Meet Walter Kolosky, author of “The Mahavishnu Orchestra Picture Book.” Walter has written three books about the Mahavishnu Orchestra and we’ discuss the history of John McLaughlin’s group.
To buy the iBook go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/maha…
To buy the Kindle Book go to https://www.amazon.com/Mahavishnu-Orc…
NYU Steinhardt Jazz Interview Series with Dr. David Schroeder interviews legendary guitarist, composer and bandleader John McLaughlin. December 5, 2016
[VIDEO] John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Lenny White, Victor Wooten, at the Blue Note: ‘Miles Beyond’, December 19, 2016Posted: January 5, 2017
[VIDEO] ‘You Know, You Know’, John McLaughlin & Chick Corea at the Blue Note in NYC, December 8, 2016Posted: January 4, 2017
During the recording of A Love Supreme in 1964, Chuck Stewart caught the jazz legend in his element.
Nelson George writes: On December 9, 1964, saxophonist John Coltrane led a quartet that featured pianist McCoy Tyner, drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Jimmy Garrison into Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, where countless jazz recording sessions were held in the 1950s and ’60s. For photographer Chuck Stewart, Van Gelder’s was a short drive from his home in Teaneck.
That day nearly 50 years ago the band recorded a Coltrane composition titled A Love Supreme, a profound expression of his spiritual awakening divided into four movements—“Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance,” “Psalm.” For its soaring ambition, flawless execution and raw power, it was hailed as a groundbreaking piece of music when it was released in February 1965, and it has endured as a seminal part of the jazz canon. The work and its composer will be highlighted anew this April during Jazz Appreciation Month, an annual event launched in 2001 by the National Museum of American History, whose collection includes Coltrane’s original manuscript for A Love Supreme.
“I couldn’t shoot during the take because the recording equipment would pick up the clicks. So what I did was meander around the studio. When I saw a picture I thought worked, I’d take it.”
— Photographer Chuck Stewart
For Stewart, whose photographs have graced thousands of album covers, from Ellington to Davis, from Basie to Armstrong, that session with Coltrane—a friend of his since 1949—was no different from countless others. “When I did a session I would go in and shoot the rehearsal before they did any takes,” the 86-year-old photographer recalls, sitting in his cozy, picture-filled living room in Teaneck. “I couldn’t shoot during the take because the recording equipment would pick up the clicks. So what I did was meander around the studio. When I saw a picture I thought worked, I’d take it.”
Stewart still has the Rolleiflex camera he used at the session, and the contact sheets as well. Many of the images he shot have been seen on CDs, as well as in numerous books and magazine articles. But 72 photographs from six rolls of film never made it beyond the contact-sheet stage, and so haven’t been published. Stewart’s son David recently rediscovered those images in his father’s collection, and now Stewart is scheduled to include some of them in a donation to the museum this month. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] John McLaughlin & the Fourth Dimension LIVE: With Mark Mondesir, Gary Husband, Etienne MbappePosted: November 29, 2016
On French TV, January 1984
MILES AHEAD is a wildly entertaining and moving exploration of one of 20th century music’s creative geniuses, Miles Davis, featuring a career defining performance by Oscar nominee Don Cheadle in the title role. Working from a script he co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Cheadle’s bravura directorial debut is not a conventional bio-pic but rather a unique, no-holds barred portrait of a singular artist in crisis.
In the midst of a dazzling and prolific career at the forefront of modern jazz innovation, Miles Davis (Cheadle) virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Alone and holed up in his home, he is beset by chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications, his mind haunted by unsettling ghosts from the past.
Jazz musician Miles Davis affectionately wraps his arm around Cicely Tyson as they celebrate Davis’s 60th birthday. (Isaac Sutton/ EBONY Collection)
Live at Namm show 2016 (may be incomplete)
Miles Davis was the best-dressed man of the 20th century. Starting out, he’d customise his pawnshop Brooks Brothers suits, cutting notches in the lapels in imitation of the Duke of Windsor. After 1949’s Birth of the Cool, he favoured the Ivy League look of European tailoring. In the 60s he went for slim-cut Italian suits and handmade doeskin loafers. He was always the coolest-looking man in the room. Hell, he even managed to look cool sporting a blood-splattered white khaki jacket following a scuffle with police outside Birdland. In the 70s his wardrobe went as far-gone funky as his music and he was the only man who could get away with wearing purple bell bottoms, kipper ties and hexagonal glasses.
[VIDEO] Vinnie Colaiuta & Tal Wilkenfeld LIVE: ‘Pound for a Brown’, Zappa Plays Zappa, Saban Theater, Dec 11, 2015Posted: December 12, 2015
Frank Sinatra – born December 12, 1915 – and Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1967
Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck and killer bassist Tal Wilkenfeld have performed this stunt (and variations on this stunt) many times on many tours, over the last few years, this is a good example. Regular readers may notice, we’ve posted Jeff/Tal duets before. (what concert is this, what city? The YouTube notes don’t say) This is not just a novelty, musically it’s fantastic. Jeff Beck is holding down the beat, on a single bass string, on the low end, with Wilkenfeld soloing on the high end, on the same fretboard. Is this complicated? Not really. But it’s musically better than it should be, if you listen closely, the stunt disappears.
Bonus: notice the time signature shift near the end, where Tal departs, Jeff maintaining the original time signature, without interrupting the momentum, still holding the groove. This pairing has been among the most most exciting in jazz fusion in the last ten years, thrilling jaded audiences, boosting the careers of each artist, and bringing some much-needed vitality and sexy fun to an increasingly obscure art form.
Tal recruits a random Japanese man at a coffee shop to translate a message to her Japanese fans. Things just didn’t go as well as she had hoped…期待に胸を膨らます、日本のファンの皆に、来日ツアーのメッセージを伝えるべく、そう思い立ったTalは、コーヒーショップにいた適当な日本人らしき男を強引に通訳に仕立ててみた。だが、、、やはり適当な日本人らしき男は、適当で使い物にならない通訳でしかなかった。
Marc Myers writes: As midlife-crisis songs go, Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues” ranks among the most melodic and existential. Recorded for the album “Aja” in 1977, the song details the bored existence of a ground-down suburbanite and his romantic fantasy of life as a jazz saxophonist.
Written by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in 1976, “Deacon Blues” was released in 1977 on Steely Dan’s album “Aja,” which in the fall reached No. 3 on Billboard’s album chart, where it remained for seven consecutive weeks. The song also was a hit single in early 1978.
With Steely Dan appearing in New York at the Beacon Theatre from Oct. 6-17, Mr. Fagen, Mr. Becker, guitarist Larry Carlton and saxophonists Tom Scott and Pete Christlieb recalled the writing, arranging and recording of the cult classic. Edited from interviews:
Donald Fagen: Walter and I wrote “Deacon Blues” in Malibu, Calif., when we lived out there. Walter would come over to my place and we’d sit at the piano. I had an idea for a chorus: If a college football team like the University of Alabama could have a grandiose name like the “Crimson Tide,” the nerds and losers should be entitled to a grandiose name as well.
Walter Becker: Donald had a house that sat on top of a sand dune with a small room with a piano. From the window, you could see the Pacific in between the other houses. “Crimson Tide” didn’t mean anything to us except the exaggerated grandiosity that’s bestowed on winners. “Deacon Blues” was the equivalent for the loser in our song.
Mr. Fagen: When Walter came over, we started on the music, then started filling in more lyrics to fit the story. At that time, there had been a lineman with the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers, Deacon Jones. We weren’t serious football fans, but Deacon Jones’s name was in the news a lot in the 1960s and early ‘70s, and we liked how it sounded. It also had two syllables, which was convenient, like “Crimson.” The name had nothing to do with Wake Forest’s Demon Deacons or any other team with a losing record. The only Deacon I was familiar with in football at the time was Deacon Jones.
Mr. Becker: Unlike a lot of other pop songwriting teams, we worked on both the music and lyrics together. It’s not words and music separately, but a single flow of thought. There’s a lot of riffing back and forth, trying to top each other until we’re both happy with the result. We’ve always had a similar conception and sense of humor.
Mr. Fagen: Also, Walter and I both have jazz backgrounds, so our models are different than many pop songwriters. With “Deacon Blues,” as with many of our other songs, we conceived of the tune as more of a big-band arrangement, with different instrumental sections contributing a specific sound at different points. We developed “Deacon Blues” in layers: first came the rhythm tracks, then vocals and finally horns.
Many people have assumed the song is about a guy in the suburbs who ditches his life to become a musician. In truth, I’m not sure the guy actually achieves his dream. He might not even play the horn. It’s the fantasy life of a suburban guy from a certain subculture. Many of our songs are journalistic. But this one was more autobiographical, about our own dreams when we were growing up in different suburban communities—me in New Jersey and Walter in Westchester County.
Mr. Becker: The protagonist in “Deacon Blues” is a triple-L loser—an L-L-L Loser. It’s not so much about a guy who achieves his dream but about a broken dream of a broken man living a broken life.
Mr. Fagen: The concept of the “expanding man” that opens the song [“This is the day of the expanding man / That shape is my shade there where I used to stand”] may have been inspired by Alfred Bester’s “The Demolished Man.” Walter and I were major sci-fi fans. The guy in the song imagines himself ascending the levels of evolution, “expanding” his mind, his spiritual possibilities and his options in life.
Mr. Becker: His personal history didn’t look like much so we allowed him to explode and provided him with a map for some kind of future.
Mr. Fagen: Say a guy is living at home at his parents’ house in suburbia. One day, when he’s 31, he wakes up and decides he wants to change the way he struts his stuff.
Mr. Becker: Or he’s making a skylight for his room above the garage and when the hole is open he feels the vibes coming in and has an epiphany. Or he’s playing chess games against himself by making moves out of a book and cheating.
A mystical thing takes place and he’s suddenly aware of his surroundings and life, and starts thinking about his options. The “fine line” we use in the song [“So useless to ask me why / Throw a kiss and say goodbye / I’ll make it this time / I’m ready to cross that fine line”] is the dividing line between being a loser and winner, at least according to his own code. He’s obviously tried to cross it before, without success. Read the rest of this entry »
Django Reinhardt in a hotel room in 1945 with gypsy singer Sonia Dimitrivich. Django spent his time during the Nazi Occupation oscillating between a suite on the Champs Elysee and gypsy encampments.