UK magazine Jazzwise has published their 20 best albums of 2020. I haven’t read the magazine, it’s not one I follow any more on my limited budget. For reasons known only to them, the page in the link only shows the top 17 albums with a quick review of each and some clips to watch. Some interesting choices.
Many thanks to the nice AW peeps who put me wise about Get_iPlayer. I can now copy and keep the few select TV shows that I’m interested in.
There have been some great YouTube streamed concerts during this here lockdown. It would be nice to keep a few of them for the long winter nights to come. Any tips?
Still wearing my jazz hat, and a very fine titfer it is too. The (virtual) festival started on Monday 16th and finishes on Sunday 22nd November. Lots of free online YouTube and Mixcloud concerts and if you follow the site link that hopefully is somewhere in this post, you will find further links to concerts and a pair of extensive YouTube and Spotify “taster” playlists. In past years I have tried to get to at least some (finances and free time permitting) LJF concerts. Tickets for the big names always used to sell out almost immediately and tended to be outside my price range anyway. There are less US stars than usual this year but plenty of homegrown and European talent available. Dig in or ignore. Your choice.
Someone thought African women weren’t getting the same chance to play music as the men, so these young girls were provided with instruments and tuition, with pretty good results. The girls of Star Feminine Band were brought up and live in Natitingou, a remote town in the north of Benin, West Africa. Aged between 10 and 17 years, the girls had never touched a guitar or drumkit before they met in 2016. But what about their music, you say? A lively mix of Garage Rock, Highlife and Congolese Rumba was how Gilles Peterson described them when he played a track on his Saturday radio show. A few UK DJs have picked up on them. Loads of energy there and it sounds like they’re having a lot of fun.
At 12 noon a performance of part of Gustav Holst’s “Mars” will take place. 20% of the piece will be played, by freelance musicians conducted by David Hill. This performance will be followed by 2 minutes silence. Only 20% to be played because the government’s latest SEISS grant only offers a maximum of 20% support for freelancers. The event will be Covid-19 safe and adhere strictly to social distancing regulations. It will be reported live as it happens on the Musicians Union Twitter Feed. Later in the day union General Secretary Horace Trubridge will be speaking to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which you can watch live on Parliament TV from 4pm. Some AfterWorders may know Horace better for his stint in Darts, when he was known as Horatio Hornblower.
Summer ’17 we had the first swap. No theme was set, just whatever participants wanted to put on their discs. Spring ’18 was Swap No. 2. This one was themed and the theme was “Cold”. Autumn ’18 was Swap No. 3. The theme this time was “Space”. Spring ’19 brought Swap No. 4 and the theme was “White”. December ’19 gave us Swap No. 5. The theme was “Change”.
Now it’s the Autumn of 2020, we’ve shaken our fists at a plague and, while sitting at home twiddling our thumbs we’ve debated whether the CD is dead or struggling on life support. Should we swap or not?
An amazing life, lived to the full. Girlfriend to Miles Davis, friend of Jean-Paul Sartre. Both Lennon and McCartney fancied her like mad. She was the inspiration for McCartney’s “Michelle”.
One of jazz music’s most prolific and creative composers. A tenor (and later soprano) saxophonist of distinction. He first came to prominence with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in 1959, where he quickly became Art’s musical director and composed many pieces. He moved on to Miles Davis’ second great quintet where he again was a major composer and, according to his bandmate Herbie Hancock, was the only one that Miles didn’t need to rearrange compositions from as they arrived fully-formed. He released loads of excellent albums for Blue Note at that time as well. After leaving Miles he formed the mighty and innovative Weather Report with Joe Zawinul. A close pal of Joni Mitchell’s, he’s played on several of her albums. He’s no longer playing live, due to health issues, but he’s still composing. A slightly-late Happy Birthday To You!
Musing upon the late lamented Judy Dyble’s brief stint with Giles, Giles & Fripp briefly before they morphed into King Crimson, I remembered another female vocalist of that time Sonja Kristina of Curved Air. Then I recalled their debut album, Airconditioning, which was the first picture disc I had ever seen. A particularly magnificent example IMO. High quality designs on each side of a disc which probably was sonically pretty awful. This was nearly 50 years ago and my-fi was not hi-fi in those days, so I don’t remember if it sounded like chips frying throughout or not. I do recall it looked bloody good on the turntable. A picture disc, 50 years ago! Blimey. Any personal favourites, AW fam?
A live-streamed concert from The Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston, tonight at 8pm. A link on the page should take you to the stream for when it starts. A link to a Guardian article about it is in the first comment.
Feeling a bit bored? Need something completely pointless and hopefully amusing to pass a few seconds of your time?
Go to Google and in the search box type: Florida Man and whatever your birthday is. You will almost certainly get a really stupid headline from a news article. No need to put your birthday in your reply if you don’t want to, but tell us what you got. The thread title above is what I got for mine.
When he’s not bellringing, baking bread, curing his own bacon or travelling the land by narrowboat, my old friend Ben collects and archives UK radio comedy shows. He has a huge ever-growing downloadable archive, regularly updated as missing, incomplete or flawed episodes come to light, meticulously documented and in the case of some of the shows, absolutely complete. Probably the most complete archive of this stuff in existence. You are welcome to download anything that takes your fancy (but not everything all at once, please, because that would be greedy) at no cost whatsoever, although donations are always appreciated.
The virus claimed another one. 92 years old, so possibly not very long for this world anyway, but choking from pneumonia is not a nice way to go.
A couple of months ago I dusted off my old late ’70s turntable, which I got s/h sometime in the later ’80s. I gave it a bit of an overhaul (cartridge alignment, tracking weight, anti-skid, levelling etc) and played a couple of albums. It was reluctant to start up at first (unresponsive control touch pads – see photo) but then it decided that it was going to work after all. I’d not used it at all since then but yesterday, having moved it and the rest of my audio stuff to a new position in the room I thought I’d play an album or two. Once again it would not start up unless the relevant touch pad was repeatedly tapped until it responded. Unresponsive touch pads seem to be a common fault on these decks as they get old. After it had been playing for a bit however, the touchpad response was fine. It sounds pretty good, within the limitations of the rest of my fairly inferior setup. These decks seem to be pretty well-regarded by turntable enthusiasts. It doesn’t have the original tonearm, as the previous owner fitted a Stax UA-7 with what looks like a carbon fibre pipe » Continue Reading.
It has become a trend for heritage bands to perform their best-regarded albums live in their entirety. To my mind there are many good or even great albums that just don’t work well as live sets. The dynamic of them is just not right for live performance, usually due to that old bugbear Front Loading.
Most classic albums are too short to make a decent live set (an hour is a decent live set IMO and I expect two of them) in any case, unless you stretch the performance with extended banter, extra instrumental widdling, adding lengthy crash-bang endings or by repeating verses and/or choruses.
“Atmospheres – Mojo Presents Post-Punk 2020”
Post-punk? Punk was 40 years ago, ffs.
Should ’60s Pop have been called Post-Jazz Age? Is Hip-Hop actually Post-Bebop? Is the current Young Jazz thing actually Post-Disco?
There are quite a few artists with alter egos for when they are doing something a bit different to what they’re known for. Paul McCartney as The Fireman, John Lurie of The Lounge Lizards as The Legendary Marvin Pontiac, Phil Collins’ jazz-prog venture Brand X, Anna Meredith’s twin careers as orchestral composer and electronic musician, Jim Mullen as jazz guitarist and his continuing membership of funksters Kokomo. One I discovered just today, rising jazz guitarist star Shirley Tetteh has also recorded some left-field pop as Nardeydey. I expect you lot could name a few more alter egoists.
Here’s an interesting little list, with a short note about each selection, from Treblezine, a source with which I’ve not previously been familiar. There are a few here that I know and like and some more that I now intend to explore. Last year was a pretty good one for jazz, IMO, and this one has too. If not even better.
Any other 2019 jazz lists, anyone?
No slacking! There are gratuitous funky clips to be posted!
Many have been posted in the past but of course, being one of the AW’s oldest farts (O.K. Boomer..) I can’t remember a single one.
«Inconsequential T-shirt slogans? Nobody cares about them.»
The Jazz Café, Camden London
An excellent triple bill on a £12.50 ticket (plus £2 booking fee) got me out on a Thursday night to a venue I don’t like very much. Why don’t I like it? Virtually no seating unless you pay extra to get a table in the upstairs restaurant. Expensive bar with poor choice of beverages. Anyway. First up was a half-hour unaccompanied set by harpist Alina Bzhezhinska, playing some Alice Coltrane (Blue Nile) and Dorothy Ashby (Action Line) plus three of her own (I think) pieces. subtle looping and effects were applied but not to the detriment of the music. Pin-drop quiet from the audience, which was a very unusual thing at this venue. They loved it. After about 15 minutes setup (removing the full-size harp from a stage full of other equipment and instruments took a while)and rearrangement, trombonist Rosie Turton and her band (Johanna Burnheart – electric violin, Maria Chiaro Argirò – electric piano, Twm Dylan – double bass, Jake Long – drums and guest Ben Hayes – synths & effects) started their half-hour set consisting mainly of material from her Rosie’s 5ive album. No idea of titles except Orange » Continue Reading.
On October 29th 1969 the first message was sent through the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork) between the four remotely located computers that it consisted of. The message was “LO”. It was supposed to be “LOGIN” but the network crashed after the first two letters. And so what eventually became the Internet was born.
I know next to nothing about opera but I know a great singer when I hear one. Such prescence too.
All previously-unreleased songs apparently, left unfinished and completed by his son. Details (rather sketchy) in the linked article.