laid back mood which reminds us of Stan Getz in one of his after-hour moods.

I'm looking forward to see Mr Haynes this evening, while invite you all to watch this excellent concert of Stan Getz Quartet with Burton, Swallow and Haynes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Radio Hawkins#13: On the Road with Kerouac

 برنامۀ سيزدهم
جك كرواك و موسيقي جاز
مجموعه قطعاتي از موزيسين هاي محبوب جك، كاري كه به اسم خود او نوشته و اجرا شده. اشعار او با صداي خودش و با صداي آلن گينزبورگ و مروري بر موسيقي بي باپ كه جك شاهد عيني تولد و اوج گرفتن آن بود
همراه با
لستر يانگ، برو مور، كانت بيسي، جرج شيرينگ، ساني استيت، فليپ فليپس، چارلي پاركر، ديزي گيلسپي، تلانيوس مانك

به برنامه سيزدهم در اين جا گوش كنيد




با كيفيت متوسط و متناسب با سرعت اينترنت ايران در اين جا

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Radio Hawkins#12

عكس از رضا حكيمي

برنامۀ دوازدهم راديو هاوكينز - جاز براي ايران
شامل آثاري از
كيد اري، ري چارلز، آليور نلسن، اريك دالفي، رد گارلند، جيمي هميلتن، يوتا هيپ، زوت سيمز، جري موليگان، چت بيكر، اليك باچيك



دانلود با كيفيت بالا، اين جا يا اين جا

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Something Else by André Hodeir (1921-2011)


"For us Europeans, the only reasonable solution is to take jazz as a complement to our culture, not as an antidote to the "poisons of intellectualism." What does this music bring to us? Isn't it precisely the kind of music "that can be listened to without burying one's forehead in one's hands," which is what Jean Cocteau called for after the first war? In jazz, "sensorial interests" greatly outweigh "intellectual passion," the simple charm of existence is exalted without much reflection, a sharpened sensuality takes the place of loftiness and the fusion of individualities takes the place of architecture. Consequently, the attitude required of the listener by jazz is completely different from that generally required by classical masterpieces. But whoever knows how to listen to it with the right kind of ear is always paid for his effort. In our time, when the most advanced European art is becoming more and more abstract, leaving room for feeling but only in a highly sublimated form, jazz brings an element of balance that may be necessary and is almost surely beneficial.
Henri Bernard, a veteran among French jazz fans and a man of culture besides, has written: "The miracle of the century is not power failures or airplane crashes or trips to the moon, but primitive man and Negro folklore." It would be more exact to write that what gives our epoch its value is what we have managed to bring into existence. To be able to take part in the most varied activities of modern man when they tend to build rather than to destroy, to be interested in contemporary philosophy without neglecting sports, to make room for jazz alongside abstract art that is what really enriches us. Is it impossible to hear foreign languages and appreciate their beauty without first disowning and almost forgetting one's mother tongue? On the contrary, I am convinced that we have the ability to adopt differing attitudes of receptivity and comprehension as the need arises. This does not necessarily force us to judge jazz in the perspective of European art; instead, it invites us to broaden our view in order to make room for the only popularly inspired music of our time which is universal and has not become lost in vulgarity. It is not a question of giving up what we have, but of acquiring something else." -- André Hodeir (1956, English translation by David Noakes)

God's Empty Chair


From Jack Kerouac's On The Road:

Dean and I went to see [George] Shearing at Birdland in the midst of the long, mad weekend. The place was deserted, we were the first customers, ten o'clock. Shearing came out, blind, led by the hand to his keyboard. He was distinguished-looking Englishman with a stiff white collar,! slightly beefy, blond, with a delicate English-summer's night air about him that came out in the first rippling sweet number! He played as the bass-player leaned to him reverently and thrummed the beat. The drummer, Denzil Best, sat motionless! except for his wrists snapping the brushes. And Shearing began to rock; a smile broke over his ecstatic face; he began to rock in the piano seat, back and forth, slowly at first, then the beat went up, and he began rocking fast, his left foot jumped up with every beat, his neck began to rock crookedly, he brought his face down to the keys, he pushed his hair back, his combed hair dissolved, he began to sweat. The music I picked up. The bass player hunched over and socked it in, faster and faster, it seemed faster and faster, that's all. Shearing began to play his chords; they rolled out of the piano in great rich showers, you'd think the man wouldn't have time to line them up. They rolled and rolled like the sea. Folks yelled for him to "Go!" Dean was sweating; the swear poured down his collar.

"There he is! That's him! Old God! Old God Shearing! Yes! Yes! Yes!" And Shearing was conscious of the madman behind him, he could hear every one of Dean's gasps and imprecations, he could sense it though he couldn't see. "That's right!" Dean said. "Yes!" Shearing smiled; he rocked. Shearing rose from the piano, dripping with sweat; these were his great 1949 days before he became cool and commercial. When he was gone Dean pointed to the empty piano seat. "God's empty chair," he said. On the piano a horn sat; its golden shadow made a strange reflection along the desert caravan painted on the wall behind the drums. God was gone; it was the silence of his departure. It was a rainy night. It was the myth of the rainy night. Dean was popeyed with awe.

a piano solo from 1943

من و دين [موريارتي] رفتيم [جرج] شيرينگ را تو كافۀ بردلند، وسط يكي از آن هفته‌هاي طولاني و ديوانه‌وار ببينيم. ساعتِ ده شب. سالن خالي بود و ما اولينِ مشتري‌ها بوديم. شيرينگ روي صحنه پيدايش شد. يكي دست اين پيانيست كور را گرفته بود كه ببرد و بنشاندش پشت ساز. او جنتلمنِ متشخص انگليسي بود با يقۀ سفيد سفت و سخت و صورتي كمي گوشتالو و موهاي طلايي كوتاه شانه كرده به عقب. وقتي روي صحنه آمد انگار نسيم شب‌هاي تابستاني انگلستان را با خودش آورد، به خصوص وقتي اولين قطعه را اجرا كرد كه آهنگي شيرين بود كه در آن نت‌ها مثل سنگي كه در آب آرام درياچه مي‌‌اندازيم آرام از مركز گسترده مي‌شدند و صدا را بازتر و بازتر مي‌كردند.
همان‌طور كه شيرينگ پيانو مي‌زد نوازندۀ كنتراباس از سر ذوق و شيفتگي به جنتلمنِ انگليسيِ نابينا ضرب‌هايش را گذاشت روي ضرب بي‌نقص شيرينگ. دِنزل بِستِ طبال جُم نمي‌خورد، مگر مچش‌هايش كه براش‌ها را با دقت به حركت درمي‌آورد و روي طبل وسط مي‌كشيد. شيرينگ شروع كرد به تكان خوردن. لبخندي روي صورتِ در خلسه‌ فرورفته‌اش شكفت. روي صندلي پيانو خودش را به عقب و جلو تكان مي‌داد. اول آرام اين كار را مي‌كرد و هرچه ريتم موسيقي تندتر شد رقص او روي صندلي شدت بيش‌تر گرفت. پاي چپش سر هر ضرب مي‌رفت بالا. گردنش خلاف جهت رقص بدنش به حركت درآمد. سر و تن مي‌خواستند هر كدام به سمت ديگري بروند. سرش را كشيد پايين دم كليدهاي ساز. موهايش را به سرعت زد عقب و موهاي شانه كرده‌اش به هم ريخت. شروع كرده بود به عرق كردن، چه عرق‌كردني.
موسيقي همين‌طور مي‌رفت جلو. نوازندۀ باس خم شده بود روي ساز و با پشت قوز كرده مي‌كوبيد روي سيم‌ها و سرعت هي بالاتر مي‌رفت. به نظر مي‌آمد همين‌طور سريع‌تر و سريع‌تر مي‌شود. همه چيز شتاب مي‌گرفت. شيرينگ شروع كردن به زدن آكوردهايش. آن‌ها مثل باران سيل‌آسا همين‌طور از پيانو بيرون مي‌زدند و به نظر مي‌آمد شيرينگ فرصت نظم دادن به آن‌ها را ندارد و ديگر از كنترل خارج شده‌اند. همان‌طور بيرون مي‌زدند مثل دريا. تمام نمي‌شد. مشتري‌ها فريادشان درآمد. «برو! برو!» دين عرق مي‌كرد و عرق‌هايش از يقيۀ لباسش سرازير مي‌شد پايين.
«خودِ خودشه. خود خداست! شيرينگِ خدا! برو! برو! برو!» و شيرينگ خبر داشت از اين مجنوني كه پشت سرش نشسته و اين‌ها را فرياد مي‌زد. مي‌توانست تك تك نفس‌ نفس زدن‌ها و نفرين‌ها و شِكوِه‌هاي دين را بشنود. مي‌توانست احساسشان كند با آن كه نمي‌توانست ببينيد. دين گفت «همينه! همينه» لبخند نشست روي لب شيرينگ. به رقص درآمد. از روي صندلي پيانو نيم خيز شد. از تمام هيكلش عرق مي‌ريخت. آن روزها روزهاي بزرگ سال 1949 بود قبل از اين كه موسيقي شيرينگ شيك و خون‌سرد و تجاري شود. قبل از اين كه ديوانگي و عرق از آن برود.
وقتي كه شيرينگ كارش تمام شد و رفت دين اشاره كرد به صندلي‌ خالي‌اش و گفت: «صندليِ خاليِ خدا». كسي يك ترومپت گذاشت روي صندلي خالي خدا و سايۀ طلايي‌اش انعكاس عجيبي درست كرد روي نقاشي يك رديف كاروان وسط كوير كه روي ديوار پشت طبل نقاشي شده بود. خدا رفته بود. آن‌چه مانده بود سكوتِ پس از غيبت او بود. شب باراني بود. او اسطورۀ شب باراني بود. چشم‌هاي دين از فرط حيرت از حدقه درآمده بود.
از كتاب On The Road نوشتۀ Jack Kerouac

Monday, October 31, 2011

Radio Hawkins#11: Lover Men

 برنامۀ يازدهم راديو هاوكينز: جاز براي ايران
اجراهايي متفاوت از قطعۀ
LOVER MAN
توسط
بلاسِم دي يِري، كانت بيسي، سارا وان، واردل گري، دان باياس، كولمن هاوكينز، ساني راولينز، هري جيمز، ال هِيگ،  جيمي اسميت، جي جي جانسن، جنگو راينهاد، ديزي گيلسپي، ساني استيت

برنامه را اين جا بشنويد


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Radio Hawkins#10: Songs for Our Fathers

 IN ENGLISH

برنامۀ دهم
موسيقي جاز به ياد و احترام پدران


 
مجموعه قطعاتي از 1938 تا 1987 با مضمون پدر
شامل آثاري از لويي آرمسترانگ، بيل اونز، كوزي كول، جرج كلمن، كلمن هاوكينز، چارلز تاليور، هوريس سيلور،  باني بريگان، نينا سيمونه،  سيسيل پين، وودي هرمان و جيمز مودي
 براي فهرست كامل قطعات و اسامي موزيسين ها و تاريخ ضبط به اين لينك مراجعه كنيد



دانلود با كيفيت بالا در اين جا

دانلود به حجم پايين تر براي اينترنت هاي با سرعت پايين، در اين جا

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Radio Hawkins#9: Blues for Jafar

عكس از رضا حكيمي


برنامۀ نهمِ راديو هاوكينز
شامل آثاري از
ساني بوي ويليامسن، سيدار والتن، كانت بيسي، كني بارون، مدرن جز كوارتت



برنامه را با كيفيت متوسط و متناسب با سرعت اينترنت ايران در اين جا بشنويد

برنامه را با كيفيت متوسط در اين جا دانلود كنيد

صفحه اين برنامه در فيس بوك منتظر نظرات شماست

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Musicians on Musicians#3: Jennifer Anderson and 5 tenor

Jennifer Anderson is a saxophone player from Glenview, Illinois, and currently based in L.A. In addition to being a musician and painter, Mrs Anderson is a grade school music teacher. She is still doing her "big band thing," as well as working in the recording studios. I interviewed her via email, and here she talks about her influences and tenor saxophonists who have inspired her through the years. Like other interviewees, it was impossible for her to just stick to five names, and at one point she quoted from a friend, Chuck Johnson, to point how different players feel close to different sounds and musical personalities. "The attraction to Dexter Gordon for me is immediate because of his sound…big, robust, clear and warm," Jennifer quoted Chuck Johnson, "he has the ability to place every note he plays clearly and distinctly no matter the tempo of the tune.  But delve beyond his sound and you find a musician with a fertile aptitude to create improvisations that build logically, melodically and with intensity, chorus after chorus after chorus. And he masterfully and cleverly injects song quotes within any song he is performing. Dexter was also able to synthesize the cool, lyricism and storytelling of Lester Young with the harmonic advancement and fluidity of Charlie Parker and create his own personality." Well, not only we learn from people we love, but also we learn from the way people love other people. That's the main point of these interviews.

◘  ◘  ◘

Sonny Rollins: One of my first jazz music lessons actually came from a Sonny Rollins record. My first saxophone was a tenor. I didn't know much about the saxophone or sax players at the time, so I went to the local record store and picked up some records with pictures of guys with a saxophones one the front. One of them way Sonny Rollins' Way Out West with drummer Shelly Manne and bass player Ray Brown. I loved the cover--he looked so bad-ass slinging the sax and wearing a ten gallon hat out in the desert. When I heard I'm an Old Cowhand I realized the song was him! Never mind that it was a hokey old song. The music sounded as serious as it was fun--and swung like crazy! You could transcribe Sonny's solo and study it in a college classroom, but I really heard his personality coming through. That really got my imagination because Sonny made me see potential and possibility. Throughout his career, he has really dug into that potential and possibility and amazed us all with his interesting use of harmony, fluidity, spontaneity, and wit. There probably are people out there jamming on his tunes right now as well as studying him in college classrooms!

Ben Webster: Like Duke Ellington said said "I've always had a yen for Ben". The distinctive sound of Ben Webster is one that you can recognize is a few notes. Whether he is playing sweet or growly sexy, you could never confuse his sound with anyone else. That sound always seems to go right to my gut somehow. He was a big sensation in the Duke Ellington band in the 40's. Many musicians have paid tribute to him by playing his Cottontail solo, which was a big hit for the Ellington band. My recomendation would be Poutin'!

Coleman Hawkins: I know that historically Coleman Hawkins is a very important innovator. He took an instrument that was more of a novelty and band instrument before the 30's and really wowed the world with his playing. This drew lots of attention to the sax and made it a much more popular as a "legitimate" instrument. But even so, I feel like he would be awesome during any time period, and he was! His career was amazing even through the bop era. His beautiful, strong, colorful, lyrical sound is one I could never tire of. I love how his lines are seamless and ornamental at the same time. What a brain he must have had. Maybe that's why his nickname was Bean.

Lester Young: Lester Young was one of the first people to inspire me to play the saxophone. What I heard made so much sense to me. He seemed to speak in complete musical sentences. I loved his light sound. The problem was that he influenced me so much that I was always playing too laid back, and not in a good way! I finally realized it and stopped trying to be Lester Young. There definitely was only one of him. He is also famous for playing and and recording with his friend Billy Holiday.

Stan Getz: He is probably most known for his work with Antonio Carlos Jobim, which created the Bossa Nova craze in the 60's. But during his career he played it all--big band, cool jazz, bop and more. I heard that he was inspired by Lester Young. He has always been a huge inspiration to me because of the pure magic he created with his sound. When I first heard The Girl From Ipenema I was absolutely spellbound. His magical sound hooked me. I am currently enjoying his recordings that he made with guitarist Johnny Smith.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Persian Poster of High Society

A Persian poster of High Society. Pops is introduced as "the king of jazz of the universe!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pee-Wee


One night, at the end of a a gig in a dive in Boston - a small, narrow, cheerless room - Pee Wee Russell was confronted by a student at the nearby New England Conservatory of Music who unrolled a series of music manuscript pages.

They were densely covered with what looked like notes of extraordinary complex avant-garde classical composition. "I brought this for you," the young man said to Pee Wee, who stared at him if he were a Martian. "It's one of your solos from last night. I transcribed it."

Shaking his head, Pee Wee looked at the manuscript. "This can't be me. I can't play this."

The student assured Pee Wee that the transcribed solo - with its fiendishly difficult and startling turns of invention - was indeed Pee Wee's.

"Well," the shy clarinetist said, "even if it is, I wouldn't play it again the same way - even if I could, which I can't." 
-- Nat Hentoff,  Speaking Freely

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Musicians on Musicians#2: Kevin McMahon and 5 tenor


I met Kevin McMahon, an Irish tenor saxophonist, last winter. His is capable of executing beautiful, and slow-talking phrases on his instrument. He can do mournful treatments of ballads, and at the same time he can be aggressive, when playing bop standards is concerned. He is developing a huge and edgy sound and love to play with chord sequences that can move listeners, instantly. No need to say, he was heavily influenced by his idol, Mr Dexter Gordon, and he was calling his project of playing Dexter's composition with his quartet, "Dexterritory".

His quartet was consists of Shura Greenberg, an inspiring bass player, Steve Ashworth, a pianist who loves Cedar Walton, and Matt Fishwick on drums (though drummer's chair has been owned by a number of other musicians since then). In a tiny band stand of Oliver's at Greenwich London these cats had their own way of saying thank you to Dexter Gordon. They showed a good taste in returning to Dexter Gordon's Blue Note years and finding some of the best tunes ever written in the idiom of hardbop and rearranging them for a contemporary quartet. The list includes pieces like Hanky Panky, Ernie's Tune, Society Red, Second Balcony Jump and Cheese Cake, and the focus was on solid, bluesy, marching beat of this tunes.

Recently I asked him about the tenormen who have inspired him. Of course, top of the list belongs to Dex, and after that come these names:

Dexter Gordon: I bought the Ballads album when I was twenty-two and listening one afternoon I recall saying to myself this is why I want to play saxophone, funny that its nearly twenty years later that my band "Dexterritory" are working on presenting some of his Music. His Importance is gigantic, a tenor bridge between the swing and bob players of his generation. His contribution to hard swinging Bop unsurpassed, not to mention his coolness and manner, a sophisticated Giant indeed.
I'm a fool to want you

Stan Getz: Serenity was the first album I really checked out and I still get mileage from it, actually was just listening I Remember You from the live album. As Coltrane remarked "we'd all sound like Stan if we could". His sound and lyrical quality are simply outstanding. Stan is old Blue Eyes for me on Tenor. 
 
Sunday

Joe Henderson: I was lucky enough to meet Joe twice both briefly, he was a gentleman. His playing like all of the greats was stamped with a instantly recognizable sound...and what a sound. I do prefer the later recordings particularly the records he made playing the music of Jobim and Miles. Go Joe....
Recorda Me

John Coltrane: Could not be omitted from my top Five. My favourite albums are Lush Life and the record he made with baritone Johnny Hartman. Trane was the endless searcher for truth and an inspiration to any man.
Giant Steps

Richie Buckley: Richie is  from a big musical family in Dublin, be sure to check him out if your over there. He is an amazing saxophone player and has been a factor in my wanting to play. Has all the qualities of a master musician. He made a record a few years back called Your Love Is Here

Radio Hawkins#7

 عكس از رضا حكيمي

هفتمين برنامۀ موسيقي جاز، راديو هاوكينز
با آثاري از چارلي پاركر، كلارنس لافتن، لني تريستانو، دوك الينگتن، جان كلترين، پل دزموند، جيم هال، هربي مان، بيلي تيلر، ممفيس اسليم، اسكار پيترسن، استفان گراپلي

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bitches Brew Meets the Experimental Cinema

Tomorrow my collage of the experimental cinema will be screened at Joiners Arms, as Shura Greenberg Sextet is playing materials from Miles Davis' late 1960s period. Two one-hour films are a celebration of the works by Oskar Fischinger, Joseph Cornell, Joris Ivens, Hollis Frampton, Henri Chomette, Walter Ruttmann, D.A. Pennebaker, Pierre Hébert, Bert Haanstra, László Moholy-Nagy, Margaret Tait, and Sally Potter.

The Electric Miles Project features fresh takes on the music of Miles Davis circa 1969-72. Using the material for inspiration and improvisation this quintet (fea. the trumpet of Steve Sincock, alto sax of Chris Williams, Fender Rhodes of Gareth Wilkins and the bass/drum team of Shura Greenberg and Craig Tamlin) will take you on a musical journey into this electric voodoo world.

Sunday 25th September 9pm-11.30pm
The Joiners Arms, 116-118 Hackney Road, E2 7QL.
Tel: 07976892541 (for venue information).
Free entry. Licensed bar.