Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The centenary of jazz is being celebrated in a place you would least expect: Iran.
A mini retrospective of jazz films, currently playing at the Cinematheque of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran, is the first time ever in post-revolutionary Iran.
The Museum famous for its priceless collection of modernist art (including works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Kandinsky, Pollack and many more) and also recently in the news due to cancellation of a major exhibition in Berlin, hosts a cozy, popular cinema inside its stylishly beautiful building. The cinematheque, shut down for 7 years, was reopened recently, with an array of nicely curated seasons.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
|Chick Corea. Photo source.|
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
|A secret photo of an enigmatic figure: filmmaker Chris Marker in Telluride, 1987. Courtesy of Tom Luddy.|
Time Remembered: Chris Marker’s Bill Evans CD
On the art of lyrical compilation, from one medium to another
Chris Marker, the Ornette Coleman of cinema, loved jazz, but he particularly loved pianist Bill Evans. Recently, I got hold of a CD compilation that Marker had made of various Bill Evans's recordings, a "mix tape" that he had distributed among friends. I listened to it over and over again, even if I was already too familiar with every single song on the album.
Here, on the Keyframe website, I have given a brief history of Marker and jazz, but also a track-by-track reading of the compilation and speculating about how each would fit into Markar's universe.
READ IT HERE.
Sunday, January 8, 2017
|Naiel Ibarrola's illustration for the back cover of the Persian edition of Jazz by Nat Hentoff and Albert J. McCarthy, a book that was never published.|
Interesting is easy; beautiful is difficult
Nat Hentoff's liner notes for
Benny Golson's New York Scene (1957)
With very few exceptions, the first recognition a superior jazz musician receives is from other players. Some time later, the critics begin to comprehend, and later still the public may. There has been talk about Benny Golson as a player and writer among musicians, for example, for several years. The late Clifford Brown, for one, in a conversation in early 1954, emphasized Golson’s capacities and predicted the eventual public realization of his value.
"Listen," Miles said then and later in an interview for The Jazz Review, "to the way Jamal uses space. He lets it go so that you can feel the rhythm section and the rhythm section can feel you. It's not crowded.
Nat Hentoff Original Liner Notes: Jackie McLean's Action,1964
One of the consistently intriguing characteristics of Jackie Mclean's jazz is that while he continues to explore new directions, he is also clearly rooted in the fundamentals of modern jazz. Or, as he would put it, "I never want to go 'outside' for too long a time without coming back ' inside' again."
Nat Hentoff Liner Notes for Bob Brookmeyer's Portrait of the Artist | Republished with permission
Robert Brookmeyer is tall, lean, sardonic, epigrammatic, and utterly serious about music, if not always about himself. He has become recognized as one of the most expressive trombonists in jazz history. It is his not only that he plays the valve trombone with remarkable facility, but rather it is his imagination, intensity and cutting wit that make him an authentic jazz individualist. Although he is very much his own man, Brookmeyer reminds me of the harmonic taste and venturesomeness of the late Brad Gowans, the shaggy dog narrative humor of Vic Dickenson, and the urgency of Jimmy Harrison. I do not mean that he has necessarily been directly influenced by these men, but I do mean that he has a largeness of spirit and musicianship that these three shared.
Since his emergence as composer of the score for Jack Gelber's harrowingly exact play, The Connection (Blue Note 4027), Freddie Redd has finally been gaining some of the recognition that has eluded him for much of his playing career. Freddie also plays the taciturn pianist in the play with convincing effect. Although he hopes to work again in the theatre, Freddie remains essentially a jazz player-writer, and this album underlines his growth as a composer of vigorously expressive jazz originals.