Not posted for a while. I’m currently researching for a historical novel. Well I should be, but sometimes music gets in the way, as only music can. Which is generally in a good way. I’ve been managing to fit in some real DJ work lately. That is – two decks and a bag full of vinyl, as opposed to a memory stick of MP3s. Having said that I still practice the way of the virtual selector. Below are some of my more recent mixes. So get in touch with your magical jazz bone by playing one of these, or even better all of them.
If like me you love American “film-noir” and French “New Wave” then you will know what a huge effect the music has on the atmosphere of such films. And, unsurprisingly, the music most associated with these movies is jazz. This mix represents a selection of music from fifties and sixties films that I love. It features tracks from Miles Davis, Joseph Gershenson, Andrzej Trzaskowski, Alex North, Krzysztof Komeda and more.
So, sit back, close your eyes and imagine you are sitting in a smoky club in Paris. Up on the bandstand Miles Davis is blowing horn and at the next table Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jeanne Moreau are smoking Gauloise and drinking Absinthe. Fade to black….
I have to admit it! I have been rather lax with this blog of late. I have not been keeping you up to date on my latest musical mixes. Well, there is rather a backlog of other stuff you absolutely must check out, if you are a jazz music fan. So check out all the mixes below. If you like them, let me know, I love to get feedback.
A landmark is an object or feature of a landscape or that is easily seen and recognized from a distance. Landmarks can enable you to establish your location. For me, landmarks can mean more than one thing. For instance, I have always associated music with place. When I first moved to Leeds in the UK, I went out looking for music and the landmarks for me were the clubs that played jazz, latin and soul. Club nights like the Cooker and Casa Latina where you could hear Curtis Mayfield segued into Pharaoh Sanders via Marcos Valle. Predominantly, those heavyweight nights were run by Leeds Dig collective. DJ Lubi Jovanovic, Gip Dammone, Chico Malo and DJ Ez. These nights were landmarks in Leeds musical heritage and made a huge impact on my musical consciousness. This mix is dedicated to them and hopefully gives a little flavour of those incredible times.
Leeds Cityscape by Lizzie Prestt
I have always known Yusef Lateef’s music from back in the day. But, recently I have been rediscovering what a musical phenomenon he really was. For those not familiar with Lateef here’s a short biography.
Yusef Abdul Lateef, October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American multi-instrumentalist, & composer. Although working predominantly in the idiom known as Jazz, Lateef wanted to be known as a musician rather than a “jazz” musician. Lateef’s main instruments were the tenor saxophone and flute, but he also played bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, xun, arghul and koto. He was a true innovator studying “Eastern music” and blending it with western influences to create a new genre. Yusef “played world music before world music had a name.”
Well if you want to hear why I love his music, I have posted a mix on Mixcloud which gives a little of his essence. I am only really disturbing the surface of a deep well of brilliance, so I advise you to search out his albums and discover for yourselves what a musical genius he was.
Roll up! Roll up!! The holiday season is almost upon us, so it’s time to sample Dr. T’s patented jazz medicine. Guaranteed to cure all ill’s from melancholia to dysfunctions of a personal nature. You will be amazed by the effectuation of this wondrous product! Do not hesitate to try this stupendous jazz melange!
- Tom Waits-Step Right Up
- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins-Alligator Wine
- Partikel -Clash of the Clans
- Wayne Escoffery-No Desert
- Sean Khan-What Has Jazz Become?
- Snarky Puppy-Binky
- Cory Henry-Someday We’ll All Be Free
- Nicole Mitchell / Tomeka Reid / Mike Reed-Light on the Path
- The Apples-Killing
- Bobby Hutcherson-People Make The World Go Round
- Bobby Matos-The Creator Has a Master Plan
- Carmell Jones-Carmell’sBlack Forest Waltz
- Bobby Cole-A Perfect Day
- Mike Taylor Remembered-Timewind
- James Booker-Junco Partner
- Stick McGhee & His Buddies-Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
- McCoy Tyner-New Orleans Stomp
- Professor Longhair And His New Orleans Boys-Hey Little Girl
- Shelly Manne-Afrodesia
- Ron Westray-The Jiggy
- Sing Sing Penelope-James Bond
- The Five Corners Quintet-Shake It
- C.W. Stoneking-The Love Me Or Die
The “cosmos” is the universe regarded as an orderly system; the opposite of chaos. The philosopher Pythagoras was probably the first to use the term cosmos to describe the order of the universe, but the term was not fully embraced until the 19th century Prussian geographer, naturalist, explorer and polymath, Alexander von Humboldt, resurrected it for to his study, “Kosmos”, and influenced the modern (perhaps erroneous) perception of the universe as one interacting entity.
Sometimes it’s hard to accept that there is any unity to the world we live in. Chaos, emptiness, void, chasm, abyss seems to be the defining feature of our current age. The Germans have a word Chaoskampf which roughly translated means the struggle against chaos. In myth and legend, often a hero figure is depicted as battling against the the chaos monster, a creature that takes many forms, often that of a dragon.
All this preamble, is just a way for me to suggest that in some ways music represents a struggle against chaos. Music generally imposes an order on chaos. The violinist Yehudi Menuhin puts it this way:
“Music creates order out of chaos: for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous.”
Although, many of these concepts tend to be quasi-religious I embrace them in a metaphorical sense. Music is my fight against chaos! For this reason alone I called my latest compilation of music on Mixcloud: “Cosmos”. My tiny struggle to impose meaning on a world that of late seems to have become dark and chaotic.
I have been a bit lax in the last couple of months in updating this blog. Other fish to fry and all that jazz! So for anyone who is interested in my (mainly) jazz output on MIxcloud, here is a selection that you might have missed.