In memory of Johnny Peret

In memory of Johnny Peret
In memory of my friend Johnny Peret, vibist, drummer, accordeonist extraordinaire

Sunday, August 21, 2011

KIWI JAZZ


NAIROBI TRIO
Live @ at the McDonald Winery (New Zealand, 1997)

I found this CD in the sales rack in Port Vila’s only record shop. It burned shortly after … At first I was intrigued by the name, especially when I realized (i) none of the musicians are from Kenya but they're all Kiwis and (ii) there are four members in the trio …

Then I was fortunate to hear them playing live at the Port Vila’s Four Days Jazz in Paradise Festival in 2005. Various bands from the Pacific region (Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand) were playing in hotels around town.  This event was supposed to be repeated the next year but I understand the organizers lost too much money the first year so it couldn’t be repeated.  Too bad as it was an occasion to see and hear some interesting performers such as Nairobi Trio, Aussie Jazz legend The Galopagos Ducks and New Caledonia’s B-3 Wizard Michel Benebig with his band, performing in beautiful settings.





The Nairobi Trio has been around for over twenty years and is now a bit of a New Zealand music  institution  These guys are everything but your standard "gypsy swing revival-i-play-faster-than-django" type of band.   They do have “hot club” style tunes (I’m coming home Virginia, All of Me) in their repertoire but they do not try to sound like a Django / Grappelli clone. They play these tunes in a typically kiwi, relaxed and easy, way.  There is something like a "west coast" feel in their music (i'm talking West Coast in rock term: remember David Laflamme / It's a Beautiful Day?).  At times they sound like a Kiwi version of Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks (“Swing is the Thing”).  The Grappelli influence is obvious in Richard Adams violin playing (just listen to All my tomorrow) but their overall sound and style are rather fusion oriented with some obvious folk / rock influences (“East of Eden”) verging sometimes toward smooth jazz (“Take Good Care of my Heart”).  An obvious reference is David Grisman country-jazz / dawg jazz.  If you like David Grisman’s albums (think of Quintet '80 or Hot Dawg for instance), you’ll probably enjoy this band.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

CASCADE


CHARLIE MARIANO – CASCADE
(Keytone LP, NL, 1974)

Another Charlie Mariano LP from the Seventies thanks to JC.   

1974 was a busy year for Charlie Mariano, he appears on ten recording sessions, including two under his own name:  this one with Chris Hinze and Reflections with a group of Finnish all stars.

The LP was produced by Chris Hinze and released on his own private label, Keytone.

In addition to Chris Hinze himself, the musicians were all members or close associates of the Chris Hinze Combination, namely the rhythm pair of John Lee and Gerry Brown, the keyboards of Jasper van ‘t Hof and Rob van den Broek, Philip Catherine and Michael Samson on guitar.

Van ‘t Hof, Catherine and Mariano will form  Porkpie shortly after this recording, so it gives you an idea what to expect.

Tracklist

A1          Suite Of The Festival               Composed by  Chris Hinze                             5:01
A2          Harriet                                       Composed by  John Lee                                 6:28
A3          Quest                                          Composed by John Lee                                  4:08
A4          Electric Funk Jungle                Composed by Charlie Mariano                      5:46
B1          Cascade                                      Composed by Charlie Mariano                      5:31
B2          Piece For Banjo And Kazoo     Composed by – Charlie Mariano                   9:00
B3          Locus                                          Composed by John Lee                                  4:22
Credits

Charlie Mariano        Saxophone [Alto, Soprano], Flute [Wooden Indian Flutes], Reeds [Nagafvaram] –
Chris Hinze                          Flute
Philip Catherine                Spanish Guitar, Electric Guitar
Michaël Samson                Electric Guitar
Jasper Van 't Hof               Electric Piano [Fender Piano], Organ
Rob Van Den Broeck        Piano, Fender Rhodes
John Lee                               Bass [Acoustic, Electric]
Gerry Brown                       Drums, Percussion

Ripped from original LP (lossless, big file!)


For a comprehensive Mariano’s discography, please refer to the Charlie Mariano Tribute website.

If you like what you’ve heard, check this other Hinze / Mariano album (Blue Stone, 1973) here

CYCLADES


Jean Loup LONGNON – CYCLADES (France, 1992)

CYCLADES
Ou
Les Extraordinaires Aventures de Barnabé, le Petit Cochon Voyageur



DO NOT MISS THIS ONE !
The Greek Islands seem to have been a source of inspiration for Jazzmen (just of few hints: Neil Ardley’s Greek Variations, Graham Collier was a long-time resident, Slim Gaillard got stranded on one of them …).


It is difficult to describe the music which is basically bop-based but very diverse and varied. 

Mikonos”, the first track, is the funkier with an Eastern feel, Fender Rhodes, strong horns  ...  Sounds like Peter Herbolzheimer meeting the Brecker Brothers in the Aegean Sea.  Strong soli from Robert Persi on Fender Rhodes, Chritstian Laborde on tenor, JL Longnon on trumpet.  
Paros” introduces the string section and has Stephane Grappelli as guest solois.
Naxos” is another string-drenched track with a beautiful solo by Jean-Loup Longnon.
Santorin” starts like a Debussy piece with Jean-Michel Pilc wistling … then JLL on trumpet.  It has a very cinematographic atmosphere.
Andros” opens with the string section and gradually build up with excellent soli by Lionel Belmondo (tenor sax), Hervé Sellin (piano), JL Longnon (Couesnon fluegelhorn).
La Grece en Automne” is a symphonic piece.
To Telephteo Blues”.  opens with bluesy harp chords reminiscent of Dorothy Ashby then goes into a boppish blues with again excellent soli (Hervé Sellin on piano, and others) and ends with JLL’s scatting.
Encore du Bop” No string section in this one, a plain big band bop cooker with a succession of strong soli.
“La Marseillaise” This is the fun track, a bossa version of La Marseillaise with Brasilian lyrics.


This is one of the great under-rated French albums of the Nineties.
Currently OOP.  Grab it!  Full scan included.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

RAW JAZZ

TOMMY BOYLE & THE RAW JAZZ QUARTET
(self-produced CD, THAILAND)



I've never been to Phuket. Tourists spots do not really appeal to me. Anyhow, yesterday night I was invited by a friend and colleague for dinner at her place here in Rabat.  While she was organising the food, I had a glance thru' a pile of CDs, leftover by her landlord.  I desperated to find anything listenable among the Pavarotti's, Carreras and other popular classics. Then I found this CD, obviously purchased during a holiday in Phuket.  I did not know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised.   A clever mix of tunes, standards but nothing too obvious.


So fix yourself a Margarita or any other drink, preferably with an olive and a little umbrella, play this album and relax in the couch dreaming of Thailand's most famous tourist beach.  Blue skies, emerald sea, silky sand, gentle breeze ... Enjoy!
By the way, the dinner was absolutely gorgeous!  Thanks Isabel!


Credits: 
Stephanie Haynes   vocals
Bolek Peplowski     tenor sax
Tommy Boyle         piano
Jay Farmer              bass
Peter Amaral          drums




Tracklist

  1. Cedar's Blues 
  2. It don't mean a thing if it ain't got no swing
  3. Our love is here to stay
  4. Lullaby of the leaves
  5. Gentle Rain
  6. In the wee small hours of the morning
  7. Social call
  8. Pent Up House
  9. I Fall in Love too easily
  10. Darn that dream
  11. Pick Yourself Up
  12. Agua De Beber