Monday, January 5, 2009


Recently we had a conversation in comments re. noise and jazz etc. If anyone's interested it's still there under Japanthers last post. Nothing was totally agreed to since we stand on these issues at extremes, but there was some interesting dialogue and some ideas and questions were presented, one from Abahachi was "One key strand within jazz has always been the urge to experiment, to probe at the limits of what is currently acceptable," I of course accept this, though I couldn't accept the piece on offer, it resulted in my thinking of areas of experimentation that I've enjoyed. And of course I started making a list, trouble was as the list grew I found myself saying 'I should include ... even though it doesn't actually qualify', so I departed from the original concept and the list became pieces by groups/artists that I've enjoyed and think deserve a wider audience. I ran out of space at Podbean and had nothing I wanted to delete so I didn't get the entire lost on, one that I regret missing was King Oliver's Dippermouth Blues, I wanted to include this as an example of what pure New Orleans ensemble jazz sounded like. This was prior to the era of soloists, it was a very precise and disciplined format where each musician knew both the tune and his role in improvising around the melody, perhaps next time. OK, here's the list:

1.Uma Neguinho by Daude, [Daa-oo-jee] a Brazillian singer that I became very fond of, I just googled her and found a piece that will tell you far more than I can;
This cut is Uma Neguinho, or "Little Black Girl," written by Paulo Padihal. The upbeat sounding song has lyrics dealing with the unease which people of different races can still have with each other.

2.Lili sén fout by Toufic Farroukh, a resident of Paris he's originally from Lebanon and he mixes many styles in his music, he plays the sax and there's always an interesting mix of instruments in his groups. The vocal here is by Yasmine Hamdan, the CD is drab:zeen.

3. Dans la poussière du temps (ext. de Mojo radio, 1998) by Lo Jo, a favorite French group, I have several of their CD's. I believe they're from Amiens, there's always interesting mixes of instruments and voices.

4. Young Men by Bhusi Mhlongo from South Africa, such an interesting piece, check that gentle intro. and the way it evolves.

5. Aba Alem Lemenae by Ejigayehu Shibabaw, a wonderful singer from Ethiopia with a most interesting backing group of musicians.

6.Ye Yeki by Lo Jo, another and very different cut by this group.

7. Madiabuana by Pap Noel, AKA Antoine Nedule Monswet, A classic piece by one of the godfathers of Zairian music, a combination of Cuban and African, check the very sparse use of the brass, the typical high note duelling guitar improvisations and the 3 part vocal harmony with an occasional lead.

8. Zengolo by Sam Mangwana, another and very different musician fro Zaire, OK, Congo if you insist, I grew up with Zaire. I don't know of another African group [sub Saharan] that uses the accordian as a lead instrument. It's from a great CD, Galo Negro.

9. Face to Face by Ry Cooder. One thing I love about Ry is that beyond his fabulous playing he's also a musicologist and he goes off into interesting detours, like this one. The album is 'JAZZ', mine's vinyl, I bought it instantly 30 odd years ago just based on the album design and the title, my first Ry album.
He investigates the roots of jazz in a most interesting way, this piece is a mix of ragtime, church and Spanish influences from the period before jazz.

10. Round Midnight by Chet Baker & the Gotan Project. This was my favorite version for my midnight music program, I played it dozens of times.

11. Poulina by the Orchestra National de Barbes. Ian Anderson says on the back cover "This could be the best live CD I've ever heard!" Barbes is a place in Paris adjacent to the Sacre Coeur, it's popular with the north African population and this group performs there regularly.

OK, that's it, if I had more space there'd be some Issa Bagayoyo from Mali, some King Oliver, something from Marraketch and a bit of Haitti. Enjoy!


Blimpy said...

Hi GF - this playlist is out of this world! I love it. Much food for thought. Thanks for posting.

Of the artists on the podbean, I only have a tiny bit of Ry Cooder in my house, which i do like.

Japanther said...

GF - after days of trying I finally got to put time aside to give this a listen - enchanting stuff, thanks a lot for posting it.

Particular highlights for me were the third track (Lo Jo), the Ejigayehu Shibabaw track and the uplifting final tune.

Definitely way outside my usual frames of reference and all the sweeter for being so.....

Abahachi said...

Likewise, not my usual style of listening - I didn't know anything besides the Baker and the Cooder - but some lovely stuff here.

steenbeck said...

Goneforeign, I don't know if you're still reading comments this far back, but I forgot to say how much I enjoyed listening to this list. Thank you.