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Herder

January 20, 2017 Leave a comment

imageEen jaar of wat terug organiseerde studentencafe en -bioscoop Kriterion een Russische avond. Een avond in de sfeer van de tsaren, in het Frans converserende vorsten en hun verveelde, voortdurend in Duitse badplaatsen kurende ega’s. Het door Tolstoj zo treffend beschreven Rusland van 1805 tot 1820. De Oscarwinnende verfilming van Война и мир (Oorlog en vrede) door regisseur Sergej Bondartsjoek stond onverkort op het programma. De in het Russisch verschenen, in het Engels ondertitelde, film uit 1967 duurt 8 uur en 5 minuten. Er zouden verschillende pauzes worden ingelast waarin aan lange boerentafels Borsjtsj met Smetana, Huzarensalade, Kasja en Zakoeski gegeten en Medovoecha, Smirnoff en Stolichnaya gedronken kon worden. Een studiegenote en ik gingen erheen. Ondanks de pauzes was het een lange zit. Naarmate de avond vorderde vielen er, onder invloed van de wodka, of het trage verloop van de film steeds meer bezoekers in slaap. Na de laatste pauze, even voor middernacht, was de zaal nog maar voor een kwart gevuld. Ook mijn studiegenote was met stille trom vertrokken. Ik weet nog steeds niet of ik zelf in slaap gevallen ben. Maar enkele scènes staan me nog helder voor de geest. De slagvelden, de brand van Moskou, de vernietigende terugtocht van het Franse leger door het barre Russische landschap (bij een temperatuur van -30 en lager), en een conversatie tussen de twee hoofdpersonen, Pierre en Prins Andrej Nikolayevich Bolkonsky dat als volgt begint: “Geloof jij in een leven na dit leven?” en ergens middenin stelt Pierre, het geweten van Tolstoj: ” Ik weet dat er naast, buiten en boven mij, nog geesten leven en dat in die wereld de waarheid troon!” , “Ja, dat is de leer van Herder”, riposteert de prins. Ik ben meteen wakker. Herder. Een filosoof met zo’n magische naam moet de mensheid wel iets te vertellen hebben. Iets soortgelijks heb ik gedacht over Hegel, Schelling, Fichte en Schopenhauer.

Johan Gottfried von Herder. Auteur van “Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit.”. Ik heb het werk nooit gelezen. Ik voerde mijn eigen strijd. Maar af en toe komt de naam weer voorbij.

Jaren na het zien van de bioscoopfilm kocht ik een DVD-set van de twintigdelige BBC TV-serie uit 1972. In de hoofdrol Anthony Hopkins als Pierre Bezukhov. Een cadeautje aan mezelf. Daags na het doen van de aankoop zou ik aan bed zijn gekluisterd vanwege een sterilisatie.

Een uur na de ingreep stapte ik omzichtig in mijn bed nadat ik het eerste schijfje in de speler had geplaatst met het voornemen pas uit bed te stappen als de DVD met de eerste vijf afleveringen zou moeten worden vervangen voor de tweede, met de afleveringen nummer 6 tot en met 10. Ik moest even wennen aan de in het Engels gevoerde dialogen en monologen, de aankleding, de spelers, maar na een tijdje zat ik er helemaal in. Ik keek de serie niet in een keer af. Ik had alle tijd en ik had meer te doen dan tv kijken. Het leeswerk kreeg nu voorrang. Door een ontsteking en de daarmee gepaard gaande koorts was ik langer dan voorzien aan bed gekluisterd. Ik greep weer een DVD met 5 afleveringen uit het doosje en legde mijn pijnlijke lijf moeizaam neer op het matras. Drie kussens onder mijn schouders, nek en hoofd, een boterhamzakje gevuld met ijsklonten onder mijn helende balzak. Een methodisch acterende Hopkins, gestileerde dialogen, ingestudeerd drama. Ik verheugde me op de filosofische verhandeling. Herder. Maar deze kwam niet. Op het moment dat ik de geketende Pierre samen met de afdruipende Franse troepen door de bossen zag ronddolen wist ik het. Geen Herder hier. Want wie kent deze filosoof nu eigenlijk? In 1972 was de aan de filosoof gekoppelde dialoog over de sterfelijkheid blijkbaar niet interessant genoeg voor de Britse TV. En ja, een werk van twaalfhonderdnogwat pagina’s nodigt uit tot selecteren.

Maakt verder niet uit.  Ik moet maar eerst wat van de goede man gaan lezen. Misschien valt het tegen.

Bermkruidblues

imageVrijdagavond zes uur. Ik heb een plaat opgezet. Een echte plaat. Vandaag gekocht voor slechts vijf euro bij de Bijna-Gratis-Markt, een zaak die wordt gerund door een voormalig dakloze met een tomeloze overlevingsdrang. De plaat op de draaitafel stond ooit voor 25 gulden 95 te koop bij de Bijenkorf. Tristeza van Oscar Peterson. Ik vraag me af wie de eerste koper was. Op de vaal- paarse hoes, zie ik -over de volledig lengte en breedte- de in het zilvergrijs gekleurde beeltenis van Peterson die over een stuk bladmuziek hangt. Zo te zien brengt de pianist/ componist met ballpoint enkele wijzigingen aan. Net boven zijn linkerwenkbrauw zie ik een blauw rond stickertje met “Import Music Service”. De rechterhand houdt het papier vast, in de hoogbegaafde rechterhand steekt de pen. Een trio-opname. De overige trioleden zijn de ondergewaardeerde, in 1981 overleden contrabassist Sam Jones, en de 6 juli 2008 te Genua overleden drummer Bob Durham. Peterson zelf is gestorven in 2007. Ik heb nog even gehuild toen ik vernam dat hij overleden was.
ik draai de muziek van een dood trio dus.

Een dag voor vandaag loop ik met mijn voor de gelegenheid uit de kast genomen jasje  over de Ferdinand Bol en verder. Tram 3 heeft vertraging en ik heb geen zin om er op te wachten. Mijn oudste dochter heeft haar diploma uitgereikt gekregen in de Oude Katholieke Kerk aan de Ruysdaelstraat. Ik heb mijn middelste dochter op de bus gezet naar het Reinaldapark te Haarlem. We zijn even daarvoor gereden langs de EK-atletiek-vrijwilligers richting het Olympisch Stadion. Als ik terugrijd zie ik het stadion weer. Het begint saai te worden. De vrijwilligers zijn bijna thuis, maar ik moet nog heel ver. Mijn doel is oost. De trams zijn uitgevallen. Ik trek schoorvoetend mijn conclusie,. Lopen dan maar. Ik ga aan de wandel…en ik wandel maar door, straat in, straat uit. Ik loop hard. Mijn hemd kleurt donker vanwege al het zweet. Ik ben moe en wil zo snel mogelijk thuis zijn, maar helaas is thuis nog ver weg. De tram is nergens en de plek waar mijn fiets is gestald is onvindbaar. Amsterdam is een woestijn.

Een dag later. Het is 19.00 uur geweest. Op de draaitafel ligt een LP van Bill Evans. Ik hoor Gloria’s Step. Een klassieker. Met name door deze Village Vanguard sessie van Bill Evans met zijn trio bestaande uit bassist Scott LaFaro en drummer Paul Motion is een groot aantal rock-and-Roll liefhebbers overgestapt naar de Jazz. Ik ken de muziek ten voeten uit. Ik kan alle Evans- solo’s naspelen. Maar zodra de plaat op de draaitafel ligt, lijkt het alsof ik erbij ben en val ik even stil. Het is medio juni 1961. Een dag of tien later na de opnames overlijdt LaFaro op de snelweg.

In een persoonlijk interview in Oegstgeest heb ik zijn opvolger Chuck Israels gevraagd naar zijn opinie over zijn voorganger (als u het wil lezen, dan leest u het interview maar). En ik heb Don Friedman een jaar of drie geleden gesproken over LaFaro, die hij liefkozend Scotty noemde. Don is afgelopen week overleden en zei me tijdens ons interview: “I was very close to Scotty and for me it was terrible that he died so young. I can only imagine all the great music he would have made and I would have loved to play with him whenever possible.” Het is inmiddels juli 2016 en beide heren zijn dood. Evans heb ik nooit kunnen interviewen, maar ik ben nu enkele jaren bevriend met zoon Evan. Hij corrigeert me als ik iets ongekends publiceer over zijn vader.

Vrijdagmiddag. Het is nu het einde van de week. Ik open de luiken van mijn huis. Het is ergens tussen 17.00 en 18.00 uur. De kinderen zijn weg. Ik neem plaats achter de piano en ik speel maar door. Akkoorden en combinaties in ongelooflijke volgordes. Mijn spieren doen pijn en ik schreeuw het uit, maar ik weet dat niemand luistert.Met mijn laatste krachten gooi ik de pianoklep naar beneden. Ergens buiten slaakt iemand een zucht van verlichting.

Hij doet maar. Ik ben klaar. Morgenavond zal ik als een bezetene spelen.

 

Claudio Filippini: Facing North

February 4, 2014 Leave a comment

Please read my interview with Claudio Filippini at All About Jazz:

Claudio Filippini: Facing North.

Evans time

November 18, 2013 Leave a comment

evans 1 Last month I interviewed a few Bill Evans musicians, Eliot Zigmund, Chuck Israels and Eddie Gomez. I hope I can interview Marty Morell as well in the Spring.

This week we will start with Eliot.

The day I announced my interview with Chuck, Evan Evans said to me: “Jazz music the last 3 decades? Well, no Bill Evans is a big loss, but his Modal Jazz concept transformed the art and many still are trying to push the boundaries further. Keep an open mind, like my dad, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy some of the new and radical styles from many new and radical artists. The last thing Dad wanted, was to hear something that had been done before.”

Never mind what happens. It is Evans Time!

Interview with Bill Carrothers

October 27, 2013 Leave a comment

I’m more inspired by where I live and my everyday family life than I am by particular musicians or music. Family, trees, open space, solitude.

Last month I had the honour to interview Bill Carrothers. He has played with many people at so many places in the world, but home is where the heart is,  in particular with his family in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His passion is history, silence means home.

His cooperation with pianist Marc Copland. on the wellreceived album No Choices (which finds two artists on equal ground, deeply committed to the interpretive, interactive and conversational fundamentals of improvisation, John Kelman, All About Jazz, August 2006) has left the jazzworld breathlessly. At his last album Love and longing (2013, La Buisonne) Carrothers proofs his singing is of high level.
carrothers

Bill Carrothers (born in Minneapolis, 1964) began his career as a teenager, when he played with local bands in his hometown; then in 1988, he moved to New York City. Carrothers has played many venues throughout the U. S. and Europe including the Village Gate, Knitting Factory, Birdland, Blues Alley, New Morning (Paris), the Audi Jazz Festival in Brussels, the Nevers Jazz Festival (where he shared the bill with Abbey Lincoln), the Montreal Jazz Festival , Jazz Middelheim, and the Marciac Festival in France. In the 1990s he played with Bill Stewart and Scott Colley, Herwig Gradischnig; in 1997 he worked on Dave Douglas’ album moving portraits. Birdology 1999 was a duo album with Bill Stewart. In October of 2000, Mr. Carrothers headlined the prestigious Rising Star Tour throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He has been a leader on seventeen recordings, all of which have received critical acclaim. His sideman credits have included some of the greatest names in jazz, including Joe Beck, Scot t Colley, Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Eric Gravatt, Drew Gress, Tim Hagans, Billy Higgins, Ari Hoenig, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Gary Peacock, Dewey Redman, Charlie Rouse, James Spaulding, Bill Stewart, Ben Street, Ira Sullivan, Toots Thielemans, and Benny Wallace. In the 1990s he played with Bill Stewart and Scott Colley, Herwig Gradischnig; in 1997 he worked on Dave Douglas’ album moving portraits. Birdology 1999 was a duo album with Bill Stewart. In trio with Stewart and saxophonist Anton Denner he recorded in 2002 his album Ghost Ships. In 2005 Bill recorded a duet album with pianist Marc Copland (No. choice, 2005). Read the critics on Penguin Guide.

Mr.Carrothers, you are professional active in music for 3 decades. How has music evolved since you started performing?

It’s getting more world music oriented. Less swing, less storytelling. It’s also becoming harder emotionally. More distant, more math-like, less playing with your heart on your sleeve. I don’t very often get the feeling that improvising musicians are “reading their diary” when they play. It’s emotionally cooler (and safer) now.

You started to play the piano early in your childhood . Why did you choose this instrument? Which instrument do you like best, beneath piano?

I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5, so it’s always been a part of my life. My mom felt that every child should have musical training at the piano as part of a rounded upbringing. Besides the piano, I really love playing the drums. I’m not particularly good at it, but I enjoy that.

You’ve been working with so many beautiful musicians, among many others: Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Tim Hagans, Billy Higgins, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Gary Peacock, Dewey Redman, Charlie Rouse, Terrell Stafford, Ira Sullivan, Toots Thielemans and Bennie Wallace. What have you learned, working with them?

That’s too open-ended a question… I’ve learned from everyone that I’ve played with over the years. There would be no way to parse out what I learned from each of them. Except for Billy Higgins. He was the first really great drummer that I ever worked with and his pure love of the music is something that I have always remembered from the gigs we played together, and have tried to emulate in my own musical life.

You were inspired by Clifford Brown, Oscar Peterson and Shirley Horn. Who are you inspired by nowadays?carrothers and copland

I’m more inspired now by where I live and my everyday family life than I am by particular musicians or music. So my answer would be that it’s not so much a who but a what I’m inspired by now. Family, trees, open space, solitude.

What means silence for you?

Home.

You have your own pianotrio, you play solo, duets… What is your favourite format? Why?

I don’t have a favorite format. It’s more like I have a favorite way of going about making music and playing with people that feel the same way. Open ended, with little or no discussion, and ready for anything. And playing every night like it’s your last night on earth. As long as that’s there, the format is irrelevant.

One of your duets was with drummer Bill Stewart, a long time companion of you. What makes playing with Bill so special?

We have a nice repartee that makes playing together really easy. We never talk about the music much. It just happens. He is always inspiring to play with.

At your albums Part of the Solution Problem and The Electric Bill you play the Fender Rhodes. I think you are one of the few musicians that can play jazz with an electric instrument without making too much noise. At certain times your music sounds like the narration of a fairytale. How do you experience playing the Fender Rhodes?

carrothers and winstone

Unfortunately I don’t play the Rhodes much anymore. It’s such a hassle to tour with and lug around that most guys don’t do it anymore. When I was young, I hauled a suitcase 88 around for many years. It was HUGE and heavy as hell. I’ve always loved the sound of a Rhodes because of its bell-like tone on top and the growly bottom, and I always loved the smushy feel of a Rhodes. It’s fun to play.

Talking of narration. At some of your records you really tell story’s, the history of the Civil War, the Armistice in 1918. How did you prepare these albums?

I never prepare recordings. I learn the tunes because I love them and then I copy them out for the other musicians and we play them. I try to never bring in any preconceived notions of what I want to “get” out of a recording session. Armistice 1918 was almost completely improvised. Folks hear that recording and they think I through-composed and planned a lot of it. I’m not that smart! I pick the people who I think have something to say about the music, people who I like to play with, and then I let them do their thing. Most of the CDs I’ve made are not the CD I thought we were going to make. They take on a life of their own in the studio and we all just go along for the ride. And then you accept what it turned out to be because that’s what it really is. I think many recordings made now feel like a doctoral thesis, where every T must be crossed and every i dotted. The studio has become a place where perfection must be achieved. I don’t look at it that way. It’s a one or two day slice of where you were at that moment. It’s a snapshot. The affection for the music and for each other is a lot more compelling, in my opinion. I almost never edit the music. It goes on the CD pretty much the way we played it, warts and all. If you can capture the vibe, the love, the moosh of the playing, chances are it will be something that people will want to listen to more than once.

In 2012 you played with singer Norma Winstone. Recently I interviewed her. She said: “ I am always inspired when I sing with musicians who love the music and are prepared to be a bit adventurous. I don’t know what I’ve learned from my younger colleagues except how to make music with them. It is a precious thing when you find musicians with whom you don’t have to discuss anything and playing together just works. I have been lucky in all my playing partners. “ You were one of these palying partners. How was it working with Norma?carrothers 5

Norma was great. Adventurous, open-minded, trusting. A real musician, not only a singer. It was very cool.

In 2013 you recorded your beautiful solo-album Love and Longing. Beneath you are a highly favored pianist you have a beautiful voice. How do you look back at (making) that album?

It was fun to do, very casual, unplanned. When Gerard said he wanted to release it, I was surprised. I’ve never thought I had a particularly good voice. I just did it for fun.

A few months ago I interviewed bassist Peter Ind. He stated: “To me the greatness in jazz lies in improvisation and from improvisation there developed the musical language that we recognize as jazz.” Do you agree with him?

I would describe it the way Duke did… “The sound of surprise”.

You play a lot in Europe, about 12 weeks a year. Do you think jazz in Europe develops a different direction than Jazz oversea?

Artistically, I think the scenes are converging pretty fast now. Of course there is still a lot more financial support for the arts in Europe, but that’s beginning to change too.

carrothers love and longingIs there jazz in the future? Jazz is the most recorded musicstyle by now, but do you think jazz will reach our youth?

I hope so, but who knows? Art forms come and go, since they are all a reflection of the times in which they are born. Once an art form no longer expresses the pathos and soul of a given time, it ceases to be relevant and dies.

Last question: which projects do you have in store for us?

I have a choral hymn cd coming out in mid-November entitled “Sunday Morning”. I’m writing a commission for trio, male and female vocalists, trombone, and a boy choir, for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. And I will be recording a CD with the Dave King Trio next year. The Armistice 1918 group will also be touring in Europe next year as part of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

Interview with Cyrus Chestnut

September 22, 2013 3 comments

cyrus 3A few months ago I interviewed jazzpianist Cyrus Chestnut, who was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1963.

Chestnut, son of a churchorganist and the director of a churchchoir,  started his musical career at the age of six, playing piano at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in his hometown. By the age of nine, he was studying classical music at the Peabody Institute. In 1985, Chestnut earned a degree in jazz composition and arranging from Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, Chestnut was awarded the Eubie Blake Fellowship (1982), the Quincy Jones Scholarship (1983), and the Oscar Peterson Scholarship (1984).

Chestnut toured as pianist for Jon Hendricks, 1986–88; Terrence Blanchard, 1988–90; Donald Harrison, 1988–90; Wynton Marsalis, 1991; and the Betty Carter Trio, 1991-93. His association with Carter significantly affected his outlook and approach to music, confirming his already iconoclastic instincts. Carter advised him to “take chances” and “play things I’ve never heard,” Chestnut said.

In 1993, at the age of 30, Chestnut signed with Atlantic Records, releasing the critically acclaimed Revelation (1993), followed by The Dark Before The Dawn (1994) (the album debuted in the sixth spot on the Billboard Jazz Charts),Earth Stories (1995) and then Cyrus Chestnut (1998). Chestnut has also performed and/or recorded with, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Jon Hendricks, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Scott, Chick Corea, Isaac Hayes, Kevin Mahogany, Dizzy Gillespie, and opera diva Kathleen Battle, most notably on the Sony Classical recording “So Many Stars”. Their shared church roots resulted in such a positive chemistry between Battle and Chestnut that he then joined the soprano on a fall 1996 U.S. Tour. Later that year came Blessed Quietness: A Collection of Hymns, Spirituals and Carols (1996), a reverently assembled album of traditional numbers instilled with the gospel and blues Chestnut grew up listening to. In addition to appearing on the soundtrack to director Robert Altman’s 1996 feature film Kansas City, Chestnut also made his big screen debut portraying a Count Basie-inspired pianist.

In 2000, Chestnut signed with manager Bruce Garfield, who convinced him to collaborate with Vanessa L. Williams, Brian McKnight, The Manhattan Transfer and The Boys’ Choir of Harlem on A Charlie Brown Christmas. In 2001, he released Soul Food featuring bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lewis Nash and special guest soloists including James Carter, Stefon Harris, Wycliffe Gordon and Marcus Printup. This album was one of Down Beat′s best records of 2002 and ascended to “Top 10” on the Jazz Charts.cyrus 2

In 2006, Chestnut released his first album, Genuine Chestnut, on TelArc Records. On it he is accompanied by his regular trio of Michael Hawkins, bass and Neal Smith, drums. Additional artists on this session include Russell Malone, guitar and Steven Kroon, percussion. It includes jazz interpretations of some well-known pop numbers of the past half-century, including “If”, the early 1970s soft-rock ballad by Bread. “This song has been with me ever since the sixth grade,” Chestnut recalled, “I had to play it for my English teacher’s wedding. I’ve played it in many and various contexts. I actually played it in a Top 40 band when I was just out of school. A lot of time has passed, but then recently I just started thinking about it again.”[4] Chestnut’s own “Mason Dixon Line” is one of the album’s high points, a joyful bebop number.[5] Chestnut continually tours with his trio, playing live at jazz festivals around the world as well as clubs and concert halls. His leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. Chestnut is currently represented by Addeo Music International (AMI).

(wikipedia, read further at: http://www.cyruschestnut.com)

Mr. Chestnut, you’re professional active in music for almost 4 decades. How has music evolved since you started performing?

I think music has become quite intricate. With the role of the computer in music today, there are more complex rhythms. Melodies and harmonies follow suit as well. It’s much more than II V I

You started to play the piano at age five. Why did you choose this instrument? Your very first professional gig, you played the drums. You also played the alto-sax, trombone, a baritone horn, and you studiedguitar.a little. Which instrument do you like best, beneath your piano?

I enjoyed all the above instruments, however it was and still is the piano that I believe is my voice. I on occasion will pull out the guitar but the piano takes all of my time

cyrus 3You started playing in church when you were seven. What did you (like to) play?

I was playing in the church at five. I liked playing music that had a groove. It did not have to be fast always. I just liked to play…

You’ve been working with so many beautiful musicians, among many others Jon Hendricks, Terrence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Scott, Chick Corea, Isaac Hayes, Kevin Mahogany, Dizzy Gillespie. How do you look back at working with them?

I am grateful to have shared on the bandstand with these great musicians. They not only taught me about music, they taught me about life. I will forever be grateful for their influence

You were inspired by the gospel and jazzmusic you heard in your youth, Baby Cortez, King Curtis and Jimmy Smith and amongst others . The first record you bought was a Thelonious Monk album with his greatest hits. Who are you inspired by nowadays?

I must say that I did not really hear Baby Cortez in my youth however, In these days I am inapired by all types of music. Bach, Mozart, the Clark Sisters(gospel group), Leny Andrade, etc….

You like to play piano trio. What makes playing in a trio so special? Which piano trio in jazzmusic you like best?

Playing in trio gives me full control of the musical experience. I become front man and accompanist all-in one. It is very difficult to nail down one piano trio as I like different ones for different reasons. I like the Oscar Peterson trios in the 60’s for their driving swing. I also like the Ahmad Jamal trio for the spontaneous freedom. I can not leave out Bill Evans, Red Garland, and Wynton Kelly. I am leaving out some. I could take a page listing…..

Last week I interviewed bassist Peter Ind, He stated: “in striving to become cleverer than the next player, many jazzy musicians have lost their following – simply by becoming too clever.” Do you think nowadays jazz- or creative music is too complex?

I think sometimes musicians in an attempt tob e different, they tend to “throw in the kitchen sink”. One should be patient and allow the music to come to them. That way it does not sound forced.

Charlie Parker. This year it’s fifty-eight years ago he has died . Sheila Jordan said to me in an interview: “people don’t talk about him anymore,The younger generation of jazzmusicians say they are inspired by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Parker is a forgotten part of jazzmusic. That’s a pity, because he is an important part of the jazztradition.” Do you regard yourself as a part of this jazztradition?cyrus 4

Anyone who truly plays jazz music seriously is a part of the tradition form Jelly Roll Morton through Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and beyond. It is unfortunate that the younger generation seems to put the founding fathers on the side. More importantly I think it is the duty of the generations before NOT to keep silent and pass the history. It was done for us and we should do it fort hem.

In an interview with Cassandra Henry (2006) you said: “ jazz music was referred to as Jackass music. A lot of times when you talk to certain classical musicians about jazz, they can’t give it any credence because they don’t feel it’s really serious. Jazz musicians are just as serious because we are doing the same things the classical musicians are doing but adding improvisation to the composition at a higher rate of speed. You know there are people in this industry who are just starting to embrace jazz music a little bit more now, but there are still some who say jazz is not interesting. Jazz musicians are constantly fighting to be recognized and taken seriously.” (http://3blackchicks.com/movie-reviews/reviews-archives/51-2004-interviews/372-m-casschestnutinterview). Do you think jazzmusic is the stepchild of American Music?

Unfortunately, I have to agree. There are some who think of jazz as a sub genre when not only does it require virtuosity, It requires spontaneous thought. The true jazz musician is a spontaneous composer.

Later on in an interview with R.J. Deluke for all about jazz you say: “It’s been an interesting time. The legends who we’ve loved over the years are slipping away. It’s hard to touch hands on them now. It’s very sobering. The guard is changing so rapidly. I fight to keep a good outlook for the music, because I believe as long as the voice of freedom lives in the world, there will be jazz. “ (http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=28279&pg=3#.UdhIB6fCSM8) So there is a future for jazzmusic?

ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!! As long as the voice of freedom is alive, there will be jazz!

Your musical activities span a wide range of styles and combinations,. Which projects do you have in store for us?

Each day brings something new. I continously write and I am doing a project on the music of Dave Brubeck. It is an exciting time.

 

Cedar Walton

August 24, 2013 Leave a comment

cedar walton This week two great jazzpianists died; Cedar Walton and Marian McPartland. Let’s continue with Cedar.

Cedar Walton, a pianist who distinguished himself as both an accompanist and a soloist, and who wrote some of the most enduring compositions in modern jazz while a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early 1960s, died on Monday at his home in Brooklyn. He was 79. His death followed a brief illness, his manager, Jean-Pierre Leduc, said. (NYTimes, 8-20-13)
“Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas. His mother was an aspiring concert pianist, and was Walton’s initial teacher. She also took him to jazz performances around Dallas. Walton cited Nat King Cole, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum as his major influences on piano.

Walton was tempted by the promise of New York City through his associations with the likes of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Richie Powell, whom he met at various after-hours sessions around the city of Denver, Colorado. In 1955, he decided to leave school and drove with a friend to New York City. He quickly got recognition from Johnny Garry, who ran Birdland at that time.

Walton was drafted into the U.S. Army, and stationed in Germany, cutting short his rising status in the after-hours scene. While in the Army, he played with musicians Leo Wright, Don Ellis, and Eddie Harris. Upon his discharge after two years, Walton picked up where he left off, playing as a sideman with Kenny Dorham and J. J. Johnson, and with Gigi Gryce.[2] Joining the Jazztet, led by Benny Golson and Art Farmer, Walton played with this group from 1958 to 1961. In April 1959, he recorded an alternate take of “Giant Steps” with John Coltrane, though he did not solo.

In the early 1960s, Walton joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as a pianist-arranger for three years (on the same day as Freddie Hubbard), where he played with Wayne Shorter and Hubbard. In this group, he demonstrated a keen sense of arranging in originals such as “Ugetsu” and “Mosaic”. He left the Messengers in 1964 and by the late 1960s was part of the house rhythm section at Prestige Records, where in addition to releasing his own recordings, he recorded with Sonny Criss, Pat Martino, Eric Kloss, and Charles McPherson. For a year, he served as Abbey Lincoln’s accompanist, and recorded with Lee Morgan from 1966 to 1968. During the mid-1970s, he led the funk group Mobius.

Many of his compositions have been adopted as jazz standards, including “Firm Roots”, “Bolivia” and “Cedar’s Blues”. “Bolivia” is perhaps Walton’s best known composition, while one of his oldest is “Fantasy in D”, recorded under the title “Ugetsu” by Art Blakey in 1963.Cedar Walton 7 28 13

In January 2010, he was inducted as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters.” (wikipedia)

In february this year he played in jazzclub Bimhuis in Amsterdam, in the same week Curtis Fuller gave a concert at the same place. I only visited the Fuller concert. It’s a pity. Happily there was a visitor who recorded (a part of) the concert.

Read further at:

http://www.jazzwax.com/2013/08/cedar-walton-on-giant-steps.html (Jazzwax)

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/arts/music/cedar-walton-pianist-and-composer-dies-at-79.html?_r=0 (NYTimes, 8-20-13)

and

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2013/08/19/213571089/jazz-piano-giant-cedar-walton-dies-at-79 (NPR Blog)

 

Cedar Walton at the Bimhuis, 2-14-2013:

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