Saturday, October 31, 2009

We Want Miles Expo

So we went on thursday to Paris, let me share my impressions with you :

*(this may contain spoilers for those of you who will visit it in the future)*

general oberservations :
- negative : a) no english catalogue available, it MIGHT become available SOMEWHERE in November, not able to order by internet;
b) the poster of the expo : not available wedon't have an agreement with the photographer YET
c) you get at the entrance some earphones (no not the MD designed ones - shoud have been cool though to see everyone with those ones) which had to be used at certain point during the parcours to listen at mainly the well known music (All Blues, etc.) but at each point there are only four contacts to branch your earphones so a waiting line is easily formed
so yes it's a real french organisation ;-)

- then the positive observations who do prevail :
The expo is build on a chronological base and takes place on two floors. The main color which is used is BLACK (i thought otherwise seeing the pictures taken by George Cole). The MUSIC is omnipresent, everywhere where you pass

The main facts of Miles' life and music are of course known to most of us so what was most interesting for me where some smalle items on display :
- a (to me unknown) picture of the Billy Eckstine orchestra during a concert;

- a lot of pictures of the Paris 1949 concerts

- an original record from that 1949 concert (by Miles with TADD DAMERON) wheron the french radio recorded directly the broadcast

- a recipe from the Ascenseur pour l'échafaud session where Miles signed he received payments for the recording session :
"Received ....

Miles Davis

- a letter from Teo to Columbia for the FDK album :
"Miles lets me know he want all titles on the album mentioned in french; HELP, anybody here speaks french?"

- at various places big screens where are shown : extracts of Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, a concert extract with the 2nd quintet, isle of wight festival and a special theatre where the july 1991 La Villete show is shown. Although we know the music, it's a very nice experience to see and hear it on a 5 by 5 meter screen and changes from the usual television screen experience...

- if memory is correct at least 4 trumpets used by Miles are shown as well as a saxophone by Trane used by him in the 50's. The drums photographed by George Cole are an assembly of parts of Philly Joe Jones drums as well as those from Tony Williams.

- a short movie from 1971 filmed at the place of John Lennons manager , Miles and Betty were invited by John Lennon to share the afternoon with them at the party, you see Miles playin' basketball.

- another short movie where you see Miles boxing

- then a real treasure filmed in 1972 by a Japanese guy Teppei Okuchi (?) during a recording session(s) for On The Corner and Big Fun where you see how Miles direct the members of the band, explain to Al Foster to what kind of rhythm he wants... it's about 10 minutes or so (haven't checked onmy watch)

- then a lot of video's are available from the period 1980 -1991 (saturday night live, publicity clips, tutu, etc.) as well as drums, guitar, the pancartes he used with the first name of the musicians, the jacket he wore for the cover of You're under arrest, the Villette 1991 concert etc., also a film taken in 63 in paris upon Miles arrival in Paris at the train station with wife and kids (must be in july before the Antibes concert)

- covering all periods original charts are shown beginning with the BOTC period "Rouge" where the various parts of each instrument are shown, then indeed the charts of various compostions of the sities, ESP ( For Miles - Wayne), Dolores, Capricorn, Little One, Pinocchio... AND
one very curious chart from the 1962 sextet period of Miles with Jay Jay and Hank Mobley, probably a composition by Jay Jay and the parts of JJ, Miles and Hank are shown a track which was never played later by Miles (don't remember the title of it, Ersch or Eric J if you go try to memorize of write down the title please)
although i can't read any music at all, i found these charts very interesting to look and try to read the instrcutions written on it ...

That's about it, it took us a good 2 hours but we didn't listen to all music and videos available so you can spend easily a well spent afternoon at the expo.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Passez la nuit avec Wayne Shorter

Ce soir il faut à nouveau écouter France Musique à partir d'une heure le matin. il y aura du beau monde qui est invité et apparement il y aura un interview avec Mr. Shorter. Espérons que la traduction ne gache pas la voix of the man himself ;-)

Je ne serai pas dans la possibilité de l'enregistrer car on est à Paris pour voir et entendre à la Salle Pleyel le quartet de Wayne Shorter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We Want Miles : here we come!!!

Tomorrow we're of to Paris for the 'We Want Miles' expo. I'll post again this weekend and will as well try to publish some pictures.

Monday, October 26, 2009

RIP Sirone

Just heard that Sirone passed away. I found this on the NPR website :

"Sirone, 'Revolutionary' Bassist, Dies
by Lars Gotrich

The world has lost another tie to the original New Thing jazz: bassist and composer Norris Jones, better known as Sirone, has died in Berlin, Germany. He was 69.

Sirone recorded with Cecil Taylor, Charles Gayle and Phalanx, a group featuring George Adams (tenor sax), James Blood Ulmer (guitar) and Rashied Ali (drums). (Ali also passed away recently, in August.) But to me, his greatest work was in the Revolutionary Ensemble.

Formed in 1971, Revolutionary Ensemble was a somewhat odd trio. Fiery jazz groups were customarily featured face-peeling saxophones, not violins. Yet Leroy Jenkins (violin), Sirone (bass) and Jerome Cooper (drums) forged one of the most innovative groups of its time.

"The trio almost epitomized that much-maligned year in jazz," jazz critic Kevin Whitehead said in his 2005 Fresh Air review of The Revolutionary Ensemble's And Now.... "It was a time of re-thinking the available possibilities, when new instrumental combinations and new ways of sorting out ensemble roles became common."

Last winter, I made my yearly pilgrimage to Low Yo Yo Stuff in Atlanta, Ga. while visiting my parents for the holidays. The store always has a great stock of free jazz vinyl, but the one group that came up over and over again in fingering through the LPs was Revolutionary Ensemble. Picking up the trio's debut, Vietnam, the owner got really excited and had me put it on the store's speaker system.

Listening again today as I did in that Atlanta strip mall, it's clear from the outset that Jenkins, Sirone and Cooper were onto something radical. They intersected chamber music, backwoods hoedowns and free improvisation in a way that called out to new thinking. It also happened to be an extraordinarily good time.

Sirone, in particular, is a wonder even at this early stage in his career. He almost never walks a scale, but when he does, fragments are seared in rapid-fire plucks. Sirone mostly disarmed with his bow. He could be as light as Jenkins' playful violin, mimicking his Appalachian-style explorations. But when drummer Jerome Cooper lit the fire, Sirone equalled him in force, hitting the bow to the strings in a tangible, grab-you-by-the-shirt kind of way. It's thrilling. Despite the LP's intentioned protest against the Vietnam War, the call for musical and political change still resonates through a new era."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sonny Rollins : Another Interview

Here's another interview with Sonny Rollins :

Vancouver Jazz Fest: Sonny Rollins' life-long search for excellence

By Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun
June 26, 2009

VANCOUVER - Saxophonist Sonny Rollins doesn't take the Orpheum stage until 8 p.m. Monday, but he's told the venue that he needs the dressing room by mid-afternoon.

That's because he wants to practise for three hours before he takes the stage. And, if things go the way they did when he appeared here two years ago, he'll practise for another hour after the concert.

At 78, the man many consider the greatest living tenor saxophonist still feels he has room to improve. There's a famous Youtube clip of trombonist Clifton Anderson, who is Rollins's nephew, talking about wanting to quit music because his best solo was eclipsed by what his uncle did on the horn.

Rollins told him that at his stage in life, he has to play at a high level because he never knows when it will be his last chance to perform.

When asked about this, the saxophonist says he's not familiar with the clip - Rollins belongs to the generation that doesn't sit at a computer - but that the advice sums up his philosophy about performing.

"I feel every moment in life is precious, because you never know if it's going to be your last moment on Earth," he says over the phone from his home, a 150-year-old farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley. "I just gave that advice to a young student of mine the other day. I told him, `You have to play your absolute utmost, your absolute best, because just think if that becomes the last time you play.'"

This philosophy also explains why Rollins, who really has nothing to prove to the world, practises so much.

"I guess if you have no real interest in what you do and you just work until you retire and you're glad to get away from your job, which may be the case for the majority of people, you'd want to stay away from the office as much as possible," says Rollins. "My case is quite different. Music is a life-long pursuit. I'm still at it and I'm still trying to learn it all, which I'm sure is impossible. I'm trying to get closer to what I know I can do.

"My modus operandi is extensive preparation, and then when we're in the moment at a concert I don't have to think about my preparation," he says. "You can't improvise and think at the same time. I've tried it. I've tried to remember certain passages that I wanted to include, and it never works out because by the time I think of it the moment is gone."

Rollins has more than 70 recordings as a leader, a sizeable volume of work. However, the modest musician downplays the significance of his recorded legacy.

"I've been fortunate to outlive a lot of my contemporaries, and I had more opportunities for recording," says Rollins, who has taken a number of lengthy sabbaticals from recording and performing. "I guess it's a body of work, but it's certainly nothing I take pride in necessarily, because I feel there is more to be done.

"I've been recording since 1948, so it doesn't seem like that many albums."

At an age when many would slow down, Rollins has been accelerating his activities. Part of the reason for this was the 2004 of his wife of 40 years, Lucille.

"Since my wife is no longer here with me, I've sort of made a change in my life," Rollins says. "I asked my agent to get me more work, because I'm more lonely now. I'm working on my music, and as long as I'm healthy I want to try to compose and get some of this music out."

The sextet Rollins brings to the Orpheum Monday includes Clifton Anderson on trombone, Bobby Broom on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass, Kobie Watkins on drums and Victor Y. See Yuen on percussion.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We Want Miles : update

George Cole was present on the opening night and published a brief review as well as pictures from the expo. You can get a look on his website.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sonny Rollins Interview

Jazz St. Louis podcast features interview with Sonny Rollins :
Jazz St. Louis has just put online a new interview in their ongoing series of podcasts, one that featurs a conversation between legendary tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins and JSL executive director Gene Dobbs Bradford.
You can download the 24-minute podcast or listen to an online stream here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bob Gordon - Jazz West Coast

This message appeared on the jazzwest-coast list recently :

"Bob Gordon has graciously consented to allow *JazzProfiles to publish on its
website the 11 chapters from his long, out-of-print work - **Jazz West
Coast: The **Los Angeles** Jazz Scene of the 1950’s *[London: Quartet Books
Ltd., 1986].
Since the original work did not include color photos or album covers, we
will take some time to research and add these in a judicial manner so as not
to detract from Bob's narrative.
The chapters will run intermittently and not consecutively to allow for
other features of interest to be posted in keeping with the ecumenical
spirit of the site concerning all-things-Jazz.
Each chapter will be developed as a Word Document with thumbnail inserts of
photos and album covers before being brought up on the site.
Since it is difficult to download text directly from JazzProfiles, once each
chapter is developed into a Word Document, it can be sent as an e-mail
attachment for those of you who wish to keep a manuscript copy of the text.
Send me an e-mail and I will reply with a copy of the chapter attached.
The copyright Gods permitting, we will also try to form each group of
graphics into a video with an audio track that is representative of each
chapter's theme so as to enhance the experience of reading of Bob's text.
I hope to have the first chapter up on the site by the end of October;
beginning of November.
Other than what I have outlined above, any suggestions or recommendations
about how best to approach this project are always welcome.
If you are a fan of West Coast Jazz and haven't had the opportunity to read
Bob's book, you're gonna love it.
Kind regards,

So soon you have one more reason to check out the jazzprofiles blog. I do have the book already on the shelf for a long time but never read it, it might happen soon though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We Want Miles

Newspapers aswell as national public radio are quite present when it comes to the Miles Davis expo at la Cité de la Musique. Le Monde, Le Figaro and even La Croix have articles. What's remarkable is the fact that Libération, despite they are a privileged partner of the expo haven't published anything yet, or i must have missed it.
France musique broadcasted live from the Cité friday evening for the daily Magazine as well as the Open Jazz Program which i both captured and are available in MP3 format.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Miles Davis lived here

From the LA TIMES :

This 1983 Buff and Hensman contemporary on the west end of Malibu was a beachfront hangout for the jazz legend.

By Dinah Eng

October 11, 2009

Ocean views and a bountiful flower and vegetable garden create a peaceful setting for this 1983 Buff and Hensman beachfront house at the west end of Malibu that once was home to jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis.

Conrad Buff III and Donald Hensman are credited with helping to define "ultra-cool" in contemporary-style homes during the 1950s and 1960s, with modern designs that embraced the Southern California lifestyle. They designed homes for many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka and Steve McQueen.

"Buff and Hensman did the initial design of this house in 1963, but it wasn't built until 1983," says Martha Lefkovits, an interior designer who owns the home with husband Norman, an avid fisherman. The pair wanted a house on the beach. "To me, this is the most pastoral place in the United States."

Houses in the neighborhood, west of Leo Carrillo State Beach, have direct access to the ocean.

The front door opens to a two-story skylighted and tiled entryway with a dramatic staircase along one wall. The entry leads to a living room and dining room with picture-window views of the ocean. The kitchen features a granite center island and opens to a walkway leading to a small greenhouse.

Behind the kitchen is a three-quarter bath with shower, an office with built-in bookshelves, a laundry room and a two-car garage.

Upstairs are a master bedroom with fireplace, a pair of walk-in closets with skylights, and French doors that open to a balcony with an ocean view. The master bathroom includes a spa tub and oversize shower.

A carpeted hallway leads to another bedroom with sliding-glass doors to a balcony. A shared bathroom connects to a third bedroom, also with an ocean view. Farther down the hallway, a fourth bedroom has its own bathroom. Completing the floor is a redwood-lined room, used as an art studio, that was originally a sauna.

A patio is near a garden filled with flowers, vegetables and herbs. A winding brick pathway leads down the hillside to a patio deck and beach cabana, outfitted with running water, refrigerator, camp stove and television. The path continues down to the waves.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

ROIO Of The Week : Keith Jarrett solo in Tokyo 1984

This week's Roio is recording of Keith Jarrett playing solo, it's taken from a Japanese 6-DVD set of which 4 DVD's now have been issued on ECM.
Enjoy, it's at moments as bein' in heaven...

Keith Jarrett solo
Kan-i Hoken Hall, Tokyo
January 25, 1984
sound : B (there's something with the piano's sound, don't know what, haven't seen the dvd)

01 Tokyo '84 #1
02 Tokyo '84 #2
03 Over The Rainbow (encore #1)
04 Tokyo '84 encore #2

Saturday, October 10, 2009

DownBeat October 2009

I received this week the october issue of Down Beat. There's some great post in the 'chords and discords' section by a certain Jack Whitlinger living in Apollo, Penn.

He writes :
"Thi will be an unpopular statement in the jazz community, but i have always felt that Miles Davis was overrated as a trumpeter and jazz innovator. Davis never had the technical ability of a Dizzy Gillespie or Wynton Marsalis and he never invented any new type of jazz, as Gillespie and Charlie Parker did with bop. While many jazz critics have touted Davis's "Kind Of Blue" as the best record of all time, I think the recording is mostly a dirge. If a dozen or so of today's top jazz trumpet players had to be pitted against Davis in his prime, they would have blown him away."

You are a funny man mister Whitlinger but i think you still have a way to go concerning jazzstudies. Or otherwise come over to Paris from next week on and visit the "We want Miles" expo at la Cité de la Music.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Irving Penn R.I.P.

Mr. Penn took the famous pictures of Miles Davis which were used on the Tutu album. The NYT obituary can be found here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue

In the spring of 1981 a group of reggae studio musicians from Jamaica gathered in New York City under the direction of Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU at that time. The result was this Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue.

Though he was primarily regarded as a world-class Jazz musician and educator, Taylor had taken several trips to Jamaica to study reggae music with some of the best performers in the world. In his 1979 book, “A Space Between” Taylor wrote, “My first trip to Jamaica (May 1977) was the most eye-opening musical experience of my life. I met so many incredible players who had been brushed off by the snobby musical establishment at institutions such as the ones I was affiliated with. They showed more musicality, taste, and rhythmic comprehension than some of the most revered musicians in the states. I knew that I had to find a way to showcase their unparalleled talent in a different medium in order for some of my colleagues to fully understand and learn from it.” This statement served as the basic concept behind this album. Taylor took the most loved, well-known modern jazz album of all time and put it in the hands of reggae musicians. It was in this context that he felt his contemporaries would be able to fully understand what it was he saw in these players.

Unfortunately, weeks after directing the sessions Taylor passed away in his Paris hotel room while on a speaking tour of Europe. A final mix of the album was never made and it was never released. Collectors have long spoken of this album and in the late 80s lo-fi cassette tapes of rough mixes circulated. No official release was ever issued until now.

In early 2009, Secret Stash Records began working with the Taylor estate to finally release this album. After creating final mixes, dub versions of all the songs were also made by Secret Stash producers. Now for the first time ever, this highly sought-after album is available. This vinyl-only release is a must have for any record collector.


01. So What
02. Freddie Freeloader
03. Blue In Green
04. All Blues
05. Flamenco Sketches

01. So What (Dub)
02. Freddie Freeloader (Dub)
03. Blue In Green (Dub)
04. All Blues (Dub)
05. Flamenco Sketches (Dub)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

ROIO of the week : Roberta Gambarini at Vienne 2009

This week's ROIO is a rather short one but nevertheless a blessing for your ears. Roberta Gambarini à Vienne joining the Roy Hargrove Big band. Hopefully the complete concert will be broadcasted later on.
For now enjoy this short appetise !

Roberta Gambarini & Roy Hargrove Big Band
Vienne, Théâtre Antique
France Inter Live Broadcast

1. Everytime We Say Goodbye 6:02
2. Something Happens To Me 2:09
3. Interview 8:17

Friday, October 2, 2009

Keith Jarrett Interview

Timesonline published an interview with Keith Jarret, quite curious aboput the upcoming release... But for now the article here!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Quote by René Magritte

What do you think of this one ?

"Mon seul désir est de m'enrichir de nouvelles pensées exaltantes" -
"All that i desire is to be enriched by intensely exciting new thoughts".
René Magritte