Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Music on a Saturday afternoon ....

Ahmad Jamal's latest album - BLUE MOON: shows what piano, double bass, drums and percussion can achieve ... 9 new tracks: 3 original compositions: "I Remember Italy", "Autumn Rain", "Morning Mist"; that film noir theme "Laura", some Broadway and popular songs including a terrific 10 minute "Blue Moon" the Rogers-Hart perennial.... some tracks are over 13 minutes creating marvellous tempos showing Ahmad Jamal at the peak of his craft, at 82. 
Like that other great jazzman Mose Allison, also now in his 80s, Ahmad shows no signs of slowing down ... he remains one of those great world music originals, as were Mongo Santamaria, Mano De Bango, Toumani Diabate or the late Ali Farka Toure from Mali. Ahmad has been one of the foremost influential jazz pianists and composers over the last 5 decades (as I imagine Billy Strayhorn was in the '40s and '50s). 
(I got 8 of Ahmad's early albums at a bargain price in that new series 'Eight Classic Albums' on 4 cds, the other day .... amazing the list of other artists this series features from Peggy Lee and Julie London to Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington and Yusef Lateef .... and favourites Miles Davis and Jimmy Smith).  I must do a Miles Davis appreciation soon: those albums like "In A Silent Way" which I like so much, or "Bitches Brew" or the early classics like "Kind of Blue".

Flashback to 1985: the re-emergence of Davd Bowie after 10 years silence has created quite a tizz all round. I was reminded of his and Mick Jagger's "Dancing In The Street" from that summer of 1985, it was number one that weekend, when I discovered romance in Brighton and had to move there ....
Jagger of course has been back too with that recent very lucrative tour and the CROSSCUT HURRICANE documentary, but of course the older Jagger has never been away long - David however despite health rumours looks terrific and has us all looking forward to that new album which won't need any publicity budget at all. The Bowie albums I love are "Young Americans", "Lets Dance", "Station to Station" and the Berlin-era albums (which the new video for "Where are we now" hark back to), plus those fascinating video collections with "Blue Jean", "Hello Spaceboy" etc ... (Speaking of Jagger, Tony Richardson's 1970 film NED KELLY, turned up on our TCM late last night - 10 minutes of it was quite enough ...).

And a new artist: 18 year old Jake Bugg - terrific album and songs ... 

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