Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chess Artists in Pictures

Chuck Berry
From left: Phil Chess, Muddy Waters, Little Walter
Muddy Waters

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jazz Mirrors Iran

Happy Nowruz to Iranian Readers! Peace to you!

Iran-- sometimes known as Persia, with an echo of 1001 Nights and dreamy cities of wine and poetry. As a name, a real place or an imaginary land from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, to the media propaganda of the recent months about nuclear developments, sanctions and military action, it remains a country held victim to misrepresentation and lazy awareness.

It is very much the same ignorance that for centuries silenced African-American artists and communities, who developed jazz as the art form to revise the human condition and to remove the barriers between “us” and “them” in a democratic language that knew no boundaries. Jazz, as the art that fights against various types of segregation, could be a myth itself. But the myth of jazz as something for all human beings, regardless of race, nationality, gender and age is so strong that it can still feed our desire to explore and to change.

In the coming weeks, I'll write about ten pieces of jazz music (specially designed to welcome the arrival of spring and Nowruz, Iranian New Year), presented on Aslan Media, about or influenced by Iran.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Miles Davis Septet at Berliner Jazztage

As far as I know, this Miles Davis' Berlin concert from 1983 has never been released in any format and prior to this post, it didn't exist in the online world. I just remember sharing it with a Miles Davis collector at some point, but now the whole recording is here on this blog. 90 minutes of some exciting music.

I don't know exactly where this set is coming from, maybe recorded off a radio or TV broadcast but if you wonder how I got hold of it, I owe owning and listening this rare gem to one of my Berliner friends and this is not the only great stuff he generously shared with me.

The source was on a 90-minute audio cassette, and the music was recorded on both sides. I present it here exactly the same. The audio file remains untouched.

Miles Davis (tp, syn) Bill Evans (ss, ts, fl) Robert Irving (syn) John Scofield (g) Darryl Jones (el-b) Al Foster (d) Mino Cinelu (per).