Smooth jazzy fusion from Ladies’ Heels Over Head

Capetown-Durban play Gugs: ISupportDoYou

Spirit lifting, head turning, chuckles and smiles….. are utterances from the lively audiences exposed to the Durban-ladies-meet-Capetown-ladies, under the band name of “Heels Over Head”, a Durban-based all-female jazz pop band that started in 2008. And uplifting they were as they nestled us inside Gugulethu’s Kwa Sec house with a roaring fire and hard-to-find independent wines on sale. Three Durban gals linked up with Capetownians Nobuhle Ashanti Mazinyane on piano and keys,  Tracey Johannes on bass guitar, and guitarist Arianna Carini who started with the Durban group and is presently studying classical Flamenco at the University of Capetown’s School of Music.

Guitarist Arianna Carini

HOH’s tour through SA Concerts from their Durban base is a collaboration seeking to mentor and develop the talents of other female jazz and blues artists. This echos the band members’ own upbringings in musical families and youth orchestras.

 

Bassist Tracey Yohannes

Theirs is a special sound: funky blues with Carini’s killer guitar which adds the pop/rock feel; vocalist and HOH founder Thulile Zama, throws soulful ballads with a vocal control that speaks to ten years plus experience leading the Durban band.

Drummer Rebecca Doty

Vocalist-Founder Thulile Zama

Drummer Rebekah Doty. offers subtle rhythms that don’t overpower; Doty has also served in a military band before resuming her HOH link. The youngest member of this collaboration, Mazinyane’s keys are gentle and melodic. Her hands have matured; she plays with ease.

HOH Could It Be (2010)

Their albums also feature pianists Taryn Kasaval and Lindi Ngonelo, bassist Tebogo Sedumedi, and a hot guitarist, Chillie, who ensures the flame endures in the band’s sonic fusion.  Their first album in 2010, Could It Be, contains haunting African jazzics, such as ‘Pata Pata, with very danceable rhythms, melting smooth jazz as in ‘Betrayed’, the lively soul pop of the album’s title, ‘Could It Be’, and the upbeat drum ‘n bass funk remix of ‘Girlfriend’. This album exudes emotion, purpose, and message, all which has spiraled these ‘girls’ into a limelight of recognition.

Besides performing in various festivals, like Moshito, and at the 2017 Essence Festival in New
Orleans, USA, the group was nominated in 2011 for MTN SAMA AWARDS in the Contemporary Jazz category.

Sondela (2013)

Their 2013 album, Sondela, presents a slower groove through the seasoned vocals of the musicians entwined in soft ballad harmonies, as in the popular ‘Ntilo Ntilo’ and in ‘Ngiyak’ Phica Phica’. Slow smooth jazz in a blues style around love themes, with the occasional mood setting of a trumpet, characterises this album quite differently to the 2010 album. If I had to choose between the two, Could It Be explains why the group was SAMA nominated in 2011.

Vocalist and founder, Thulile Zama, explains how HOH members managed to stay together for 10 years: “Few bands have survived over the years. We have worked for many years to create opportunities for ourselves. It has been a great experience, both enriching and humbling, and we will continue to offer platforms for female musicians.”

Drummer Rebekah Doty adds: “We want to be an example to other female musicians and show them that everything is possible. We have performed for so many different audiences throughout the years. Still being together after 10 years is a great motivation to keep the band going.”

The style of the Heels Over Head gals, both on and off the stage, reveals how these well-dressed ladies approach their art seriously but with glee and pizzaz, seeking to musically entertain and make us all feel good….and perhaps ready for more wine and chats! See the following links:

Website: www.heelsoverheadband.com
You Tube: www.youtube.com/isupportdoyou
Facebook: www.facebook.com/heelsoverhead
Instagram: www.instagram.com/heelsoverheadband

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CD Review by Eric Alan – Diva Jazz Orchestra 25th Anniversary Project (2018)

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When I sit down to write a review, it is without thought like a blank piece of paper, the words then kinda just flow from my mind to my fingers, so much so that I’m in a sort of focused trance, no don’t be silly I’m not on medical marijuana nor am I smoking my socks as some may assume but I feel so lekker (nice) when I hear a truly great jazz big band/orchestra.

I let the music infuse my being with a solid wave of euphoria along with a really delectable Glass (note the big G) and a half of liquid mellowness, better known as Pinotage, that alluring russet coloured liquid nectar of the gods hastens my collective thoughts to the task at hand, which, is writing or should I rather say typing away on the keyboard.

The Diva Jazz Orchestra


This is the first time I’ve received a Diva Jazz Orchestra album, sent to me by Kari Gaffney of Kari-On Productions with whom I’ve had a long working relationship over many years, in fact over more than 24 years of my radio career, sjoe, now I really feel like a member The August Society of Crusty Old People, neh! Kari has always sent us the most amazing new music by some of the finest innovative young jazz talent her company promotes to jazz radio in the USA and the rest of the global village. Another fact is that some years ago I invited her to do a show for us and I’m very grateful that she agreed, and along with her husband Jeff Williams who produces and also presents together with her. Jeff has been producing the show for some while now, and better yet they also supply the show to a number of stations in the US and Canada. Thanks for all the extra hard work you do Kari and Jeff also thanks for the wonderful music and artists Kari. AJR has become known for playing more new jazz musicians few have ever heard before. Jeez, been prattling on haven’t we?, and now onwards and upwards to infinity and beyond. Damn, why did that pop into my head and where does that line come from?

The Late Stanley Kay

The Diva Jazz Orchestra is led from behind the drum kit by Music Director/Drummer Sherrie Maricle and has been since the orchestra’s inception. The album sees a bunch of fresh new music written for this very special album by members of the orchestra as a tribute to the person who started it all those years ago The Late Stanley Kay, who also happened to manage a fellow drummer’s band and used to sit in for maestro, Buddy Rich from time to time.

Stanley Kay was conducting a band which the now music director and drummer for the D.J.O, was playing, so impressed with her talent, he ruminated that there could be other woman who played to the same standard as Sherrie. His views turned to certitude when auditions were held throughout the USA, then in June of 1992 the orchestra became a reality and, that they say dear jazz lovers is history.

I’ve been listening the album throughout the week prior to my next deadline for the publication, and often  listen three to four times a day soaking in the incredible assemblage of jazz talent in the orchestra on this recording. Then I started thinking, damn (*&%$£ expletive expunged), why had I not heard of, yep, now you know, or gotten any of the Diva Jazz Orchestra’s music before. That’s gonna change soon.

The album offers a plush uninhibited big band sound with the new and a whole bunch of future standards especially for big bands. Each tune is a marvellous treat to the ears and soul. I love every minute I listen to the album and recommend that you go get yourself a copy of it wherever you can.

I think I must whisper a word or two into the ears of the Groot (big) Makulu boss of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Billy Domingo. What do you think?

Track Titles – Composer – Time

  1. East Coast Andy – Leigh Pilzer – 6:04
  2. Middleground – Janelle Reichman – 6:40
  3. See Saw – Noriko Ueda – 6:59
  4. Jami’s Tune – Barbara Laronga – 6:37
  5. Square One – Alexa Tarantino – 6:19
  6. Darkness of the Matter – Sara Jacovino – 7:40
  7. La Americana – Tomoko Ohno – 5:31
  8. A Quarter Past the Last Minute – Jennifer Krupa – 5:47
  9. Forever in My Heart – – 7:12
  10. The Rhythm Changes – Sherrie Maricle – 5:37

The Diva Jazz Orchestra

Sherrie Maricle – Music Director/drummer

Noriko Ueda – bass

Tomoko Ohno – piano

Leslie Havens – bass trombone

Sara Jacovino – trombone

Jennifer Krupa – trombone

Rachel Therrien – trumpet, flugelhorn

Barbara Laronga – trumpet, flugelhorn

Jami Dauber – trumpet, flugelhorn, manager

Liesl Whitaker – trumpet, flugelhorn

Leigh Pilzer – baritone saxophone, bass clarinet

Erica von Kleist – tenor saxophone

Janelle Reichman – tenor saxophone, clarinet

Mercedes Beckman – alto saxophone, flute, clarinet

Alexa Tarantino – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone

Its  great that we in South Africa have our own brand new big band made upon some highly talented woman who are true masters of their own instruments playing incredible music. I was introduced to them at the recent SAJE Conference held in Cape Town at UCT, needless to say was reservedly blown away by their performance as they at the time, were only together for a couple of weeks.

My greatest hope is that when they record their debut album they will only include original music written and arranged by the very talented members of the band, however should they, gods forbid decide to any record of those ubiquitous covers they learned a collage, forget it rather look the great South African composers works to cover instead.

I know I’m going to be in trouble about what I’m going to say because there is a bit of a caveat about the bands moniker which is The Lady Day Big Band, whilst I am an uninhibited fan of Billie Holiday for me personally its not the right brand, I mean after all we are African and Capetonian to boot, nuff said on the subject for now, neh! I will take it up with the leaders of the project when I have them in the studio soon on my show.

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CD Review by Eric Alan – Tutu Puoane – The Joni Mitchell Project Live (2017)

 Soul Factory Records – Distributor Sonic Rendezvous

I’ve been wanting to review this album for a while now but never got around to doing it, so sorry Tutu however it being Friday 13th July nice cuppa at hand so no more excuses as we enter another dark cold wet winters night. I sit in the dark lounge, the only illumination from the computer screen, utterly engrossed as I listen to the album, over and over, ok 3 times back to back, i simply was lost in the sounds i was hearing and blerry well forget to switch on the lights. No worries ’cause the Klutz in the Kitchen made a lekkerlicious (really tasty and nice) Bobotie (Baked Curried Mince with egg custard on top) Sarmi (sandwich) with a great cuppa char to wash it down. Run out of char so it had to darned instant cawfee, gonna have to do a victual run on the morrow, without any further thought I just continue to let my fingers glide across the keyboard and type the words streaming like tickertape from my psyche.

So moved am I as I keenly listen, totally engrossed to the sounds hailing from my speakers. I thought, jinna Eric why have you not listened to this full live recording masterpiece in all of its glory before. How dumb assed have I been? Don’t answer that. Ok then you don’t have to say it out loud, neh!.

Sjoe! I’ve been playing individual tracks from the album when programming my shows for ages now since its release in August of 2017, how much of an ass have I really been? Don’t answer that either, I got a good lawyer.

Tutu and Ewout

I must add this is one hell of an album with an incredible cast of musicians backing the beautiful voice that Tutu has been blessed with; each track is a bona fide paragon. The album offers an enthralling listening experience; seldom do I offer any praise for live recordings, however this is one of those very few that I do. It took me right into the concert hall, I truly felt part of the audience. With superlative vocals and out of this world arrangements as well as some truly impressive playing by each member of the excellent backing band led so ably from behind the piano by Ewout Pierreux Tutu’s hubby. This is an album worthy of pride of place in all serious jazz lovers collection. Better praise I cannot give for a live recording, well done to all concerned. I highly recommend The Joni Mitchell Project Live if you don’t have it as yet go get quickly.

The entire band is;

Tutu Puoane – voice, Tineke Postma – sax, Ewout Pierreux – piano, Clemens van der Feen – bass, Jasper Van Hulten – drums.

Tracklisting:

1 River

2 The Hissing of Summer Lawns

3 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

4 God Must Be a Boogieman

5 Both Sides Now

6 Black Crow

7 Hejira

8 I Don’t Know Where I Stand

9 My Old Man

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A Blog Supreme – Friday 13thJuly 2018

Please feel free to Share and Read the latest news and info from the edited and curated by our fearless volunteers.

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EDITORIAL SNIPPETS

Jazz from Africa is in a good place, there are more Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz artists releasing their own albums without assistance from record labels. What is most pleasing about this is many of those albums are of original works with fewer and fewer standards being included. Is this a good thing or not?

In my opinion it is indeed a very good thing because musicians are discovering their own voices and creativity without having to rely on “the standards”. These tunes when recorded are just boring copies of their current favourite artists version of those “jazz standards” often with any real thought and preparation to make and arrange exciting fresh versions of those “standards”. Like I said boring and it will be only family and really good friends will offer high praise for what that musician has recorded. Come now be honest, it has happened to you too.

At All Jazz Radio we make no judgment when we receive albums from musicians from the global village and all tracks from the albums we receive go into our playlist system, it is up to the individual presenters to choose and play those tracks during their shows, or not.

The caveat is however when writing a review about any album we expect the reviewer to be brutally honest and truthful with their opinion, whether they like or dislike the album. Most reviewers only write about the albums they like and disregard those they dislike. Publications, Blogs and Websites don’t publish negative reviews. Is it fair the artists hear nothing about their album from the people, radio stations, publications and bloggers they have sent their CD/LP to? Here at All Jazz Radio we tell it like it is, warts and all, no punches pulled. The only allowance we make is that before we publish, we speak frankly to the artist concerned directly either in person or on the phone about what will be published. Do you agree or disagree? Email us your thoughts, should we publish or not?

Our venerable old AJR person in charge, The Commander of The August Society of Crusty, Grumpy, yet very friendly, Folks Society and Founder of The Fraternal Order of Masticators and Connoisseurs of Squished Berry of the Vine Federation Sippers and our tame, friendly Klutz in the Kitchen continues to scour the interweb for a variety of simple quick, easy and tasty recipes that any Klutz can prepare and create surprising friends and family who had no idea of their secret hard learned new skill set. The Klutz in The Kitchenis then instructed to share the recipes from time to time he also invites guest, Chefs, Cooks, Restaurateurs, Home Cooks and cooking goody suppliers into the studio for informal and interesting chats from time to time. The recipes are shared on in the body of A Blog Supreme and The Klutz In The Kitchen on All Jazz Radio Cape Town South Africa Facebook page then from time to time hitting the streaming airwaves during The Jazz Rendezvous Pinotage, Coffee & Stockvel Show.

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A QUOTE & MAYBE A FEW EXTRA FOR LUCK

Jazz stands for freedom. It’s supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don’t be a perfectionist – leave that to the classical musicians. Dave Brubeck

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THE KLUTZ IN THE KITCHENS RECIPE OF THE WEEK

 

Roasted Harissa Prawns with Tomatoes and Mushrooms

Here’s a swanky really quick and easy recipe that will stun all lovers, friends and family with your klutz powered cooking skills. Recipe adapted by The Klutz from Mzanzi Style Cuisine

Serves 4

Prep and Cook time 15

Stuff to make it

500g Cleaned jumbo prawns

2 Minced cloves garlic

30 ml Harissa paste

60 ml Salted butter, melted

80 ml Freshly chopped parsley

250 g Large button mushrooms, peeled

250 ml Cherry tomatoes

Salt and ground black pepper, to season

30 ml Olive oil

Juice of a lime

Baby butter lettuce salad

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 230°C
Turn the prawns on their backs and make a vertical incision down the centre of each prawn without cutting all the way through
Place the prawns on a greased roasting pan. Sprinkle the parsley, salt, pepper and garlic over the prawns. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour the lime juice over the prawns
Mix the garlic, harissa paste and butter to form a paste
Rub the mushrooms and tomatoes with salt, black pepper and olive oil and roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes Remove from the heat once slightly soft
Plate the mushrooms upside down, place the tomatoes on top, then add a layer of prawns and place a dollop of the garlic, harissa and butter mixture on top
Serve with salad leaves (optional)

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NOGGA (Another) QUOTE

All the sounds on the earth are like music. Oscar Hammerstein

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IT’S 5 ‘O CLOCK SOMEWHERE DRINKS RECIPE

I have to thank my fellow Associates of Liquid Refreshment Beverage Potion Concocters and Connoisseurs of Squished Berries of the Vine Federation Sippers for all the great input in finding the formula for our little segment in this missive, so do enjoy the muddling up of this weeks fusion, but beware the is a sting in the tail. You have been warned, any more than two of these can be hazardous of ones wellbeing but by all means enjoy, carefully

iGoli – a really great winter refreshing heart warming beverage

 

Serves 4

Prep and Create time 10

Bits and pieces to concoct It

1 Litre of spring water

4 Rooibos tea teabags

4 Tots of Brandy

5 Teaspoon of brown sugar

2 Whole cloves

1 Stick of cinnamon or 2 t cinnamon powder

2 Chopped apples

Procedures to rustle it up

Make up some the rooibos tea in a pan and add the sugar, chopped apples, cinnamon and cloves.
Just before serving add a tot of brandy to each cup.
Serve warm or let it cool down to serve as an cool beverage with ice.

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LAUGH OF THE WEEK

Two musicians who haven’t seen each other for some time meet late one night in a jazz club. “Hey, man,” says one, “I hear you recorded a CD.”
“Yeah, that’s right, man,” replies the other. “I released it a few months ago.”
“How much have you sold?” asks the first.
“Ohh…just the house and the car.”

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REASONS TO CELEBRATE

FRIDAY July 13, 2018 Today is international French Fries and Slap Chips Day!

French fries are a classic fast food treat and the perfect hamburger pairing. There are dozens of different ways to enjoy french fries. Whether you prefer your fries Cajun-style, sweet potato, crinkle-cut, curly, waffle, or covered in chili and cheese, today is the day to celebrate this world wide favourite.

The exact origin of French fries is unknown, however, one theory suggests that they date back to 17th century Belgium. The inhabitants of this region often cooked small fried fish to accompany their meals. When weather conditions made it too dangerous to go fishing, they cut up potatoes in long, thin strips (to resemble the fish) and fried them!

Today, French fries are a popular snack and side dish across the globe. Whether it’s “pommes frites” in France, “patatas fritas” in Spain, or “chips” in the UK, French fries are a worldwide favorite. Grab an order of fries from your favorite fast food restaurant to celebrate National French Fries Day!

July 13, 2018 is also International Embrace Your Geekness, Barbershop Music Appreciation, Puzzle Collector, Car Appreciation Day

July is International Grilling, Ice Cream and Hot Dog Month

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SIS GWEN JAZZ  BLOG used with the permission of Gwen Ansell

Frank Leepa biography: brutal history, personal beefs and brilliant music

July 10,2018

“Sankomota was a name I’d been playing around with for a while. It came from the stories told by Mathabatha (Sexwale’s) grandmother. Sankomota is a kind of David-and-Goliath figure in Pedi folklore. It seemed appropriate somehow…”

To outsiders, music is a baffling business. Novelists regularly get it wrong, veering wildly between portraying the musician as a crazed monomaniac, and creating a character who’s about something else entirely with the instrument as a mere accessory after the fact – sometimes in the same book. But the practice of music is often equally baffling to those who live with and around musicians. Parents and family patriarchs often don’t see it as a job at all – but if it is one, it’s a disgraceful one. Some find it hard to believe that a band can really break up bitterly over whether a number is best played in A Flat or G, and must invent deeper, darker tensions. Others (who regularly change up their own jobs when career satisfaction diminishes) expect the same group of players to stick together for life, churning out the same repertoire simply to please them. Others again become adoring fans, who elevate their human musical heroes into supernaturally awesome Marvel ones, too good for any of their colleagues, spouses or friends…To outsiders, music is a baffling business. Novelists regularly get it wrong, veering wildly between portraying the musician as a crazed monomaniac, and creating a character who’s about something else entirely with the instrument as a mere accessory after the fact – sometimes in the same book. But the practice of music is often equally baffling to those who live with and around musicians. Parents and family patriarchs often don’t see it as a job at all – but if it is one, it’s a disgraceful one. Some find it hard to believe that a band can really break up bitterly over whether a number is best played in A Flat or G, and must invent deeper, darker tensions. Others (who regularly change up their own jobs when career satisfaction diminishes) expect the same group of players to stick together for life, churning out the same repertoire simply to please them. Others again become adoring fans, who elevate their human musical heroes into supernaturally awesome Marvel ones, too good for any of their colleagues, spouses or friends

Read the rest of the newsletter at https://sisgwenjazz.wordpress.com

A wee bit about Sis Gwen

Gwen Ansell is a freelance writer, researcher and trainer. She writes about jazz (for this blog, The Conversation, the Financial Mail, M&G Friday and more) and reviews books – mainly science fiction & fantasy (these reviews have appeared in the Johannesburg Mail&Guardian and the Chimurenga Chronic, among others). As a Research Associate of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, she has researched and published on jazz and music policy in the creative and cultural industries sector. She trains journalists and academic and organisational writers, and consults on music industry policy, organisational communication and training policies as well as curriculum design.

A former Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, she is the author of Soweto Blues: Jazz, Politics and Popular Music in South Africa and the textbook Introduction to Journalism,, as well as various book chapters and journal articles. Watch out for her chapter on jazz in Johannesburg in the forthcoming second volume of Sounds and the City.

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JAZZ, BLUES, LATIN & WORLD JAZZ NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE GLOBAL VILLAGE

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STOP THE PRESS – NEWS FLASH

 ALL JAZZ RADIO HAS BEEN NOMINATED in THE BEST RADIO STATION PLAYING JAZZ CATEGORY.

VOTING IS NOW OPEN FOR THE The 2nd MZANTZI JAZZ AWARDS 2018

Please VOTE and SHARE this post with all Acquaintances, Friends, Jazz Lovers, Followers and Fans

I’m going the become a bit of posting pest over the next few weeks by posting a few friendly, encouraging reminders to share a NEWS FLASH with all of your Friends, Followers and Fans, so please understand and don’t get to pissed. ALL JAZZ RADIO has been nominated for The 2nd MZANTZI JAZZ AWARDS 2018 in THE BEST RADIO STATION PLAYING JAZZ CATEGORY. We are not sure which other radio stations are in the category as there is a problem with opening the link on the Awards website, however we are truly are humbled and tremendously honoured about our nomination which it came as a huge surprise.

Now we really need your assistance and request that you please encourage all Acquaintances, Friends, Jazz Lovers, Followers and Fans in the strongest most respectful and friendliest terms to VOTE FOR ALL JAZZ RADIO IN. VOTE NOW for All Jazz Radio and VOTE LOTSA TIMES.

The VOTING is now open so PLEASE cast your SMS (TEXT) vote to the number 40439 in the To line and add the unique code for All Jazz Radio, then in the message body fin the following manor add ZaJazz BR2, please remember there must be a space between ZaJazz and BR2 then hit the send button.

NB.Please note that if you are casting your votes from outside of South Africa, please remember to use the South African country code before the number – 27 40439

The winners will be announced on 11 August 2018atThe World of Yamaha, in Sandton, Marlboro.

Once again please cast as many votes for AJR as possible, now let your fingers do the talking.

Go to The Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 Website at https://www.facebook.com/ZaJAzzAwards/

Should you have an queries about the Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 call Peter Mashabane on the mobile number +27(0) 82 393 0026 or on the landline +27(0)12 751 7608.

The Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 handles are as follows:

Twitter: @ZaJazzAwards

Facebook: Mzantsi Jazz Awards

Instagram: zajazzawards

Hashtag: #MJA2

Please SHARE this post with all Acquaintances, Friends, Jazz Lovers, Followers and Fans

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2019 NEA Jazz Masters Bob Dorough (photo by Garth Woods), Abdullah Ibrahim (photo by Marina Umari), Maria Schneider (photo by Jimmy and Dena Katz), and Stanley Crouch (photo by Frank Stewart, courtesy of Jazz at Lincoln Center).

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Newest Recipients of Nation’s Highest Honor in Jazz

July 11, 2018 Washington, DC

Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts bestows the nation’s highest honour in jazz—the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships—on individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form. Today, the NEA is announcing the four newest recipients of this lifetime honour – Bob Dorough, Abdullah Ibrahim, Maria Schneider, and Stanley Crouch, who is the recipient of the 2019 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy (bestowed upon an individual who has contributed significantly to the appreciation, knowledge, and advancement of the art form of jazz).

Read the full story at https://www.arts.gov/news/2018/national-endowment-arts-announces-newest-recipients-nation’s-highest-honor-jazz

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Permission To Be Yourself by Seton Hawkins July 9, 2018

To follow the recordings of Cape Town-based vocalist and composer Nicky Schrire is to watch an artist evolve right in front of your eyes. With her 2012 debut Freedom Flight, Schrire demonstrated a supple soprano vocal technique and a knack for intelligent arrangements of unusual repertoire choices. Following it up the next year with Space and Time, she showed an uncanny ability to pare songs and performances down to their very essence, cutting away to reveal emotional truths in the pieces and singing them with an unvarnished and understated mastery. Additionally, canny listeners hearing each album also noted in Schrire a remarkable composer stepping to the forefront, as her albums began to allot more time to her original works.

By 2014, Schrire had released her third album To the Spring, marking a massive artistic evolution and shift, one that would ultimately find her leaving New York City for her home in Cape Town, transforming her performance style, and embracing a more Folk-driven aesthetic. Nevertheless, throughout these transitions, the core of Schrire’s singing remained. Brandishing a clear, pure sound and a delivery that avoids affectation or overly stylized tactics, Schrire delivers music of astonishing expressive depth.

To read the full story click on the live link to go to All About Jazz All About Jazz

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Bob James To Release New Solo Album
August 31
will see the release of the new album from multiple-Grammy winner Bob James. Titled “Espresso” and released on the Evosound label, the album will be Bob James’s first studio recording in 12 years as leader and following up on his 2006 release Urban Flamingo. The release of this album also see’s Bob James’s return to the trio format he embraced as an up-and-coming artist.
When asked about his motivation for the album and why he choose the trio format he said “I wanted to do this as part of a trio — piano, bass and drums. “With Fourplay and in other larger settings, I loved that I could solo and then kind of disappear into the setting to accompany other soloists. To play in a trio requires a different level of commitment, with the piano being much more prominent. You need perhaps a greater degree of optimism and bravery. That was how I felt when I first got into music. Espresso is my attempt to recapture that.”
Though busy since 2006 an array of projects, ranging from touring and recording with the all-star contemporary jazz ensemble Fourplay to collaborations with David Sanborn, Keiko Matsui and other innovators, James hasn’t felt the need to be in the spotlight as a solo performer – until now.
Bob James is best known as one of the stalwarts of the 1970′s contemporary jazz fusion scene collaborating with Earl Klugh, Grover Washington Jr and David Sanborn to name just a few. While recording his album, Grand Piano Canyon, in 1990, James reunited with longtime friend, drummer Harvey Mason, Jr. It would also be the first time he would work with guitarist Lee Ritenour, and bassist Nathan East. This meeting would be the start of something substantial as these early sessions ignited a spark that would become the band known as Fourplay. This band would be at the center of Bob’s activities until the present.
Inspiration for the Espresso album stems from a week-long engagement with sensational young bassist Michael Palazzolo and the respected veteran drummer Billy Kilson at the Blue Note last October. The musicians felt an immediate chemistry as they tackled standard repertoire as well as new James originals. Audiences sensed it too. “Soon everybody there was encouraging me to have the guts to jump in there and do this,” James recalls.
Two months later, the group reconvened at Bragg Street Studios in Van Nuys, California. In just one day James, Palazzo and Kilson laid down the varied tracks that comprise Espresso. Two covers were on the list: an ear-opening reconfiguration of Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin” and an equally fresh perspective on “Mr. Magic” (which James had arranged and conducted on the 1975 Grover Washington session) and a stream of original material.
The rest of the tunes, penned by James, reflect the same inventiveness and musical fluency that persuaded Quincy Jones to become his mentor and champion back in 1963. His expressiveness through both writing and performance permeates the rocking minor-key blues of “Bulgogi,” the definitive cool jazz of “Topside, ” the funk strut of “Submarine, ” the whispered beauty of “Promenade, ” the turbulent, more complex yet supremely listenable “Mojito Ride” and every other moment on Espresso.
“Submarine” the first single to be released, is a great example of James’ classic sound paying tribute to 1974’s “Nautilus”, while perfectly blending in the fresh, complex and rich textures of Espresso

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Al Di Meola Receives Honorary Doctorate at Berklee’s campus in Valencia
Berklee Provost Larry Simpson presented an honorary doctor of music degree today to legendary jazz, fusion, and world music guitarist, composer, bandleader, and producer Al Di Meola during the commencement ceremony for the master’s degree programs at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain. Di Meola also performed as a special guest at the commencement concert at the City of Arts and Sciences on Saturday, which drew thousands of attendees.
Over a career that has spanned more than four decades, Di Meola has recorded more than 30 solo albums, including Land of the Midnight Sun, his 1976 debut; Elegant Gypsy, which hit the Top 5 on Billboard’s jazz albums chart in 1977; and 1978’s Casino. He has also appeared as a guest artist on over 50 recordings. At 19, after attending Berklee, Di Meola joined Chick Corea’s pioneering jazz fusion group Return to Forever. He recorded three albums with them, hitting the Top 40 on Billboard’s pop albums chart. He later collaborated with John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía. The guitar trio’s live album Friday Night in San Francisco sold 7 million copies.
“Collaborations with other players outside of your realm can ignite a new frontier, ” Di Meola advised the graduates, reflecting on his time with Return to Forever and recording with de Lucía at Electric Lady Studios. He also shared his experience with tango master Astor Piazzolla. “Getting to know him as a friend began a very important chapter of my life as a composer. It was the introduction to his music that I sensed had the right ingredients to touch the heart, and at the same time challenge me intellectually as a player, and a listener. That was, still is, my goal and what I set out to do.”
“As much as music lessons were very important at the beginning, so were the vast amount of concerts and every music category I was fortunate enough to choose from, having had the proximity to New York City during the early seventies. For me, it was the value of being able to express deeper emotions with an instrument than with words. What would life be without music, as well as all the other forms of artistic expression, I often ponder.”
To the graduates, he added, “I commend all of your dedication and the hard work you have spent during your school years, and I can imagine that many of you will go way beyond your comfort zone. In the process you will quite naturally mature as a musician.”
One of the inventors of jazz-rock fusion, Di Meola also explored Mediterranean cultures and acoustic genres like flamenco, getting closer to world music and modern Latin styles, while further expanding his horizons with the electronic side of jazz. The guitar legend has begun a new chapter in his prolific career with the release of his latest album Opus.
At the commencement ceremony, 131 graduates from more than 30 nations received master of music degrees in music production, technology, and innovation; scoring for film, television, and video games; and contemporary performance with a concentration in production; or master of arts degrees in global entertainment and music business.
“You are at the vanguard of contemporary music education, and each one of you has developed a skill set, ” said Simpson, addressing the graduates. “Some of you may be feeling a bit headstrong; some of you might not be quite sure what’s next. Life awaits you and you will have to make choices…Congratulations on your achievement today, we await the magic that you will create.”
Berklee’s honorary doctorate recipients are recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Loretta Lynn, Juan Luis Guerra, Annie Lennox, Paco de Lucia, Carole King, Willie Nelson, George Clinton, Rita Moreno, Lionel Richie, and A. R. Rahman. Honorary doctorates have previously been awarded at the Valencia campus to Eddie Gómez (2013), Plácido Domingo (2014), Emilio Aragón (2016) and John McLaughlin (2017).

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Here’s an optional extra Quote of the Week

New Orleans is the only place I know of where you ask a little kid what he wants to be and instead of saying “I want to be a policeman,” or “I want to be a fireman,” he says, I want to be a musician. Alan Jaffe

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BIRTHDAYS OF THE WEEK – 13 to 20 July

13 July

Albert Ayler – Tenor Sax, b.1936 d.1970, Cleveland, OH

Michel DeVillers – Baritone Sax, b.1926 d.1992, Villeneuve-Sur-Lot, France

Earl Grubbs – Tenor Sax, b.1942, Philadelphia, PA

Johnny Hartman

Johnny Hartman – Vocal, b.1923 d.1983, Chicago, IL

Pedro Iturralde – Saxophone, b.1929, Falces, Spain

George Lewis – Clarinet, b.1900 d.1968, New Orleans, LA

Erik Parker – Trumpet, b.1918, Arhus, Denmark

Gyorgy Szabados – Piano/Composer, b.1939, Budapest, Hungary

Leroy Vinnegar – Bass, b.1928 d.1999, Indianapolis, IN

Bengt-Arne Wallin – Trumpet, b.1926, Linkoping, Sweden

14 July

Tony Archer – Bass, b.1939, London, England

Doug Carn – Organ, b.1948, New York, NY

Alan Dawson – Drums, b.1929 d.1996, Marietta, PA

Billy Kyle – Piano, b.1914 d.1966, Philadelphia, PA

George Lewis – Trombone, b.1952, Chicago, IL

Sabu Martinez – Percussion, b.1930 d.1979, New York, NY

Kenny Napper – Bass, b.1933, London, England

Claude Trenier – Vocal, b.1919 d.2003, Mobile, AL

“Rubberlegs” Williams – Vocal/Dancer, b.1907 d.1962, Atlanta, GA

15 July

Sadik Hakim – Piano, b.1919 d.1983, Duluth, MN

Joe Harriott – Alto Sax, b.1928 d.1973, Kingston, Jamaica

Philly Joe Jones – Drums, b.1923 d.1985, Philadelphia, PA

16 July

Vocalist Andrea Vicari

Dee Bell – Vocalist b. July 16 1950

Teddy Buckner – Trumpet, b.1909 d.1994, Sherman, TX

John Chilton
- Trumpet/Writer, b.1932, London, England

Ralph Escudero – Bass, b.1898 d.1970, Manati, Puerto Rico

Eddie Farley
- Trumpet/Vocal, b.1904, Newark, NJ

Nat Pierce
- Piano, b.1925 d.1992, Somerville, MA

Bobby Previte – Drums, b.1957, Niagara Falls, NY

Bola Sete – Guitar, b.1923 d.1987, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Cal Tjader
- Vibes, b.1925 d.1982, St.Louis, MO

Rene Utreger – Piano, b.1934, Paris, France

Andrea Vicari – Piano, b.1965, Miami, FL

Annie Whitehead – Trombone/Vocal, b.1955, Oldham, England

Ray Copeland – trumpet player and teacherb.17 July 1926, Norfolk, Virginia, United Statesd.18 May 1984, Sunderland, Massachusetts, United States

17 July

Danny Bank – Baritone Sax, b.1922, New York, NY

George Barnes – Guitar, b.1921 d.1977, Chicago Heights, IL

Nick Brignola – Baritone Sax, b.1936 d.2002, Troy, NY

Fud Candrix – Tenor Sax, b.1908 d.1974, Tongeren, Belgium

Ray Copeland – Trumpet, b.1926 d.1984, Norfolk, VA

Eddie Doughert – Drums, b.1915, New York, NY

Margie Evans – Vocal, b.1941, Shreveport, LA

Earl Lavon “Chico” Freeman – Tenor saxophonist and trumpeter b. 1949 Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Vince Guaraldi – Piano, b.1928 d.1976, San Francisco, CA

Abe Laboriel – Bass, b.1947, Mexico City, Mexico

Jerry Lloyd – Trumpet, b.1920, New York, NY

Wilfred Middlebrooks – Bass, b.1933, Chattanooga, TN

Joe Morello – Drums, b.1928, Springfield, MA

Sonny Morgan – Percussion, b.1936, Philadelphia, PA

Mary Osborne – Guitar, b.1921 d.1992, Minot, ND

Benjamin “Ben” Alexander Riley Jr. – Drums b. 1933 d. November 18, 2017, Savannah, GA

Jack Washington – Baritone Sax, b.1910 d.1964, Kansas City, KS

18 July

Brian Auger – Organ, b.1939, London, England

Mtutuzeli Dudu Pukwana

Don Bagley – Bass, b.1927, Salt Lake City, UT

Joe Comfort – Bass, b.1917 d.1988, Alcorn, MS

Wilton Crawley – Clarinet, b.1900 d.1948, Smithfield, VA

Carl Fontana – Trombone, b.1928 d.2003, Monroe, LA

Richie Landrum – Percussion, b.1939, New York, NY

Charlie LaVere Piano, b.1910 d.1983, Salina, KS

Buschi (Johannes) Niebergall – Bass, b.1938, Marburg, Germany

Mtutuzeli Dudu Pukwana – Alto Sax, Pianist, and Composer, b.1938 Port Elizabeth d. 30-June-1990, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Roger Sellars – Drums, b.1939, Melbourne, Australia

Speed Webb – Drums/Leader, b.1906, Peru, IN

19 July

Bobby Bradford – Cornet, b.1934, Cleveland, MS

Buster Bailey – Clarinet, b.1902 d.1967, Memphis, TN

Carmell Jones – Trumpet, b.1936 d.1996, Kansas City, MO

Charlie Teagarden – Trumpet, 1913 d.1984, Jack’s brother, Vernon, TX

Cliff Jackson – Piano, b.1902 d.1970, Culpepper, VA

Phil Upchurch

David Allyn – Vocal, b.1923, Hartford, CT

Dick Collins – Trumpet, b.1924, Seattle, WA

Didier Levallet – Bass, b.1944, Arcy-sur-Cure, France

Eddie Brunner – Tenor Sax, b.1912 d.1960, Zurich, Switzerland

Ernie Shepard – Bass, b.1916 d.1965, Beaumont, TX

Kenny Graham – Alto Sax, b.1924, London, England

Phil Upchurch – Guitar, b.1941, Chicago, IL

Alan Warren Haig – jazz pianist, best known as one of the pioneers of bebop b.19 July 1922, Newark, New Jersey, United Statesd,16 November 1982, New York City, New York, United States

20 July

Adrian Tilbrook – Drums, b.1948, Durham, England

Arnold Fishkin – Bass, b.1919 d.1999, Bayonne, NJ

Bill Dillard – Trumpet, b.1911 d.1995, Philadelphia, PA

Charles Tyler – Baritone Sax, b.1941, Cadiz, KY

Ernie Wilkins – Saxophonist, Composer/Arranger, b.1922 d.1999, Reeds, St. Louis, MO

Karel Krautgartner

Joachim-Ernst Berendt – Producer/Critic, b.1922, Berlin, Germany

John Almond – Saxophone, b.1946, Enfield, England

Karel Krautgartner – Clarinet, b.1922 d.1982, Mikulov, Czechoslovakia

Peter Ind – Bass, b.1928, Uxbridge, England

Teddy Kleindin – Clarinet, b.1914, Berlin, Germany

James “Plunky” Branch – Saxophone, Composer, music and film producer, b. 1947, USA

Sally Ann Howes -English actress and singer, b.1930

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AN OPTIONAL EXTRA QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm. I compare it to the rhythms of jazz. Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary.”  Francoise Sagan (1935-2004) French playwright, novelist and screenwriter.

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Support South Africa’s only 24/7 online jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today Remember any day is a good day to listen to All Jazz Radioonline at

Listen to All Jazz Radio on any of the following:

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

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Please would you do the following;

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher https://twitter.com/AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page https://www.facebook.com/AllJazzRadioCapeTownZA/

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/alljazzradio/

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page https://www.facebook.com/theklutzinthekitchen/

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CD Review By Eric Alan – MR Project – Journey (2018)

Mike Rossi’s MRP Album Cover Journey

I’ve known Mike Rossi for quite a number of years now and have played and reviewed his albums over those years. When I received this album and gave a quick run through scan of the all of tracks I knew there was something special about what I was hearing. I decided to can what I had planned and set about without delay, to listen carefully to the entire album with all attention. I listened to the over the next four or so hours and the called Mike to come over for an interview during my show. We arranged a time and the day; I the intervening period I listened to the album back to a number of more times and again was not disappointed. We did the interview and had a great time in the studio chatting.

This is one of the best albums releases this year to my way of thinking, and is intensely personal for Mike, with each track holding a very special place in Mr Rossi’s heart. I believe it reflects a very personal voyage that has brought him this point in his chosen profession. It is like everything has come together, you know, right time and right place with the apposite people to create an enormously beautiful work that will stand the test of time, which is somewhat special and a must have for real jazz lovers.

Track and player listing;

  1. Got a Match?(For Chick Corea) with Marco Maritz, William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. Mike Rossi, tenor sax.
  2. Big Sax(for Rampone & Cazzani) w/ Marco Maritz, William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi, altello sax.
  3. Ciao Roma, Don’t say Lazio!(For Susanna Stivali) w/ Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi alto flute & tenor sax.
  4. Star Dust(For Mom; Janet Christina Sansonetti Rossi); with Andrew Ford. M. Rossi, alto sax.
  5. KwaZulu Zam Sam(For Kwazulu-Natal) w/ Marco Maritz, William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi alto sax.
  6. Alpe Camasca, Italy(For Maria Rita Zolla) w/ Marco Maritz, William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi, clarinet, tenor & soprano sax.
  7. Greasy Pan Blues(For those unexpected “food” moments) w/ Marco Maritz, William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi sax.
  8. Land of Make Believe(For Chuck Mangione) w/ Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi, flute, alto flute, piccolo.
  9. Shiny Stockings(For Count Basie) w/ Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi clarinet.
  • Cucciulitti-Snails of Fermo(fFor Umberto & Maria Bufalini) w/ William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi baritone sax.
  • Hilda(For friends in Norway & “Hildas” everywhere); w/ Andrew Ford. M. Rossi soprano sax.
  • Mra (For South Africa & Diane Rossi) w/ Marco Maritz, William Haubrich, Andrew Ford, Wesley Rustin and Kevin Gibson. M. Rossi tenor sax.

    Mike Rossi

Each track is a bona fide gem and tells the story in a way which even I can understand. As can be seen the musicians featured through this journey have worked with Mike for years and they show the respect they have for him through their playing. Thank you for sharing those personal moments from your life and passion with me as a listener and jazz lover it is truly appreciated. This album is going to take a lot to beat, and BTW I love the album cover, but Mike I don’t envy you the next time you head into the studio.

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Extra, Extra read all about it – A Blog Supreme Extra Another Quick ‘n Short Note of Note to Note No22

  by Eric Alan – FRIDAY 6th July 2018

The Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018

After numerous problems over the past 24 hours with with regards to both the Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 SMS system and their website. I have just received another communiqué from Peter Mashabane the PR dude for Awards, in it he states that the SMS problems are now sorted, so please would you go ahead and cast as many votes as you can for us at All Jazz Radio.

For one to cast ones votes for for us please send your SMS to the number 40439 and add the unique SMS code ZaJazz  BR2 and hit send. One will receive a confirmation of receipt of ones vote.

If you will be casting your votes from outside of South Africa, note please that the South African country code must be added before the number – 27 40439

I don’t know how many problems and questions I discovered and questions I’ve asked over the last 25 hours but I am pleased to say Peter Mashabane the PR fella for the Awards has been most helpful during this rather tedious period of trouble shooting.

I’m now confident and very glad that we can notify all AJR Listeners, Fans, Musicians, Friends, Jazz Lovers, Followers in the Global Village that it’s now time to cast many votes for AJR as possible so please get your fingers walking on your phones keyboard.

Should you have an queries about the Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 please give Peter Mashabane a call on mobile +27(0)823930026 or landline +27(0)127517608

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Support South Africa’s only 24/7 online jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today Remember any day is a good day to listen to All Jazz Radio online at

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

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Please would you do the following;

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher https://twitter.com/AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page https://www.facebook.com/AllJazzRadioCapeTownZA/

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/alljazzradio/

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page https://www.facebook.com/theklutzinthekitchen/

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Visit the All Jazz Radio Website at www.alljazzradio.co.za

Read todays All Jazz Radio News from paper.li at http://paper.li/AllJazzRadioSA/1342250877

Why not join us on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/hp

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We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

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All Jazz Radiostreams in the C. A. T. (Central African Time Zone). Please note that Central European Time is one hour behind Central African Time and GMT is 2 hours behind.

Note too that all programs are repeated, eg. Today’s programs are repeated tomorrow evening from 18:00 and the previous days programs are repeated at 2am the following morning.

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Please shareAnother Quick ‘n Short Note of Note to Note with all of your Friends, Followers and Fans encouraging them in the strongest friendly terms to VOTE for ALL JAZZ RADIO

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A Blog Supreme

All Jazz Radio’s Eric Alan’s musings, ranting’s and mutterings about some tittle-tattle, chit-chatter of this, that and the next thing and maybe some other interesting blather about the World of Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz.

Friday 06thJuly 2018

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Please feel free to Share and Read the latest news and info from the edited and curated by our fearless volunteers. Just go to the All Jazz Radio website, just click on either of the links below.

http://www.alljazzradio.co.za

http://www.alljazzradio.co.za/category/all-jazz-radio-blog/ajr-a-blog-supreme/

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Sadly I have had to unpin yesterday’s notification, though we are really very happy and honoured about being nominated in The Best Radio Station Playing Jazz Category of the 2nd Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 (https://www.facebook.com/ZaJAzzAwards/). We have had a number of All Jazz Radio Fans, Listeners, Friends and Followers, notifying us that they are experiencing problems with their SMS voting system. The unique code BR2 and number 40439 for voting for AJR is not working, an error message is returned to the sender, and returns an error stating that the message is not formatted correctly. There are other problems with their website as well which I have also notified the powers that be about and am awaiting their reply. As soon as they have sorted the problem out I will once again post all the details, watch this space.

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Quote of the Week or maybe a few extra for luck

If I am playing any music at all it is jazz music. Ginger Baker

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Nog (Another) A Quote

I wanted to keep pushing the musical ideas I had about jazz, music from Africa and the Caribbean. Taj Mahal

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The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Recipe of the Week

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This is a favourite of mine because it’s very quick ‘n easy to make.

Cheesy Potato & Tuna Bake

Cheesy Potato & Tuna Bake

Recipe by Knorr

Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry one is

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Stuff to make it

450 ml Milk

1 x Knorr Creamy Garlic and Herb Potato Bake

1 Pinch Aromat

2 Tomatoes, sliced

4 Potatoes, washed, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Cans of Tuna

1 Cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 small punnet of tiny whole button mushrooms (optional)

How to make it

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Slice and panfry the mushrooms and chopped garlic in a nob of real butter until soft, season with a touch of garlic salt and pepper

Arrange half the sliced potatoes in a greased, ovenproof dish.

Open the tins of tuna and drain the liquid.

Spread the mushrooms and tuna evenly over the first layer of potatoes and top with layers of sliced tomatoes and the remaining potato.

Season with Aromat and pepper

Mix the sachet contents with a little milk to make a paste and stir in the remaining milk.

Pour over the potatoes, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 180°C for 1 hour until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is golden brown.

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Here’s an optional extra Quote of the Week

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We don’t live in a jazz world, unfortunately. I think if I had lived in a jazz world, I would have done OK. I’m not sure I would have done great. I’m a lover of jazz music, so I would have been happy, don’t get me wrong. I go to jazz concerts like the biggest jazz fan in world. The drag is that I don’t play jazz for a living. George Benson

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Wingerd Griep en Ander Stories (Vineyard Flu and Other Stories) sometime known as The Wrath of Grape-Beverage Cocktail ‘n Drinks Recipe of the Week

Here’s a real winter warmer that, me thinks few would pass up on any chilly winters evening, but beware the tail which could have one wagging the dog neh! We decided to exchange the wine requirement from Cabernet to Pinotage so, go ahead enjoy the treat.

Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate collage

Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate

Recipe from Gourmand and Gourmet

Yes, you read that right. Sit down, breath and above all, remain calm. You’re going to need a steady hand to put this bad boy together. So read on and get ready to taste the greatest winter drink that has ever existed. Or if the whole DIY aspect seems a bit hard, head to the Valley’s Waterloo Hotel and treat yo’self.

Bits and pieces to concoct It

5 x pods cardamom (cracked)

4 x star anise

2 x cinnamon sticks

500g 70% dark chocolate

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 x bottle of good Pinotage

1 x cup of milk

Marshmallows

Procedures to rustle it up

Melt chocolate over double boiler. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper

In a separate pot warm milk

Once chocolate is melted, add to milk and whisk until smooth

In a separate pot heat wine until simmering, do not boil

Crack cardamom and add to wine, add cinnamon and star anise. Simmer for 10 minutes

Combine milk and wine mixtures, stirring gently

Remove cardamom and star anise from mixture before serving in mugs

Serve with toasted marshmallows

We’ve mulled over this recipe for too long and now we can finally share it with you!

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Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz News from the Global Village

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The Kronendal Music Academy of Hout Bay’s jazz band, still needs help,

PLEASE HELP! The KMA Jazz Band is still R300k short for the tour to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival and we leave in 2 weeks. Government funding has not been forthcoming. Flights bought and accommodation arranged, 4 performances in Edinburgh and London confirmed… we won’t let these kids down!
YOU CAN HELP by introducing us to corporates and businesses who want their logo sported on our branded materials.. or by making a donation to our Back-a-buddy campaign today… every cent counts.

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/kma-jazz-band-edinburgh-blues-jazz-festi

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^JazzWeek Summit 2018 August 9-10, 2018 Hotel De Anza, San Jose – California Creating Jazz Radio Success in the Digital Era

Media is in a constant and accelerating state of disruption, as digital content changes the way we produce, distribute and consume entertainment and information.

Jazz radio, artists, promoters, and labels can either be left behind or they can acknowledge the changing landscape … and even take advantage of it!

The 2018 JazzWeek Summit will be tightly focused on creating success in this digital era.

To set the stage for our presentations and panels, JazzWeek is sponsoring detailed surveys and research during the spring and early summer of 2018 to gather economic, artistic, and technological data from radio and the recording industry to provide the basis for this year’s panels and to help us determine our next steps.

Our goals for this year’s Summit are to understand where we are now, take stock of the challenges we face, and to chart a course forward.

Attendance is strictly limited to a maximum of 80 people, so register early to reserve your space!

https://jazzweeksummit.com

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Some may remember that Renee Lee performed at the Grahamstown Festival and the then Green Dolphin with Dave Young, Richard Ring and others some years ago.

Vocalist Ranee Lee

Here is a Q&A with Ranee who seeks to honour the ‘Dark Divas’ of jazz who inspired her.She also performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival this year

Ranee Lee has been an integral part of the Canadian jazz scene since she arrived in Montreal in 1970 from her native Brooklyn, New York.

She was a multi-instrumentalist whose voice seemed to be her most proficient and mellifluous axe. Her albums on Montreal’s Justin Time label are considered classics.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ranee-lee-jazz-1.4726821

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DownBeat has Announced Winners of the 2018 Int’l Critics Poll here is the complete list of winners listed below.

 

 

Jazz Artist: Vijay Iyer

Jazz Album: Cécile McLorin Salvant, Dreams And Daggers (Mack Avenue)

Hall of Fame: Benny Golson and Marian McPartland

Historical Album: Miles Davis & John Coltrane, The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 (Columbia/Legacy)

Jazz Group: Vijay Iyer Sextet

Big Band: Maria Schneider Orchestra

Trumpet: Ambrose Akinmusire

Trombone: Wycliffe Gordon

Soprano Saxophone: Jane Ira Bloom

Alto Saxophone: Rudresh Mahanthappa

Tenor Saxophone: Charles Lloyd

Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan

Clarinet: Anat Cohen

Flute: Nicole Mitchell

Piano: Geri Allen (1957–2017)

Keyboard: Robert Glasper

Organ: Dr. Lonnie Smith

Guitar: Mary Halvorson

Bass: Christian McBride

Electric Bass: Steve Swallow

Violin: Regina Carter

Drums: Jack DeJohnette

Percussion: Hamid Drake

Vibraphone: Stefon Harris

Miscellaneous Instrument: Akua Dixon (cello)

Female Vocalist: Cécile McLorin Salvant

Male Vocalist: Kurt Elling

Composer: Muhal Richard Abrams (1930–2017)

Arranger: Maria Schneider

Record Label: ECM

Producer: Manfred Eicher

Blues Artist or Group: Bettye LaVette

Blues Album: Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’, TajMo (Concord)

Beyond Artist or Group: Kendrick Lamar

Beyond Album: Kendrick Lamar, Damn. (Interscope/Top Dawg Entertainment)

Rising Star Categories

Rising Star–Jazz Artist (TIE): Kris Davis and Julian Lage

Rising Star–Jazz Group: Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble

Rising Star–Big Band: John Beasley’s MONK’estra

Rising Star–Trumpet: Amir ElSaffar

Rising Star–Trombone: Jacob Garchik

Rising Star–Soprano Saxophone: Jimmy Greene

Rising Star–Alto Saxophone: Caroline Davis

Rising Star–Tenor Saxophone: Ingrid Laubrock

Rising Star–Baritone Saxophone: Alex Harding

Rising Star–Clarinet: Matana Roberts

Rising Star–Flute: Rhonda Larson

Rising Star–Piano: Orrin Evans

Rising Star–Keyboard: Elio Villafranca

Rising Star–Organ: Roberta Piket

Rising Star–Guitar: Jakob Bro

Rising Star–Bass: Thomas Morgan

Rising Star–Electric Bass: Mimi Jones

Rising Star–Violin: Scott Tixier

Rising Star–Drums: Johnathan Blake

Rising Star–Percussion: Satoshi Takeishi

Rising Star–Vibraphone: Behn Gillece

Rising Star–Miscellaneous Instrument: Tomeka Reid (cello)

Rising Star–Female Vocalist: Jazzmeia Horn

Rising Star–Male Vocalist: Jamison Ross

Rising Star–Composer: Tyshawn Sorey

Rising Star–Arranger: Amir ElSaffar

Rising Star–Producer: Flying Lotus

http://downbeat.com/news/detail/downbeat-announces-winners-of-2018-critics-poll

The August issue of DownBeat has features on numerous winning artists as well the complete results for each category, listing more than 1,200 artists who received votes in the Critics Poll. To subscribe to DownBeat, visit the website. DB

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Must Attend Performance Guide in Poster form

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sisgwenjazz Blog used with the permission of Gwen Ansell

Nicole Mitchell’s Downbeat award should bring her to South Africa

The Downbeat Critics Awards are out and South Africans can enjoy a slightly smug feeling. We heard the Vijay Iyer sextet before they scored that award for Far From Over, in March at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. It was a joy – but I suppose it would be repetitive to ask that Iyer be invited back?

Read the whole newsletter at https://sisgwenjazz.wordpress.com

A wee bit about Sis Gwen

Gwen Ansell is a freelance writer, researcher and trainer. She writes about jazz (for this blog, The Conversation, the Financial Mail, M&G Friday and more) and reviews books – mainly science fiction & fantasy (these reviews have appeared in the Johannesburg Mail&Guardian and the Chimurenga Chronic, among others). As a Research Associate of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, she has researched and published on jazz and music policy in the creative and cultural industries sector. She trains journalists and academic and organisational writers, and consults on music industry policy, organisational communication and training policies as well as curriculum design.

A former Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, she is the author of Soweto Blues: Jazz, Politics and Popular Music in South Africa and the textbook Introduction to Journalism,, as well as various book chapters and journal articles. Watch out for her chapter on jazz in Johannesburg in the forthcoming second volume of Sounds and the City.

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And finally here’s a spare Quote of the Week for good luck

Kenny Burrell that’s the sound I’m looking for. Jimi Hendrix

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A Quick ‘n Short Note to Note No20 by Eric Alan – FRIDAY 6th July 2018

Sadly I have had to unpin yesterdays A Quick ‘n Short Note to Note from all social and other media, though we are really very happy and honoured about being nominated in The Best Radio Station Playing Jazz Category ofthe 2nd Mzantzi Jazz Awards 2018 (https://www.facebook.com/ZaJAzzAwards).We have had a number of All Jazz Radio Fans, Listeners, Friends and Followers, notifiying us that they are experiencing problems with their SMS voting system. The unique code BR2 and number 40439 for voting for AJR is not working, an error message is returned to the sender, and returns an error stating that the message is not formatted correctly. There are other problems with their website as well which I have also notified the powers that be about and am awaiting their reply. As soon as they have sorted the problem out I will once again post all the details, watch this space.

See yesterdays cancelled Note below

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Sjoe! We got a big surprise email this morning, which kind of made our hearts really sing. What is all this happiness about one says well, All Jazz Radio has been nominated for an award. We’ve been nominated in the Best Radio Station Playing Jazz Category of the 2nd Mzantsi Jazz Awards!

Now we really need your help to continue further. Here’s what we need you to do is to vote for All Jazz Radioby sending an SMS.

The Best Radio Station Playing Jazz Categoryis open to public vote using a unique SMS code and number. Vote for All Jazz Radio by sending an SMS using the unique code BR2 to the number 40439.

The awards take place on the 11th August 2018 at The World of Yamaha, in Sandton, Marlboro. So please vote for us, most importantly share this with all Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers and Groups and Jazz Lovers around the global village. We thank you in anticipation of your vote.

The Mzantsi Jazz Awards handles are; Twitter: @ZaJazzAwards – Facebook: Mzantsi Jazz Awards Instagram: zajazzawards and the official hashtag is #MJA2

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Support South Africa’s only 24/7 online jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today

Remember any day is a good day to listen to All Jazz Radio on any of the following:

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

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Please would you do the following;

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher https://twitter.com/AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page https://www.facebook.com/AllJazzRadioCapeTownZA/

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/alljazzradio/

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page https://www.facebook.com/theklutzinthekitchen/

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Visit the All Jazz Radio Website at www.alljazzradio.co.za

Read todays All Jazz Radio News from paper.li at http://paper.li/AllJazzRadioSA/1342250877

Why not join us on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/hp

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We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

*******************************************

All Jazz Radiostreams in the C. A. T. (Central African Time Zone). Please note that Central European Time is one hour behind Central African Time and GMT is 2 hours behind. Note too that all programs are repeated, eg. Today’s programs are repeated tomorrow evening from 18:00 and the previous days programs are repeated at 2am the following morning.

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CD Review – Brian Charette Groovin’ With Big G – by Dan Bilawsky of All About Jazz Website

Groovin’ With Big G was destined to come about. When a young Brian Charette was cutting his teeth on jazz piano gigs in his home state of Connecticut in the early ’90s, he wound up working dates with drummer George Coleman Jr. The two struck up a friendship, and Coleman’s encouragement helped Charette make the leap to New York a few years later. Coleman even let the budding pianist crash in his rehearsal studio for a spell.

https://www.allaboutjazz.com/groovin-with-big-g-brian-charette-steeplechase-records-review-by-dan-bilawsky.php?width=1280

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CD Review – By Eric Alan – The D.A.J.O (Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra) album Cape Town (2017)

D.A.J.O (Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra) Cape Town (2017) Album Cover

CD Review – By Eric Alan – The D.A.J.O (Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra) album Cape Town (2017)

I’ve really been fortunate throughout my broadcast career to meet and interact with so many great musicians from the entire global village, especially those from my own hometown and one such is Guitarist, Teacher, Conductor, Bandleader, Composer and Arranger Darryl Andrews. He is

closing in on retirement from the renowned South African College of Music, UCT’s Jazz Studies Program.

It is very pleasing to be able to write this review of his album, Cape Town by the D.A. Jazz Orchestra, whichhas finally been released. The most exciting aspect of this album is apart from a few of his own compositions it features the music of other equally well known Cape Town composers which include The Late Winston Mankunku Ngozi, The Late Errol Dyers, Professor Mike Campbell, Alvin Dyers and naturally Darryl Andrews too.

Bandleader Guitarist, Composer, Conductor, Producer and Teacher Darryl Andrews

The band includes some of his students and friends and in the woodwind section are alto-saxophone and clarinet players Justin Bellairs and Evan Froud, the tenor saxes are played by Zeke Le Grange and Sisonke Xonti, with baritone saxophonist Georgia Jones, The horn section comprises of: on trumpet and flugelhorn Lorenzo Blignaut and Marcelle Adams with Robin Fassie-Kok, and the trombonists includes Justin Sasman, Ryan van der Rheede, Kelly Bell and Ryan Kierman. The rhythm section includes pianist Andrew Ford with acoustic and electric bassist Stephen De Souza and drummer Lumanyno Unity Mzi.

The really heavy-duty work of conducting, composing, transcribing and arranging falling Darryl’s broad shoulders, whilst guest players include Prof Mike Campbell, and both of the Dyers brothers, as do vibraphonist Bronwen Clacherty and flautist Bridget Rene. Darryl is quoted as saying, “Jazz is always changing, and it evolves as we speak. We identified with it, being from oppressed people. Look what jazz was born out of, one of the greatest human atrocities – slavery.” This can be heard in countless composers works since the birth of jazz.

The album as a whole offers a new perspective to what an African Big Band when arranging and transcribing of the original works by Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Errol Dyers, Mike Campbell and Alvin Dyers. Giving a fresh new look at the iconic pieces chosen for the album. Darryl’s own compositions can certainly take pride of place alongside these classics many of which I’ve not heard before and again gives great pleasure to hear and know that his work will finally be heard by jazz lovers, specifically big band aficionados. More power to composing and recording more original material Mr Andrews don’t let us wait for your next offering too long, no matter the bands configuration.

I must add that I rate this album very highly. 4.8 Stars  out of 5 – This is an album that must be part of any self-respecting jazz lovers collection.

Track Listing

1 Khanya 6:20

2 Blue Natural 8:17

3 A Song For Bra Des Tutu 7:39

4 Hanepoot 4:21

5 Utopian Sunset 7:47

6 Sugar Shake 6:29

7 Imbodlomane 3:16

8 Wesley Street 4:06

9 Sermon 7:15

Please feel free to contact Darryl at either of the following; darryl.andrews@uct.ac.za or darryl.andrews@gmail.com  to get your own copy of this exciting album and when you email in your order be sure to ask him to autograph it for you.

The album is also available from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/cape-town/1322945019 and a site I’m not too familiar and is a European based web site named Gobuz check it out at https://www.qobuz.com/ie-en/album/cape-town-darryl-andrews-jazz-orchestra/mjulev7phzkob

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A Blog Supreme

Saturday 30thJune 2018

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Please feel free to share this Blog Supreme with your Friends, Followers and Group members. Go to the All Jazz Radio websiteat http://www.alljazzradio.co.za/category/all-jazz-radio-blog/ajr-a-blog-supreme/

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A Quote of the Week

“Jazz stands for freedom. It’s supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don’t be a perfectionist – leave that to the classical musicians.” Dave Brubeck

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Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz News from the Global Village

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Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival 2018 has kicked off and we look forward to an exciting festival. We are please that pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger and educator Amanda Tiffin has taken up the baton to lead The Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band who will present a selection of the top young jazz musicians in the country between the ages of 19 and 25 years. Amanda is Head of Jazz Singing and Acting Head of Jazz Studies at the University of Cape Town. She performs regularly at national and international jazz festivals and will have five days in Grahamstown to prepare a programme that showcases the talent of today’s youth.

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Great tastes meet good taste at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, in association with Jazz producer Joe Donofrio, have prepared a full-spectrum Jazz brunch at the hotel’s brand new Hard Rock Cafe for the Jazz brunch series.
Promoting both individual and communal expression, Jazz is a particularly American art form. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, in association with Jazz producer Joe Donofrio, have prepared a full-spectrum Jazz brunch experience; where contemporary and classic Jazz will mingle with the sounds of culinary satisfaction at the hotel’s brand new Hard Rock Cafe for the Jazz brunch series serving from 11:00AM until 3:00PM every Sunday. The Hard Rock jazz brunch will combine delectable dining with world-class musicianship, delivering a marriage of fine food and stellar Jazz in the backdrop of an upscale and relaxed setting, specifically designed for the enjoyment of live music.
The series presents a global array of some of the best musicians in the jazz world:

  • Composer, arranger, producer and saxophonist Tom Scott, three-time GRAMMY winner and veteran of more than 500 recordings from Aerosmith to Barbra Streisand, appearing with the Howard Paul Quintet.
  • Classically-trained, GRAMMY-nominated, and official Steinway artist, Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca.
  • Multi-GRAMMY nominee pianist John Beasley, keyboardist for Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and other jazz legends, and Music Director for International Jazz Day celebrations in Paris, Istanbul, Osaka, Washington DC, and Havana.
  • Composer-pianist Ayako Shirasaki, accompanied by composer, bassist, arranger, and bandleader Noriko Ueda, both from Japan, featuring Alejandro Aviles​, part of the GRAMMY-Award Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (from Cuba).
  • GRAMMY-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch, who claimed the 2017 Trumpeter of the Year and Record of the Year Awards from the Jazz Journalists Association, appearing with the Alex Minasian Quartet.

Hard Rock Café Atlantic City Jazz Brunch Summer Schedule:
July 1: Tom Scott with the Howard Paul Quartet
July 8: Elio Villafranca Quartet
July 15: Alex Minasian Quartet featuring Brian Lynch
July 22: Nat Adderley, Jr. Quartet
July 29: Ayako Shirasaki and Noriko Ueda featuring Alejandro Aviles
August 5: Alex Brown and Victor Provost Quartet
August 12: John Beasley and Friends
August 19: Frank Vignola Quartet with John di Martino Quartet
August 26: Dave Stryker Band
September 2: Hendrik Meurkens and Harry Allen Quintet
September 9: Gabriela Anders Quartet
Through music appreciation and an imaginative environment, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos deliver products for the varied aspects of life – work, play and personal sanctuary.

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Standard Bank Joy of Jazz celebrates 21 years

By Peter Feldman

Standard Bank Joy of Jazz celebrates its 21st edition with a diverse line-up of all-star talent.
T Musicman, promoters of the annual jazz event, last night announced a stellar line-up for the three nights of music, which takes place on September 27, 28, and 29 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
Five stages will be used where new masters to older jazz giants of music will treat jazz lovers to ground-breaking collaborations and tributes.
The festival kicks off with a megastar one night only set of performances featuring David Sanborn, the iconic American smooth jazz innovator and multi-Grammy award winning saxophonist and composer.
The festivities will then swing into action with a host of diverse performers that include American song-stylist, Cassandra Wilson and The Horn Summit who will honour the memory of Bra Hugh Masekela on the Dinaledi Stage. This musical outfit features such illustrious names as
Feya Faku, Khaya Mahlangu, Mthunzi Mvumbu, Barney Rachabane, Sydney Mavundla, Siphamandla Bhembe and Mandla Mlangeni.
More than 30 musicians representing five continents will be serving up powerhouse music.
A highlight will be the Louis Armstrong All-star band. It features the great trombonist, Wycliffe Gordon, tenor man, Roderick Pauli, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, bassist Reginald Veal, Courtney Bryan on piano, Herlin Riley on drums. Louis Armstrong was the American musical giant who has Bra Hugh his first trumpet.
Phenomenal pianist, Amina Figarova, who is based in Holland and New York, will lead two collaborative projects. First it will be with the Thaba Jabula School Choir, and then with the award-winning South African pianists, Kyle Shepherd and Bokani Dyer on the Dinaledi Stage.
American pianist, Diane Schuur, will share the stage with the reigning Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Jazz, Thandi Ntuli and the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Band on the Diphala Stage.
Grammy nominated singer-songwriter, Buika is set to dazzle jozi jazz junkies with her unique brand of flamenco fusion. The Spanish songstress will perform on the Conga stage. American singer-songwriter, Bilal will lay his retro rooted brand of futuristic soul music on the Mbira Stage.
Continental Africa will get a nod at the Conga and Mbira Stages with acts such as the afro-beat sensation, Femi Koya (Nigeria), Kenya’s Nairobi Horns and the leading voices of Mozambican marrabenta music, Wazimbo and Banda Kakana. Also in the spotlight will be singer songwriter Mbuso Khoza and Zimbabwe’s, Oliver Mutukuzi who will hold the fort along with Gugu Shezi.
Peter Tladi, CEO of T Musicman, spoke about what it meant for him and his company to step into this 21-year milestone. “Twenty-one years ago we began our journey as a jazz festival with world class ambitions. It was a challenge. Today we have the security and confidence of two decades of living up to the promises we make annually to jazz lovers.”
Thulani Sibeko, Standard Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer, said they have a clear sense of the growth of the festival and what still needs to be achieved. “We, as the headline sponsor, are looking forward to providing unparalleled access to the best jazz music in the world through our expertly curated programme and line-up. We are also excited to be able to contribute to the development of our cultural economy. The jobs created annually by the festival, and the education and training opportunities for young people on and off the stage, are all part of one vision that underpins what we mean by Joy, in Standard Bank Joy of Jazz.”
The festival, she added, made a deep social and impact by improving the lives of many young people through training and other opportunities. “We are proud to continue to partner with T-Musicman on a brand that is so proudly African and showcases a wide range of our talent from across the continent, while at the same time welcoming international talent to our shores.”
Ticket Prices (as per on the website)
Opening night: R700 – Day passes: R795 – Week pass: R1 350
http://www.joyofjazz.co.za/home
Twitter: @petersdfeldman_
Facebook: Peter Selwyn David Feldman

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John Coltrane: Lost 1963 recording will be released as album

The full set of material will feature two original songs

A lost recording by saxophonist John Coltrane from 1963 titled Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is to be released.

The record is a full set of material made by the John Coltrane Quartet one day at New Jersey’s Rudy Van Gelder Studio in March 1963; for years it was put away and lost.

Read the full story written by Ilana Kaplan of the Independent at

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/john-coltrane-both-directions-at-once-lost-album-jazz-saxophonist-recording-a8388681.html

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Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Named National Treasure

The National Trust for Historic Preservation will “seek new protections and evaluate preservation needs” for the North Carolina house by Braudie Blais-Billie Associate Staff Writer at Pitchfork read the full story at https://pitchfork.com/news/nina-simones-childhood-home-named-national-treasure/

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Quincy Jones honoured as Montreux Jazz Festival kicks off

MONTREUX, Switzerland Quincy Jones, the legendary American music producer, was honoured on Friday at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the annual event where he served as co-director in the 1990s and continues to be a regular feature. By Stephanie Nebehay of Reuters, read the full story on the Reuters website at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-music-jazz-montreux/quincy-jones-honored-as-montreux-jazz-festival-kicks-off-idUSKBN1JP2WM

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Gregory Porter On Channelling Nat King Cole: ‘Nat Got Me Through Some Moments’

Jazz singer Gregory Porter and NPR’s Audie Cornish at a live interview at NPR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Check out the interview at

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/29/624269929/gregory-porter-on-channeling-nat-king-cole-nat-got-me-through-some moments?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=jazz

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CD Review – By Eric Alan

The D.A.J.O (Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra) album Cape Town released December 2017.

I’ve really been fortunate throughout my broadcast career to meet and interact with so many great musicians from the entire global village, especially those from my own hometown and one such is Guitarist, Teacher, Conductor, Bandleader, Composer and Arranger Darryl Andrews. He is closing in on retirement from the renowned South African College of Music,UCT’s Jazz Studies Program.

It is very pleaseing to be able to write this review of his album, Cape Town by the D.A. Jazz Orchestra which has finally been released. The most exciting aspect of this album is apart from a few of his own compositions it features the music of other equally well known Cape Town composers which include The Late Winston Mankunku Ngozi, The Late Errol Dyers, Professor Mike Campbell and Alvin Dyers.

The band includes some of his students and friends and in the woodwind section are alto-saxophone and clarinet players Justin Bellairs and Evan Froud, the tenor saxs are played by Zeke Le Grange and Sisonke Xonti, with bariti saxophonist Georgia Jones, The horn section comprises of: on trumpet and flugelhorn Lorenzo Blignaut and Marcelle Adams with Robin Fassie-Kok, and the trombonists includes Justin Sasman, Ryan van der Rheede, Kelly Bell and Ryan Kierman. The rhythm section includes pianist Andrew Ford with acoustic and electric bassist Stephen De Souza and drummer Lumanyno Unity Mzi.

The really heavy-duty work of conducting, composing, transcribing and arranging falling Darryl’s broad shoulders, whilst guest players include Prof Mike Campbell, and both of the Dyers brothers, as do vibraphonist Bronwen Clacherty and flautist Bridget Rene. Darryl is quoted as saying, “Jazz is always changing, and it evolves as we speak. We identified with it, being from oppressed people. Look what jazz was born out of, one of the greatest human atrocities – slavery.” This can be heard in countless composers works since the birth of jazz.

The album as a whole offers a new perspective to what an African Big Band when arranging and transcribing of the original works by Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Errol Dyers, Mike Campbell and Alvin Dyers. Giving a fresh new look at the iconic pieces chosen for the album. Darryl’s own compositions can certainly take pride of place alongside these classics many of which I’ve not heard before and again gives great pleasure to hear and know that his work will finally be heard by jazz lovers, specifically big band aficionados. More power to composing and recording more original material Mr Andrews don’t let us wait for your next offering too long, no matter the bands confiuration.

I must add that I rate this album very highly. 4.8 Stars – This is an album that must be part of any selfrespecting jazz lovers collection.

Track Listing

1 Khanya 6:20

2 Blue Natural 8:17

3 A Song For Bra Des Tutu 7:39

4 Hanepoot 4:21

5 Utopian Sunset 7:47

6 Sugar Shake 6:29

7 Imbodlomane 3:16

8 Wesley Street 4:06

9 Sermon 7:15

Please feel free to contact Darryl at either of the following; darryl.andrews@uct.ac.za or darryl.andrews@gmail.com to get your own copy of this exciting album and when you email in your order be sure to ask him to autograph it for you.

The album is also available from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/za/album/cape-town/1322945019 and a site I’m not too familiar and is a European based web site named Gobuz check it out at https://www.qobuz.com/ie-en/album/cape-town-darryl-andrews-jazz-orchestra/mjulev7phzkob

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Another Quote of the Week

“Jazz is smooth and cool. Jazz is rage. Jazz flows like water. Jazz never seems to begin or end. Jazz isn’t methodical, but jazz isn’t messy either. Jazz is a conversation, a give and take. Jazz is the connection and communication between musicians. Jazz is abandon.” Nat Wolff

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The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Recipe of the Week n’ Foodie, Grub n’ Cooking News, Interviews & Reviews, maybe some Cocktail ‘n Drinks Recipes and New Stuff as well – 30thJune 2018

As we write in the background we listen to The D.A.J.O (Darryl Andrews Jazz Orchestra) Cape Town released last year.

Another weekend of cold, wet weather, which we don’t mind at all because we need this horrific droughts back broken. What this further does is inspire some simple creativity in the kitchen, not so? Well, this has spurred our intrepid Klutz in the Kitchen to scratch is head and come up with yet another simple quick and easy winters day recipe found on the Interweb to share. As usual using all the shortcuts, resources and tricks the ‘web has to offer. This one has turned out to be one of my favourites and is an ideal winter warmer because we’ve included, wait for it a Pinotage Glühwein recipe to enjoy whilst satisfying the munchies.

Remember have fun in the kitchen; best of all surprise all who doubted you new kitchen confidence and skills,

Buon Appetito

The Klutz & Eric

Here are those recipes

Chicken and Mushroom Pot Pie served with Creamy Mash and Peas

Recipe by:From the Checkers website

Serves:4

Prep time:15

Cooking time:40

Stuff to make it

1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
2 cups roast chicken; cooked
1 medium-sized white onion
½ red pepper; diced
½ green pepper; diced

3 sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp. garlic; crushed
25 ml oil for frying
½ punnet white mushrooms; sliced
1 chicken stock pot

500 ml fresh cream
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 small round bowls

How to make it

Spray bowls with cooking spray, then shred the chicken, place in bowls and set aside, after that heat up oil and cook peppers, onion, thyme and garlic in a saucepan,  until soft.Add mushrooms and cook until soft once done add the cream and stir in the chicken stock pot.Cook until the cream thickens and add salt and pepper to taste.
Let it cool down slightly and remove thyme sprigs then pour cream mixture into prepared bowls and mix through the chicken. Cut out 4 squares and place over the bowls, brush with egg amd bake at 180 °C for 20 min. or until pastry is crisp and brown.

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As a Pinotage Vinoesta and Practised Glühwein Maker and Imbiber the Klutz and I can highly recommended this recipe, Enjoy, but be careful there are side effects. It is suggested the one has a designated drive when using this recipe.

Pinotage Glühwein

Stuff to make it

750ml 
Bottle of Pinotage

60ml 
sugar

15ml Brandy

1 Large 
orange

2 Pieces whole cinnamon

3 whole cloves

A pinch of ground allspice

A pinch of ground mace

How to make it

Slowly heat the red wine, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and mace in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved

Add the brandy and heat to just below boiling point

Using a vegetable peeler cut strips of orange rind and squeeze out the orange

Add the orange rind and juice to the hot wine mixture

Stand for about an hour over very low heat to allow the flavours to develop

Remove the spices and pour the glühwein into a flask. Serve warm

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One Final Quote of the Week

“It’s not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.” Herbie Hancock
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Support South Africa’s only 24/7 online jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today Remember any day is a good day to listen to All Jazz Radioonline at www.alljazzradio.co.za via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AllJazzRadio/app_128953167177144

Read todays All Jazz Radio News from paper.li at http://paper.li/AllJazzRadioSA/1342250877

Join us on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/hp

We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

Listen to All Jazz Radio on any of the following:

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

Please would you do the following;

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher @AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page

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All Jazz Radiostreams in the C. A. T. (Central African Time Zone). Please note that Central European Time is one hour behind Central African Time and GMT is 2 hours behind.

Note too that all programs are repeated, eg. Today’s programs are repeated tomorrow evening from 18:00 and the previous days programs are repeated at 2am the following morning.

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Get Gripped with Malian sounds with Guitarist Derek Gripper

He’s alone on stage, twisting his classical guitar string pegs to get the right tuning. The sound of an eager patron, sitting right in front of him in the front row, crunching on her popcorn, evokes his off-put reaction:  “Oh, the sound of popcorn!” …  pause…. “Really?”  His not-so-subtle sarcasm sets a humourous tone which threads throughout his one-man performance.

His own classically traditional instrument, a relatively inexpensive ‘hippy’ acoustic guitar, as he calls it, transcribes complicated yet melodious songs from Mali’s kora musical traditions, a feat which has continually impressed the Mali musicians themselves.

The popcorn crackling stops.

Besides an unfortunate 30 minute delay in starting the concert, a time management issue at Capetown’s main ‘independent’ Labia Theater which also runs films, Gripper acknowledged appreciation that a significant crowd ‘came out in the rain’, something Capetownians inevitably and consistently try to avoid.  The sponsor of the performance, Slow Life, which offers stellar concerts in other venues, like at Kalk Bay’s cozy Olympia Bakery in order to attract peninsular audiences, proudly introduced Gripper, a local Capetownian becoming increasingly familiar when not traveling and gigging in regular overseas areas such as Europe, United States, West Africa, and parts of Asia.

For one hour plus, we heard beautiful arrangements of Malian songs, his guitar transforming runs and lower register thematic hums with ingenuity and uniqueness. Gripper has worked hard to transcribe kora works of Mali musicians, like Toumani Diabaté and  Boubacar Traoré, magically morphing sounds onto a western-style classical guitar.

In between songs, Gripper’s quirky humourous stories break the silence (and awe) from a spellbound audience:  a monologue on honouring “this folk guy, JS Bach, from Germany” whose music he enjoys playing in a more contemporary setting; a ramble about the communality of Mali tea drinking; comments about tonality when a patron’s cell phone rings. During one song brake, Gripper sits with one leg crossed and starts filing his right hand nails, suggesting that this is perfectly ordinary amongst guitarists. “I found this fantastic thumb nail from Lithuania,” or “ This dude gave me a cool glass file which I dropped, unfortunately.”  The audience chuckles as he continues to tune his strings and tell stories about how to secure good nail files as he travels worldwide.

Songs played come from his two last albums, ‘One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali” and “Libraries on Fire” which is his latest. Listening to Gripper is like taking the base theme superimposed with repetitive plucked runs characteristic of kora playing, and moving one’s spirit to another level, meditatively and gently. His six-string guitar assumes abilities to transform the mystical, and awe-inspiring tones of the kora, thus revealing Gripper’s expert handle on these unique Malian tonalities.  His creative synthesis of the two guitars of the West African and classical western, an improviser’s dream, excites as it pushes sonic boundaries.

Stream and buy his albums on https://newcape.bandcamp.com   You won’t be disappointed.

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A Blog Supreme

All Jazz Radio’s Eric Alan’s musings, ranting’s and mutterings about some tittle-tattle, chit-chatter of this, that and the next thing and maybe some other interesting blather about the World of Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz, is now posted on the All Jazz Radio website. Thursday 05thJuly 2018

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Please feel free to Share and Read the latest news and info from the edited and curated by our fearless volunteers.Just go to the All Jazz Radio website, just click on either of the links below.

All Jazz Radio Web Site

A Blog Supreme Web Page

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Quote of the Week or maybe a few extra for luck

If I am playing any music at all it is jazz music. Ginger Baker
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CD ReviewBrian Charette Groovin’ With Big G

Review by DAN BILAWSKY of All About Jazz Website July 4, 2018
Groovin’ With Big G was destined to come about. When a young Brian Charette was cutting his teeth on jazz piano gigs in his home state of Connecticut in the early ’90s, he wound up working dates with drummer George Coleman Jr. The two struck up a friendship, and Coleman’s encouragement helped Charette make the leap to New York a few years later. Coleman even let the budding pianist crash in his rehearsal studio for a spell.

Read the full review on All About Jazz

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Another Quote

I wanted to keep pushing the musical ideas I had about jazz, music from Africa and the Caribbean. Taj Mahal

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The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Recipes of the Week

This is a favourite of mine because it’s very quick ‘n easy to make

Cheesy Potato & Tuna Bake

Recipe by Knorr

Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry one is

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Stuff to make it

450 ml Milk

1 x Knorr Creamy Garlic and Herb Potato Bake

1 Pinch Aromat

2 Tomatoes, sliced

4 Potatoes, washed, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Cans of Tuna

1 Cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 small punnet of tiny whole button mushrooms (optional)

How to make it

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Slice and panfry the mushrooms and chopped garlic in a nob of real butter until soft, season with a touch of garlic salt and pepper

Arrange half the sliced potatoes in a greased, ovenproof dish.

Open the tins of tuna and drain the liquid.

Spread the mushrooms and tuna evenly over the first layer of potatoes and top with layers of sliced tomatoes and the remaining potato.

Season with Aromat and pepper

Mix the sachet contents with a little milk to make a paste and stir in the remaining milk.

Pour over the potatoes, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 180°C for 1 hour until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is golden brown.

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Here’s an optional extra Quote of the Week

We don’t live in a jazz world, unfortunately. I think if I had lived in a jazz world, I would have done OK. I’m not sure I would have done great. I’m a lover of jazz music, so I would have been happy, don’t get me wrong. I go to jazz concerts like the biggest jazz fan in world. The drag is that I don’t play jazz for a living. George Benson

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Wingerd Griep en Ander Stories (Vineyard Flu and Other Stories) sometime known as The Wrath of Grape-Beverage Cocktail ‘n Drinks Recipe of the Week

Here’s a real winter warmer that, me thinks few would pass up on any chilly winters evening, but beware the tail which could have one wagging the dog neh! We decided to exchange the wine requirement from Cabernet to Pinotage so, go ahead enjoy the treat. J

Mulled Wine Hot Chocolate

Recipe from Gourmand & Gourmet

Yes, you read that right. Sit down, breath and above all, remain calm. You’re going to need a steady hand to put this bad boy together. So read on and get ready to taste the greatest winter drink that has ever existed. Or if the whole DIY aspect seems a bit hard, head to the Valley’s Waterloo Hotel and treat yo’self.

Bits and pieces to concoct It

5 x pods cardamom (cracked)

4 x star anise

2 x cinnamon sticks

500g 70%dark chocolate

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 x bottle of Pinotage

1 x cup of milk

Marshmallows

Procedures to rustle it up

Melt chocolate over double boiler. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper

In a separate pot warm milk

Once chocolate is melted, add to milk and whisk until smooth

In a separate pot heat wine until simmering, do not boil

Crack cardamom and add to wine, add cinnamon and star anise. Simmer for 10 minutes

Combine milk and wine mixtures, stirring gently

Remove cardamom and star anise from mixture before serving in mugs

Serve with toasted marshmallows

We’ve mulled over this recipe for too long and now we can finally share it with you!

http://www.gourmandandgourmet.com.au/

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Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz News from the Global Village

  • The Kronendal Music Academy of Hout Bay’s jazz band, still needs help,

PLEASE HELP! The KMA Jazz Band is still R300k short for the tour to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival and we leave in 2 weeks. Government funding has not been forthcoming. Flights bought and accommodation arranged, 4 performances in Edinburgh and London confirmed… we won’t let these kids down!
YOU CAN HELP by introducing us to corporates and businesses who want their logo sported on our branded materials.. or by making a donation to our Back-a-buddy campaign today… every cent counts.

The KMA Big Band Funding Apeal to Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

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  • JazzWeek Summit 2018 August 9-10, 2018 Hotel De Anza, San Jose – California Creating Jazz Radio Success in the Digital Era

Media is in a constant and accelerating state of disruption, as digital content changes the way we produce, distribute and consume entertainment and information.

Jazz radio, artists, promoters, and labels can either be left behind or they can acknowledge the changing landscape … and even take advantage of it!

The 2018 JazzWeek Summit will be tightly focused on creating success in this digital era.

To set the stage for our presentations and panels, JazzWeek is sponsoring detailed surveys and research during the spring and early summer of 2018 to gather economic, artistic, and technological data from radio and the recording industry to provide the basis for this year’s panels and to help us determine our next steps.

Our goals for this year’s Summit are to understand where we are now, take stock of the challenges we face, and to chart a course forward.

Attendance is strictly limited to a maximum of 80 people, so register earlyto reserve your space!

Find out more about the Jazz Week Summit 2018

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Some may remember that Renee Lee performed at the Grahamstown Festival and the then Green Dolphin with Dave Young, Richard Ring and others some years ago.

Here is a Q&A with Ranee who seeks to honour the ‘Dark Divas’ of jazz who inspired her.She also performed at the Montreal International Jazz Festival this year

Ranee Lee has been an integral part of the Canadian jazz scene since she arrived in Montreal in 1970 from her native Brooklyn, New York.

She was a multi-instrumentalist whose voice seemed to be her most proficient and mellifluous axe. Her albums on Montreal’s Justin Time label are considered classics.

Read the full story on the CBC page

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Must Attend Performance Guide

 

 

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Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz News from the Global Village

Must Attend Performance Guide

And finally a spare Quote of the Week for good luck

Kenny Burrell that’s the sound I’m looking for. Jimi Hendrix

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Support South Africa’s only 24/7 online jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today Remember any day is a good day to listen to All Jazz Radioonline at www.alljazzradio.co.zavia Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AllJazzRadio/app_128953167177144

Read todays All Jazz Radio News from paper.li at http://paper.li/AllJazzRadioSA/1342250877

Join us on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/hp

We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

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Listen to All Jazz Radio on any of the following:

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

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Please would you do the following;

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher @AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page

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All Jazz Radiostreams in the C. A. T. (Central African Time Zone). Please note that Central European Time is one hour behind Central African Time and GMT is 2 hours behind.

Note too that all programs are repeated, eg. Today’s programs are repeated tomorrow evening from 18:00 and the previous days programs are repeated at 2am the following morning.

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Filed under A Blog Supreme

A Blog Supreme

All Jazz Radio’s Eric Alan’s musings, ranting’s and mutterings about some tittle-tattle, chit-chatter of this, that and the next thing and maybe some other interesting blather about the World of Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz, is now posted on the All Jazz Radio website.

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Please feel free to share this Blog Supreme with your Friends, Followers and Group members.

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THE QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“This is what really makes real jazz musicians: people coming out with their own voice.” Roscoe Mitchell

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DON’T MISS THIS SUNDAY’S PERFORMANCE AT THE OLYMPIA Café Kalk Bay

Guy Buttery with Kanada Narahari on the sitar, this Sunday at the Olympia

With a meeting of two very distinct creative minds united by their mutual curiosity in each other’s diverse musical worlds, Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari bring India even closer to its well established home in South Africa. In production for over 6 months, the fusing of music from both of these rich and varied musical backgrounds is rooted in Guy and Kanada’s progressive exploration of these worlds, bridging the gap, as well as re-imagining the realms existing between Africa and India. These two virtuosi’s will be bringing this collaboration to Cape Town for the first time with concerts in the city centre as well in the outlying regions and on the Peninsula.

Bakery Tickets Slow Life presents Guy Buttery and Kanada Narahari at the Bakery To listen click here

Contact Paul Kanhanovitz of Slow Life South Africafor more info. Check out their twitter page at Love Slow Life

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NOT ABLE TO DO THE SHOW ON THURSDAY

Sadly I’m not able to go Live to do Thursday’s Jazz Rendezvous Radio Pinotage, Coffee & Stockvel show between the hours of 14:00 and 18:00 Central African Time (C.A.T.) I will carry the artist and album list over for Saturdays show, due to circumstances beyond my control. Please would you check out the posted list of artist with their album titles listed below, choose 48 artist names you’d like me to play during Saturdays Jazz Rendezvous Radio Pinotage, Coffee & Stockvel show between the hours of 14:00 and 18:00 Central African Time (C.A.T.). There are 120 names for one to choose from, and due to the small number of South African jazz releases monthly, I have included, randomly chosen SAFRO artists and albums from various years. The list is also made upmostly of January 2018’s new releases in aphetically order, please remember though you may never have of some on the list fear not and enjoy the journey of discovery, most of all have fun making your choices. Let me know those choices on our social media pages or by email info@alljzzradio.co.zaPlease note: that I will be disregarding any and all lists that are less than the minimum number of 48 artists. Please include your full name, where you are from and reside as well as your contact number. I’m looking very much forward to see what you come up with.

THE LIST

Aaron Aranita Segunda Vista (2018)
Acute Inflections The Brave (2018)
Adam Glasser Free At First (2009)
Adam Shulman Sextet Full Tilt (2018)
Alberto Pibiri Jazz Legacy (2018)
Alexandra Jackson Legacy & Alchemy EP (2018)
Alfredo Rodriguez The Little Dream (2018)
Allen Kwela, Sandile Shange & Evan Ziporyn ‎Sunday Blues Transcription (1984)
Andrew Distel It Only Takes Time (2018)
Aphex Twin I Care Because You Do (1995)
As Is (Alan Schulman & Stacey Schulman) Here’s to Life (2018)
Ben Paterson That Old Feeling One Sheet.pdf
Benji Kaplan Chorando Sete Cores (2018)
Black Gardenia Lucky Star (2018)
Blanche Blacke Out to Sea (2018)
Brenda Hopkins Miranda Puentes (2018)
Brenda Navarette Mi Mundo (2018)
Bryon M Tosoff Holding to the Dream (2018)
Bryon M Tosoff Kick Back Just Relax (2018)
Budha Building Purpose EP (2018)
Charles Overton Group Converge (2018)
Chick Corea and Steve Gadd Chinese Butterfly CD 1 & 2 (2018)
Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence (2018)
ȼheap 3nsemble the ȼheap 3nsemble (2018)
Dan Block Block Party (2018)
Dan Siege Origins (2018)
Danny Fox Trio The Great Nostalgist (2018)
Dave Hunt 100 Horses (2018)
Dave Sadler Moondance (2018)
David Ellington Marbles From A Drawer (2018)
Dick Fregulia Trio What Now (2018)
Dr Lonnie Smith All In My Mind (2018)
El Eco (Guillermo Nojechowicz) Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 (2018)
Elliot Mason Before Now After (2018)
Eric Reed A Light In Darknessm (2018)
Etuk Ubong Tales of Life (2018)
Evan Harris Skylines (2018)
Fila Brasilia Maim That Tune (1995)
Gary Palmer Coast 2 Coast (2018)
GoGo Penguin A Humdrum Star (2018)
Gordon Hyland’s Living Fossil Never Die! (2018)
Harold Jefta and The Charlie Parker Memorial Band Bird Still Lives! Volume 1 (1993)
Heavyweights Brass Band This City (2018)
Herbie Tsoaeli African Time Quartet In Concert CD 1 & 2 (2014)
Hilton Schilder & The Iconoclast Live at the Bird’s Eye (2011)
Hotep Idris Galeta Live at the Tempest Solo Piano  Vol 2 (2000)
Hristo Vitchev Of Light and Shadow (2018)
Hugh Masekela & Herb Alpert Hugh Masekela & Herb Alpert (1997)
Isaiah Katumwa This Is Me (2016)
Ismael GTX Xaba My Life After The 9th of Feb (2001)
It Has To Be Jazz Kudzaishe Gumbo, Phethile Ncube, Sankie Motsei, Sibongile Buda Mother Tongue (2016)
J Easy Weaver Soul Connection(2018)
James Acid Robot Kibby Toys (2018)
James Hall Lattice (2018)
James Scholfield, Arno Krijger and Billy Hart All Stations (2003)
Jason Marsalis and The 21st Cent (2018)
Jason Reolon Outline (2011)
Jazz Epistles Jazz Epistle Vol 1 (1996)
Jeannie Taylore Rough Diamond (2018)
Jim Gelcer Melodies Pure and True Jazz Folk (2018)
Jimmy Dludlu Point Of View (Demo) (1998)
Joanna Wallfisch Blood and Bone (2018)
Jodi Proznick Sun Songs (2018)
Johnny Fourie Once Upon A Time (2014)
Johnny Summers Suite Jubilation (2018)
Joseph Patrick Moore Decade II 2006-2015 (2018)
Judith Sephuma & The Jack van Poll Trio with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra The G. A. S. Orchestral Album (Unreleased)(1999)
Julian Lage Modern Lore (2018)
Kate McGarry The Subject Tonight Is Love (2018)
Kathy Kosins Uncovered Soul (2018)
Keenan Ahrends Narrative (2017)
Keith O’Rourke Sketches From The Road (2018)
Kent Miller Quartet Minor Step (2918)
Kevin Davidson Breathing Winston, Living John (2011)
Kevin Sun Trio (2018)
Khadja Nin Khadja Nin (1992)
Kippie Moeketsi Scullery Department (1971)
Leslie Pintchik You Eat My Food You Drink My Wine You Steal My Girl (2018)
Lex Futshane Innocent Victims and Perpetrators (2014)
Liberation Music Collective Rebel Portraiture (2018)
Linda Kekana Kodumela (2005)
Lisa B I Get A Kick Cole Porter (2018)
Louis Mhlanga & Eric Van Der Westen  Keeping The Dream (2004)
Lwanda Gogwana Uhadi Synth (2016)
Madeleine & Salomon A Womans Journey (2018)
Makaya Ntshoko (feat. Heinz Sauer, Bob Degen, Isla Eckinger) Makaya & The Tsotsis (2009)
Mario Cruz Finding Common Ground (2018)
Mark McGrain Love Time Divinat (2018)
McCoy Mrubata Live At The Birds Eye CD 1 & 2 (2016)
Nduduzo Makhathini Icilongo (The African Peace Suite) (2016)
Ntshuks Bonga’s Tokolosho Abo Bhayi (2016)
Peter Horsfall Nighthawks (2018)
PJ Perry Quartet Alto Gusto Live at the Yardbird Suite (2018)
Prime Time Big Band Live at the Ironwood (2018)
Robbie Jansen Nomad Jez (2004)
Sam Taylor Along Th eWay With Guest Larry McKenna (2018)
Sathima Bea Benjamin Cape Town Love (2008)
Satoko Fujii Fukushima (2018)
Scott Hamilton Trio Live At Pyatt Hall Featuring Rossano Sportiello (2018)
Shaun Murphy Mighty Gates (2018)
Sibongile Khumalo Live At The Market Theatre (1998)
Sipho Gumede & Pops Mohamed Kalamazoo 2 (1999)
Sisonke Xonti Iyonde (2018)
Siya Makuzeni Out Of This World (2016)
Steve Slagle Alto Manhattan (2018)
Stompin Heat Live At Stummsche Reihalle (2017)
Summer Brothers To Elliot in Remembrance of Wolf (2018)
Sunny Wilkinson Into the Light (2018)
Thandi Ntuli The Offering (2014)
Tina Schouw Bleed (2000)
Tony Cedras Love Letter to Cape Town (2017)
Tony DeSare and Edward Decker One For My Baby (2018)
Tony Schilder Live at The Tempest Solo Piano Vol 3 (2000)
Tutu Puoane iLanga (2014)
Under The Lake Jazz Groove Attiude (2018)
Victor Ntoni Heritage (2003)
Vusi Khumalo Reasons For Seasons CD 1 & 2(2011)
Wild Card Life Stories (2018)
Zim Ngqawana Zimology In Concert CD 1 & 2 (2008)
Zoe Modiga Yellow the Novel CD 1 & 2 (2017)

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SHARKS LOVE JAZZ

Here’s an interesting story sent to us by Gwen Ansell,

Sharks love jazz but are stumped by classical, say scientists and not it’s got nothing to do with the natal rugby team, click and read.

 

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THE TUNE RECREATION COMMITTEE PRESENTS THE FUTURE IS NOW SADC TOUR – MAY 2018

SAMA nominated Jazz Collective, The Tune Recreation Committee’s

(TRC) international debut is in the form of a tour entitled The Future Is Now. This multi-faceted presentation in Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa will focus on collaboration and musical exchange with other artists. In each territory the TRC will present works in various forms and guises with local musicians and artists accompanied by exhibitions and performances at every stop of the way.

The Future Is Now Tour also presents an amazing opportunity for the TRC to perform for a new ever-growing audience demographic in the SADC region. By bringing the best of what the TRC has to offer, The Tour is a springboard towards building and strengthening intercultural dialogue in the region.

The Album:

The SAMA nominated album Voices Of Our Vision, by the ensemble was the only independent South African album to be ranked as one of top releases of 2017by The New York Times: “…this alliance of young South African musicians delves into the country’s syncretic cultural heritage — then ventures beyond. You hear Balkan folk, American funk, West African high life, and South African free jazz. Most of all, you hear five bristling improvisers dancing together, modelling a kind of thoughtful communion”.

“The T.R.C. (its name is a sidelong reference to the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission) avoids the most common pitfalls in South African jazz: It’s not beholden to sunny Cape Town traditionalism, and it doesn’t emulate any specific form of American jazz.” New York Times

The TRC features Clement Benny on drums, Nicholas Williams on bass, Reza Khota on guitar, Mandla Mlangeni on trumpet. The unit has performed to rousing applause at the 18th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival. The group takes original tunes and reinvents nods from their influences to embracing vibrant underground music scene of drum and bass to Balkanology. Fusing imported sounds and exporting to their own flavour, either going into a Ghoema -tinged feel or just improvising around the melody. TRC founder, Mandla Mlangeni describes the sound as “the playground for the interrogation, assimilation and extended extemporization from the canon of South African jazz heritage

The Tour

Tune Recreation Committee’s The Future Is Now accompanied by workshops is a dissemination of a dialogue that is severely underrepresented in the musical landscape and the broader context of Southern Africa. Specifically relating to several African music art forms within the realm of jazz and indigenous music, which share common traits in all regions.

The focus of the endeavour is one that aims to build a documented heritage resource that challenges notions of colonial bias and seeks to expand a narrative of musicians, composers and artists through their own perspectives.

“Ours is an attempt to create a sustainable platform and network for composers and musicians in a pairing of creative partnerships and collaborations with artists residing within the SADC region”, says Mandla Mlangeni.

TRC’s The Future Is Now : SADC Tour is supported by Concerts SA and the ANT Funding Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

WORKSHOP DATES

Thursday 17 May – Friday 18 May

10:00 – 14:00: South West Gauteng TVET College – Dobsonville Campus

Monday 21 May – Wednesday 23 May

10:00 -14:00: UJ Arts and Culture Centre – Studio

 

PERFORMANCE DATES

Thursday 24 May & Friday 25 May

20:00 – Soweto Theatre, Soweto

Saturday 26 May

18:00 – UJ Arts & Culture UJ Weekend of Jazz, Johannesburg

Sunday 27 May

17:00 – Jazz On The Hill: Four Seasons Hotel, Westcliffe, Johannesburg

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Read the latest news and info from the edited by our fearless volunteers. Just go to the All Jazz Radio website Just click on the link below.
http://www.alljazzradio.co.za/category/ajr-a-blog-supreme/

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Support South Africa’s only 24/7 online jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today Remember any day is a good day to listen to All Jazz Radioonline at www.alljazzradio.co.zavia Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AllJazzRadio/app_128953167177144

Read todays All Jazz Radio News from paper.li at http://paper.li/AllJazzRadioSA/1342250877

Join us on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/hp

We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

Listen to All Jazz Radio on any of the following;

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

 

Please would you do the following

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher @AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page

 

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Short Notes to Note #No 8

by Eric Alan of Tuesday 15th May 2018

Please feel free to share

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Jeez, where has the year disappeared, huh! I mean we’re halfway through May already very soon we’ll be seeing the retail store putting up their Christmas decorations and other such paraphernalia, yep it go up earlier and earlier annually, doesn’t it does it?

I’m trying to make sure I go live on air in the studio 3 times a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, difficult as it might be it going to happen from next week. I’m still trying to reorganise my day’s workload and I think I’ve finally managed to crack the problem.

Your help has been instrumental in achieving this and for that I must thank you all. Hey don’t think this is the time to back off, keep up doing it. The formula we’ve adopted that I’ll post a list artist and album titles that we’ve receive and added to our playlist in any particular month irrespective of the year of release. All we ask is that you choose 48 artists and the albums title from the list and post it on our All Jazz Radio Facebook Groupor email it to us at music@alljazzradio.co.zaplease remember to give us your full name, where you’re from city, tow, country and your contact number. You’ll become a vital cog in the wheel of my program The Jazz Rendezvous Radio Pinotage, Coffee & Stockvel Showas an associate producer. Like that huh! You’ll also get the credit for your choices during the show too. I’ve decided, for this coming Thursday’s show that’s of 17thMay we’re going to post the list artist and album titles for the month of January 2018.

Remember many of the artists you may not have heard of before so be bold and make your choice and I’ll choose the track from your choices. We do need a total of 48 choices from the list for that day, and any list submitted that contains less that the required number will automatically be disqualified.

In January we added 106 artists with their album and a few singles titles to our playlist. Lets have fun, as you become a member of the Jazz Rendezvous Radio Pinotage, Coffee & Stockvel Show team. It’s an interesting mix of music for you to choose from welcome aboard let the fun and games begin, I kook forward to your list.

THE LIST

Aaron Aranita Segunda Vista (2018)
Abraham Day Am I Ready (Radio Edit) (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Acute Inflections The Brave (2018)
Adam Hawley Can You Feel It Radio Edit (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Adam Shulman Sextet Full Tilt (2018)
Airborne Wave (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Alberto Pibiri Jazz Legacy (2018)
Alexandra Jackson Brazilica (Radio) (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Alexandra Jackson Legacy & Alchemy EP (2018)
Alfredo Rodriguez The Little Dream (2018)
Andrew Distel It Only Takes Time (2018)
As Is (Alan Schulman & Stacey Schulman) Here’s to Life (2018)
Auriol Hays Like Fire (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Ben Paterson That Old Feeling One Sheet.pdf
Benji Kaplan Chorando Sete Cores (2018)
Billy Ray Sheppard Heels and Pearls (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Black Gardenia Lucky Star (2018)
Blanche Blacke Out to Sea (2018)
Boney James On The Prowl (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Brenda Hopkins Miranda Puentes (2018)
Brenda Navarette Mi Mundo (2018)
Brenda Reynolds Never Know A Lover feat. Marion Meadows (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Bryon M Tosoff Holding to the Dream (2018)
Bryon M Tosoff Kick Back Just Relax (2018)
Budha Building Purpose EP (2018)
Charles Overton Group Converge (2018)
Chick Corea and Steve Gadd Chinese Butterfly CD 1 (2018)
Chick Corea and Steve Gadd Chinese Butterfly CD 2 (2018)
Chris Godber Momentum (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence (2018)
ȼheap 3nsemble the ȼheap 3nsemble (2018)
Dan Block Block Party (2018)
Dan Siege Origins (2018)
Dan Siegel  After All (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Danny Fox Trio The Great Nostalgist (2018)
Darryl Williams Do You Remember feat Michael Lington (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Dave Hunt 100 Horses (2018)
Dave Sadler Moondance (2018)
David Ellington Marbles From A Drawer (2018)
Dick Fregulia Trio What Now (2018)
Dr Lonnie Smith All In My Mind (2018)
Dreaming In Colour Morning Star featuring Chuck Loeb (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
El Eco (Guillermo Nojechowicz) Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933  (2018)
Elliot Mason Before Now After (2018)
Emilie-Claire Barlow and  L J Folk Feelin’ Good (SINGLES) (2018).mp3
Eric Reed A Light In Darknessm (2018)
Etuk Ubong Tales of Life (2018)
Evan Harris Skylines (2018)
Fila Brasilia Maim That Tune
Gary Palmer Coast 2 Coast (2018)
Gary Palmer feat Kay-Ta Misunderstanding Radio Edit (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
GoGo Penguin A Humdrum Star (2018)
Gordon Hyland’s Living Fossil Never Die! (2018)
Heavyweights Brass Band This City (2018)
Hristo Vitchev Of Light and Shadow (2018)
J Easy Weaver Soul Connection(2018)
James Acid Robot Kibby Toys (2018)
James Hall Lattice (2018)
Jason Marsalis and The 21st Cent (2018)
Jeannie Taylore Rough Diamond (2018)
Jim Gelcer Melodies Pure and True Jazz Folk (2018)
Joanna Wallfisch Blood and Bone (2018)
Jodi Proznick Sun Songs (2018)
Johnny Summers Suite Jubilation (2018)
Joseph Patrick Moore Decade II 2006-2015 (2018)
Julian Lage Modern Lore (2018)
Kate McGarry The Subject Tonight Is Love (2018)
Kathy Kosins Uncovered Soul (2018)
Kay-Ta Synch With Me Radio Edit (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Keith O’Rourke Sketches From The Road (2018)
Kent Miller Quartet Minor Step (2918)
Kevin Sun Trio (2018)
Kirk Fischer Shades of Gray (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Leslie Pintchik You Eat My Food You Drink My Wine You Steal My Girl (2018)
Liberation Music Collective Rebel Portraiture (2018)
Lisa B I Get A Kick Cole Porter (2018)
Little Axe London Blues (2018)
Lori Williams I Like The Way You Talk (To Me) Radio Version (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Madeleine & Salomon A Womans Journey (2018)
Mariea Antoinette Overture (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Mario Cruz Finding Common Ground (2018)
Mark McGrain Love Time Divinat (2018)
Peter Horsfall Nighthawks (2018)
PJ Perry Quartet Alto Gusto Live at the Yardbird Suite (2018)
Prime Time Big Band Live at the Ironwood (2018)
Run n’ Fly Stella (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Sam Taylor Along Th eWay With Guest Larry McKenna (2018)
Satoko Fujii Fukushima (2018)
Scott Allman Radio Waves (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Scott Hamilton Trio Live At Pyatt Hall Featuring Rossano Sportiello (2018)
Shaun Murphy Mighty Gates (2018)
Shpongle Codex VI
Sisonke Xonti Iyonde (2018)
Steve Slagle Alto Manhattan (2018)
Stompin Heat Live At Stummsche Reihalle (2017)
Summer Brothers To Elliot in Remembrance of Wolf (2018)
Sunny Wilkinson Into the Light (2018)
Terry Blankley Cookin’ (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Terry Blankley Nothing But The Blues (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Terry Wollman No Problem Radio Edit (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
The Allen Carman Project Hearsay (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Tony DeSare and Edward Decker One For My Baby (2018)
Tony Zino The Ark Bearers You Alone (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Under The Lake Jazz Groove Attiude (2018)
Walter Beasley Come On Over (SINGLE) (2018).mp3
Wild Card Life Stories (2018)

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Support Africa’s only 24/7 online Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz and World Jazz radio station ALL JAZZ RADIO today.

Remember any day is a good day to listen toAll Jazz Radioon any of the following;

https://tunein.com/radio/All-Jazz-Radio-s185300/

http://streema.com/radios/play/88609

http://alljazzradio.ndstream.net/flashplayer.htm

http://onlineradiobox.com/za/alljazzra/?cs=za.alljazzra

Please would you do the following;

JOIN our All Jazz Radio Facebook Group

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher @AllJazzRadioZA

Join us on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/hp

Read todays All Jazz Radio News from paper.li at All Jazz Radio Newspaper

We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

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The latest All Jazz Radio News! https://t.co/YIK9eZ0Yq8 Thanks to @OOOCANSEY @pat_thiel @Percy_Mabandu #jazz #music

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Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz and World Jazz musicians please would you send your music for airplay consideration to music@alljazzradio.co.za and use Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz and World Jazz musicians please would you send your music for consideration to  music@alljazzradio.co.zaand use the WeTransfer (https://wetransfer.com) file transfer service, which is the simplest and easiest of all services of a similar nature. Note too that we prefer MP3s to any other format due to slow download speeds currently available in our country. Please include an EPK and album cover jpeg and biographical martial as well. Please note to that we are an A.O.J. (Album Oriented Jazz) Station, our presenters are free to make their own choice for their shows and therefore we load and play all tracks from the albums we receive. Please send full album with all details soonest. We add only full albums as we believe that as an artist you are telling a story though the thread of the entire album, after all an author does not write one page and call it a book. AJR is a Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz and World Jazz digital online radio station streaming from the African Jazz capital, Cape Town, South Africa.

Also feel free to share this missive, ‘saamblief (please)

Give us a call in the studio via WhatsApp; +27 82 456 2195 or Viber: +27 82 456 2195

Email us at info@alljazzradio.co.za

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South Africa’s Sound in Jazz? SAJE 2018 Conference Explains

April is Jazz Appreciation Month worldwide. April in Capetown met with unfortunate drought (rain) for the bi-annual South African Association for Jazz Education (SAJE) Conference 2018 at the University of Capetown`s School of Music Recital Hall.

There was nothing drought about this conference, however, which bustled with robust discussions, performances, panel presentations, papers, and general comradery amongst the enthusiastic jazz geeks. It concluded on 29 April with a whopping concert in one of Capetown’s original homes for South African jazz, Gugulethu. There, in a small cozy friendly venue, called Kwa Sec, Jazz in the Native Yards (JNY), a neighbourhood initiative, brought the sounds to the ‘hood’ in homey style. Capetown continues to be proud of its jazz by respecting its various venues which bring contemporary and more traditional South African jazz sounds to eager audiences. In fact, that was this year’s Conference theme, “The South African Sound in Jazz Today”.

Not all was clear, however; several conference presenters expressed their ‘confusion’ about what is ‘South African jazz’? Issues arose that queried meaning, context, cultural identity, and indigenous sounds in ‘jazz’. Significantly, to help out were jazz students performing their versions of the SA sound, coming from Eastern Cape’s Fort Hare University, an institution notable in producing South African’s Black intelligentsia during Apartheid years. Another performance group were Italian and South African students who had collaborated in their training with jazz education institutions in Italy and South Africa. They required little rehearsal time to present a tight and crisp performance.

Jazz in a spiritual context came up among such presenters as pianist Nduduzo Makhathini who admitted, as a healer himself, that music, spirituality, and healing were all integrated. Spirit essentially speaks through sound, referring to sangoma influences from South Africa’s Zim Ngqawana, Bheki Mseleku, and guitarist Philip Tabane. Makhathini and pianist Sibusiso Mashiloane challenged how
terminologies and theoretical frameworks of the West were articulating African music. For Mashiloane, his music is about his African identity with improvisation viewed as scales and colours that change with various melodic patterns, tones, and rhythms.

SAJE’s President, Dr. Mageshen Naidoo, demonstrated with his guitar techniques that produce the African sounds. For instance, specific styles of sounds of the 5 to 1 chordal notes are found in South Africa’s indigenous music, particularly in marabi and kwela, and these styles have been fused with an American swing (heard throughout the country during Apartheid years) to create a South African sound.

Sounds of place led to robust discussions about how South African jazz has retreated and reasserted itself, over time, in various urban centers. Art critic and jazz scholar Gwen Ansell stressed how jazz clubs come and go, depending on the politics of the day, and on the expansion of urban centers, as `jazz` was increasingly commoditized by opportunists.

The business of producing and spreading the SA sound of jazz today unfortunately repeats refrains for better gender inclusion, more effective audience development, and conservation. The Lady Day Big Band, a stunning 18-member, Capetown-based collective, proved that professional female instrumentalists were alive and well, as did vocalist, Ernestine Deane`s all-female DUB4MAMA band performance. A robust discussion challenged persistent, discriminatory views held by the less aware public that females appeared better able as vocalists than as instrumentalists. To counter these erroneous beliefs and build on Ansell`s point that jazz should reach communities accessibly, one panel of venue promoters discussed the neighborhood approach to hosting quality bands. Venues in townships, along with social media advocacy, video streaming, online sites including internet and local radio, all must play a part in building appreciative audiences.

Another question: Which SA jazz should be played now? Professor Mike Rossi warned that teachers and promoters should not limit the jazz repertoire to those notable past artists who popularized SA jazz to the world earlier, but highlight the current wave of new expressions being explored by the younger trained artists.

In this respect, trumpeter composer Mandisi Dyantyis spoke about the harmonic complementarity between influences on SA jazz, namely the fusion being explored between African hymns, western classical, and African American jazz connections. These have, he admits, rhythmically and melodically extended SA jazz sounds into exciting musical spaces.

The Conference may not have answered heady questions that remain, but the debates have already spinned minds and hearts to further support that never-ending search for qualifying What is South African jazz?`

For information on SAJE details, see www.saje.org.za

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The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Recipe n’ Foodie, Grub n’ Cooking News & Reviews

The Rambling Words, Wisdom & Wit, if any, of a Self-Confessed & totally confused self taught Klutz In The Kitchen and his Recipe of the Week – Begged, borrowed and stolen from recipe web sites around the global village.

The Klutz has become a bit of a nag, ‘cause he’s champing at the bit to make his renowned Mutton Tomato Breedie once again, but he can’t because he made two huge pots last week, Aunty Sarah’s world Famous Pea and Bacon bits Soup and Beef ‘n Potato Curry which we’ve not been able to finish as yet, still go loads left over, but finish it we will ‘cause it just so damned lekkerlisious. Yesterday we had the Curry so to day it’s Aunty Sarah’s world Famous Pea and Bacon bits Soup, which may please the Klutz and shut him up for a while, we hope.

Jinne, food prices just keep skyrocketing and the VAT increase has not helped at all. Worst of all we don’t see decent increases for social pensioners or pensioners at all, nor do se see decent salary increases. How does one survive in this day and age, huh! The rich just keep on getting richer and us working class folk must just keep trying to survive.

Something that has become something of a major pet hate is this thing by a supermarket chain offering a “free discount/money back guarantee” on the bottom of the till slip on ones next visit to their stores. It is pretty much a con as far as I’m concerned, not so? The kind cashier generally reminds one not to forget to bring the till slip back on ones next visit to get the “free discount/money back guarantee” saving at the bottom of the till slip.

Free really? However this is the major flaw for most shoppers, this “free discount/money back guarantee” thing how many shoppers really bring the slip back, and that’s the rub. I for one never know when I’m next going to visit the store and never have those pesky till slips on me. It’s a clever ploy to manipulate us shoppers back into their clutches.

I did speak to a local regional manager about my misgivings and he explained of the philosophy, which in reality is to simply to get feet through the door in the face of their opposition. Ok, that may be good for them because us poor sap’s just keep falling for these tricks. What is the real, true value of this kind of chicanery to the shopper? Not much at all me think’s. How many of us keep those till slips handy. I believe like most price conscious pensioners and shoppers, check the weekly pamphlets that accompany our local knock and drop newspapers assiduously for where we’ll find the best special’s available. I’d for one would rather see direct discounts applied to the products rather than the wishy washy wool over the eyes “free discount/money back guarantee”. What do say you, let us know your views on the, as I believe, rather dubious practice.

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My next gripe is the plastic carrier bag, which we shoppers pay for, where does the money spent on those bag go? Can the plastic bags I say or give me the option of paper carrier bags instead. What do you think? This is a debate for another day.

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It is not often that the Klutz makes a fish dish for dinner; now, I do really enjoy yummolicious Haddock Mornay from time to time so this is our for this week’s, that is quite easy and simple.

Try this Haddock Chowder recipe that our splendid Klutz found on the Spar Website. I must agree it look lekkerlicious and believe it will be very tasty, best of all it’s a very quick ‘n easy recipe that any Klutz can cook up a storm. Go get the stuff to make it today. It will surprise the recipient of you invite to dinner. We hope you’ll enjoy this recipe with a fine white Pinotage.

Serves:6 – Prep time:15 minutesCooking time:25 minutes

Stuff to make it

  • 20 mlcanola or olive oil or margarine
  • 1 small onion, chopped or 2 small leeks, well rinsed and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed finely
  • 1 litre hot water
  • 55g packetwhite onion soup powder
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 boxes frozen haddock in cheese sauce (400 g), thawed in the fridge

How to make it

  • Gently sauté the onion, celery and sweet potato together in heated oil or margarine.
  • Mix the soup powder to a thick paste with a little cold water. Add in the hot water and pour it all into the vegetables, stirring until it thickens. Crumble and stir in the stock cube. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the potato is soft.
  • Slide the contents of the fish pouches into the soup. Loosely break up the fish pieces into chunks, and stir in the sauce, cooking gently until the fish is cooked through.
  • Check seasoning and serve with a fresh crunchy French bread slathered with real butter and a crisp green salad.

Hints and Tips

  • Suggested seasonings: fish spice, freshly ground black pepper, dried

Enjoy

Buon Appetito

Eric and The Klutz

 

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by | 8th May 2018 · 2:37 pm

A Blog Supreme

All Jazz Radio’s Eric Alan’s musings, ranting’s and mutterings about some tittle-tattle, chit-chatter of this, that and the next thing and maybe some other interesting blather about the World of Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz, is now posted on the All Jazz Radio website.

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The Quote of the Week

“Certain jazz musicians just copy what was done 100 years ago. The music won’t grow if nobody takes a risk.” – Trombone Shorty

Sjoe Saturday was my first foray back on the radio again in what must be a year or so. Due to the heavy workload at AJR, being a small volunteer online jazz radio station with no resources at all. BTW should you be so inclined and wish to make a donation to help us with keeping AJR live on the air, please drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you and find out how you can assist us.

Huge thanks must go to our Cape Town based volunteer producers and presenters who give so willingly of their time and effort and so diligently produce their shows live from my small spare bedroom studio and lounge work and storage space. Thanks too, to our international volunteer presenters and producers who send their shows to us each and every week for our streaming broadcast.

There are two presenters who need to be singled out and given all sorts of kudos and accolades for the long hard working service to AJR and they are;

Brian Currin has been involved in the music industry for years and has an encyclopaedic mind filled with knowledge of blues, rock and jazz from around the global village. His speciality is focused on South African blues and rock. He can be found plying his trade and passion at Mabu Vinyl, which is the record, CD, DVD, cassette, book and comic store in Gardens, Cape Town. He presents and produces Vagabond Blues, which is a show of mixed blues and jazz beyond the fringes from Africa & the Global Village and is based in Cape Town

WolfgangKönig is a broadcaster, writer, jazz festival world traveller and frequent visitor to the CTIJF and many other jazz festival and events around the world. He is the presenter and producer of Jazz Around The World, and is based in Berlin, Germany. Wolfgang’s show is a mix of various styles of jazz from around the world but with a focus on the European jazz scene.

Both Brian and Wolfgang were there from the beginning of our first streaming broadcast.

Clifford Graham is an old colleague from the early days of independent community radio broadcasting in Cape Town. He presents the show Take 5 & Then Some. The show is amix of Mainstream, Nostalgic, Vocal & Pop Jazz with a smattering of balmy natter the odd live interview, theatre, movie, music news and reviews weekly.

James Kibby is a full time working musician; producer and music teacher who presents his very interesting and at times some what controversial program, The Kibby Factor which takes one on a musical journey to the outer bound of jazz and beyond.The show is made up of Acid, Avant Garde, Electronic Jazz, and Blues. Doing what and going where most men fear to go, bravely, beyond the realms of whatever comes into his ever inventive and fertile mind.

Andy Hardy vintage vinyl and cd collector, and I might add like me a beer nutter, who scours the world for the music he produces and presents for his program The Groove Merchant. Andy is from Ngongotaha in New Zealand though he travels extensively for work, which also gives him the opportunity to find those rare bits and pieces. The show features Groove, Fusion & Funk Jazz from down the ages.

The husband and wife team of Jeff Williams & Kari Gaffney produce and present Modern Jazz Today from Evans, Georgia in the USA. Modern Jazz Today is a radio show that gives this generation of improvisational music makers, standard’s arrangers and original composers a place to have their music heard by the global village today. Jeff compiles and produces, both he and Kari present the program. Kari is a jazz musician and runs her own company that promotes jazz albums promoter to the jazz radio stations in the US and the world, we have been working together for over 20 years

Well know Jazz Vocalist Todd Gordon produces and presents Todd’s Turntable from Edinburgh in Scotland, it is a vocal jazz show with his choice of music from across the centuries up to today). Todd Gordon is one of the UK’s acclaimed jazz/swing singers and radio presenters.

Rhys Phillips formally compiled, presented & produced A Slice of Jazz from Cardiff, Wales, UK. His new show,Birdland is produced and presented from his new home in France where he has moved to because an of an excellent job offer. The show is an eclectic mix of Jazz, Interviews, New Album Releases, CD Reviews from the UK and Europe.

We must not forget our hard working webiterCarol Martin too. Carol reports and writes reviews on live events and albums for our website which we are currently re-evaluating to see how we can make it better for your enjoyment.

We are mobile, so you can take us with you wherever you may go and enjoy the best Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz music from the South Africa, Africa and the rest of the Global Village any day, all day.

Would you like you to join the AJR Family and become a volunteer radio presenter? Just drop us a line to info@alljazzradio.co.zagive us a list of 20 artists, albums and tracks from those albums you’d include in a program Also you must include a biography of yourself, what your day job is and most importantly your phone number. If you live in Cape Town and environs you’d be expected to come into our studio for a chat. If outside of Cape Town you must in all contact details as well.

Should you wish to make a donation, please contact us as well.

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If you like me really enjoy the only true natural instrument, here’s something you may like to attend in the USA led by Bobby McFerrin and his team of inspiring teachers for a week of improvisational singing in Circlesongs. He will be joined by the original Voicestra members David Worm, Judi Vinar, Rhiannon, and Joey Blake as well as master circlesinger Christiane Karam plus a number of interesting teachers.

Circlesongs: The Full Circle

7-Day Inclusive Workshop

Aug 17 – Aug 24 2018 Rhinebeck, NY

Please call Omega at 877.944.2002 to register

For more info go to https://www.eomega.org/workshops/circlesongs-the-full-circle?source=ePromoPur.JAZZ.ws

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The Klutz in the Kitchenhas become a bit of a nag, ‘cause he’s champing at the bit to make his renowned Mutton Tomato Breedie once again, but he can’t because he made two huge pots of goodies earlier in the week, we’ve got Aunty Sarah’s World Famous Pea and Bacon bits Soup and a Beef ‘n Potato Curry which we’ve not been able to finish as yet, still go loads left over, but finish it we will ‘cause it so lekkerlisious.

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Here’s something that may be of interest sent to us by Jazz Promos Services about the Jazz Record Collectors’ Bashand may be of interest to record collectors who have a more than few bucks to spare and would like to spend a weekend in New York City attending the event on June.

44th Annual Jazz Record
Collectors’ Bash

June 22-23, 2018

78s, LPs, CDs & Memorabilia

Hilton Garden Inn

Edison/Raritan Center

50 Raritan Center Parkway

Edison, New Jersey 08837

Schedule & Events

Rare vintage videos each day:

Admission free with Bash admission or $5 for each film show only.

Friday

8:00pm:Rare film and TV clips by jazz collector and film historian David Weiner.

Music researcher and film historian David Weiner presents two hours of rare film and TV clips, featuring jazz and pop artists from the 1920s to the present. Among the featured performers are soloists Louis Armstrong, Edmond Hall, Coleman Hawkins, Dave Tough, Benny Carter & more; the bands of Eddie Condon, Vince Giordano, Count Basie, Ambrose, Abe Lyman & Gene Krupa; and vocalists Elizabeth Welch, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Evelyn Dall, Bobby Darin, Buck & Bubbles & the Nicholas Brothers. Plus vintage musical cartoons, newsreel clips and Lobo, the Wonder Dog!

Saturday

2:00 to 3:30pm& 4:30 to 6:00pm:

Two separate film presentations: Will Friedwald’s Clip Joint returns and California jazz film archivist and researcher Mark Cantor will make his first appearance at the Bash. Details TBA.

WILL FRIEDWALDwrites about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL & VANITY FAIR (and reviews current shows for THE OBSERVER and Citiview). He also is the author of eight books including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

MARK CANTOR

With a vast archive of more than 12,000 filmsand clips, Los Angeles music maven Mark Cantor’sspectacular collection of jazz and blues performances is widely considered one of the world’s premier collections of American popular music on film.

Saturday

8:00pm:RON HUTCHINSONco-founder of theVitaphone Project

This year, in addition to some vintage early talkie shorts and cartoons, Ron will discuss and present the recently restored 1930 Technicolor Paul Whitman feature, KING OF JAZZ. The beautiful restoration features Whiteman, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, Bing Crosby and The Rhythm Boys and pop tunes like HAPPY FEET, A BENCH IN THE PARK, RAGAMUFFIN ROMEO and I LIKE TO DO THINGS FOR YOU.

Admission

General admission:$20.00 covers buyer’s admission for two days (Friday & Saturday).

After 5:00 p.m. Friday (including Saturday re-entry) and all day Saturday admission is $10.00.

Early buyerswill be admitted Thursday evening after 7:30pm for $40.00.

Doors open 8:00am on Friday & Saturday

Hotel Reservations

Special hotel room rate of $119 per night, Thursday through Saturday with other discount rates available for seniors, government employees, and members of AAA, AARP and the military.

For reservations, call hotel before June 7 and mention Jazz Record Collectors: 732-225-0900or toll free 800-774-1500.

Or, to book online, use the following linkfor the special group rate.

Directions

By car:

IMPORTANT:Although the hotel address is on Raritan Center Parkway, it is safer to enter the hotel grounds from King Georges Post Road.  For those approaching the hotel via Raritan Center Parkway, online mapping websites and GPS devices will instruct you to make a U-turn. Ignore those instructions and follow those below.

Via I-95 (NJ Turnpike)to exit 10. Keep right, follow signs for and merge into County Road 514 – Woodbridge Ave. Keep right and in less than ¼ mile take ramp to Raritan Center. Continue on Raritan Center Parkway. At the first traffic light turn left onto King Georges Post Road.  Make first left to hotel.

Via Garden State Parkway south:Take exit 129. Keep right at fork and follow signs for County Road 501. Take CR 501 about 1.5 miles. Entrance to hotel is on right, just before Raritan Center Parkway.

Via Garden State Parkway north:Take exit 127 (Industrial Ave / Riverside Dr). Continue on Riverside Dr approximately 2 miles. Turn right on Clearview Rd and take it to end. Turn left on King Georges Post Rd. Hotel entrance is about ¾ mile on right, just before Raritan Center Parkway.

Via I-287 south:Continue to NJ-440 North and take exit for County Road 514 West – Woodbridge Ave.  Keep right and in less than ¼ mile take ramp to Raritan Center. At the first traffic light turn left onto King Georges Post Road. Make first left to hotel.

From Outerbridge Crossing:

  • Take NJ 440 South to exit for Industrial Ave / Riverside Dr and then follow directions as Garden State Parkway north, above.

OR

  • Take NJ-440 South to I-95 exit toward County Road 514 (Woodbridge Ave) West. Merge into CR 514. Keep right and in less than ¼ mile take ramp to Raritan Center. Continue on Raritan Center Parkway. At the first traffic light turn left onto King Georges Post Road. Make first left to hotel.

By public transportation:

Convenient from Penn Station in New York City, Newark Penn Station, Newark Liberty International Airport and Trenton, NJ. Take NJ Transit to Metuchen station on Northeast Corridor line. From Philadelphia 30th Street Station, take SEPTA to Trenton, NJ and transfer to NJ Transit NEC.

From Metuchen Station:

[or any point within a 3 mile (5km) radius of the hotel]A free shuttle is available to hotel guests and attendees of the Bash. Call the hotel ahead of time for shuttle pickup. From NYC, Metuchen is one stop past Metropark.

Vendors / Dealers

Vendor space:All tables are 6ft x 3ft. Cost in advance is $85.00 per table for 2 days, $55 for Friday only or $35 for Saturday only. A 50% deposit is required. On or after June 20th, cost will be $90.00 per table (for 2 days) on a space available basis.

Dealer Setup:Dealers may set up on Thursday night after 7:30 pm. The room will not be available prior to that hour.

Payment Methods:Payment in advance by check or money order. Cash and checks will be accepted at the door.

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Listen to All Jazz Radio on any of the following;

Stream All Jazz Radio 1 (ND Stream)

Stream All Jazz Radio 2 (On Line Radio Box)

Stream All Jazz Radio 3 (Tune In)

Stream All Jazz Radio 4 (Streema)

Please would you do the following

FOLLOW us in the Twitterspher @AllJazzRadioZA

LIKE All Jazz Radio Cape Town ZA Streaming daily from the African Jazz Capitol, Cape Town FB Page

JOIN our JOIN the All Jazz Radio Facebook Group

LIKE The Klutz In The Kitchen’s Grub n’ Cooking News, Reviews, Interviews & Recipes FB Page

All Jazz Radio is Africa’s only online Jazz Radio Station playing the finest selection of Jazz, Blues, Latin and World jazz seldom or never heard on any radio station in the world today. Streaming live, daily out of the African Jazz Capital, Cape Town the Mother City, to the entire universe.

All Jazz Radio presenters are passionate volunteers based on 5 continents and in 7 countries, playing jazz out of Africa and beyond.

We proudly play more South African Jazz, Blues, Latin and World Jazz never played on any radio station in the global village. Please remember that All Jazz Radio streams live daily for eight hours, from 2pm to 10pm Central African Time (C.A.T.), thereafter all programs are repeated. For instance today’s live broadcasts will be repeated from 10pm C.A.T. on the following day and the previous days programs will be repeated from 6am C.A.T.  Don’t miss a note of the best jazz out of Africa today.

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CD REVIEW – Philipp Gropper’s Philm Live At Bimhuis by Eric Alan – 12 April 2018

Live At Bimhuis by Philipp Gropper’s Philm

Is jazz dead, I say emphatically no, but the late Frank Zappa said “Jazz isn’t dead. It just smells funny.” To go further “Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise.” once said by George Gershwin. Also “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” as said by Louis Armstrong.
The world of jazz is really not as marginal as so many think and believe, yes jazz is also not as irrelevant in the world music as so many major record labels like to say, jazz does not sell. No, jazz is not a trivial voice in the wilderness of today’s music industry; it is a force to be reckoned with. Now here is a question, why are so many jazz musician first call session musicians around the world? Here’s something else to ponder, why are there so many independent jazz record labels releasing so many new jazz albums world wide? I mean so far this year we’ve been sent 484 new and re-issue Jazz, Blues, Latin and World jazz albums of all genres from all quarters of the world. Sjoe can you believe it so may released this year already. Any volunteers want to write some CD reviews? Since I’ve been in the broadcast business I’ve always said jazz sells. More than those “clever” executive flunkies at record labels think.

Wait a mo, you ask yourself where is the review, read on dear friends, it’s coming I promise. J

Jennifer Back contacted me from a German label I’d never heard of and she told me of the recording I’m now listening to titled Live At Bimhuis by Philipp Gropper’s Philm (WPJ041).

The German record label is WhyPlayJazz, naturally my inquisitive nature got the best of me so I had a quick look at their website and boy was I glad I did, suffice to say we will be featuring more from this very interesting lable in our program and on our playlists going forward.

Here is a bit about them I’ve taken from their website; WhyPlayJazz – the independent record label for contemporary jazz with a special focus on the Berlin scene. The record label from Greifswald with a passion for fine sound was called into existence in 2005. Roland Schulz founded his own record label out of fascination for this idiosyncratic music. There was so much to discover! WhyPlayJazz is looking at years of cooperation with musicians like Philipp Gropper, Uli Kempendorff, Benjamin Weidekamp and Wanja Slavin and is enriching the European jazz scene with its 40th release in 2018.

Philipp Gropper’s Philm Philipp Gropper – Robert Landfermann – Oliver Steidle – Elias Stemeseder photo by Frank Schemmann

Now the reason for all the above, though the album has been added to our playlist and I’ve feature tracks in the programming, it’s the first time I’m listening to the album in it’s entirety since receiving the album three weeks ago.

On first impression there is a lot of freedom and huge responsibility given by bandleader Philipp Gropper to his band mates. It has been a very pleasant surprise to listen to as each track takes one into a world of exciting improvisational mastery. It challenges, enthrals and showcases far wider musical influences offering a worldly perspective giving one pause for thought and reflection. It is an album that must be added to ones collection. I can recommend this album highly and look forward to hearing more and sharing music by Philipp Gropper’s Philm and the many other artists on the WhyPlayJazz record label.

The line-up is made up of Philipp Gropper (tenor sax, composition), Elias Stemeseder (piano, synthesizer), Robert Landfermann (bass), Oliver Steidle (drums)

It was recorded July 30th, 2017 by Marc Schots at the famous BIMHUIS, in Amsterdam (Netherlands and was mixed and mastered by Martin Ruch at Control Room Berlin (Germany). Design and artwork by Travassos.

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Keenan Ahrends Quintet sprouts musical narratives at the recent CTIJFestival

Capetownian guitarist, Keenan Ahrends, is exuding maturity and clarity in his musical journey by honestly divulging his experiences with the joys and mistrusts in life.

To a question put to him during the press conference at Capetown’s recent International Jazz Festival, the youthful Ahrends, explains how and why he narrates his stories musically:

“Music has emotions, sometimes through words and pictures. I use tools of texture, emotion, and colour so that my sounds come naturally, maybe not always consciously. Through improvisation, you can allow yourself to play that emotion.”

Simply put, Ahrends seems to know where and how he’s headed with his craft, a delightful mix of home-grown Cape ghoema, grungy blues rock, free jazz, and bits of traditional South African music. A graduate of the University of Capetown’s College of Music, Ahrends has immersed himself in musical open markets for absorbing jazz expressions, particularly from Norway where he studied at its Academy of Music and collaborated with those artists, and from parts of South Africa through his peer friendships.

Keenan Ahrends-Courtesy Gregory Franz

When asked what influences have helped him to move jazz boundaries, his quaint reply humbly referred to those legends who have pushed the music forward, and the new experimental sounds emerging from ‘world’ influences, like trumpeter Christian Scott’s guitarist, Matthew Stevens, whose voicings led to “Scott’s Move” on Ahrends’ album. Then, there are also his peers:

“I don’t feel I have to break a barrier or produce a completely different sound, but to respect and admire what my peers are composing. Along with the old, and the new, my peers help me to have a goal in mind, a level to reach, such as a new audience to reach, and unconsciously try to cross genres . Yah, the new, the old, and my peers.”

Ahrends clearly admits that it is connecting and playing with his friends that satisfies him the most because these are the few very good players that influence him.

Another journalist question this: But doesn’t this run the danger of producing too much of the same sound if you only play with your friends? Ahrends says not really, only if a new guy comes along and tries to convince the group about styling and interpretation, and you silently comply.

A thoughtful question was posed by another: In the 1950s and 60s, there was a collective of jazz artists looking after each other with a common expression of long sought-out freedom. Now, there tends to be a lot of individualism with musicians leading bands and jamming together, and members changing roles. So, is there still a space for integrating that kind of jazz approach of collectivism and sharing?

“I think we do, in a different way today. We have a friendship amongst peers where we can interact and, as a band leader, invite others to play with me. I enjoy that; a lot of playing in each other’s projects, with a collective drive to push the music forward. For instance, the initial composer would invite other players to contribute to the writing process. So, yes, I feel that because we have strong bonds with each other, we’re not that separated. I’m not clear on how get a collective consciousness per se, but we’re all individually going in the same way. “

While studying in Norway in 2009, Ahrends suffered a culture shock, but got over it.

“We from South Africa come with our jazz language and B-Pop lines, but the improvisation class was like digging into sound and texture and free improvisation and harmony. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed this free improvisation, of making something complex simple. But I thought at times, ‘what is going on here?’ I enjoyed it.”

The Album, released in 2017, narrates Ahrends’ experiences with a reflective and honest approach. He has chosen his quintet members well, each providing their unique twist to his stories. Nicholas Williams’ piano brings a melodic tenderness to ‘Silent Mistrust’, a composition that echos Ahrends’ past disappointments. “This song conveys how I felt when my trust was broken ; I endured it, first, silently, then loudly. Through that composition, I could reflect, because there was something inside me; I had to be tender with myself.” Through his guitar improvisation, he could “tear things apart”.

Romy Brauteseth-courtesy Mikhaela Faye Kruger

Double bassist, Romy Brauteseth, adds reflective texture on her solos in “Stories Behind Expressions” and “Inevitability”. The breathy wails of Sisonke Xonti’s tenor sax replicate maskandi sounds unique to South Africa. Further textures and moods are layered by drummer Sphelelo Mazibuko as in “Brotherhood” and the energetic “Untitled in 5”.  The band is tight;  they know each other very well.

Nicholas Williams – piano

But it’s the guitar that carries the story line: “All” swings from a contemplative ballad into an acid rock style which screams help, giving a sense of urgency, but then dips into resolve at the end. A moving piece. “Untitled in 5” has mixed rhythms reminiscent of South African ancestral Khoisan dance with an effective and tight duo between guitar and sax only interrupted with a robust Mazibuko drum solo. Ahrends wrote this piece while camping with his family, but couldn’t find a suitable title. Same for “Untitled in 3”.

Sphelelo Mazibuko – drums

“It comes from listening to traditional South African jazz music . The chordal placement parts go into a 6/8 time with a harmonically South African tonality. I just liked the sound of ‘untitled in’!!”

Ahrends expresses emotional whirlwinds from life experiences, and shakes them off in “Here We Go Again”, a careful slow ballad that builds a story in a pure, soulful way. Then the song erupts; the energetic drum and the emphatic grungy guitar pronounce that life IS hard – but get over it. This well-constructed song sighs in desperation, but with a beauty and release that lingers.

Grungy rock marks these stories; Ahrends stylistically switches from grunge to subtle South African sounds as in “Past” and “Stories Behind Expressions”. This is why ‘Narrative’ is listenable and reflectively memorable.

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The Whacky Dance of Bombshelter Beast in a Sculpture Garden

How would you like your music? Sculptured around a terrain of hills, valleys, boulders, and ponds, all sculptured by the artist himself, Dylan Lewis, who turned this land into a fairy-like garden for his own giant and small sculptures?

Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden, Stellenbosch

Music sculptured in old-school kwaito with a gypsy swing by a clownish band of Balkan enthusiasts and jazz aficionados, all dressed in multi-coloured, polka-dotted overalls, some with Afrocentric designs, and painted faces to match their costumes?

The Stellenbosch Woordfees 2018 turned heads by offering a unique experience to ‘concert goers’ who thirsted for something different, interactive, and outdoorsy, as art-meets-music-meets South African talents at their best. And interactive it was, as the Saturday, 10 March, event at the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden outside of Stellenbosch joyfully took off from 6pm. Early birds could enjoy feasting on the visual beauties of mountains lit up by a distant cloudy sunset. A lone duck in the garden’s pond peacefully lulled lookers-on, oblivious to what was about to happen.

The Polish accordion player serenaded us in the garden with Italian love songs. The stage was set; the band had finished their sound check. But by 6.30pm, where was the band?

As I sat on a small rock watching the waning sun reflect in the docile pond, sounds emerged: the eye followed, catching the saxman (Sisonke ) standing under a giant sculpture on a mound on the other side of the pond; then trumpeter and leader of the band, Marcus Wyatt, dressed in bright red overalls with a hat to match, bellows out nature’s sound of a trumpeting elephant; then a petit singer dancing on another mound; then far to the left, the oomp pah pah of the blaring sousaphone, with only its bright silver head moving in a comical sway through the reeds near a stream that feeds the pond. Then, the trombone howls. The instruments magically form a harmonic union as the musicians meet on the same path and lead the dispersed crowd of some 50 people closer to the stage.

The party begins! This is how the Bombshelter Beast likes it: an inspiringly beautiful setting, outdoors, so that their whacky and wonderful sonic outbursts can engage listeners. The three lead singers carry the comradery, pulse, and zaniness of the songs composed and arranged by legendary jazz trumpeter Marcus Wyatt. The singers entice the audience with a scatty rap, funny facial expressions, and funky hip-hop dances, with linguistic jols between them in different South African languages.

Pule

They’re a motley lot: Pule (meaning ‘rain’ in Setswana) is ‘white’ with impressive experience in African cultures where he raps in Zulu and other South African languages. Sort of a Beast Johnny Clegg on staccato steroids. His style moves from funk to heavy metal screams to hip-hoppy humour. It’s no wonder that he has also studied to be a clown, and is now embarking on a Ph.D. in Linguistics.

  The two African lady singers, one large and voluptuous with a huge head of hair, the other thin and petite with large wide eyes, add to the clownish humour. Their exaggerated burlesque dancing and singing extends to jumping into the crowd to wiggle about and make faces. The dancing crowd howls in appreciation. The Army helmeted sousaphone player, himself larger than life, and a 60-something opera singer, made their contrasting mark on the skillfully choreographed stage from which hung various country flags to add to the splash of colourful textiles.

These free-spirited AfroBalkan musical buffs fit coincidentally with artist Dylan Lewis’s connection with his ‘authentic, untamed inner nature’, and the non-judgmental inspirations from nature which tames and nurtures this ‘authentic wild self’ to find an inner peace.

One would hope that the Beast could match this paradox. And alas, its raucous and occasional outrageous outbursts did mellow as its ‘Dance of the Chicken’, the title of the Beast’s album, resolved into skadubhall and free-fall. Maverick and ragtaggy? YES!! And delightfully festive!

But why the Balkan take? Composer Wyatt was asked to write a soundtrack for a film called Taka Takata in 2010 about a clumsy football team that plays in a parking-lot. The film has yet to be released and features several comedians, including Trevor Noah. Wyatt ended up writing a lot of Balkan music about this ragtag football team, and through networks and reworkings, converted scores to become the Bombshelter Beast. Wyatt boasts popular albums in the jazz genre, such as with the Voice, The Prisoners of Strange with Carlo Mombelli, Language 12 (music being the 12th South African official ‘language’), and the Blue Notes Tribute Orchestra (tributes to past legends).

Marcus Wyatt

For some reason, the Beatles’s song, Octopus’s Garden, kept ringing in my ears afterwards, spurred on by the ‘Chicken’s Dance’ of the Beast, both songs reminiscent of a love affair with nature and its wonders.

 

The Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden is viewable by appointment Tuesday to Saturday. Booking information can be found here.

 

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MABUTA: Shane Cooper’s audio book about ‘Our World”

‘Welcome to Our World’ is a swirl through Africa’s sonic scapes, from Ethiopia to Mali to Nigeria and beyond borders. Designed and curated by SAMA award-winning Capetownian bassist and composer, Shane Cooper, this album showcases well-seasoned fellow South African musicians pushing out of their familiar zones of contemporary post-bop jazz with South African flavours, into other cultural worlds with pentatonic scales, traditional West African  influences, and Afro-pop rhythms.

Mabuta band 2017

In this musical road trip around Africa, the album contains songs which depict Cooper’s varied experiences with different kinds of people, impressions, ecosystems, and spaces. His compositions are meant to absorb one’s aural consciousness, like in a dream, placing experiences of ‘our world’ in sometimes rosy, soft and hopeful zones. At other times, one’s spirit disappears into ramps and rages about the hard realities of life, like immigrant-focused border fences, the inevitable media and technology overload, and exaggerated human noise, all which cause eyes (and ears) to squish, squint and speculate.

 

Hence, the album’s appropriate title, MABUTA, meaning ‘eyelid’ in Japanese. Cooper explains: “I chose ‘mabuta’ as a theme of opening doors between the Western world and the dream world…perceiving the juxtaposition of the ancient worlds with the modern worlds of technology.” What results is an audio book which takes shape, also, around the individual touches given by each musician.

Bokani Dyer

The touring live band featured some of South Africa’s freshest musicians: Bokani Dyer (keys), Sisonke Xonti (tenor sax), Robin Fassie-Kock (trumpet), Marlon Witbooi (drums), and Reza Khota (guitar). The album features saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings, Buddy Wells and more.

Cooper and his cohorts love the techy touches of modern day instruments. A case in point is how Cooper surprises with his double bass by using extended techniques to elicit human or nature sounds. By running crumpled paper through his strings, stroked with specially crafted ribbed drum sticks which create certain vibrations and distortions, one hears sounds of rustling water, bird flapping wings, wind, etc.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=cCiOs4TTGdQ    “I have about five variations for these hand-made sticks to create acoustic distortions I particularly like,” says Cooper. This acoustic trip mimics instruments from West Africa like the balafon made of gourds, as in ‘Bamako Love Song’. On the album, these effects are also heard from pianist Bokani Dyer’s papers placed on the piano strings.

Why does this musical journey encompass three African countries’ musical idioms? “For me, these countries have been leaders in musical consciousness: Bob Marley’s Ethiopia, Senegalese singer Ismael Lo with influences from Mali, and Femi Kuti’s Nigerian high life.” Here’s an example of how a creative South African, himself coming from a pluralistic society, absorbs the continental sounds so readily, enabling him to produce the sense of Africanness in the jazz milieu.

Let’s take the journey:

Listening to the album, one is struck immediately how experimental the musicians are, using their instruments in emotional, percussive, and defining ways. For instance, the Malian ‘sound’ is mimicked in the synthesizer and percussion slaps on the bass and guitar strings.

Marlon Witbooi; courtesy Dan Shout

The album starts out hopeful.  Track one,‘Welcome to our World’, is a placid, melancholic piece sustained by chugging drums and Sisonki Xonti’s singing tenor sax. The next track, ‘Bamako Love Song’, strikes another joyful message heard in mixed percussive effects from bass and guitar slapping to bongo effects on the drums with a Malian 12/4 rhythm, and the jesty sax of guest artist, Shabaka Hutchings. Pianist Bokani Dyer’s synth rings and runs, mimicking Malian instruments. Nigeria’s Fela Afro-beat supports the bouncy ‘Log Out Shut Down’, implying the obvious to survive Our World’s constant incursions on our hearts, mind, and body in an overloaded techno world. Buddy Wells solos convincingly, backed by two rhythmic tenors saxes. ‘Tafattala’, meaning ‘twisting together’ in Amharic, showcases all the horns as Ethiopian chords and pentatonic scales mark the song’s purpose.  Reworked from an earlier Cooper-led album, Skyjack, Dyer’s piano swings into a more contemporary improvisation, bop-pish in texture, then flows back into the familiar Ethiopian style. An interesting interpretation.

Sisonki Xonti

Anger hits in ‘Fences’, as Our World moves to heady political spheres that threaten humanity’s wellbeing. Xonti’s sax holds the melody as Witbooi pounds out an energetic, protesting drum; Hutchings’ sax solo wails admonitions…. Originally titled ‘Alternative Facts’, the song sketches the hard realities pertaining to border walls and wars (referring to contemporary America….and elsewhere). The not-too-subtle rumbling by the horns in ‘Beneath the Waves’ suggests a search for that elusive peacefulness as one sinks deeper into the waters of hope. The higher register of the piano conveys this feeling nicely. Cooper’s scuba diving adventures in South Africa’s oceans inspired him to find this silence, every dive bringing a new sensory experience.

Robin Fassie-Kock; Courtesy Øystein Grutle Haara

After the anger conveyed in ‘Fences’, the meditative soft trumpet of Fassie-Kock in ‘As We Drift Away’ sets the mood, perhaps, of separation from our contentious, at times hideously inhumane, world. It’s an inspirational piece, with excellent triple tonguing from trumpeter Fassie-Kock and Dyer’s gospelled piano. Cooper explains: “ Remembering my deceased young friend of many years, the song speaks to how spirit hovers over body, family and friends before departing at death. This gives ‘our world’ a connection with the process of dying and a resultant release. This release gives a picture, perhaps, of what a nicer world might look like ahead.”

There’s another intriguing side of this reality-meets-dream phenomenon in Cooper’s sonic vision.
The album concludes with ‘The Tunnel’ which, of itself, ends abruptly. “The intention was that life speeds toward the end. It speeds through a tunnel without knowing where it’s going to end up, and then the lights go out.” Cooper’s influence comes from Vangelis’ enigmatic score for the original film, ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), and how the present film sequel (2017) reworks sound with contemporary synthwave and cyberpunk interpretations, thanks to present day sound effects technologies. “Vangelis informed a lot of musical decisions I have made in my writing, and has allowed me to reshape “The Tunnel” to reflect my own journey with electronic sci-fi styles and effects. It’s like when I took a speed train in Japan, I passed a rural scene with beautiful mountains and within 20 minutes, I’d be in a huge congested futuristic city. I look at the ancient and traditional, and the newer technologies at the same time. Both of these worlds emerge in my album, and weave not so much a clash but how our world actually appears in our real life.”

             MABUTA band

Cooper and his band’s ‘our world’ is indeed African, conveyed so effectively by MABUTA’s mixed bag of musicians. Perhaps, after his 4 months in Europe co-curating the Bern jazz festival and undergoing a residency in Zurich through ProHelvetia, Cooper’s next album might reflect on those contemplative under water scenes which seem to have considerably energised his otherwise terrestrial journeys.

Catch MABUTA  live at the upcoming Capetown International Jazz Festival on the Rosie Stage on Friday, 23 March 2018.

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MSMF jazz band: “Music Makes us Brothers” – another Cape Town Special

Four guys in their mid-20s, from three different parts of the country, following their individual musical paths and, essentially, leading each other, fuse together a special sound that’s clean, refreshingly different, and soulfully sealed.  Named after their surnames (Matsimela-Steenkamp-Mahola-Fine = MSMF), this ‘boy band’, as they unwittingly think of themselves, pulled themselves through the University of Cape Town’s school of music to focus their young energies on creative improvisation with an individualistic sonic touch.

MSMF band members

Importantly, it is the symmetry reached by the four gents as they funnel their diverse backgrounds into a matrix homed by Capetownian Steenkamp’s Muizenberg roots. Double bassist Sibusiso Matsimela, originally hailing from Mpumulanga by way of Pretoria, reflects cross-cultural jazz. “Music makes us brothers,” he quips as he explains how relaxed and chilled his new home of Capetown is, after acquiring exposure from overseas training in USA and Italy.

Bassist Sibusiso Matsimela; drummer Tefo Mahola, at LAPA Feb 2018

The second youngest member (after Steenkamp), drummer Tefo Mahola, hails from Gugulethu, Cape Town, and brings zest, creative texture, different styles and genre to his songs. His compositions depict a jazz with multiple influences.   https://youtu.be/8n0Ifwcnay8

Guitarist Dylan Fine, raised in Cape Town after his parents returned to South Africa during

Trumpeter Keegan Steenkamp; Guitarist Dylan Fine at LAPA Feb 2018

Mandela days, presents soulful, melodic, and modern styles drawing from multiple influences, from the intricate Pat Matheny to the soft rock of John Mayer.

MSMF proudly performs a mix of contemporary and Old School Hip-Hop, Modern Jazz, and South African jazz, all shaped by the players’ personalities which stamp their individual signatures on their compositions.

 

The LAPA recently provided a pleasant Sunday afternoon venue for MSMF to perform their originals.  Having an African feel with a thatch roof and open interior, it can comfortably seat approximately 50 or more people at tables. The slightly raised stage is carefully designed with lighting which projects alternating pastel colours which streak down the white backdrop of the stage. This effect gives a live neon look when a band is livestreamed through a video camera.

LAPA white stage backdrop

The sound capacity for acoustics is superb. An attractive outdoor sitting area with indigenous plants reminds one about the relatively water-stressed area of Kraaifontein’s Joostenberg Vlakte. But the surrounding vast, flat agricultural veld is brought to life by wide open skies that view distant mountain silhouettes of the Hottentot Holland Mountains bordering the Cape Town Municipality.

The LAPA

The band’s concert reeked of joyful respect for each other’s freedoms; Steenkamp’s trumpet delivering consistently clean notes, never raspy unless intended. In one song, the trumpet presented a hollow sound like an angry cat avoiding its partner. Steenkamp likes to puff up his lips, weary from wear, to get different sound effects. Mahola emotes occasionally with subtle ‘aaahhh’ outbursts, announcing approval as each band member self-absorbs into his own solo. Fine’s guitar plays mostly single note runs reminiscent of R&B and soul with a Scofield-like improv. Fine’s occasional chords struck harmony highs in several songs as did  double bassist Matsimela who took its freedoms in tuneful solos that often brought out Mahola’s gleeful ‘aaahhh’ of approval! MSMF’s repertoire is sure to please, from member’s individual compositions to songs from master jazz legends, like drummer Louis Moholo Moholo’s classic, “You Think You Know Me but You Don’t Know Me”.  When funds become available, MSMF plan to record their first album, which promises to be a whopper!

During the concert’s break, patrons can use a ‘warm up’ kitchen to prepare their picnic lunches or snacks  accompanied by any drinks (soft or alcoholic) they bring.   Besides the live concert venue, i-Studios premises also provide a large house inside which is a recording studio  with state of the art audio and video equipment, and five ensuite bedrooms for visiting artists who record their album over several days. This Studio house offers other space for administration, recording, rehearsals, and opportunities to use its other open spaces as an art gallery and recital area.

The LAPA interior

Founded in December 2014 as an independent Music Record   Label and Artist Management Agency,    i-Studios seeks to enable artists to develop creatively a quality music which engages music lovers of all ethnic backgrounds. “Our mission is to find raw, undiscovered talent and maximize their musical capacity” says i-Studios visionary, Leonardo Fortuin, an engineer and entrepreneur. The LAPA and i-Studios is easily accessible from Cape Town, the Northern suburbs, Stelllenbosch and Paarl.

 

 

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JOZEFINN’ AUSTRAL VIEW (JAV) offers ‘Pan-austral’ Polyphonic Jazz

Something unique about the lush, cavernous tropical French island of Reunion is its polyglot fingerprint on the southwest Indian Ocean region, with all its multiple flavours in cuisine, music, sun, sea, and dramatic volcanic mountain craters.

JAV band members

One group that is spreading a dynamic musical fusion representing both traditional and contemporary cultures of the ‘austral’ or southern Indian Ocean peoples is JOZEFINN’ AUSTRAL VIEW (JAV). It’s brainchild and musical director, guitarist Jean Pierre Jozefinn’, conceived the project in 2008, but it was through the Reunion cultural organization, Artistic Window for Tradition and Cultural Action, that JAV could take off with its own signature group in 2013.

Jozefinn-credit Bernard Beranhard

Various collaborations followed between France and Madagascar which enabled this pan-austral project to bring together artists from Reunion (France) and southern Africa, namely South Africa/ Mozambique/ Madagascar and explode rhythms and harmonies that leave one mesmerized.

Supported by various Francophone organizations in France and Madagascar, and making waves at world and local music festivals, JAV has imprinted its multicultural and polyphonic foundations in its first impressive album recording, “Trapdanza” (2016).

Building on Reunion’s principle rhythmic styles of ‘sega’ and ‘maloya’, one hears overlays with South African mbaqanga, Madagascar gospel which also reflect Zulu music, and the Arab/African/European/Indian influences that mark the historical music of this small island, going back to the slave and indentured servant era of French colonialism.  This Indo-African feast of sounds cannot really be named, says the group, when I caught up with them after a day’s rehearsal for upcoming music festivals in Reunion in December 2017.  “We don’t want to ‘box in’ our music, but just call it ‘pan-austral’ fusion, because each of us acts as a cultural ambassador from our countries.”

Bongani Sotshononda 2015

Marimba specialist, Bongani Sotshononda, brings moving isi-Xhosa vocals and rhythms from South Africa;  well-seasoned drummer Frank Paco from Mozambique also adds melodic vocals as does all band members.  From Madagascar, Andry Michael Randriantseva holds songs together on piano and trombone, and from Reunion, double bassist Jacky Boyer rounds out the band’s strength with his compatriot musical director, Jean Pierre Jozefinn’.

Bongani Sotshononda-credit AM Randriantseva

“The rhythm of sega and maloya, two main musical idioms in Reunion, has no name.  Rather, we like the syncretism of these traditional musical repertoires found in Reunion, including marrabenta, nicketsche, salegy, tsapiky….  Combine these with South Africa’s mbaqanga,  and Mozambique and Madagascar rhythms which are similar to Zulu ones, and one arrives at a no-name  polyglot of beats and sounds.  We call ours pan-austral polyphonic.”  Amidst this exciting polyglot, Euro bebop and jazz inflections are found throughout, particularly in ‘Shap Shap’ and ‘Saint Michel’, followed by a  happy melodic swing as in ‘Learn to Love for Peace’ with  melodic Afro-beat interplay between percussionist Paco and Sotshononda’s marimba.  This is a masterpiece of improvised fusion.  The marimba excels in the funky “Ebony Swing” and the Xhosa-sung “Indlala Yini Na” which opens the album.

 

 

Pianist Andry M. Randriantseva & JP Jozefinn’ Dec 2017

Jozefinn’s guitar and Randriantseva’s  synthesizer hold a groove in ‘Mangrove’ that echos through the energetic rhythms fused from this panaustral, four-country comraderie. “It represents rivers from various sources running into one mangrove swamp, nourishing as they flow. This is what we are as JAV,” says Jozefinn.

JAV is searching for sponsorships to support this concept which is expanding more and more through such popular music festivals as Reunion’s best attended  SAFIKO Festival and the Capetown International Jazz Festival, to name a few on the JAV biography. The band members consistently participate in educational mentoring and workshopping at schools and colleges in Reunion, for instance, recently at the college at Bernica in St. Gilles Les Hauts, but want to expand their presence throughout the pan-austral Indian Ocean communities and beyond.

Randriantseva at college workshop in Cilaos, Dec 2017

This is a unique group to watch, as panaustralism ripples and surges through Afro-Indian Ocean musical veins, bringing joyous cultural reunions to our shores!

 

JAV at Safiko Festival in Reunion 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Acoustically Tripping through KZN Soundscapes with Guitarist Guy Buttery: an Interview and CD Review

Put European Celtic, Zulu maskandi, and Indian classical sounds together, and what do you get? A uniquely South African musical stroll through KwaZulu-Natal’s sonic cultures embodied in a passionately creative Guy Buttery, his guitar and songs.

Shane Cooper, bass; Guy Buttery, guitar; Ronan Skillen, tabla in Cape Town 9 November 2017

Buttery performed recently in Cape Town with a stunning alignment of double bassist, Shane Cooper, and percussion/tabla player, Ronan Skillen, all sponsored once again by Slow Life entertainment.   https://youtu.be/lDq3JlU-YKw     Their repertoire ranged from Buttery’s usual mix of folk, maskandi, and Indian classical to solo and duos with his illustrious band members, themselves past recipients of music awards in South Africa. One quickly identifies the unmistakable beauty of Skillen’s tabla and electric drum, stylistic in tone and feel, along with Cooper’s consistently unencumbered double bass. Buttery has now added another award to his expanding profile, as the Standard Bank ‘s Young Artist for Music 2018. His recent Cape Town concerts drew crowds, undeniably committed to this soon-to-be 34 year old’s continued journey to push his music into uncharted ethnically-influenced soundscapes.

Album cover: “Guy Buttery”

His latest (6th) CD album is self titled as just “Guy Buttery”, deliberately a no-name. “It’s a rebirthing album so I preferred not to name it, specifically,” he explained in our interview. One would not realize the music is played on a guitar as there are so many formats and manipulation of sounds from his acoustic strings.  Zulu maskandi and traditional ushupe mouth bow in “Werner Meets Egberto in Manaus” with Brazilian touches sets the cultural tone that runs throughout this eclectic album, including Vusi Mahlasela vocals. Buttery explores with humour in “Floop” which combines the key of F with loop pedals in ‘floopy’ ways. Similarly, “Sleep Deprivation” speaks for itself with some erratic harmonics.

Wispy zen ambiance with loopy psychedelia is heard in “In the Shade of the Wild Fig” as also in “A Piece for Rudolf Fritsch”, the latter having an interesting story: Buttery had met online and befriended this man from Germany as they shared over some ten years their love for different styles of music. They learned from each other and developed a special bond; yet they never met. Then one day, Buttery learned that Fritsch fell asleep on his train home and died. Hence, this whimsical song is Buttery’s tribute to a late mentor.

Nibs van der Spuy

Electric guitarist Nibs van der Spuy joins the album on two Indian classical and Led Zeppelin – influenced songs, and plays the cuatro in “Wild Fig”. “From Srinager” clearly refers to Buttery’s love of the sitar (in this song, the sarangi played by Lorenzo Mantovani), and the African mbira which he plays here. Van der Spuy’s electronica and the sarangi are also transposed into a rock vibe in “To Goulimine” which was influenced by Buttery’s good friend and fellow guitarist, Dan Palansky. “The piece is like a India-meets-Led Zeppelin groove of the 90s. This was undeniably the hardest piece to release in terms of colour, having been based in a sort of rock music,” Buttery admits.   Other imaginative textures and rhythms emerge in this album as Buttery explores the soundscapes of KwaZulu-Natal, sponging up the pastoral and natural contexts of his homeland. Enjoy this sonic nirvana of enduring beauty!

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Discussing music in more depth, this writer posed to him the question about what drives his inspiration and message.

“ This is a tricky question. My influences tend to be vast, endless, fluctuating and inconsistent. Every piece of music comes from a different place, inspired by people and places, people I meet on my travels. It all seems like a kind of murky and undetermined past. I never know where a piece I’m composing is going to take me. I’m always searching, hopefully with some transparency.”

Sounds to me like a definition of ‘creativity’, I posed which he, in turn, queried:

“I know a lot of people who are creative, like in the way they live and think through life. I’m always curious about this: what is the ‘creative mind’? What is it that distinguishes one mind from the other, that produces a piece quite different from another person’s piece? I think that in the end, we’re all drawing from the same source, to which we are all connected, and are all distilling it somehow.”

Buttery skilfully handles a lovely mix from the Celtic, an ancient European source, and from the ancient African source, having grown up in the Zulu context. He effectively, and in a learned way, sponges up his living experiences with history and culture.

“Yes, there are influences from a European KwaZulu-Natal and from Zulu culture which have moved me….. I’m currently working with a fabulous Zulu maskandi guitarist, Madala Kunene , on some compositions…. Then, there is the Indian classical music of Durban which I fuse into my songs. If one tunes in to one’s environment, then these three musical influences in South Africa are clearly represented in KZN.”

Regarding the Indian classical influences, Buttery admits to taking caution about delving into playing the sitar in its traditional fashion, or in genres associated with this instrument.

“But I’m interested in taking an instrument out of its context – I love to improvise and do solo pieces with the sitar. In the last year, I’ve been taking it more into my rehearsal space, but I haven’t taken it on the road yet. I’m currently working with an amazing Indian classical sitar player and singer, Dr. Kanaada Narahari, in Durban and entering that world even more. Harmonically, Indian classical music is quite simple, and melodically, I think they’re at the forefront , with an ornateness in its structure and contour which is quite amazing.”

Buttery is still over the moon about his award as the Standard Bank Young Artist for Music 2018. What future prospects are in the offing?

“Yes, it’s certainly an honour. I’ve been doing concerts since I was 16 years old, and I feel this award is enabling and assisting in my growth to make new music and projects. That’s hugely reaffirming for me, so I’m deeply grateful for that.”

But will this award create more pressures to produce, I posed?

“It’s crazy to be lumped into this incredible group of artist with such awards. But there is definitely a lot of stuff in the works with interesting collaborations and recording projects ahead…..to be revealed later ….no secrets now….just ironing out….”

There is a hint of promoting music education, yet to be consolidated but in the works.

“I’m scheduled to do some educational work at institutions – the older I get, the more this idea appeals to me. Not to just do workshops, but do more performance-based work with Q/As, and focus on music as a lifestyle thing rather than take an academic approach. I intend to do a lot of this next year.”

So where do you think South African music is going, I asked?

“The modern world has changed, and to give an example, this album was recorded across three continents in 4 to 5 different countries. Technology has played a big role in allowing for these exchanges. There is …..I won’t say a need….but an openness to amalgamate so many different sounds and to have collaborations with musicians that in the past wasn’t attainable. This is happening all around the world but more so, for the first time, in South Africa . What it has revealed is that there’s an unbelievable amount of incredible musicians in this country that previously didn’t have a voice. I find the jazz musicians are crossing over more with ‘world’ musicians and with the rock and folk musicians. It’s colourful. This is exceptionally healthy; we all have a lot to learn from one another, about openness and our abilities for sharing.”

Indeed, recording these various artists living in Italy (Mantovani), different parts of South Africa, in Vermont, USA (Will Ackerman on “A Piece for Rudolf Fritsch”) and in France (vocalist Piers Faccini on “The Upper Reaches”) was a masterful feat in itself, thanks to various studios and technologies.

Guy Buttery will have a very happy birthday end November , and we listeners will be happy to see this guitar wizard ‘loop’ around our various shores and hinterlands during 2018. Find his album to stream, download, or purchase at http://guybuttery.bandcamp.com.

On loop pedal

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Gigging since Age 7, Persistence Pays Off for Drummer Lumanyano ‘Unity’ Mzi

At age 7, he snuck out of home, walked from Delft to Phillippe to hear his favourite drummer perform….only to discover that the drummer was not there on that day! Here starts Lumanyano ‘Unity’ Mzi’s first gig, when, at that session, the band invited him to play reggae chops which he knew so well from his father, who headed up the popular reggae Azania Band in Capetown. Mzi showed that he knew the rhythms, but didn’t understand the coaching by the bass player: “You play the kick on one, and the snare on three, which is a rock theme.” Mzi’s musical career had started, and he was having fun!

Lumanyano ‘Unity’ Mzi: courtesy Gregory Franz

Born in 1995, and fifteen years after this first ‘gig’, Mzi thrives daily on his Jazz Performance Diploma studies at UCT’s College of Music as well as moving his UNITY Band from one performance venue to another. UNITY actually started while he was still in High School, with his teen friends who were excited to back visiting bands coming from Johannesburg’s hip hop scene. He held this tight group well, progressing to serve as the resident band at Capetown’s upmarket Taj Hotel main bar on Thursdays.

Delph singer Adelia Dou

Delph singer, Adelia Douw, a teen when she joined the Delph Big Band as the lead vocalist, also joined UNITY. It was then that the Big Band’s director, trumpeter Ian Smith, discovered this Delphite, Mzi, a bit too late to add Mzi to the Big Band. Mzi’s father, an avid Rastafarian, was Mzi’s main influence, taking his son to rehearsals of his band, yet never taught his son how to play the drums. Instead, Mzi sat next to the drummer and watched every move. Mzi would cry when he wasn’t taken to the actual gigs, but determined, he could at least play some songs during rehearsals. Now, as a young adult, he regularly performs at annual reggae festivals, like the Monwabisi Reggae Festival held in Khayelitsha, and has toured in Africa with the All Nations Band to the Gambia, and attended three reggae festivals in the Reunion Islands, one in which his band’s backing vocalist was the late reggae artist Lucky Dube’s daughter. Sponging off from several genres of music during his high school musical years, Mzi has impressively mixed hip hop, gospel, funk, and reggae into his current curry of improvisational drumming, following such notable percussionists as Frank Paco from Mozambique, Brice Wassy from Cameroun, and Paco Siry from Cote d’Ivoire.

Cameroun drummer Brice Wassy

He wants to live up to his name, ‘unity’, and believes in collaboration to bring people and cultures together. “I like to break boundaries, and create bridges to minimize racial tensions around us. We must all work together for the cause of music and social cohesion.” In this vein, Mzi is willing to join social/political causes, such as the Marikana issue, by performing with his band at functions that create awareness and support worthy activism. Another example has been his following with the Spoken Word movement, “Lingua Franca”, initiated with poets and musicians at Capetown’s Baxter Theater to explore how to mutually support their artistry. Amongst all of these exciting projects, Mzi is finishing his University program, and looks forward to performing with UNITY, touring (as a drummer) with the King Kong production which starts again in Capetown next week, and writing his music.

UNITY Band

See the UNITY Band perform at the Masque Theater Foyer Sessions in Muizenberg on 12 November, 2017 at 6.30pm. Band members are: Stephen ‘Stevovo’ de Souza (bass), Thandeka Dladla (vocals), Lonwabo Diba Mafani (piano), Dylan Fine (guitar), Marco Maritz (trumpet), Ofentse Moshwetsi (alto saxophone), and Lilavan Gangen (percussion).

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Earthy grunts of Zulu Blues: A Journey with pianist Sibusiso ‘Mash’ Mashiloane

Slow Life’s Olympia Bakery came to life again Saturday eve, 4 November, with an eclectic array of Zulu blues, impressive  improvisational arrangements of contemporary standards, such as in ‘Amazing Grace’,  and stunning solos by bassist Dalisu Ndlazi, drummer Riley Giandhari, and the multi-award pianist, Sibusiso ‘Mash’ Mashiloane, who leads The Mash Trio.

Sibusiso Mashiloane

The huge full moon was rising over the Kalk Bay waters of Capetown’s southern Peninsula where this delightfully vibey venue hosts almost weekly quality jazz concerts, thanks to its passionate owner, Paul Kahanovitz.

Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay, Capetown

One felt not only the magnetism of moon-waters caressing the soul, but also the earthy beats of Zulu music grunting through the listeners’ bones.  The sounds were raw and danceable, persistent, then mellowing. Mashiloane’s leadership takes one on a journey of cadences, with tones of African rhythm and blues Zulu-style, and fused with swing-bop, hip hop, gospel and funk. Often, a blues rock unfolds, then Mashiloane’s piano sets the fast pace, and finally, crescendo!  The criminal is caught.

Bassist Dalisu Ndlazi

One song was reeling: a Zulu boot dance rhythm followed by orchestral chords from the synthesizer with the bass pounding out that beat, then a contemporary jazz swing improv followed by that same dance rhythm that took the song home. Another song starts with earthy Zulu funk, then mixes in refrains of ballads with shades of Bheki Mseleku styles, adds voice hummings, and then returns to that funk to end a song full of innovations and character twists. Quite a journey!

S. Mashiloane & drummer Riley Giandhari at Olympia – courtesy Neil Frye

This group is nothing less than exciting at macro levels. They obviously display an utter pride and joy in their inherited music of the soil.  The three musicians hail from Durban where they schooled in jazz studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban.   Saddled with a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance, plus various awards for best jazz artist, including his debut album, ‘Amanz’ Olwandle’ (released in 2016) winning best jazz album awards, ‘Mash’ has grown his musical and teaching skills through festivals, guest lectureships  in the USA and South Africa, and two recorded albums.

His most recent album was recorded at the time of his mother’s death; hence, the title ‘Rotha – a Tribute to Mama’ (2017 Unlockedkeys Records).  A very listenable album, with songs written from 2003 that seem to document his fifteen year musical journey, one hears memories of South Africa’s past and present, with female backing vocalists and two horns as well as the occasional guitar.  The live performance in Capetown offered completely different styles and tricks compared to the mellow and melodic jazz arrangements on this album, all mixed with down-home South African musical roots. For instance, ‘Song for Bheki’ clearly portrays allegiance to this late legend from the homeland, pianist extraordinaire Bheki Mseleku.

Bheki Mseleku – courtesy GettyImages

Mashiloane’s passion is to support African musical heritage by captivating his students’ minds to decolonize their ways of thinking, and to exercise pride in, and ownership of, the local cultural expressions.  This is why his ‘crossover jazz’ can include a variety of motifs, such as bop, blues, and funk, wedded to South African tribal and spiritual sounds.  Such Afro-centered fusion makes this album all the more meaningful, in such songs as the bluesy ‘Unlockedkeys Blues’,  the boppish ‘Mr SJ’, or the soft, sung ballad, ‘Meditation’.   Videos tell his story, also:   Mr SJ at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDWV6ImrCD0  and  ‘My Lyllah’ at   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybh1MBVSNkI.

One soon concludes that Mash has explored a wide variety of composers such as McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, and fellow South Africans Themba Mkhize and the late Zim Ngqawana.

This CD ‘Rotha’ is very different from Mash’s live performances.  It offers a mellow, bluesy, and thoughtful message with reminiscence of a dear Mama who was graced by life herself, and who graced others, particularly her son.

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WHERE IS SOUTH AFRICAN JAZZ HEADING?

Where are the venues? I can’t do late nights! I really don’t understand this ‘improvisation’ thing – sounds like noise to me. These are comments heard from many who wish to support our local musical talents, but cannot find a comfort level with ‘jazz’. Rather, the uncertain keep gravitating to what they already know – that vibey afternoon restaurant with a blues guitarist, that music club nearby that plays electric or rock/pop.

While jazz enthusiasts, or those who would like to learn more, speculate about ‘how is jazz doing in South Africa’, curious and hopeful attitudes seem to be growing. Let’s hear from our Festival performers:

Pianist Bokani Dyer admits there are a lot of powerful young voices on the scene right now. He feels part of something, like being plugged into the rest of the world, with a new wave of younger musicians who are proud of their South African heritage and ready to explode it through the arts to other continents. For instance, Dyer is presently compiling for publication a more comprehensive South African ‘REAL’ book of compositions of musicians from all parts of the country. This would educate the public at large about these worthy artists and enable the less well known artists to present their profiles.

Saxophonist Buddy Wells really enjoys the directions which South African jazz is taking, with exciting young composers and players pushing the boundaries, like Reza Khota, Bokani Dyer, Kyle Shepherd, and the 2017 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz, Benjamin Jephta, to name a few. Likewise, Bongani Sotshononda sees that bright future: “In the past 5 years,

Bongani Sotshononda at Native Yards

having been introduced to many extremely talented musicians, I can safely say that the world needs to watch this space. In the past, seasoned musicians from Europe and America at international jazz festivals used to scare us as these artists were on top of the game. Now, in my opinion, our local jazz musos, thanks to their dedication, are on par with some of the world’s best talents!”

Trombonist Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder says SA jazz is going through a period of renewal, where a lot of young musicians are receiving an education which was not available 20 or 30 years ago. “Since the advent of jazz being taught at our universities (however limited or lacking in direction some of those programmes might be), the result has been a new generation of jazz musicians who can read and write, and even have qualifications to work at recognised institutions such as music schools and universities. This wave of education, together with the valuable work done by Capetown-based grassroots institutions like IMAD, The Little Giants, and the Delft Big Band, is bringing about a new era with many skilled young musicians practising and teaching their craft. Unfortunately, the lack of infrastructure and funding supports, amidst a seemingly corrupt government not able to grow the economy, minimizes opportunities to develop latent talents in music and the arts in general.

On the other hand, pianist Ramon Alexander is seeing how the young South African composers are digging deeper within themselves for a more personalized, individual sound that seems to steer from a local sound to a more globalized one.

Ramon Alexander album

“In South Africa, like in America and Europe, you will always have the forward-thinking ‘Pioneers’ competing with the ‘Conservatives’, the preservers of tradition. I believe that if you have a balanced pool of both the ‘Pioneer’ and the ‘Conservative’, you will always have a wonderful, diverse body of work within our South African music community. Diversity is key.”
Warning! The ‘scouts’ in the corporate industries are enticing teenagers with fame and greed, says Jazz Yard Academy Chris Petersen. “We encourage the kids to be confident and to have faith in the goals they have set in life, but sometimes at performances, ‘scouts’ by-pass the JYA adult personnel and secretly approach the kids with financial offers. This is a scourge that makes it very difficult for us to keep the kids focused on the bigger picture. Yet, with more education for youth, particularly valuable interactions with the Cape jazz legends, we can ensure the proliferation and sustainability of Cape Jazz music worldwide.”

Muriel Marco

Singer/pianist Muriel Marco speculates whether the artist is freely exploring and playing for the audience, or is the artist playing for the market? “There has been a tremendous exploration beyond boundaries by the musicians, and supports for venues and festivals are growing. Unfortunately, there still isn’t a steady venue in Capetown that can support daily concerts.” The repetitive mantra from worried musicians continues to haunt: How can we creatively explore with our craft if the basic financial supports are hard to find?

In terms of the overseas market, there is heightened demand for South African jazz to collaborate, through performances, cultural exchanges, and workshops, with host country musicians and their educational institutions, according to saxophonist McCoy Mrubata. “Our music is being studied abroad and we are always asked to conduct workshops and master classes when we tour in other countries.” Likewise, trumpeter Keegan Steenkamp gets motivation from seeing his colleagues, as in his MSMF band, search for that stronger sense of direction in sounds and styles. “I see young musicians growing up to be less influenced by international trends and styles, it’s already happening, and the ripple effect has begun. My generation is partly a product of it. That consciousness in these young creatives is what I think will help bring back a bigger audience for South African music.”

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PART II: WHAT TO EXPECT TO HEAR AT MJF!

https://muizenbergjazzfestival.com/part-ii-what-to-expect-to-hear-at-mjf/

There’s another musical mix at this year’s inaugural Muizenberg Jazz Festival: youth showcasing their original compositions; Cape Ghoema; South American Latin; and Xhosa-Langa contemporary jazz!

A highlight on Friday evening is Argentinian Muriel Marco who will charm with her Latin jazz renditions. As a pianist and singer, Marco doesn’t cut corners. She explores how to engage several styles with traditional songs, thereby avoiding a singular sound. Hence, her ND Project – No Directions – means just that, a mix of salsa, Maskandi swing, contemporary improv , all moving that tango or native chacarera forward. Marco doesn’t like to keep things as they are. Her concert will, rather, offer an open, unrestricted spontaneity of expression, essentially with no directions or specific style.

On Saturday evening, as already discussed athttps://muizenbergjazzfestival.com/a-festival-of-contrasts-even-a-small-jazz-festival-can-have-wide-diversity/, American songstress, Yvette Norwood-Tiger, will bellow out the unique styles and scats of the Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, as part of Norwood-Tiger’s world tour honouring this jazz legend.

Besides the excitement of teenage talents on stage, with the Jazz Yard Academy (JYA), already discussed in the same link above, expect some fireworks from the quartet, MSMF, led by trumpeter Keenan Steenkamp.

His well-trained fellow musicians from Mpumulanga, Eastern Cape, and Capetown will play interactive music with a sincerity and pride in their South African cultural heritage. Steenkamp also loves to compose, his songs very much highlighting the beauties of Muizenberg where he grew up and lives. How local is that!? MSMF exemplifies how the young guns coming out of Schools of Music wish to push their kind of jazz towards new boundaries in sound.

The roots-infected swing of Cape Ghoema also brings indigenous jazz styles to this festival. Pianist and composer, Ramon Alexander,pays respect to the jazz tradition of South Africa’s musical forefathers, such as favourites, pianist Ibrahim Khalil Shihab (previously known as Chris Schilder), Abdullah Ibrahim, and a host of others who are late. Alexander is a ‘disciple’ of this sub-genre, known as ‘Cape Jazz’, and will present his own originals along with songs from the above-named, all compiled in an exciting South African standard repertoire.

Following on the voice of South Africa’s contemporary music, both within the traditional and jazz veins, saxophonist McCoy Mburata has been deeply influenced by Xhosa traditional songs, which he grew up with, and fuses their styles and rhythms with contemporary improvisation. Results are electric and stimulating as Mburata and his band present a special Langa Township jive and swing which will elegantly paint a-proudly-South-African hew on this local-is-lekker Jazz Festival.

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Muizenberg Jazz Festival: Part II: What’s Special about the Muizenberg Jazz Festival offerings?

The jazz artists performing at this year’s maiden voyage Muizenberg Jazz Festival (MJF) have performed on prominent South African and international stages, and at the Capetown International Jazz Festival (CTIJF), considered one of the most prestigious international jazz festivals in the world.

Economies of scale run high for these large volume and often congested stages. They usually risk the regular early sell-out of weekend pass tickets before one blinks an eye after ticket sales open for business. Admittedly, large music festivals like the CTIJF, boasting some 35,0000 plus ticket-holders annually, bring welcomed funds to the wider municipality, temporary jobs that curate the festival operations, and, for some listeners, earaches during and after gigs.  For those not listening, there’s still revelry just in the vibe, familiar sounds, and the comradery of finding among the masses likeminded appreciative and exuberant festinos.    MJF invites all to experience the same…plus…..

There’s another way to enjoy the music….in the spirit of festive revelry…

The MJF will take over the accessible Masque Theatre on Muizenberg’s Main Road, known for its historic community centeredness in providing popular theatre to Capetown residents.  Here, in  this relatively ‘small’ space which seats about 165 patrons, an illustrious line up of performances and workshops promise to bring high quality of art to the music lovers.  [See the Programme on the website]

Small jazz/music festivals bring harmony and understanding amongst festinos who otherwise might not be exposed, or have opportunities to learn, about ‘the other’ neighbourhoods in the Cape’s wide cultural diversity.  “Small” means intimate, accessible, participatory, and affordable without having one’s ears blown out from loud amplification.  Festinos can rub shoulders with the crafters and artists, talk about their music, and easily purchase CDs or digital albums at discounted prices.  They can meet the supportive local leaders who attend the various activities, and even offer constructive feedback about their likes/ dislikes in life, politics, community-run initiatives, etc.

Well, why ‘jazz’, and not rock/pop/classical/electro-funk?  Well, guess what?  ‘Jazz’ improvises on all of those genres, pulling them into a harmonic and rhythmic soundscape, with feet-stomping nourishment for the soul.  Driven by worthy local talents to do this, not only in the Cape, but within South Africa and beyond, jazz offerings from local bands crisscross cultural and ethnic boundaries, and make exciting renditions of songs, familiar and unfamiliar.

For the international offerings, Ella Fitzgerald lovers will be enraptured by Norwood-Tiger’s renditions on Saturday night, the 14th.  Tributes to South African musical legends will impress audiences with admirable young talents proudly displayed by the Jazz Yard Academy on Friday, the 13th.

For these reasons, the MJF aims to provide enriching exposure with a sense of intimacy, comradery, and enlightening soundsCapes (a term coined by Cape guitarist Steve Newman) that depict just what our artistic communities are producing right under our noses. Even young and not-so-young will enjoy the Saturday afternoon music workshops offered by three notable musicians in our ‘hoods’.  The hustle and bustle of The Masque Theatre will come alive as the artists showcase high quality music in less competitive and more convivial spaces with audiences that listen and digest.

The Masque Theatre is at 37 Main Road, Muizenberg.

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Muizenberg Jazz Festival is Comin’ to the Suburbs: Part I: The Value of Small Arts/Culture Festivals

For jazz aficionados, and others, Friday/Saturday 13/14 October 2017 lights up Muizenberg’s Masque Theater for the first Jazz Festival in this peninsular community, boasting ten reputable bands, a photo exhibition, and Saturday afternoon mentoring workshops! See www.muizenbergjazzfestival.com for tickets and details.

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One thinks of small arts and music festivals as just fun and friendly and cheap? Well, yes they are, but much more. They infuse understanding and appreciation for the local and visiting talents, crafts and craftiness of a local culture seeking not only to have its voice heard, but to inspire the participating masses in more intimate ways.

What do festival-goers, or festinos, want in their local community-initiated festivals? Festinos need to make decisions about how they wish to attend a festival, first, looking at the time spent on a weekend, choosing this over that, feeling spontaneous (or not) to join events, and looking at what costs might be for little Vuyo’s chocolate ice-cream or Dad’s wish to attend that 8pm jazz gig at the Masque Theatre, or Mom’s urgency to buy that gorgeous embroidered bag which she really doesn’t need. Just planning for that family festive outing can be overwhelming; yet manageable in terms of economies of scale.

Smaller festivals can facilitate so many reactions and outcomes:

 Showcasing the artist’s work up close and personal, particularly those who are less well known but significant movers of a craft or style, and providing display stalls without paying exorbitant rentals for space.

 Interactions and sharing: people from all walks of life can more easily share their experiences, enthusiasms, and learnings with each other through informal eateries, and smaller listening venues that also cater to food craft, wine, and even books. It’s heritage time and communities often talk proudly about their histories, legends, and accomplishments.

 Escape reality: You can escape from life’s pressures and defy routine for a weekend of fun without feeling (too) guilty; sing along to a song being performed; satisfy your inner child yearnings or passion for home-made chocolates and curries, or gluten-free breads. (And risk more easily being seen indulging in these small desires!) Even wear what you want without having to gloss and glitter!

 Give constructive feedback: Often times, there’s instant feedback to performers from audience reactions, if audiences are smaller in number and able to be heard (for instance, mingling with artists after a show; getting signed autographs; sharing impressions with one’s immediate neighbour at a venue, or displaying emotions about a song being performed. Communities can be inspired to plan and plot together for future promotional schemes as well.

 Marketing of local artistic talents through small markets, workshops, hands-on mentoring events, etc. whereby services or products are made available to the curious seeker. In the case of the Muizenberg Jazz Festival, a festival markets historic buildings, such as the 100+ year old Masque Theater, as part of raising awareness of the areas’ socio-cultural heritage.

Importantly, the financial rewards from small festivals to the independent entrepreneurs, artists, and home industries must be noted, too, as visitors devour the sought-after crafts not usually found in their own neighbourhoods. Independent vendors and producers are rarely side-lined amongst the hungry mobs.

So how can the Muizenberg Jazz Festival benefit from it’s offerings on 12-13 October, 2017? See Part II.

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PRIMORDIAL AND POLYRHYTHMIC ‘ANCIENT AGENTS’ is a PERCUSSION DELIGHT

Eclectic, exploratory with Afro-middle eastern medleys, a percussion-lover’s dream come true with udus (oval ceramic pot played with hands), a tabla, a box drum or ‘cajon’ (sat on and beat), a riq (Arab tambourine), the esoteric frame drum, and bells and rattles, this album and live performances are guaranteed to jump-start one’s wistful and primordial body and soul.

Percussionist Ronan Skillen (tabla and didgeridoo) and his cohorts are raising funds for their first ‘Ancient Agents’ album entitled just that. It’s important to get the variety of percussive sounds just right with amplification which made the group’s live performances in Capetown venues quite challenging, yet with profoundly real outputs.

Ancients concert at Nassau 16 September 2017: credit Gregory Franz

As expected, live performances capture the moment’s emotions and musical rhetoric as the musicians suss out each other’s attitudes-as-they-happen. Studio-recorded albums offer something a bit different; yet this album has managed to stay true to the innuendos and subtle rumblings of messages which Skillan’s quartet uses to successfully captivate the listener.

One of the most innovative percussionists from Europe, Fredrik Gille of Sweden, offered instruments not often heard, at least live, in South Africa: he sits on the cajon and taps away; his frame drum has resonances that defy pure, simple notes, conveying sliding note intervals, echoes, and pulled notes similar to the didgeridoo. His frame drum solo is magic to watch:

Fredrik Gille & frame drum

While the guitars carry the tunes, Skillen follows suit with his various small to large items, tapped, banged at times, or just clicked through the air, along with his consistently flawless tabla playing. But that sliding didgeridoo in shining metal does raise eyebrows….”Normally, didgeridoos don’t ‘slide’ as they are made of one long bamboo pipe”, Skillen joked at his recent Nassau concert at Capetown’s Groot Schuur High School’s auditorium.

Ronan Skillen & metal didgeridoo

However, his handmade didgeridoo is made of three metal pipes and a wooden mouthpiece. Simple. Hence the sliding note intervals complementing the slippery resonance and echoes of the frame drum as earlier noted. Pure magic!

This ‘Nassau’ venue is known also as “Jazz at the Nassau”, which offers occasional Sunday evening jazz concerts very popular to an established local crowd of jazz enthusiasts. The Ancient’s performance there reeked of earthy, low frequency, primordial vibrations coming from all the instruments, as though the instruments were deliberately designed for this quartet.

Listening to the Ancient’s recorded album, one is further engaged with their interpretations of ‘world’ sounds. The traditional mixed with the electric contemporary bring alive the magic of sound through breath, sentient percussion, and melodic strings – as physics meets with soul, producing very moving earfuls of sonic wonderment. For instance, a favourite track is bassist Joubert’s Middle Eastern-influenced “Kelefa” displaying a haunting bass solo, then the guitars crescendo into a quiet refrain with Gille’s percussion. The frantic pace begins again with Joubert’s exhausting bass runs, then a humourous play with our ears as harmony and rhythm produce erratic pulsations and expectations. A splendid piece!


Khota’s “Misir Wot” strikes Ethiopian pentatonic sounds with his acoustic guitar and creates wonders in his “Unearth” with Congolese Soukous and danceable rhumba beats. The two Ancients-designed songs, “Clouseau’s Dream” which opens the album, and “Ancient Agents”, highlight the polyrhythmic collaborations amongst the musicians, each contributing their own distinct signature.

The musicians come from diverse experiences – Reza Khota, a fan of alternative guitarist, John McLaughlin, has explored classical and improvisational guitar in a variety of forms, much revealed in his album, Transmutations, released in 2014. Bassist Schalk Joubert, a highly sought-after musician, has also combined South and West African music with Euro-Middle Eastern influences and continues his exploratory arts with well-chosen collaborators far and wide. Ronan Skillen who co-produced the eclectic Ancients’ album has professionally roamed ethnic geographies, including studying Indian classical music with Indian notables, and created his own versions of wind-percussion sounds with the didgeridoo.

Fredrik Gille, a Euro additive to this other-worldly collective soundscapers has experienced Arab Palestinian musical joy , and performed with Algerian, Tunisian, Swiss, and Latin groups. An enthralling expose of Gille’s photographic prowess in the Anna Pavlova Ballet Photography Contest 2017 made him a winner in the “Movement and Passion” category.

Be willing to be aurally transported to parts of the world, maybe not familiar to most, but recognizable, thanks to the continual cross-pollination which these South African and Swedish creatives are giving to their music.

Ancient Agents album was released in September 2017 in South Africa, and can be obtained through the website: www.ancientagents.com

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‘Lunar Jazz’ vibrations with Moon Songstress, Lisa Bauer, and quintet

The Moon Song Project engages vocalist and drummer Lisa Bauer and her favourite musicians in more musical exploration with the full moon, but with a familiar jazzy twist.  Inspired by her connection to the moon cycles, regeneration and the power of vocalisation, Bauer’s upcoming concert (Sat, 9 September) at Kalk Bay’s vibey Olympia Bakery, hosted by Slow Life, will feature her composition Moon Suite, other original compositions, and tunes by some of her favourite, unique American jazz composers and artists.

Her Moon Suite compositions, still in process, and crafted while eyeballing the temperaments of our Full Moon over time, promise to move the audience with ‘lunar jazz’.  Her stellar quintet of Andrew Lilly (keyboards), Mark Fransman (saxophones), electric bassist Max Starcke, and Andre Swartz (drums) will handsomely complement her sassy, soft yet forceful, vocals.

Earlier, her recently released single, A Life That’s Lead, makes a pun of a life journey sometimes heavy, but golden with rich creative outcomes. It also includes the rare combo of Bauer playing drums and singing.  Bauer’s debut 2011 SAMA nominated album, Finding a New Way, is a precursor to her ‘now found’ new ways to sonically nurture our vibrational selves. For that album, she drew inspiration from her musical experiences in New York & San Francisco.

Brought up studying piano, guitar, and violin, Bauer ventured into the drumming world at age 16 through formal training, and then into vocal jazz at the Universities of Cape Town (UCT) and Stellenbosch (SUN), particularly with the acapella group, Track Five.

Traditional jazz coupled with motown, funk, neo-soul and New Age characterise the soundscapes which Bauer so eloquently produces, both through her vocals nourished by years of study, mentorships, and practice, as well as through her well-picked band colleagues.   She is currently part of a collaborative art project, video installation and exhibition that investigates the highly contentious issue of fracking in the Karoo region of South Africa.  A jazz educator as well, she teaches drums and vocals in a formal educational institution and with private students.

While Bauer works on the pre-production for her 2nd full length album of moon songs, enjoy being lunar-stung by her performances around town.

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Mozambique/world Drummer Frank Paco’s ‘New Horizons’ offers dictionary corrections to Afro-World music

frank paco at drums

 

Spirit is deep, dark shadows real, and playful day-to-day appreciations of beauty sung – these are required in this eclectic Afro jazz collaboration featuring  Central, Eastern, and Southern African musical stories.

New Horizons FP walking

After his successful “Buyanini” album which pleased as another sonic,  Afro-centric smorgasbord journey,  Frank Paco’s visions grow deeper towards  new horizons, announcing that the world is changing with citizen awareness, hope, and joy amongst current and past dark shadows of  oppression and subjugation.  Let’s be positive – this is what his latest album, New Horizons, is all about, both musically and in its messages.

Frank Paco Art Ensemble New Horizons

FP Art Ensemble is a group of illustrious musicians called together by Paco’s unyielding appetite for the interactive, for inclusion. All have strong influences derived from their roots,  such as Congolese bassist and songbird Sylvain Beloubeta  (adds effective vocals in French as well), Mozambiquan percussionist John Hassan, the enigmatic style of vocalist Zoe Modiga,

02 Zoe Modiga with guitarist Keenan Ahrends

steelpans master Dave Reynolds, key vocalists like Amanda Tiffin, trumpets from Capetownian Darren English (now resident in USA) and Norwegian Hildegunn Oiseth, other guitars from local stalwarts Allou April and Keenan Ahrends, and several keyboardists, including the exciting Congo-Brazzaville pianist Nelson Malela and Capetown-seasoned Blake Hellaby.

Nelson Malela

Sax man Buddy Wells uses mainly a high pitched soprano saxophone, an effective additive to the songs’ emotional presentations.   As Paco says,  “the project seeks to instil a sense of pride in our ancestral heritage, promoting unity in our diverse cultural societies and to bring about awareness of the fact that there is a common thread that links us all, even though we speak different languages, have different cultural practices, but through music we are one.”

Nelson Malela

New Horizons reeks of West African Congolese, Mozambique rhythms,  local Cape jazz sounds, some swinging shoobee-doo-bee-doo put to Afro beats, danceable funk, swing pop characteristics in Paco’s samba beats;  melodic ballads supported by vocalist Zoe Modiga;  all with an obvious passion to spread the samba message in various ways.

Sylvain Beloubeta; photo Rob Piper

Sylvain Beloubeta; photo Rob Piper

The songs are stories about culture and history, presented in various languages of Mozambique (including Portugese), and in French and local languages of the Congos.    “Ancestral Footsteps” reminds us to honour our roots;  a call for peace and love in Mozambique in “Moz Blues”;   be light in spirit and discover life as a sweet melody, as cried out in “New Horizons” and “I Wanna Dance”.  More macabre songs talk about a man squandering his family’s money in “Tshelete” featuring Modiga’s vocals in wifely chastisement, and the unusual reminder about the treatment of slaves in “Madame  Desbassayns”, which carefully avoids lyrics and lets the soprano sax wail its sad message.  In “Grain de Poussiere”, Beloubeta’s forceful vocals suggest one should take life as a grain of sand, again, lightly.   The delightful swing of “That’s How My Song Goes” queries if you cannot change things, smell the roses!  There are those romantic beach songs, too, stylishly presented in “Red Moon Gazing” and the pre-party bounce in “Madrugada”.  It has to be Mozambique’s Indian Ocean beaches!

FP portrait

The awakened listener won’t resist gleefully singing along on a number of tracks, so it’s best that the album be played in the confines of a car where song breakout won’t startle the public or security.  But then again, why not broadcast?  There’s a carnival-esque  bounciness that morfs into danceable and smiley expressions as one self-absorbs into the songs. “Remembering Madiba” does just that as it mimics Mandela’s famous dance steps and rhythms.

Paco dedicates this album to his parents who nourished his talents so diligently. His several brother  siblings count amongst some of Mozambique’s leading musicians as well; this musical family knows well its cultural roots and futures  in pushing African and ‘World music’ forward.  New horizons indeed abound as the rising moon and sun bless the unforgettable musical soundscape that we so enjoy through Paco’s Art Ensemble.

FP at FoyerSessions Masque

See the FP Art Ensemble performs this Sunday, 3 September, at The Masque Theatre, Main Rd, Muizenberg starting 1830 hours. His band includes Peter Ndlala (bass), Buddy Wells(sax), Brathew van Schalkwyk (piano) and the rising star vocalist Adelia Douw.  Also, the Ensemble will perform  at the Masque in mid-October during the Muizenberg Jazz Festival which is a key addition to the annual arts, culture, and food Festival.

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JAZZY VENUES BUSTLE with female bands DURING WOMEN’S DAY WEEK IN CAPETOWN

A bustling, vibey Café Roux came alive on 9 August Women’s Day, as did the rest of that small side street in central Capetown. People who were unable to buy tickets to the sold-out concert featuring songbird Ernestine Deane and her all-female band were happy enough to jive their evening away listening outside. It was like festive summer’s eve in a little Italian village where Capetown’s (still) cobbled streets merged with the modern sounds of contemporary and original songs of a jazz calibre special to this city. Only it was a cold mid-winter’s night.

Ernestine Deane; photo by Gregory Franz

Ernestine Deane; photo by Gregory Franz

A ‘returnee’ Capetownian, Deane kicked off in style the Café’s Women’s Day celebrations after a hiatus away from the public music scene for a while, as she readjusted to her hometown after years away in Europe raising her family. She is known for her hip hop funky styles with Moodphase5ive in yester years, plus her 2007 album “Dub 4 Mama”. Her eloquent voice holds its own, while her satirical lyrics tell her story, often pinpointing the crass and ironic twists in life, to find that special bird in one’s ear chanting hope. Café Roux became almost raucous as the audience joined in with the tweeting ‘diridee’ bird sounds set off from the stage.

Deane, Terryl Bell drums; Carly Nauta violin; photo by Olga Callige

Deane, Terryl Bell drums; Carly Nauta violin; photo by Olga Callige

Women in the audience, particularly, participated in this ritual, seemingly already initiated into what Deane was joyfully, and sometimes comically, conveying. She warrants a separate interview with this writer about her music and message for the future. Her colourful band featured some surprisingly mature young players, such as Tiana Marwanqana on bass, 19 year-old pianist, Nobuhle Ashanti Mazinyane who is fast making her mark on the local scene, and drummer Terryl Bell. The violin of Carly Nauta added zest to Deane’s often bluesy, sultry, and whimsical vocals.

Nobuhle Ashanti Mazinyane; photo by Nikki Froneman

Nobuhle Ashanti Mazinyane; photo by Nikki Froneman

Tiana Marwanqana ; photo by Olga Callige

Tiana Marwanqana ; photo by Olga Callige

A bit about the Café….. Located at 74 Shortmarket Street between the popular Streets of Long and Loop in central Capetown, this restaurant opens at 4pm each day to cater to the after-work/after-hours chatty and hungry crowds of workers… who also stay on for the daily evening dose of live music. Originally established in the cozy peninsular Village Market of Noordhoek, Roux owners decided it was time to also establish in the big bad city for the urban fundis. Its menu is simple, offering light to gourmet-ish pizzas and inviting salads, and homemade pasta, along with a bar. This ‘sexy little sister’ branch (so called from their website) is run by the owner’s cousin, Vanessa Bisschop-Louw, and her husband Michael. Check them out at www.caferouxsessions.co.za; cell 061 339 4438; email: Vanessa@caferoux.co.za or Michael@caferoux.co.za. Its ‘Music Sessions’ are nightly, a mix of live performances to fit everyone’s particular taste in music, sometimes combined with standup comedy, or even dance. The venue is sure to please, as would Deane and her merry band wherever they may perform.

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The Women’s Day week ended with another enthusiastic mostly-female band calling themselves the “Language of Being” headed up by drummer, Terryl Bell, who composes for the group.

Terryl Bell

     Terryl Bell

Language of Being group
Last Sunday, they warmed the hearts of Kwa Sec Jazz in the Native Yards crowd in Gugulethu with South African Standards from local legends, now late, like sax men Winston Mankunku and Ezra Ngcukana. Because of the cold wind blowing outside, Kwa Sec lit up inside with a wood fire as patrons pulled their chairs in, chatted with strangers, and sipped their wine to this youthful band.

At Kwa Sec Gugulethu; photo by Mncedisi Siza

At Kwa Sec Gugulethu; photo by Mncedisi Siza

‘Language’ presented trombonist and sister, Kelly Bell, two sax ladies Claire de Kock and Georgia Jones, bassist Grant van Rooyen, and a star of the show, 19 year old pianist Nobuhle Mazinyane, who also performed with Ernestine Deane previously.

Claire de Kock

Claire de Kock

It was not surprising that the local crowd kicked in their dancing shoes to songs which emanated from Capetown’s townships, another respecting gesture of our young musicians honouring the elder legends who have left us so much. This writer made two new friends at Kwa Sec, known for its continual hospitable outreach to all who embrace the music of the Native Yards. Native Yards offers live performances about 2-3 times a month at various local venues.

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Marc Hendricks handles relational complexities with sonic lyrics and emotion: a CD Review of ‘Upright Citizen’

Sonorous melodies belie the hurt which underpin lyrics about love’s complexities – this sums up the remarkably ambitious debut solo album by  Capetownian singer/composer Marc Hendricks, his fourth album to date. Upright Citizen features a wealth of compositions written in past decades, whilst songwriter Hendricks pursued his other passion with medicine, as a paediatric oncologist.

CD Cover

Early 2000s saw the young/er Hendricks head back to his family ‘upright’ piano, hence the title of his album, to revise and reinterpret buried songs and to compose new ones, like “Like a Girl” which kicks off this album. In those past years, Hendricks wrote songs for other singers, like Judith Sephuma. But one single, Satisfy”, earned a SAMA nomination in the ‘Best Pop-Rock category in 2001.Fortunately, his mother kept her promise to her young children: they would grow up learning to play music on their dark wood, Ibach upright piano, expensively bought with meagre funds at that time. Mother, father and sisters all sang at home, and it was this musical DNA which stimulated Hendrick’s song writing during the maturing years.

Marc-206

The Motown rhythm ‘n blues jive of the ‘70s infused his youthful musical bent with those sounds fashionable to that hip era. His compositions have retained some of this influence in a delightfully contemporary way, while pointedly remarking about those age-old relational complexities – of trying to make sense of what love means.

Musical temperaments range from soft ballads to pop/rock, smooth jazz, and blues, all very listenable thanks to the dynamic talents of fifteen Capetown-based artists on the album. The Motown-esque ‘Do What You Say’, composed by fellow song arranger and album producer, Amanda Tiffin; the afropop ‘Never Forget’; smooth jazz in “I Fell Down”; a classical feel between viola and cello in “So It Goes”. This album is definitely NOT background music, or light music for dining. It’s for the listening heart. Each song tells a moving story with which we all can identify. The storybook unfolds with pianist and vocalist Amanda Tiffin who organized other musicians: Kevin Gibson’s drums; Dan Shout’s sax; a violin, viola, cello; William Haubrich’s trombone; a trumpet; Bridget Rennie-Salonen’s flute, and other backing vocalists. The orchestral tones nicely balance other ballad or pop arrangements, depending on the song’s message.

The stories are not just about the tired love woes scenarios. Hendricks’ lyrics convey meaning to the deep and often traumatic, emotional messages about relational manipulations and resolve, all amongst the burning reality that hurt does hurt. Then there’s always the hopeful ‘maybe’… Without giving out spoilers….here are some excerpts:

• “ Everytime you take me, I’m so afraid you’ll break me…. When you close the door, how will I know you’re really gone….. Will you be behind that door, and will I know you’re gone for sure, but maybe you’ll come back… I’d sell my soul for that….” (Someone Leaves The Room)

• “Beautiful broken complexity, honest and spoken, take what you see. Reckless devotion…… “
(Beautiful Broken) This is a beautiful soft ballad featuring Dan Shout’s sax wailing out the message.

• “so complicated…. we fed on the feelings when all of my reasons seemed wrong…. Your wisdom is wasted…. heavy with words….we trade our excuses, and blame has been shifted. Can we go back to the page…. where we burned…. Have we burned?” (Burned) Kristiyan opens with a haunting cello solo, maybe warning of things to come?
• ‘…do what you say, just don’t stay, don’t call on me. I’m done with you……I’m ready for anything… (Do What You Say) Self-explanatory with some wonderful sax runs agreeing.

• “Do you remember the moments you know…..take me back….hold me close…so it goes.” (So It Goes) This includes a very moving viola and cello duo which convey memories, sadness…..

Marc-421

Hendrich’s vocal capacity and temperament has to keep up with the pervasive emoting lyrics which he tries to present, admirably. Yet, the engaging, incidentally dismissive and often contorted and angry storytelling narratives will dominate over any vocal prowess. May the listener decide.

In real life, Marc Hendricks is a paediatric oncologist with Capetown’s renowned Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Importantly, his young patients benefit from his sonic therapies and fund raising concerts.

This CD was produced by Amanda Tiffin who also provided string, brass, and vocal arrangements.
See Hendricks’s upcoming concerts on his facebook and website pages.

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Slow Life featuring lyricist songster Marc Hendricks shakes up Olympia Bakery on Sunday nights

Slow Life logo

If you’re looking for live music of quality on an early Sunday eve, and a very eatable lamb burger downed with your favourite glass of bubbly whatever, Kalk Bay’s vibey hole in the wall Olympia Bakery gives space for about 50 people who end up pretty much knowing each other by the end of the two to three hour event. A small but adequate bar greets one coming off a side street where the chatty crowd spills out during the music break. This robust comradery, even among strangers, punctuates the sunset skies of this quaint Cape Peninsular village which overlooks fishing boats and fishy restaurants, antique shops, and outdoor markets.

Olympia Bakery frontage

Lively chats dim inside the dark entertainment hall as the featured artists take to the dimly lit stage. Singer and lyricist Marc Hendricks leaves his professional oncology duties behind to lead his exceptionally talented band through a range of very moving compositions off his debut solo album, ‘Upright Citizen’.

CD Cover

He’s been writing for over two decades now, supported by highly skilled fellow musicians in the jazz and classical genre. This Sunday gig saw him backed by fellow collaborator and album producer, vocalist/pianist Amanda Tiffin, drummer Frank Paco, bassist Shaun Yohannes, and guitarist Dave Ledbetter. This superb band deserves the best sound projection which still remains an issue in the small venue. It’s when Hendricks takes over the mic and can subdue the band with soft ballads that one hears his emotion-packed lyrics, stunning not so much in their delivery as in their messages.

This live gig kicked off with a ballad, followed by ‘Never Forget’ written for his father, followed by a reworked soft ballad ‘Beautiful Broken’ which speaks about the complexities of relationships, of being lost and found. As the evening progressed, Hendrick’s sometimes high falsetto voice tells one melodic story after another about events in his life. The venue’s sound system seems to get better. One hears different emotions: remembering a trip to Canada with his sister in “So It Goes”; a writing project with friends from France and England in “Running Away”; other love inadequacies in “Someone Leaves the Room”; then “Tear Drops” about his awful year of 2013.

When the break comes, one is already absorbed in this singer’s memoir of love woes. But are these woes his or mine, actually? I need some soothing. Where’s that small lamb burger?

As the second set concluded, I could only feel that this singer’s life had hit rocks, lows, and middle highs. If one listens to his CD, answers come that explain the perturbing, mellow, quizzical, and divulging messages in the lyrics. Ultimately, one tastes the truth, a common thread throughout this musical storybook, about betrayal, connections, and what makes for joyful resolutions. For this, the CD warrants a separate review by this writer on All Jazz Radio’s blog.

Slow Life, a creative music promotion initiative of Paul Kahanovitz, offers such engaging and poignant live performances using other venues around Capetown. But there’s a special vibe at the Bakery, a community spirit that holds its own, which can easily suck the unsuspecting into its creative space.

Olympia Bakery plates of food
Check the Facebook page for upcoming events which promise purely authentic South African entertainment.

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Errol Dyers: Your Music made even dogs dance!

Dear Errol,

Your transition to the loving world of spirit has left many of us gabbing and cackling about how to keep Cape jazz alive and appreciated, as you so eloquently tried to do.  Maybe you have not liked such terms as ‘giving tribute’ or ‘legacy’, attributed to you and your ilk, but applause and celebrations for your contributions to South African and specifically, Cape music, will continue.

ErrolDyersb

We’ve heard many ideas and suggestions flowing during mad chats after your passing about how South Africa must retain and honour its artistry for generations to come.  A common theme seems to run throughout:  preservation of one’s music through written charts, and archiving  written and digital materials for public access.  Your close musical friend, Hilton Schilder,  said in an interview:  “My father was a prolific composer, but I don’t have any charts or anything written down.”  Others have commented:  There needs to be financial assistance arrangements for  musicians while they’re living for emergencies,  illnesses, and the like;  South African and Cape jazz needs more airtime on the radio and general media  in order to counter the ‘dumbing down’ on youth ears of the  increasing American–and–other playlists congesting soundwaves through cellphones and other digital media. “The little ones get clouded by a certain mode of thinking, that it’s cool to jive to American music”, Schilder continues.  What’s needed is faithful observation, social responsibility, and interaction in both accessing local music, and generating appreciation for it.  Musicians must submit their performance sheets and materials to SAMRO in order to be paid for their contributions, cries singer/guitarist Tina Schouw, during a recent music memorial evening. We must be more pro-active!

Dear Errol.  You knew all this, and advocated for it.  But…are the journalists and responsible social media having their say? Fewer, if any now, newspapers and magazines are carrying articles or pages on the local legacies.  All Jazz Radio suggests, along with many others, that a collective blog is needed as a platform for informing, debating, and archiving about our Cape jazz legacies.   Arts journalism has now morphed into ‘celebrity’ journalism, as very well pined by journalist, Ryland Fisher:  “We need good quality and thoughtful journalism at all levels and in all media forms to which people can contribute.  In social media, it’s about numbers. But blogs can be updated as more like-minded people contribute.  There’s value in community strength.”   The same has been echoed  throughout the years by jazz journalist, Gwen Ansell, in her wordpress blog.  Lack of acknowledgments to local artistry IS a worrying trend. A few community radio stations, like Bush Radio and Fine Music Radio, based in Capetown, and a scattered few in other parts of the country, do sponsor worthy programs that offer local and international jazz.  But that vast majority of terrestrial stations subsidized with profits choose the obvious – the marketing of income-generating brands of artistry, regardless of quality or intention.

You were adamant about the importance of musicians choosing record labels that were truthful to the cause of artistic mastery and cultural expression.  And schools of music – all must offer a healthy balance that favours , and flavours, local heritage – Cape music – South African Standards  –  over the aping of American music, no matter how good.  Stories! You cried.  It’s about hearing those indigenous stories, and learning from them!

Dear Errol.  We know that even a dog danced at your Muizenberg concert – ‘Sugar’  shaked with your Cape ghoema jazz, and spread the word, as featured in your first album, ‘Sonesta’. What musical memories you have left to us today will stimulate more dancing and celebrations to make your legacy remembered, revered, and pushing artistry forward in these new times.

With love and great respect,

All Jazz Radio team of presenters and fans

30 July 2017

Sonesta -web

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Classical Indian sitarist Niladri Kumar explores  musical boundaries

'Path Bender' sitarist Niladri Kumar

‘Path Bender’ sitarist Niladri Kumar

The Indian classical sitar comes to Capetown’s Baxter Theater 29 July and to Johannesburg’s Lyric Theater on 30 July straight from Niladri Kumar’s home of Mumbai, India. These ‘Raga Ecstasy’ concerts are possible thanks to Inner Circle Entertainment which produces  Indian Classical Music concerts in South Africa. As one of India’s premier classical sitarists, Kumar is not so much eager to collect sitars or sit on their glory, but to highlight how the instrument can benefit others.

Training orphan girls to play sitar

Training orphan girls to play sitar

Coming from a prestigious musical family of means, his heart seemed always in tune with those less fortunate.  During the International Year of the Girl Child in 2013, he and his team trained orphan girls to play sitar and to perform.       He auctioned off a nearly 100-year old sitar he grew up with in order to raise funds for underprivileged musical prodigies in his midst.

PHOTO  With grandfather & father

Playing sitar from age 4, under the tutelage of his father (who was also a disciple of the famous sitarist, Ravi Shankar), Kumar remained loyal to his five-generations family history of sitar playing, while feeling his contemporary world demanding flexibility and change.  Kumar, thus, created the ‘zitar’, an electronic version of the traditional sitar.

Kumar playing with grandfather and father

Kumar playing with grandfather and father

 

“The scope of an instrument is never decided by the music.” Kumar refers to the sitar’s range of use in Hindi film music. Musicians’ sensibilities change, thus affecting how the instrument complements particular themes.   The ‘Z’ in zitar connotes the zany, edginess.  Hence, the electronic sitar evolves to a five string fusion of Indian classical with a contemporary international flavour.  Some traditionalists queried this upstart. But these how-dare-you sentiments were gradually subterfuged by the encroaching young global fusions of sounds, rhythms, and message.

While respecting tradition, Kumar admits that Indian classical music ‘needs a boost’.  What awaits our raga listening ear on 29 July at the Baxter Concert Hall promises to be awe-inspiring and highly entertaining musical feast.

Kumar with John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain & Eric Harland

Kumar with John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain & Eric Harland

* * * * * *

Ronan-Feature1

This writer (CM) and tabla/dirigidoo musician Ronan Skillen (RS) from Capetown had an awesome opportunity to Skype chat with Kumar, prior to his travels to South Africa end of this month.  Skillen provided an ideal complement to our discussions since he specializes in various ethnic percussion instruments,   and has, himself, studied in India under the tutelage of a notable tabla musician.  Kumar will be performing with the renowned tabla player, Vijay Ghate, who is widely acknowledged for his forays into fusion with well-known artists including the Jethro Tull band, George Duke, Al Jarreau , and Ravi Coltrane.  Ghate has lectured at Codarts University of Arts at Rotterdam as well as formed a trust called Taalchakra, which provides a platform to young and upcoming artists and supports for musicians in financial need.

………

Kumar says he will just be playing the sitar in his South African concerts,  and will explore with the audiences the world of Indian classical raga melodies and different rhythmic time signatures, or Talas.

CM:  Here in South Africa, we hear lots of other types of music.  Do you fuse your classical with other forms of music?

NK;  Yes, we explore these fusions, particularly in Mumbai which supports musicians collaborating with jazz and other kinds of non-Indian music.  This has been going on for at least 60 years now.  Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve played in unfamiliar territory of art other than the comfort of just having the tabla.  So it’s no longer ‘unique’ to explore these other sounds and rhythms.

CM:  OK, then maybe we’ll hear a little bit of jazz from you… (laughter).

NK:  The thing is, I don’t know jazz music.  I’ll explain with this short story.   I was preparing for an English essay exam and the preparation I did was to write an essay on the river.  The river is like classical music for me.    But at the exam, I was supposed to write about the elephant.  I know what the contours of the elephant looks like, what it eats, and what it does.  So I explained what the elephant looks like and how I walked it in the forest while it munches on the vegetation.  Then the elephant arrives at the river to drink, it falls into the river.  Then, I write the essay about the river which is what I prepared for!  So that’s how I play jazz, and that’s how jazz musicians play classical music.  So if you’re expecting jazz music from me, you’re in the wrong place!!  We tend to play what we know most about!

CM:  (laughter)  I’ll hand you over to Ronan whose home wifi username is – guess what?  ‘Elephant’!

NK:  Oh, my goodness!!

RK:  You know, it’s so bizarre! That story you just told.  I was just re-watching  the making of the  “Industrial Zen” album which features guitarist John McLaughlin and he told that same story on that DVD.  You had told it to him.  That’s so funny.

NK:  Because people tend to ask the same question….about playing jazz….. (laughter).

RK:  That’s a good answer because most people know that Indian classical music is improvised …

NK:  I think improvisation is more in the thought process, but not necessarily in the music, because it comes from so many different cultures and in that sense, it can only smell and feel different in different parts of the world.  But at the same time, it’s a valid question and a good answer, so we still have to deal with those 7 notes in our universe. And imagine that every emotion needs to be expressed through those 7 notes.  This narrowed down connection with musicians all over the world is amazing.  I don’t think any other trade can do that, to pinpoint such a connection.

RK:  You’re right. Because it’s like having guidelines – within that context (7 key notes) you’ve got to express what you want to say.  And it’s amazing.  You take the sitar, with its 19 strings, but you’re only really playing one string.  You’re exploring a contemporary version of something very ancient.  It’s also interesting how you bring in chordal progressions – wit those long reaches  …..  and I can see on the fretboard that you’re struggling to get them!

NK:  Yes, those chords.  In 1995, I was playing a concert in Mumbai at a very traditional music place.  All the traditional greats have performed there, even my father.  I was in my early 20’s and that was the first time I played chords.  The next day, a big article made the newspaper saying how sacrilegious it was for me to play chords because I had come from a great musical tradition of my father, so much more was expected of me.  This got me thinking because I had played a 2 ½ hour concert; yet, the chords had lasted not more than 30 – 45 seconds.  The writer’s critique of this small percentage of the concert took up over half the article!  So maybe I should increase the chord playing time in order to get an important front-page article from my concerts! (laughter)

This is our Indian music – we have to go through all these stages of exploring sounds and techniques on our instruments to appeal to the younger generation.  So, the journey of exploring boundaries has to continue, even in traditional music.

CM:  About that exploring boundaries….. Some people say that the sitar is always so romantic and so sad at the same time.  How do you take this sadness out of the sitar sound?

NK:  You don’t have to.  Why would you take an emotion away?  Our music revolves around the nine emotions which we call ‘navaras’.   Melancholy or sadness is one of these moods, or emotions, the feeling of having lost something, or missed out on whatever.  This is very much part of our musical evolution.  We are fortunate to be able to explore these diverse emotions, from happiness to actually making someone cry in sadness.  It’s wonderful .  Not many instruments have that range.

It also depends on the musician, which areas he wants to explore that day, whether the song is to be happy, or sad.  This is essential.  I see young people listening to music and dancing to it, finding it very groovy, and letting their hair down.  What about having a dance within you?  Without having to actually get onto the dance floor?  That dance within needs to have a range of emotions.

CM:  That brings me to another point.  Given your various generations of listeners in India, which groups tend to like your music, and which groups question what you’re doing with your contemporary music?

NK:  The senior groups tend to question, like your teachers as they technically know more and will always question you.  On the other hand, if the listener doesn’t question why I’m playing in such a way, then that listener is stagnant and thinks you’re not moving anything.  If someone in a comfort zone asks why, that means you have shifted something which is not the usual.  If that shift doesn’t happen in any form of music, then it’s not music any more.

CM:  Well, I look forward to hearing your ‘shift’ at your concert…….

NK:  Please don’t get stuck on the ‘shift’, because the usual is also good enough! (laughter)

RK:  Can I say you’re from a younger generation?

NK:  You’re very kind, Ronan.  I’m in my early 40’s.

RK:  Just listening to why you do what you do, I feel that in this modern world, to try to keep such a culturally diverse form of music alive, like with classical Indian music, is a difficult thing. I’ve been exposed to a lot of this music, and I love it, as abstract and as difficult as it can be to listen to …. You can have an interpretation of whichever raga you hear one night, and the next night you can hear the same raga performed by somebody else, and it’s completely different.

NK:  Exactly

RK:  …and in terms of India as a country with a culture so intact…. I haven’t seen it anywhere else in the world where music is being taken to such a level.

NK:  It’s also because such music has evolved over thousands of years …..

RK:  What I’m saying is it’s great to see someone as enlightened as you, taking from all the different ways and walks of life, and putting it into something that is currently contemporary music.

NK:  The light switched on my head from my musical family. (laughter)

RK:  Sometimes, I have also found how Indian classical music can be quite one-sided and closed off as well where you don’t access the tradition …. This is how it’s done, and this is the tradition…period.

NK::  But I would consider this necessary, where some form simply doesn’t change.  This is essential if you have to have your base in some form of tradition.

RS:  ….yes, to preserve it.  But what I’m getting at is the question Carol raised about the younger generation, that the more you’re able to draw upon the lineage and respect for the teachers and all who have distilled the music into what you know, and if you’re able to portray it in such a way that it’s going to reach everyone, and specifically the younger generation, that’s the key.  In today’s world, like you were saying, that dance inside….instead of the quick fix…  And listening to how you play and operate, in an interactive way on stage, I think you’re on that track.  It’s great!

NK:  I don’t do things which I don’t believe in.    The problem lies when you try to form someone upon somebody else’s success. That’s where the passion and commitment  get nullified.  You can’t copy.   Everyone has to have their own path. The only thing about Indian classical music is that sometimes it can become a bit preachy, that you’re telling the audience that this is the tradition, and this is how you do it, this way or the highway!  But I think rather than become preachy, let this music become a form for communicating with the audience.

CM:  You’ve given us a lot of food for thought, Niladri, and we thank you very much….

NK:  Oh, I’m so sorry about that!  Everybody’s on a diet nowadays!

CM:  We wish you could be longer with us as we would take you to a cave for recordings.  This is what Ronan and two other colleagues did recently, and recorded an album in a cave in their ‘Cave Project’.

NK:  Incredible.  You’ve got certain acoustic enhancements right there, like delays, all free of cost!  I’ve always wanted to play a concert in a church, and did so in a chapel in France.   The acoustics are incredible,  you have to alter your playing.  The sustain is so much longer and so different.

CM:  Well, we have lots of churches here, so you may want to change your schedule a bit!  And I also look forward to crying a lot at your Baxter concert!

NK:  Oh Oh!  (laughter)  But that’s how a musician’s schedule is.  Nobody want to keep us so we’re shoved onto the first available flight back home!

This interview will broadcast LIVE on www.alljazzradio.co.za  pm Friday, 21 July 2017, at 9pm  Central African Time, and repeats on Sunday 23 July at 5am CAT and on Monday 24 July at 1pm  CAT.

Computicket:  tickets for Niladri Kumar and Vijay Ghate concert are available for 29 July at the Baxter in Capetown and on 30 July in Johannesburg.

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COSY VENUES for LIVE JAZZ make Capetown winters hummmm

‘Jazz in the Native Yards’ series offers pleasant Sunday afternoon outings to hear the best of South Africa’s live music performed in Capetown communities’s back yards. Hosted by jazz-entrepreneurs, Koko Kalashe and Luvuyo Kakaza, residents in Gugulethu just outside of the Capetown business district, Sunday concerts feature some of the finest local musicians who pull in visiting international partners where available to join in the festive gigs.

Luvuyo Kakaza & Koko Kalashe run Jazz in the Native Yards series of concerts

Luvuyo Kakaza & Koko Kalashe run Jazz in the Native Yards series of concerts

The two men and their funding partners envision the best for both artists and live music buffs – provide platforms for up and coming artists which bring talents and entertainment directly into local appreciative communities.

Guga S’Thebe Community Center is one of these venues, just off the N2 national highway on the Langa turnoff.

Guga S'Thebe Langa auditorium offering outdoor snacks

Guga S’Thebe Langa auditorium offering outdoor snacks

Centered in Langa, the oldest Black community and one nearest to central Capetown city, its auditorium is well equipped with a sound system, and even a first floor room where a radio station, like the community station Fine Music Radio (101.3FM) can broadcast live shows. Drinks catering is permitted, too.

Drummer Dominic Egli

Drummer Dominic Egli

This happened when the inventive Swiss drummer, Dominic Egli, joined by his fellow Swiss bassist and saxophonist, and South African trumpeter/flugelhornist Feya Faku, a firebrand at improvisation, hit the stage in this cozy venue on Sunday, 9 July 2017.  Excerpts from their ‘Pluralism’ series of three CDs, the latest entitled “More Fufu!”, rocked the stage for two exhilarating hours.

Pluralism quartet. Credit: Atiyyah Khan

Pluralism quartet. Credit: Atiyyah Khan

The local crowd intermixed with other suburbanites from outside of Langa listened quietly with discerning ears and exploded their enthusiasm during breaks with cheerful talks, selfies and group photos with the musicians, and a little wine on hand to warm already bustling hearts. Supported by the Swiss fundor, Prohelvetia, this Pluralism quartet recently completed their six night South African tour, certainly with a bang at Guga SThebe.

Their usually sold-out gigs consist of a variety of African rhythms and sounds ranging from West African ‘high life’, aka ‘fufu’, to Sahelian Mali tuareg, to Afro-Peruvian, to local South African ghoema. Egli can open a song about Mali playing the mbira, and then swing into a very explicit African drumming sequence. His versatility is heightened by equally versatile fellow Swiss players who hover sonically around Faku’s horn which punctuates with rhythmic detail. ‘Fufu’, in French slang, means ‘crazy’. But as a common West African dish, often served with a slimy, chillied ochre soup, ‘Fufu’ connotes symbolically food for the soul that sustains. The latest Pluralism CD, ‘More Fufu!’ admirably follows through the Afro and fusion themes started in the previous two albums. It seems Egli and his group simply cannot run out of songs for us!

 

More Fufu! Album cover

More Fufu! Album cover

Faku had met Dominic in Basel, Switzerland. Out of their ensuing friendship came a song, “The River Crosses the Path” played on Faku’s endearing fugelhorn. You couldn’t hear a pin drop in the hall, as all were spellbound by his gripping delivery. The song had a gospel flavour, pensive, telling a story. You could hear the emotion. Egli then presented his first ghoema composition. Inevitably, the gig had to come to an end, but not without a standing ovation, an ovation applauding the pluralistic and interactive characteristics of this truly Euro-African band. By the end of this Sunday’s gig, the audience is vibey, greets each other, even if strangers, and one leaves this community center having made a friend or two.

Jazz in the Native Yards has hit the eager pulse for live jazz close to home.  All look forward to their offerings, come rain or come shine!

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LISTENING VENUES SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC ARTS- Rootspring at Novalis Ubuntu Institute, Wynberg, Capetown

Rootspring presented at Novalis Ubuntu Institute on 8 July, 2017, a dramatic full moon concert of serenity featuring singer Indwe on traditional Xhosa- bow, with an exciting percussion duo, ‘Intone’ made up of tabla and dirigidoo player, Ronan Skillen, and James van Minnen on skin and box drums and other percussion.

Intimate staging at Novalis Ubuntu Institute

Intimate staging at Novalis Ubuntu Institute

Singer Indwe

                        Singer Indwe in cave

Van Minnen’s thesis is that lower-frequency instruments producing sounds of earth and nature are soothing to babies in utero and outside the womb, and to pregnant women.

The two gentlemen came together recently to revive their 17-year history exploring similar soundscape interests:  van Minnen invited Skillen to come and play in a coastal cave north of Capetown. Not surprisingly, given the spiritual yin-yang balance of these two men, their musical purpose was to honour motherhood and femininity.

Intone percussion instruments  Intone percussion instruments

Ronan Skillan & dirigidoo in cave

   Skillen exploring dirigidoo sounds in cave

Supported by neurological research, he says such sounds would favourably activate the baby’s brain waves with pleasant resonance from the cave space and acoustic instruments. The two-CD album, called The Cave Project: Meditations and Lullabies, was thus recorded over a three-day period in this found cave. Fascinating and explicit photos and videos on the making of this unusual sound project are worth digesting, at http://rootspring.co.za/the-cave-project-lullabies-meditations/

3-in-a-cave

                              3-in-a-cave

The music is about human connections, meditatively explored from the roots of our being. The Novalis evening was choreographed with standing candles lighting the prepared round stage in the middle of this oval interior. The audience seating completed this roundness. The building’s dome facilitated the excellent acoustic sounds from voice, bow, and percussion instruments with minimal amplification. To enable a cave decorum, pre-recorded sounds from inside the cave – birds chirping, bats flying, water rustling – accompanied the live performance, creating an extraordinary ambiance of serenity.

The Institute is known as being a quiet, meditative space for courses and workshops of a developmental nature, hosted by various NGOs and community groups. This writer has enjoyed many full-moon evening meditations in this spiritually uplifting space. This full moon evening on 9 July was nothing short of magical.

James van Minnen & Ronan Skillan outside their cave

James van Minnen & Ronan Skillen outside their cave

Rootspring Conscious Music is the brain-child of its Producer, the well-known musician, Jonny Blundell, whose music label promotes ‘world music’ by local South African musicians with ethnic bents. He was drawn to The Cave Project because “it features musicians playing instruments that are generally traditional ethnic instruments. It also appealed to us because of the unusual combination of musicians and certainly because of the unusual location! Recording in a cave was a first for us.”

The Cave Project: Meditations & Lullabies is available from www.rootspring.co.za

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SAMA 2017 winner Nduduzo Makhathini’s ‘Inner Dimensions’ (2017): Reflections & Prayer

Nduduzo Makhathini receiving SAMA 2017 for Best Jazz Album

Nduduzo Makhathini receiving SAMA 2017 for Best Jazz Album

SAMA 2017 rewards another son of the African soil with Best Jazz Album (‘Inner Dimensions”), but this isn’t about ‘jazz’ only. Pianist Nduduzo Makhathini’s 7th album to date continues to haunt us with the inner workings of what our soul journey to higher, spiritual dimensions should look like. He seems to know, in a deeply ancestral and real life, way. [See my interview with him below.]

Album cover of "Inner Dimensions"

Album cover of “Inner Dimensions”

This 11-track album, recorded in Switzerland in May 2016 with Swiss colleagues (the Umgidi Trio) Fabien Iannone on double bass and drummer Dominic Egli, along with a 7-person choir (the One Voice Vocal Ensemble), exudes innovative techniques meant “to go deep within the inner realms of our souls and find those melodies that bring about harmony, healing and hope for all people,” according to one of Makhathini’s YouTube interviews. By reaching the inner, we can than reach the outer universe everywhere else.

To do all this, Makhathini and his cohorts have developed artistic styles to accompany his sometimes contemplative, zesty, and freely unconfined runs on the piano. The range of styles include early South African jazz motifs, contemporary gospel and jazz choral, funky liturgical, accopella harmonies, indigenous African chants to Spirit, and freeflow improvisation.

What is different from his previous albums is the inventive use of vocals and choral orchestration alongside acoustic improvisation of his trio. These styles have successfully pushed ‘jazz’ to another level, what Makhathini calls God’s hand touching every soul that encounters this music. Appreciation of Spirit is tantamount, as in ‘At Your Feet Oh Lord’, a prayerful beckoning for blessings, which starts the album, and ‘Mama Africa”, pronouncing deference to Mother Africa’s ancestors. In “Sobantu”, referencing live jazz oozing from a vibey township near his Pietermaritzberg home as he was growing up, Makhathini displays his vast understanding of chord structures and changes as the same tune is repeated but in different 5ths and 7ths. As he deconstructs chords into singular runs that regroup back into chords, this song becomes reminiscent of early South African jazz styles of the Sophiatown era. Here, like legendary pianist Tete Mbambisa on his ‘Black Heroes’ album, Makhathini wants to guard and retain these sounds proudly produced by earlier maestros of township jazz during the apartheid era. Choral and gospel arrangements are diligently presented in “Lift Those Voices”, and in “Alphinah” where choral harmonies morf into a solemn, moving liturgical presentation backed by the trio’s playful jazz style in ¾ time, almost as a sing-along jaunt with a gospel twist. The album ends with three very differently styled Movements: I – about Compassion with English lyrics sung by the chorus which flows directly into Movement II that features the melodic mbira, traditional chants, and KhoiSan sounds emanating from this inventive concoction of voices and percussion.

Drummer Dominic Egli

Drummer Dominic Egli

Surprisingly, this second piece was composed by drummer Egli, a European who has captured superbly the dynamics of traditional South African sounds of the soil. The third Movement called ‘Freedom Chants’ breaks from traditional beats into a ‘free jazz’ vocal and trio mix. One is moved into another ethereal realm, maybe the final ‘nirvana’ in attaining spiritual awakening.
Thus, the most inner of all dimensions of our human existence is touched and elevated.

My clear assessment is that Makhathini’s ancestors are not angry; rather, they keep pushing their son’s consciousness one step further, something we can look forward with his subsequent recordings.

&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&*&

I chatted with Makhathini about his album and his reflections on winning the SAMA award:

CM: Does your SAMA award put pressure on you now to do other things in promoting music, etc?
NM: It’s great that one can be recognized in that kind of way; but some of these awards mostly belong to the record label, and not necessarily to the artist. So I went to the SAMAs more as a record label owner as I own my own private label, Gundu Entertainment, co-owned with my wife.

CM: When you become an award winner, you may be asked to do various things, like lead a band, or give workshops and master classes, etc. How do you feel about that? Wouldn’t these activities detract from what you want to do creatively, like write and perform your music?

06 NMakhathini

NM: That whole development thing has always been with me. Even now, in my teaching at Tshwane University, I’ve been putting an emphasis on mentorship beyond the classroom, and how lecturers can inspire students further who feel they don’t have opportunities. For instance, I always thought I came from an insignificant city of Pietermaritzburg and wanted people who could mentor me. So if I can contribute to mentoring others in any way, I’m willing to stretch beyond playing the music . I recently did a TED talk, and am presenting papers at different universities on different subjects in order to expand beyond the piano. But it gives me more inspiration when I play my music – when I have more to say through my compositions, or just as an improviser. Then there’s a lot more I can project in the music as opposed to just playing the instrument. It’s great when we all can contribute to this communal consciousness and create something beautiful out of it!

CM: You’re producing many albums now. How is this?
NM: You know, it’s because I see in this country a great need for healing, and I talk about it. People think talk about healing is boring, so I try to push it to a less superficial level. This idea of democracy was initially a pre-mature wish here, even with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other events that centred around these notions of freedom. But I think of this freedom and truth at three different levels:

One, the physical level of physical brutality when people were beaten up and shot. Then there is the brutality of the mind which conditions you how you think about yourself, where you think less of yourself, feel you don’t belong, or don’t have a voice or say in anything. Then there is this third level, and more dangerous one, what bra Zim Ngqawana called the ‘vandalism of the soul’. If you’ve been brutalized by the first two, then it’s necessary that the soul be in a safe place to help correct or survive from these brutalities.

So in the work that I do, we think of our ancestors as souls, and they are often angry at having died not being fulfilled on earth, or not loving themselves. ‘Inner Dimensions’ was trying to tap into who we are. Even in pre-colonial times, did we have a name as Africans? What was our story? Now, our identity is trying not only to capitalise on the idea of ‘blackness’, but also on the idea that if you contribute to yourself, then you contribute better to the pages of consciousness, and towards this new idea of a humanity with a collective consciousness. But sometimes we forget that the building blocks for a healthy society are focusing on the inner way enabling us to make contributions to ourselves, our families, and communities and expand to become the universal message. So look at these small building blocks of consciousness in order to think in more universal contexts.

CM: Do you think this album is your best so far? And which album is your favourite at this point?
NM: I don’t have a favourite album. Each album has a special narrative; they become like different chapters with messages which are connected. No album is ‘better’ than another. ‘Inner Dimensions’ is one of the few albums where I use vocals and choir orchestration. It was also recorded in Basel in Europe which meant I had to connect with my ancestry in a different way. We believe in the African soil, so from a foreign land, trying to make those spiritual connections in a deep way meant I had to do a lot of meditation to make sure I was connecting to what I believe in.

At Native Yards in Gugulethu/Capetown April 2017

At Native Yards in Gugulethu/Capetown April 2017

From the album liner notes, Makhathini’s prayer calls to God: “…may your beauty be found in every space in-between the notes….” and “….may your invisible hand touch your people as they experience each theme on this record.”

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Zoe Modiga’s “Yellow the Novel”, a story about self-awakening: a CD Review

'Yellow the Novel' album cover

          ‘Yellow the Novel’ album cover

Twenty-three year old songstress, Zoe Modiga who hails from KZN, South Africa, has launched her debut album containing an ambitious and seriously orchestrated series of her compositions which highlight her sense of self-awareness and being-true-to-oneself. We are ever-changing, as portrayed in nature’s Four Seasons, about which her band members eagerly chat on brief tracks, sparing about their favourite colours.

Often on South African stages with various other jazz bands and notable artists,  Modiga has absorbed multiple influences that have now enabled her to branch out with her own band, which include these notables, most recently heard on the Capetown International Jazz Festival stage in March 2017. It is therefore no surprise, yet still remarkable that she has chosen to market her talents in this introductory album with two disks containing 23 tracks, all but a few being her own compositions. There’s much to talk about in her ‘Yellow’ album, yellow being her favourite colour, which connotes peace and love for her. One clearly hears these messages as band members participate in various playful banter which confirms more their comradery and joy in this music project, rather than any meaningful messaging. It’s not clear, however, why her two discs have these verbal breaks which, for me, broke the flow of the increasingly engaging musical mood and temperaments which the songs offered.

Ms. Modiga hails from Kwa Zulu Natal, and completed her Jazz studies at Capetown’s South African School of Music. Other successes found her 8th in The Voice SA competitions, a winner of the 2015 SAMRO Overseas Scholarship Competition for singing (Jazz); and a vocal score in the Oscar nominated movie, Noem My Skollie, scored by her highly talented pianist, Kyle Shepherd. Other band members, like bassist Benjamin Jephta (Standard Bank’s 2017 Young Artist in Jazz) and pianist Bokani Dyer (Standard Bank 2011 Young Artist Award for Jazz, and recipient of the Samro Overseas Scholarship prize in 2013) feature in ‘Yellow’.

 With guitarest Keenan Ahrends

With guitarest Keenan Ahrends

‘Yellow the Novel’ is just that – a musical story with careful lyrics full of information, set to jazzy and melodic tunes. The listener is beckoned to listen carefully. Modiga sets the pace in Disk 1 with a lovely short African ballad, ‘Balele’, and then swings into the upbeat poppish ‘Abounding Within’ about our hidden peace morphing into jubilation. Yes, calls for peace feature abundantly in her two discs, in spite of low points. The song resolves into a slow meditative mood with the horns’ repetitious long notes. One learns how her sextet, with thirteen alternating musicians, eagerly follows her mood and direction without overpowering.

 

The novel unfolds musically, like a dramatic story, with forceful lyrics that advocate confidence, persistence, and hope. Modiga uses voice-overs and loops effectively to mimic a chorus. This is why her Disk 1 is uplifting; musically, she touches on a variety of improvisational styles, allowing the band to explore their own reaches. They introduce Track 8’s ‘Autumn’, again, with a carefree cacophony of mostly incoherent chats about their favourite colours. One muses, hearing the various South African accents from these mainly Capetown-based musicians.

03 Zoe_Modiga

Modiga occasionally falls into a vocal scat which calls out to the spiritual, such as in the melodic “Healer”, not requiring heavy messaging of a social nature like in her other songs. The power of God’s love is again recognised, as in the haunting “Love (Yahaweh)”, when the world seems hopeless. This love translates into how Modiga loves different kinds of people in “Would They” (get along well?). Recorded voice overs are effective here as the song queries if, in fact, saints and sinners, who are just ordinary people, could ever get along well with each other. A song for thought, indeed. An inspiring guitar carries this tune well. She is not ‘Alone’ as she takes chances, like everyone else, echoing her vocals through loops and repetitions, sometimes sarcastically because the world is asleep. This message returns at the end of Disc 1 with ‘Shake the World’ and a plea to get into your lane and wake up! This appropriately ends a winter season as the listener awaits for Spring to arrive in Disk 2.

Modiga breaks from English lyrics to pay tribute to the vernacular, particularly, to the legendary Winston Mankunku in his song, “Yakhalinkomo”, in a lovely arrangement with the guitar effectively adding a ballad mood. Sensuality and emotion punctuate other vernacular songs, like the moving “Inganekwane” referring to fairy tales and myths we live with. “Nantsi Ntsepe” offers lots of vocal chorus characteristic of morabi with a beautiful sax solo.

04 Zoe

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Not all is rosy as a novel enters conflict zones. Disc 2 opens with a mournful philosophical bent about our worldly delusions and the life-is-not-rosy confusions we live with, hiding our inner tears, in “And so it goes”. Lyrics again dominate the musical novel , with Winter having seemingly carried stories of woes and depression, like in “One Litre Deep”, a folksy satire, maybe about what dark winters can do to spirit. Hope resurrects, however. Spring explodes yellow flowers, like in “Dandelion” which, as a relief, doesn’t echo opinionated words of caution, but rather soft scat vocalisations by the singer in a childlike, carefree manner. Modiga ambitiously tries a wide range in her vocals, sometimes wandering erratically ‘off key’, as if dazzled by the emotions evoked by this intricate song. One wonders, should dandelions be that complex? Answers come in the last track,“Yellow”, which now explains what self-realization means, after hard work, an awakening of confidence hummed nicely by trumpet and piano, bringing the ear back to the spiritual and calm. It is a breath taking piece!

Disc 2 lyrics are softer, less contentious than those in Disc 1, implying that out of struggle comes yellow, aka peace and love. Modiga strongly believes in perseverance, and lives it, building her talents through festivals, working with distinguished musicians in South Africa, and meticulously studying her art.

05 Zoe

Having blessed a prestigious CTIJFstage recently, and slated for the upcoming National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in June 2017, Modiga is well on her way to extending her yellow hopes and loves that can impact on the South Africa’s jazz music industry. It’s rewarding to see her perform live; her songs speak directly to the audience with slinky, individualistic projections of who Zoe is. And her yellow cape is truly stunning!

Musicians that feature in the two-disk album are: Benjamin Jephta; Bokani Dyer; Claude Cozens; Frank Paco; Keenan Ahrends; Kyle Shepherd; Ludwe Danxa; Marlon Witbooi; Revan October; Robin Fassie Kock; Romy Brauteseth; Ruby Crowie; and Tim Mosh.

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Resonance for Peace in ‘Tales of Life’ by Etuk Ubong: A CD review

Tales of Life seems taller than life. Nigerian jazz trumpeter Etuk Ubong’s thoughtful album of his compositions speaks to not only Nigerian ancestral spirits, but also to the beauty of peace which our world could promote better through our humanity. Ubong’s ambition is to bring truth to music, sonic storytelling being one way. Young Ubong does just this, and exceeds expectations as he ambitiously, even conservatively, continues to explore reflective soundscapes and rhythms, in this, his second album, released in February 2017.

Tales of Life Album Cover

Tales of Life Album Cover

The opening piece, “Battle for Peace”,  honours hope, love, and peace. The drums speak with eagerness and forward-thinking, even coercion as the three horns introduce the theme of this album. All seem to cry for peace. It’s an energetic beginning, honouring what’s good.

Etuk Ubong - media

  Etuk Ubong – media

Ubong plays a staccato trumpet with a breathiness reminiscent of the early Miles Davis whom he emulates. His revealing solo in “Drawing Room” gives testimony to the serious practice he has undergone faithfully over these years of performing and perfecting his instrument along with the moods and emotions that can go with it.  Likewise, he pairs nicely with the piano of Timothy Ogunbiyi with the off-beat drums of Benjamin James, as in “Genesis”, a piece that displays obvious talents of Ubong’s bassline.

His provocative sounds are clear, simple and thoughtful, improvising to be understood. In ‘Story’, he continues his telling, like a yoga massage.  The drum silhouettes with a steady undercurrent, and the piano ends this story the way it began, pronouncing that the healing has been done.

In ‘Suddenly’, midway through the album, Ubong continues to unfold his tales with the same haunting off-beat drum and announcing piano that enters/exits, then re-enters, changing tempos and moods. This arrangement allows for a special layout by drummer James that charms. But when Ogunbiyi’s piano takes over, things become meditative and wondering. There are sudden outbursts of hyped up tempo and emotions, like questioning the purpose of life, then a whimsical return to the basic theme. This is a beautiful reflective piece, and my favourite on the album, as well as the longest song.

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This questioning leads to the boppish ‘Tales of Life’, again with Ogunbiyi’s punctured piano treble runs. The long notes of Ubong’s horn are unwavering, bringing out the melancholic undertones which characterises this album. Some notes deliberately go off-kilter, synonymous with life’s sometimes erratic journey. As in life, one must learn to listen attentively.  “The Earth Meditation” brings the listener back to reflection with the soothing near-silence of Ubong’s fugelhorn.

Ending the album, and befitting a son whose mother passed away too early, ‘Uyai Mi Margaret’ is a beautifully orchestrated song honouring Ubong’s mother, Margaret, as well as all women of this world. It’s a soulful vocal chant that adds meaning to this wonderfully inspiring album.

‘Tales of Life’ displays obvious growth of Ubong’s talents as he journeys his music far and wide, between South Africa, Nigeria (where this album was produced), and soon-to-be other worlds. Stay tuned as this innovative jazz trumpeter brings his African influences to his intriguing improvisational styles.

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Tango Improvised with Afro-Cuban: a Fusion Feast with Escalandrum of Argentina

The recent Capetown International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) was given a special treat – a resurrection of grandmaster Astor Piazolla’s ‘New Tango’ with a special twist by grandson Daniel ‘Pipi’ Piazolla who loves the Afro-Caribbean claves rhythms set to a Tango mood.

Daniel 'Pipi' Piazolla, drummer

Daniel ‘Pipi’ Piazolla, drummer

Grandfather Astor Piazolla has been considered as Argentina’s most celebrated composer and bandoneonist of the ‘New Tango’ which did not include a singer, but wedded improvisational jazz and classical music together.  Two generations later, grandson Daniel ‘Pipi’  Piazolla and his merry Escalandrum sextet band have put aside the traditional bandoneon and violin of former tango years, and added singer, Elena Roger, and a three-horn section plus drum kit.

Escalandrum at CTIJF 2017

         Escalandrum 

Their intention is to promote the sounds of their city, Buenos Aires, which reigns with the tango, but continue to fuse the delightful urban swing with some complicated improvisation techniques, particularly using the sonorous, multi-ranged bass clarinet, a rarity in contemporary jazz.  Pipi says his grandfather hated the dancing that went with his-day tango.  “People should listen, not dance, to tango,” Pipi agrees.

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They love their city of Buenos Aires as well as sharks.  “Escalandrún” is the Argentinian name for a sand shark, the favourite marine animal of the Piazolla family who fish sharks.  One song performed at the Jazz Festival was composed by drummer Pipi to honour sharks.  It was a stunningly haunting piece with the bass clarinet making sonic images of whale and dolphin calls, low rumbles conveying feelings of dark sea depths, and other primordial sounds, even imitating the dirigidoo.

Escalandrum performing at CTIJF 2017

Escalandrum performing at CTIJF 2017

Their performance at CTIJF this year was their first on African soil.  ‘Pipi’ felt there were so many similarities between African rhythms and the tango that they hope to continue more collaborations as Escalandrum perfects their own new age tango improvisations.

Escalandrum at CTIJF 2017 Media Conference

Escalandrum at CTIJF 2017 Media Conference

During my interview with the sextet of large and well-built men, Pipi explained that in 2001, when a crisis in Argentina caused many to leave the country, he and his merry men stayed (his musical buddies formed Escalandrum in 1999);  they felt the pressure to change the folkloric tango and offer uplifting music for their depressed fellow citizens.  Hence, an emphasis on the milonga 5/4 odd meter beats.  “We were more socially inspired than political because the country wasn’t stable. We searched in ourselves; our ages influenced us:  when young we just wanted to play bebop, but as we grew older the mind opened up to other inspiring rhythms.  Everybody was running away, but we wanted to stay here.”

We talked about why Escalandrum was fusing more with Afro-Cuban music.  “The Latin milongas go well with our own folkloric traditions in Argentina:  the chacarera and malambo rhythms in 6/8, the sambo in ¾, and as jazz musicians, we love rhythms.”  Then, why did they move away from the accordion?  “The bandoneon is more difficult to adapt to the improvisational jazz approach which we want to move forward.  In Argentina and particularly in Buenos Aires, we are a melting pot of cultures so we don’t stick to one traditional sound, but branch out and absorb others which have influenced us – like African, North American, and Cuban music.  The bandoneon has actually saved our music, and made it original, but there is other original music we can continue to produce. “

And what was that about Mozart, I asked?  “A festival producer wanted us to bring our interpretation of Mozart in Piazolla form to a festival, as an art form.  Those people interested in classical music were willing to let us be free with our presentations, which is good.   We brought on one of our best classical musicians who also was our teacher and also taught my grandfather, and we performed with only two microphones – very stereophonic.  It was one recording with no mixing, and is available.  It was quite a challenge, however, to play Mozart and Piazolla together!

CD 'Piazolla plays Piazolla' Album Cover

CD ‘Piazolla plays Piazolla’ Album Cover

Escalandrum’s Latin Grammy-winning album, “Piazolla Plays Piazolla”, explains so eloquently and sonorously the dimensions and styles which their contemporary music is using.  Produced in 2011, the album is excitingly polyrhythmic, thanks to the many clave beats grounded in Afro-Cuban/Caribbean varieties.  Each band member has composed songs and infused his own sounds to make this album multi-spirited and innovative.

‘Tanguedia  1” sounds like an angry retort against the flimsy tango dancing people, unsupported by Escalandrum’s style of tango.   “Fuga 9” implants a classical flare which contorts into horn-pronounced  resolution,  followed by a boppish piano trio which seeks to calm down the protesting horns.  This is a well improvised piece, full of jazzic twists that return to the fundamental Piazolla beat.

“Romance del Diablo” starts with low key bass clarinet paired with melodic saxes morphing into a surprising ballad honouring the devil.  Here, the horns spell diabolic images romancing themselves, a winner!

It’s this fusion of the at-times cacophonic improvisation (as in ‘Buenos Aires Hora Cero’), mellow ballad moods, and standard jazz bop, which permits the re-entry of that notorious tango rhythm into the sonicsphere,  that keeps one’s ears eagerly plugged to the band’s conversations.  “Adios Nonino” does this nicely, resolving into a beautiful, almost mournful, song.

One learns the wide range of the bass clarinet, so expertly played by Martin Pantyrer,  which successfully establishes frameworks for both mood and message.

Martin Pantyrer plays bass clarinet & tenor saxophone

Martin Pantyrer plays bass clarinet & tenor saxophone

The beats keep changing between 5-4 time, then the clave 3-2 time, and so on, but the fundamental 4/4 time sounds come from Pipi’s clave, that five-stroke pattern that is at the structural core of many Afro-Cuban rhythms. The album ends with a stunning drum solo by Pipi in ‘Libertango’ that fuses, again, with the basic tango sound and seems to heal and free up the spirit.

Escalandrum sextet

Escalandrum sextet

Pipi explains what influences him:  “The Uruguayan–African influences have molded the Milongo and  malambo mixtures which are heard, such as the  5/4 time. Also, every night I watch YouTube music videos to find something new and interesting. Then in the morning, I try to practice what I heard and explore different sounds.”  Pianist Nicholas Guerschberg says he tries to find new music and ideas and styles so he can play different originals.  The latest project is to combine Mozart with our tango!”  Escalandrum’s latest album,  “SesionesION:Obras de Mozart y Ginastera”, recorded in mid-2016, was released January 4, 2017.

 

'SesionesION' Album Cover

‘SesionesION’ Album Cover

They do sound like friends who have hung out together since youth, who decided to put their talents together into a band in 1999.  Escalandrum has traveled extensively since, winning awards as they merge the Argentinian rhythmic styles more and more with the Afro-Caribbean Latin influences.  Hence, sounds of conga, son, mambo, and salsa spice up their forward-sounding tango and other globally-influenced rhythms.  This is rhythmic excitement at its best!

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Jazz – Wine – Food – Comedy: a Soul Cleansing

Love wine?  Love it more:  pair it with that food for the soul – jazz – complemented with a good dose of belly-shaking comedy, all which works up the appetite for that 3-course delectable meal from award-winning chefs where different wines are paired with the different dishes on offer.

12289647_923882977704178_750311950479883073_nComedian Lindi & Hassan'adas

MmWHaaaa!  Now that’s an afternoon to follow the annual Capetown International Jazz Festival as festive spirits literally spilled over into Sunday jazz brunches, wine tastings, and the like.

It’s not just about that wine bottle, or that particular jazz band, or about that colourful starter at table.  It’s about experiencing, moving the culinary and emotional juices to realize what wholesome healing can take place and what wonderful memories can endure into the week ahead.

Wines

Sip by Sip does just that by creating opportunities for marketing South Africa’s finest wines and addressing the ‘new age’ needs of various wine aficionados who wish to combine taste experiences.  Not just good taste in the culinary, but in music and entertainment.  “A voyage to enchanting places, and encounter with remarkable people, and the delight of good food and cultural experiences,” is Sip by Sip’s visionary purpose, and delightful it is.

Da Capo Wine Estate

Da Capo Wine Estate

Thanks to Sip by Sip’s event, “Sunday in the Vines”, I was honoured the experience of imbibing wines from Italian cultivars with my 3-course meal at the Da Capo wine estate, high up in the Hottentot Holland mountains of Sir Lowry’s Pass in Somerset West, Western Cape.  This event ‘paired’ with the annual Jazz Festival, particularly for those who couldn’t attend the festival but could benefit from one of Capetown’s finest jazz band, on this day being “Hassan’adas”, a vibrant combination of Mozambiquan and South African musicians of the highest quality. Da Capo is owned and run by the Bottega family of Italian descent, hence the marketing of fine Italian wines of the Idiom brand.

Views around winery

After winding up through some 4 kilometres of mountain scenery on a tarred road, one arrives at the estate’s restaurant which boasts almost 360 degrees of luscious mountain and sea views. Da Capo is the most southern winery in the Western Cape, with high exposures to wind, rain, and sun, all which have created a certain ambiance for the Sip by Sip event.  I walk into the event hearing the high-pitched soothing contralto voice of the band’s lead singer, Jaco Maria, ringing magically in the air back by an inviting percussion. I am handed a glass of the bubbly, a carbonated white wine (champagne?).

Comedian Ndumiso Lindi

Comedian Ndumiso Lindi

After the performance, the entourage of invited guests and others, coming from corporate, business, and individual worlds, go to the ‘comedy’ hall for a genuinely funny 20 minute celebration delivered by comedian, Ndumiso Lindi (aka Roosta).  He certainly offered well-heeled and slick digs at current political and ethnic struggles in the country which didn’t depress, but rather elevated one’s tummy to overall shakes and gaffaws – a delightful pre-lunch appetite booster.

Upstairs in the Idiom Restaurant, our palates received delightfully succulent dishes paired with the Da Capo varieties.  And fine they were:  the Whalehaven Pinotage Rose served with my beetroot salad starter,

Beet root soup & Whalehaven Rose

Beet root soup salad & Whalehaven Rose

Mushroom ravioli with goat cheese & hazelnut

then the white Sangiovese 2013 served with the elegant mushroom filled ravioli.

Mushroom ravioli with goat cheese & hazelnut

Succulence continued with an Amaretto Coffee Tiramisu for dessert, followed by wine tastings downstairs.

Sip by Sip plans to focus on South African wines as it manages events that promote also the other talents of the Cape, namely jazz, chefs, and of course, comedy.  But plan for a whole afternoon out with friends or family, as the entertainment flows through the hours. Besides offering quality-sourced wines and accessories, and a wide range of other services, Sip by Sip events are designed to create memorable experiences through wine tours and tastings, and wine, food and culture pairings.

 

What a wonderful way to showcase the quality and authenticity of South African creative talents. Even if you don’t or can’t drink wine or alcohol, the events are sure to entertain through multi-dimensional experiences with the culinary and the cultural.

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Parlato and Washington: TWO AMERICAN JAZZ ARTISTS FROM DIFFERENT ILKS…..

Post-CTIJF 2017 Notes from the Underground #1

Kamasi Washington; courtesy John Lamparski

Kamasi Washington; courtesy John Lamparski

They grew up in the same city of Los Angeles.  They both studied ethnomusicology at the University of Los Angeles. Both come from musical and artistic families who supported their artistic growth. The common thread of rhythm, sensitivity, and intelligence punctuates their exceptionally unique sounds. Yet, their styles of improvisation are as different as their own ethnic backgrounds and communities.

Gretchen Parlato at CTIJF 2017Parlato 1-1

Songbird Gretchen Parlato’s quiet, whimsical and careful emoting style  vs  saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s protesting, raw but enlightening sonic outbursts in his choral, orchestral, and improvised music on the large Kippie’s stage of the Festival, she on the listening stage of Rosies.

Gretchen Parlato

Parlato hisses, clicks, and hushes into her microphone while clapping gentle beats with her hands, supported by husband, Mark Guiliana’s off-beat clickety clacks on basic drums.    Born into a richly musical family in Los Angeles, CA, Parlato has cultivated musical dimensions from multiple sources who have lavished praise on her, like American jazz musician of note, Wayne Shorter:  “There’s simply no one out there like Gretchen Parlato.”

Gretchen Parlato band at CTIJF 2017

Gretchen Parlato band at CTIJF 2017

Her performance on the Rosies Stage at the Capetown International Jazz Festival 2017 brought sighs and awe to a highly charged crowd which gave her a standing ovation after her riveting and rhythmically enduring concert. We floated home after her last ballad, a catchy ditty that rang in the head for days.

In her Masterclass, offered a day before her performance, Parlato stressed the three levels of analysis she uses to characterise and deliver a song:  On a more basic level is the emotional, with the tools to feel and indulge the impulses, messages, and tones of a song. “Examine what the lyricist or song writer is trying to convey in the music and what emotions affect the listener or deliverer of the song.” At the middle level is the technical, how a song is constructed, what techniques are used to deliver the song. “Ask yourself: what process did the writer go through to write the song.” At a higher level is the spiritual, how the song connects with others, and what higher thoughts or consciousness are realised because of the song’s delivery and message.  She had started her Masterclass with a 10-minute unspoken meditation to introduce the audience to her process of creating. That mellowed all.

In chatting with Parlato, she explains her stylistic technique with humble recommendations:

I asked: what did she want to convey in her songs, whether written by her or by others?   “Every song I perform is an extension of my personal connection.  There should always be some work with a song about ‘the story’, but also a personal injection, about what is genuine and honest for me.”

She has sung on some 70 albums and produced four of her own. And what is genuine and right for her now?  “Every album is a portrait of what’s happening in my life.  The last album “live in NYC” contains love songs that question our life, the meaning of life, our existence, why we’re here.   I wrote these songs with what was for me a twist of irony and sarcasm, but someone else might interpret them differently.  I think that’s good – to allow the listener to have their own interpretation.  A song I sang five years ago, if sung now, would come from a different place in my life experience, and be expressed that way.”

Parlato 4

I found Parlato exudes a strong confidence with herself.  “It comes from being honest and true to myself.”  We discussed what suggestions she could give to those female singers coming from marginalized backgrounds, for instance the Black South Africans musicians, in how to project themselves with honesty and confidence?

“Everyone has pain and pleasure in their life, at different degrees and intensities. One should do soul-searching to find out who they are, their background and history, and find out what their talents or gifts are. Find out what their learned behaviour is, does it come from their parents, or from some event that happened that caused a change? Then try to write about it, in poetry or words. I recommend journaling.   I journal so that I can record that stream of consciousness that flows…….It just might turn into a song, or just bring out some truthful thinking about oneself.  This is about getting comfortable with yourself, and your agency.  Everyone has something to share, whether it is sorrow, or tragedy, or something uplifting. This is when confidence comes, when you see that truth, and you’re willing to share it.  Then your song becomes helpful and therapeutic to others who hear it.”

Parlato’s music is very polyrhythmic, so she explained where that comes from. “Yes, my high school, Los Angeles School for the Arts, exposed me to the different arts, with a West African drum teacher, teachers from the UCLA Ethnomusicology Department where I studied later, with Javanese ensembles, and many other groups. Then, at UCLA, I pursued the cultures and rhythms through music and dance.”

Kamasi Washington

On the other large Kippies Stage, saxophonist Kamasi Washington exploded with his 10-piece band, including his own brother, Rickey, on a delightful flute.

Kamasi Washington at CTIJF 2017  Kamasi Washington at CTIJF2017

Washington’s three-album The Epic (Brainfeeder label) stirred up critics’ charts and listeners in 2015, and contains his own compositions in collaboration with a variety of artists ranging from choral to hip hop to orchestral to electronic grooves.  Indeed, an epic fusion.

The Epic album cover

The Epic album cover

As we chatted, he explained his epic three-disc album : “ I wanted the album to speak my own mind for a change.  I had always been playing other people’s music.  I wanted something that was completely me, to put it all out there at once. There were some consultations about the songs with masterful musicians, but because the musicians were close friends, I could run with it freely.”  Thundercat, the electric bassist, is one of Washington’s top five musicians he applauds, as he led his Masterclass listeners to understand what influenced him to ‘break away’ from other mainstream jazz and make his own fusions with a variety of hip hop, R&B, and choral genres.

Washington humbly presented his wish to know South African musicians better, citing Hugh Masekela as a big influence on his early musical years.  “My father used to play Hugh’s records over and over, and I grew to really dig him.  This opened my ears also to other Africans, like Fela.”

Kamasi Washington Masterclass at CTIJF 2017

Kamasi Washington Masterclass at CTIJF 2017

As an African-American, Washington confirmed a desire to spend more time with Africans (aka indigenous or ‘black’) on this continent because he felt a connection. “I listened to the kids outside this hotel playing drums and dancing.  My African-American culture comes from here – it is African culture.  I feel a connection.  My dual connection is to Africa and to my own community – I think about troubles here in Africa as being similar to ours at home.” He says he learned a lot from the Academy of Music of Alexander High School in Beverlywood, Los Angeles, “but it’s in my home area of Watts (which experienced serious riots during the 1960s civil rights marches) where I hear the rhythms, language, tones, and emotions from my people, and where I feel free to express myself”.

Kamasi Washington being interviewed 2 April 2017

Kamasi Washington being interviewed 2 April 2017

What messages, i.e. political, is he trying to convey, if any, in his music?  “I guess music and politics are intertwined.  I don’t force the music either way, just infuse it with my views on society. I don’t see myself as a politician, but I have strong views on how the state of things should be or currently is. I don’t present anything directly political, but try to infuse my thoughts and sensitivities into a song.”

And how does he see jazz education in American black communities, mentioning how ‘decolonizing’ of curriculum is now an important issue in South African arts, in the curriculum, and in learning processes?  “We call it ‘institutionalizing’ which has caused lots of problems with the arts, with equality issues. Schools in urban African-American communities don’t have music programs at all.  And where music is taught in the other schools, African-American music isn’t necessarily taught. That’s why I’ve stayed close to my cultural community of Watts. Our other issue in schools is to obtain instruments, just to be able to have classes.  African-Americans grow up with music in churches where there’s some instruments, but our schools don’t have the instruments for teaching and learning.”

The CTIJF 2017 event was all the richer because of these two incredibly innovative artists and their bands.

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The unique Blue Note at Sea Jazz Cruise haunts the Caribbean

From 4 -11 February 2017, this maiden voyage of the ‘Blue Note at Sea’ out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was the third back-to-back jazz cruise for some 6000 like-minded passengers organized by Entertainment Cruise Productions (ECP), a slick and well-experienced company having run over 60 full ship programs all over the world for decades. Named after the sponsoring jazz record label, the Blue Note cruise was hosted by the Blue Note Records President, Don Was, and program-managed by the very personable bassist, Marcus Miller, with interviews conducted by the fusion saxophonist extraordinaire, David Sanborn.

On stage: Dave Sanborn, Wycliff Gordon, Marcus Miller

On stage: Dave Sanborn, Wycliff Gordon, Marcus Miller

Don Was interviewing Gregory Porter

Don Was interviewing Gregory Porter

 

Marcus Miller interviewing Diane Reeves

Marcus Miller interviewing Diane Reeves

Obviously, the artists featured on this cruise were all Blue Note labelled who could easily promote the brand. They were not only dons in their own jazz genre over the ages (aka decades) in American jazz circles, but were buddies, having mixed and matched their talents with various band configurations that promoted their own individual creativity over time, domestically as well as internationally. The offerings for 7 nights constituted one long well delivered type of ‘jam session’ starting from 5pm each day and lasting until well after 1am, as performers moved from one stage to another, remarkably (by the organizers) with very little overlap in schedules. Most bands borrowed each other’s artists, almost incestuously. And most performers could stay on the ship during the whole cruise with the exception of one or two. The only ‘oh-shucks’ moment came when four artists had to leave the ship early in order to travel to the Los Angeles-based Grammy Awards ceremony where their nominations translated into awards. These were, not surprisingly, multi-Grammy award recipients: Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, pianist Robert Glasper (USA), singer Gregory Porter(USA), and singer Lalah Hathaway.

Lalah Hathaway

Lalah Hathaway

Chucho Valdez on stage

Chucho Valdez on stage

A major import to this USA-based cruise was the exciting London-based Ronnie Scotts’ House Band which featured the thrilling singer, Natalie Williams, who unashamedly took late-nighters through energetic jam sessions in the appropriately named ‘Revelations’ Lounge. They also kicked off the music at day 1 disembarkation at the pool side,

Natalie Williams at poolside

Natalie Williams at poolside

What swelled for the following days and evenings were not the seawaves, but the swing, the cool sounds of jazz all over the ship. Another ‘house’ band which entertained, but incurred unfortunate time conflicts, was the Celebrity X Summit House Band led by South African-born, New Zealand- resident, Andrea Lisa who sang as well as played guitar. They offered youthful bursts of improvisations, a bit of rock and pop, and danceable songs that pleased the seasoned crowd.

Rubbing shoulders with the artists before and after their gigs, and taking selfies with these celebrities was permitted, but not interviews, at least formal ones. This is America’s music industry – one must work through the musicians’ agents. Nevertheless, Marcus Miller was easy to find wandering the ship

Program Manager Marcus Miller

Program Manager Marcus Miller

 

and availing his friendly self to passing chats with passengers, as were other artists when their time and energies permitted. Most, however, remained a bit hidden from the masses, and for due reason, many preparing for their daily gigs.

Energy is key on an event-filled cruise like this. Sleeping ‘late’ might mean missing a morning shore excursion in San Juan, or opportunity to just walk around on the sands of Haiti’s Labadee island (exclusive only to cruise ships) and enjoy the sea breezes. One might forsake those hefty lunches or dinners in order to slip away for a power nap (on the beach or cabin bed) that recharges for the evening rackets.

Most cruises offer choices of activities, but for the music lover, the jazz never stopped.

The Horns talk to us

The Horns talk to us

Marcus Miller, Dave Sanborn, and Don Was held interviews with featured musicians which took the listener to realms of the artist’s creativity not well known or previously broadcast.

The youngest on board, 23-year old saxophonist, Grace Kelly, held her own amongst these legends with grand poise.

Besides individual interviews, instrumental groups had their say, my favourite being the drummer group made up of the indomitable Greg Hutchinson, Miller’s drummer, Greg Bailey, The Bad Plus’s energetic drummer, Dave King, and the awesome Billy Kilson.

The drummers talk to us

The drummers talk to us

Sanborn’s conversational style steered the chats well, inserting his own multi-layered experiences playing with the various musicians. Bountiful stories emerged, adding dimensions of wit and depths of learning about what jazz and improvisation in the music industry is all about.

Day 1 set the pace with a blue-skyed Saturday, Feb 4, as the 2100 passenger Celebrity Summit left the Fort Lauderdale port to slowly steam eastward first to the Bahamas, then on to Puerto Rico. I didn’t have time to gape out of my ocean view cabin as there were other things to do, like listen to live jazz! As I got into the elevator, I tripped over Gregory Porter’s little boy wallowing on the elevator flour and heard Porter’s sonorous voice announce to fellow passengers how ‘this naughty boy’ is giving him a hard time!

Gregory Porter by poolside

Gregory Porter by poolside

Porter excused himself as he and child exited the elevator and wished us all good times! Later, I reminded Gregory how we met at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival a few years back, something he well remembered. What I recall back then, as I sat at his rehearsal led by conductor and trumpeter Marcus Wyatt, was the band waiting some 45 min for Porter to arrive! Apparently his manager was not informed of the exact time of this important rehearsal for that evening’s performance!! Oh well….. Noone would have known!

During disembarkation at 4pm sharp, the poolside was bustling as the Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars kicked off the 7 day festival. Boy, did that set the pace! I took some videos of that fun bash, took free celebratory drinks on hand, then popped down to the Rendezvous lounge for Joshua Redman and his group – it was his drummer Greg Hutchinson that blew me away.

Joshua Redman

Joshua Redman

He later played with the Peter Martin’s trio. At that point, after this energetic set, I didn’t care where I was going…..I was just going with that jazz flow!! The Greek-born, Ecuador-resident Captain Alex told us where we were going in his comical and zesty way. He was clearly into the vibe as well. Robert Glasper’s trio came on next at the main Celebrity Theater stage at 9pm.

Robert Glasper on stage

Robert Glasper on stage

Thanks to Glasper’s usual comic wit and not too subtle digs at his own fame and fortune, we enjoyed his self-toasting and, at times, roasting. This evening kick-off was just the beginning of evening sessions happening throughout the week which witnessed artists whimsically indulging in comical presentation about their often erratic mis-notes and fancy feelings about their own artistry, all in the name of entertainment. And it was.

 

Wycliff Gordon with Marcus Miller on stage

Wycliff Gordon with Marcus Miller on stage

Drummer Dave King with The Bad Plus on stage

Drummer Dave King with The Bad Plus on stage

Around 10.30pm, I wonder up to the 11th floor’s Revelations Lounge which becomes the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at sea, a small intimate venue for good listening and interactions. The Cuban trio of Harold Lopez-Nussa were performing, his brother on drums and a younger up and coming double bassist blowing me away. Boy, was this place humming with its blue ceiling lighting and purple hues that matched my jersey. Yeah, it was air conditioned and ‘chilly’, maybe around 20 degrees C, in spite of the warm(er) air outside. The cocktail booklet greeted my table with $10 drinks. Lopez’s melodic piano and his percussionist sitting on his box drum pounding away with a soft salsa was a welcomed change from Glasper’s philosophic and intense solo piano. By 11pm I was already on overload – but bassist Marcus Miller and Grammy-award singer, Lalah Hathaway, were just starting on the large theatre stage!

Lalah Hathaway on stage

Lalah Hathaway on stage with saxophonist Alex Han

What would the rest of the week be like, I pondered nervously, wondering if my age and beauty could keep up with it all!! It was a very sound sleep that followed after midnight. I was reaching the beginnings of my musical nirvana….

See more photos at: www.bluenoteatsea.com/gallery-2017

Sunset clouds

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Pianist Kyle Shepherd’s sonic scaffolding continues to enthrall: an Interview.

Grounding a song with left hand pounding out the steady chords, while the right fingers tickled lines, chords, and pearly runs up and down the heavily microphoned piano, the listener was carried through soundscapes of the Kyle Shepherd Trio’s vast repertoire once again.

Kyle Shepherd

                        Kyle Shepherd

On 25 February, Shepherd trio fans experienced another jolt as this 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year pianist, Kyle Shepherd, and his very loyal double bassist Shane Cooper and drummer Jonno Sweetman raised the Reeler Theater roof again at Capetown’s Rondebosh Boy’s High School.  Coopers’ intense plucks and plunks dialoguing with Sweetman’s clackety, forceful drums exploded into crescendos of delight as the trio maneuvered through old and new Shepherd compositions.

You could tell, see, hear, and feel these peers listening intently to each other. They had to; and have done so for the past 9 years.  That’s the make-up of these three masters of their craft as they collaborate, offering their individual sounds. Shepherd’s newer compositions crafted a lot of behind-the-beat, and in-front-of-the-beat, and delayed, punctuated beats on several songs, playing around with off beats that are becoming common in his forward-looking musical journey.

Kyle Shepherd trio in Japan, May  2016

Kyle Shepherd trio at Straight No Chaser; credit: Gregory Franz

The 94-minute session was only interrupted when the pianist looked into the audience, and apologized for the lights still being on.   They were quickly dimmed.  The thirsty pianist also had to ask for water which might have embarrassed the stage organizers somewhat.  But maybe not.

Shane Cooper at Reeler 25 Feb 2017; credit: Gregory Franz

Shane Cooper at Reeler 25 Feb 2017; credit: Gregory Franz

What Shepherd did not tell the audience, even amidst the cameras and sound recording equipment strewn across the stage, was that this concert was the second and final recital required for completing his Masters degree!  It would be submitted digitally as a video presentation.  But even if the audience knew this, I have no doubts that their applause, standing ovations, whistles and cat calls of appreciation would have been less intense,  for this concert was very special, indeed, a culmination of a decade’s worth of hard work, commitment, and growth in developing talents.

Kyle 1

I caught up with Kyle before his concert:

CM:  We live in a strange world where artistry is being stressed out. Some artists are more political than others.  Listeners don’t want to hear about politics either, preferring to listen to music to relax. Yet some artists are message-givers, like Gregory Porter, who writes his own lyrics.  What’s your message now?

KS:  In the beginning of my career, I focused on my ethnic and traditional background.  After the first 3 albums of this, I felt I had to move on towards more global sounds and transcending borders more.  I think borders are human fabrications. I discovered this after traveling for 10 years and meeting people from so many different places around the world, only to see how common we all are.  So the music I’m writing now reflects these realizations I’ve gleaned over the years.  I don’t feel the strong pull to create cultural music of the past.

CM:  Are you saying that perhaps your music is moving into, what some would say, is an ‘intellectual’ mode?

KS:  I think a little bit.  It had to happen a little bit. But it’s not purely intellectual.  I had to start combining other elements.   Now, the sound is more expansive, but in a concert setting I can go in between these two worlds, and can play just Cape cultural music for 30 or 40 minutes if I feel like it. Or, if I play with Xhosa or Zulu musicians, I feel very comfortable with their type of sound….playing Mbaqanga for 90 minutes or more.  Now, with my trio, we have metric challenges in the compositions, but for me, it’s what music I’m feeling in my heart that counts.

CM:  You’re starting to touch on style, and I was wondering how or if your band members are influencing you.  How do you collaborate?

KS:  We’ve been together for 9 years.  In the beginning, for the first 3 years, I had a singular vision on the sound I wanted to create.  I was studying all these cultural influences from South Africa, like what Abdullah Ibrahim and Zim Ngqawana and Winston Mankunku were doing, and I wanted to combine these with my jazz style.   And then, I hit a ceiling – from lack of inspiration, and that necessitates a whole different type of research.  I started this research with my band members because Shane and Jonno came from a totally different cultural and economic background to mine.  So the type of music they were talking about on our planes and buses wasn’t the type of music I grew up with.   I had a ‘lightbulb’ moment, thankfully!  I realized that if I want to expand my scope, I can start with the people they were talking about…. Mostly rock musicians.  Rock wasn’t a sound I knew at all in my upbringing.  My Cape flats life – we listened to R&B, soul, smooth jazz – stuff like that.  Then I started listening to RadioHead smashing funk and rock, and loved the energy and found the spirit quite akin to what we as a trio do in jazz…..sometimes frantic, sometimes crazy, really energetic.  So that’s what we do but sonically on a much smaller scale!  So Shane and Jonno influenced me in that way.  I felt like writing music for all of us and keeping everyone’s musical personality in mind.  The emotional investment in the sound becomes like their own stuff. I found we are all connected on a much higher level as I wrote for them.

CM:  I notice that you seem to prefer the acoustic piano, yet have played the electric piano with other groups, like on Claude Cozen’s “Jubilee Jam” album.  Is that so?

KS:  I have no aversion to the electronic instruments at all –  I have a few keyboards at home.  I use the electronic more with the film and documentaries I’ve written for because I love the analog synthesizers.  If I could afford it, I’d have a room full of Moogs.  I love sounds and the analog ones.

This sound is coming back into contemporary music , like Radio Head, and the Little Dragon. They’re all using analogs now and  I love synthesizers.

But when I think of the trio,  I think acoustic, since we’re all playing acoustic. If others are playing electronic bass, for instance, I can play electric piano.  But it comes down to the sound you want to create with the individual band members.

CM:  Sometimes you put things on the piano strings – like cardboard or paper  –  to get a specific sound effect, which may alter the traditional acoustic sound…. But you convey a message.

KS:  Yeah, I like doing that.  It’s almost like using the analog synthesis without the wires.  As you know, I play a lot of other instruments. But I find that sonically, the piano is very one-dimensional. You plonk a note and it stays as that note.  With a bass or saxophone, you can bend notes.  So I like to create other textures using what we call ‘prepared piano’ which means putting things on the strings to get sound effects.

CM:  Cultivating the traditional instrumental jazz idiom, however it’s done, is a lifelong mission.  But you are now delving into the world of film scoring.  Is this because there are more opportunities in this genre, particularly here where there is a growing film industry in South Africa, or is it something you like?

KS:  On a practical level,  I had to make a decision.  Here in Capetown now, there are no more jazz venues to play at, whereas for years I had gigs 4-5 times a week with no problem.  I could pay the bills and perform.  Now, the film opportunity came.  I love film, my wife’s a film buff, and her father is a film director.  So we take note of the cinematography and the score – we’ve always done that.  And there’s composition in film.  It’s not just compiling pre-recorded music for film; it’s actually intense composition.   At first, I wasn’t sure it was for me, but when I got to the end of my first film scoring which was for Noem My Skollie, I felt that this was something I can do, that I would like to do.

CM:  Your songs were featured in other films, like Action Kommandant, about Ashley Kriel….

KS:  Yeah, those were already pre-recorded.  But for Noem, the songs were originally composed for the film.  Again, I loved the idea of Noem My Skollie because the sound you can operate in is so expansive – from orchestras to crazy sound module stuff which I love.   If I could do one or two films a year, I’d be very happy.  My ideal life going forward is doing both:  performing and film scoring.

CM:  You write poetry. Are you interested in writing lyrics for songs?

KS:  I used to write counterparts to my compositions, but not any more.  I used to read live as part of the performance.  It’s not something I’m particularly interested in doing now.   But if I compose something, and there’s an inspiration for a text, then that’s cool.

CM:  Interested in playing any other instruments?

KS:  (Ha ha ha!).  My practice routine now is …..  my music is heavily baseline driven.  I play this odd-metre repeated chords with my left hand, while with the right hand, I tap out on the snare drum for 30 minutes.  This helps to develop rootedness  and stamina of my left hand while also keeping the grooviness going.  You have to be groovy when you play drums, there’s no other way!!!  So that’s my practice thing, playing odd-time signatures and repeated patterns with the left hand but playing drums at the same time with a drum stick in the right hand. It’s also fun.

I had struggled to make practice fun which is part of the challenge!  After ten years of playing, you have to make fun.  Otherwise, it’s just mechanical.  I tell my private students this all the time.

CM:  Are you interested in teaching?

KS:  I’m finishing my  Masters degree at Stellenbosh University. It was funded by the British Council. I focused on half performance, half research  – an orthography of my own process of composing and improvising, and interrogated Abdullah Ibrahim and Zim Ngqawana’s process as I know it from their work and writings.  This opens up new opportunities, perhaps, for education and teaching, but I don’t see myself there yet.

CM:  There was a time when you were collaborating with another group in a festival – with the Beatenberg  band.  In terms of the future of South African jazz, is your music remaining in the ‘jazz’ genre, if that’s what you want to call it? Many ‘jazz’ musicians renounce the description, saying  “I just play music”!

KS:  Yeah.  I feel the same.  We can’t take improvisation away, because the way we phrase is jazz.  But now there’s so much influence from contemporary music  in what we’re doing, from classical music to ethnic or primitive music .  I can’t call it just one thing anymore.  But festival producers and record label producers – it helps them  to catalogue ‘jazz’.   The different textures and emotions and themes all piled into one sound – is hard to define.

Kyle trio in Japan May 2016; credit:  Seigo Matsunaga

Kyle trio in Japan May 2016; credit: Seigo Matsunaga

CM:  Speaking about emotions.  I found a quote you made that referenced ‘emotional disposition of a character in a scene’,  ‘sonic scaffolding for those emotions’,  – you’re using very poetic words here – ‘emotional anonymity’ ….

KS:  I had to learn how to write when doing my thesis – that was a big thing, to write properly!  What I meant by ‘emotional anonymity’, when I wrote my solo works on my own albums, there’s a deep emotional investment in it – like an emotional rollercoaster.  But what I like about composing for films is that there’s the requirement to just tell the story; my own emotions fall by the wayside, they don’t count.   By ‘emotional scaffolding’, I mean create the sound, the spine of what’s being seen.  What you see on the screen falls onto the sound.   The music is a very important part of filmmaking.

CM:  You would consider yourself to be a very visual person?  You’re driven by visuals.

KS:  Yeah,  I think so.  When I see star performances by actors in films, it tells me what kind of sound I have to produce, what I have to compose.  For me, it’s a welcome release from having to compose something solo or concert music because you have none of that emotional pictorial context.  All that content, all the narrative is coming from you, by yourself.

CM:  Have you considered doing slides and visuals put to your music?

KS:  Right now, I’m collaborating with a photographer.  We’re doing a performance on 11 May at the Youngblood Gallery in Bree Street.  I’ll work with his photo projections.

CM:  Anything else?

KS:  I went through a really bad period with the closing of venues in Capetown for gigs. It really depressed me.  My plea is do something, who’s going to help us musicians?  Traveling has become very difficult with prices so high.  Also, my trio has lost two possible performances in the U.S. because of the change of government there now, and the sponsoring organizations are not sure of funds coming in to support jazz/music efforts.  One in New York, one in Washington DC.

But with the film prospects in South Africa, the future is looking brighter now with many film productions in Capetown and a lot more funding is becoming available.  So there’s something to do there.  As a composer, I’m quite excited about that.  But as an artist, I would love to be able to play in concerts and gigs with my trio, with appreciative audiences, and with different collaborations – through jazz and also composing for visual media projects.  That’s what I’m working hard towards, where I would like things to go.  It’s like I’m at the beginning of my composing career!  It’s like ten years all over again.  You know, when my first few albums were released, I was flying all over the country doing gigs and launches, driving to radio stations to deliver my CDs, etc., essentially doing the leg work to promote my music.  Luckily, with the digital age, things have become a bit easier to promote oneself.  But now,  with my composing career, I’m doing the same thing, just not physically.

@&@&@&@&@&@&@&@&@&@&@

In an announcement made on Thursday, 16 Feb 2017, Kyle Shepherd, who composed the film score for Noem My Skollie / Call Me Thief, was nominated for South African Film & Television Award [SAFTA] for Best Achievement in an Original Music Score in a Feature Film.  In a major feat, the film scored 10 SAFTA nominations including Best Feature Film & Best Director (Daryne Joshua).  The original soundtrack of the film is now available for purchase, worldwide, on all major digital retail platforms via Gallo Record Company.

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Jazz trumpeter, Feya Faku, knights drummer Jeff Siegel’s Quartet in kingly fashion in “King of Xhosa” CD.

Feya Faku, trumpet; Jeff 'Siege' Siegel, drums

Feya Faku, trumpet; Jeff ‘Siege’ Siegel, drums

American drummer, Jeff Siegel, has discovered and gleefully responded to the beckoning African sounds from a musical ‘king’ of the Xhosa people in South Africa, trumpet and fugelhorn wizard, Feya Faku. For those who know him, Faku is known to carry himself certainly in a kingly, but humble, way with the various peers he has played with around the world. As special artist on Siegel’s latest album, “King of Xhosa”, he has indeed knighted Siegel’s Quartet with stunning applause and African sound dimensions that are very special. Both musicians have benefited as teachers of jazz in their respective countries which might explain how the multi-faceted songs landed in this album, with lots of sharing of compositions amongst band members: Erica Lindsay presents her sonorous tenor saxophone on most tracks; pianist Francesca Tanksley keeps the pace, sometimes with a heavy bottom clef or whimsical treble runs, as in her ‘Prayer’; and bassist Rich Syracuse, also a professor, holds the backline tightly, with percussionist Fred Berryhill filling in with samba and other African rhythms.

Xhosa-cover-web

This eclectic album, released this January 2017 by Artists Recording Collective label, starts and ends with Africanness, thanks to Faku’s praise vocals in the beginning ‘Totem’ and Berryhill’s percussion at the end song ‘Umngqungqo (Rhythm)’. In between, the album boasts a mosaic of impressions: open sonic spaces of the South African countryside with Faku’s fugelhorn brilliantly invoking spiritual calling and elephant roars, as in ‘Call to Spirits’; post-bebop tributes to struggling musicians, as in Tanksley’s ‘Life on the Rock’; unattended heros, like Faku’s teachers who gave so much towards cultural growth in others, as in the duo, ‘Courage’ and ‘Unsung’. The latter soulfully presents that familiar Faku touch strengthened by an eloquent Siegel drum solo.

But it’s the prayerful, spiritual nature of mood and message that grabs as Faku weaves his horn’s melodies through solemn chats with Lindsay’s saxophone, as in the thought-provoking ‘Prayer’, which is Siegel’s favourite song on the album.

Erica Lindsay. Courtesy: Francesca-11

Erica Lindsay. Courtesy: Francesca-11

Faku continues to develop his spiritual soundscape by wandering mournfully through “Ballad of the Innocent”, a beautifully crafted piece by Siegel written after the Brussels bombing. It speaks to a need for reflective quietude so that humanity can realize peace and hope for a better world. One hears the pain and struggle for this through Faku’s sensitive manoeuvres as he reverently enhances the mood through conversations with the tenor saxophone. His familiar signature tone is heard also in a ballad-soothing, ‘Inner Passion’, which both Faku and Siegel agree all musicians must have to drive their musicality.

Siegel’s drums set the pace in ‘Gotta Get To It’, an upbeat message after a lilting slow ballad. One hears Coltrane influences from saxophonist and educator Lindsay who penned this piece, which explains her love for bop. The sax and trumpet make carefree play, frolicking very nicely over the keys and rhythms. Once appropriately woken up from a musical slumber, the album intersects with fast beats dominated by Siegel’s skilled percussive direction, like in the salsa inspired “Erica’s Bag”.

Francesca Tanksley

Francesca Tanksley

Feya Faku not only boasts a distinctly clear and relatively uncomplicated sound with clean runs and tonation on his instruments, but also continually activates his intuitive ears which enable him to collaborate with so many other greats. He cannot be ‘compared’ with others; his uniqueness, both in musical mechanics, spirit, and technique can best be measured by the honesty of delivery he gives to so many of his albums. This album shines with Faku’s integrity. And it’s Afro-fusion has rubbed off on the Jeff Siegel Quartet in very special ways.

"King of Xhosa" Jeff Siegel Quartet with Feya Faku

“King of Xhosa” Jeff Siegel Quartet with Feya Faku

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