Sunday, July 29, 2018

Licks To Riffs At The Guitar Course - Jazz Edition

Ton Van Bergeijk
Some months ago I pointed you to a DVD based Guidebook entitled Licks to Riffs by the Dutch guitarist Ton Van Bergeijk . This course was the first part of a scheduled two-part guitar instruction guide with focus on the blues style and how to adapt any lick to any chord changes at the guitar aiming to generate versatile riffs. Now the second part of this guide for guitarists has just been released with focus on how to continue the excersises in jazz and jazz-blues. Ton explains it further in the promotional video uploaded at You Tube

Ton stated in the video, quote: ”Once you’ve gone through the additional concepts in the first part of this course, you’ll be able to adapt your licks to any song you may encounter. We'll then study 9 essential licks and turn them into riffs; each on a jazz-blues and rhythm changes. We'll put them to work over two jazz Standards, using the progressions of Sunny Side of The Street and Indiana.” - The used licks in this course range from a New Orleans style pianistic background a la James Booker, to licks used by horn sections in the great Riff Orchestras, to licks composed by the great Jazz guitarist George Van Eps. - Further info about the course and how to get a copy is available here.
DVD guidebook (TrueFire, 2018)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Paris Gadjo Club - Swinging The Choro

CD front, Café du Brésil, Frémeaux & Associés (FA 8549)
Choro is a genuine Brazilian music genre which emerged in Rio de Janeiro during the late decades of the 19th century. Like jazz, that emerged in New Orleans from various sources and as a mixture of African, Creole and popular music of the time (i.e. ragtime) on the threshold of the 20th century, choro music originated as a local music style in Rio de Janeiro but soon spread all over Brazil with the emergence of radio networks early 1920s. One of the first choro musicians to be featured in radio live broadcast was Pixinguinha, who together with his band Os Oito Batutas was featured in the first nation wide broadcast in 1922. The same year Pixinguinha and his band was offered an engagement in Paris, France for some months, which became a great success with the Parisian audience. Pixinguinha and his band were the first native musicians to introduce choro, maxixe and related Brazilian music outside Brazil, and Paris, France was the first location abroad where the public had a chance to experience live performance of this music. The Parisian audience has always been open minded to influence from music outside France, another notable example is the embrace of jazz as performed by Django Reinhardt, the Belgian gypsy, who founded the European branch of hot jazz and swing. Django lived and performed in Paris most of his life and he was a success with the Parisian audience throughout his career, his legacy has since spread world wide and today Django and his gypsy style of jazz (Manouche) is more often than not associated with Paris in the 1930s and 1940s, its café culture and impromptu live music performances. This tradition is kept well alive by musicians, gypsies as well as non-gypsies (gadjos), even today. A new CD by a quartet named Paris Gadjo Club reflects this tradition, but instead of performing jazz standards the quartet plays music originally composed or performed by Brazilian choro musicians adding the unmistakable gypsy conception and interpretation of the music associated with Django Reinhardt and his followers. The result is most enjoyable and well worth lending your ears, I think.
Paris Gadjo Club (l-r): Pierre-Louis Cas (cl,as), Laurent Vanhée (b), Stan Laferrière (rh g), Christophe Davot (lead g,bj) (photo by Michel Bonnet)
The CD has 13 tracks and the repertoire is chosen among popular compositions by famous Brazilian choro musicians and composers like Jacob do Bandolim, Ernesto Nazareth and Pixinguinha a.o.. The rhythm section of the quartet is in the hands of Stan Laferriìere (rh g) and Laurent Vanhée (b) while Pierre-Louis Cas (cl,as) and Christophe Davot (lead g, bj) share solo spots playing melody and improvisation. Below I'll insert a couple of examples of the featured music from live performances uploaded at YouTube, and to give you an impression of similarities and differences between choro and gypsy/gadjo swing jazz I'll also insert a couple of examples of the Brazilian original recordings which may have inspired the Paris Gadjo Club. - Here is first Jacob do Bandolim's interpretation of Ernesto Nazareth's famous tune Odeon

From a live performance recorded 2016, here is the same tune as played by Paris Gadjo Club

This year choro communities celebrate the centennial of Jacob do Bandolim, the famous Brazilian master of choro mandolin, who is just as popular in Rio as Django Reinhardt still is in Paris, and from Jacob's most popular LP album here is his interpretation of Juventino Maciel's choro Cadéncia

And here is the same tune as performed by Paris Gadjo Club in a TV live program earlier this year

If these appetizers have caught your interest, more info (-in French) is available here, and the CD is for purchase here

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Hyena Stomp

Hyena Stomp_Victor 20772-A
On June 4th 1927, Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers recorded the 6th session for Victor in Chicago. Hyena Stomp, Billy Goat Stomp, Wild Man Blues and Jungle Blues were recorded in this memorable session featuring the extraordinary vocal cotributions by Lew La Mar imitating a laughing hyena or a stubborn goat! According to available info (here), Louis August La Mar (Lew La Mar) was a French Canadian, born in Quebec on 11th December 1873. He migrated to the U.S. with his parents prior to 1894. He was white — not African-American. He registered for the WWI draft on 12th September 1918. The draft card records his occupation as a Theatrical Actor for the Western Vaudeville Association, Majestic Theatre Building, Chicago, the same vaudeville group that employed Bill Johnson. On 4th June 1927 Lew La Mar joined Jelly-Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers in Chicago to participate in the mentioned Victor recording session.  He is featured on Hyena Stomp and Billy Goat Stomp. Other members of the band include George Mitchell (c); Gerald Reeves (tb); Johnny Dodds (cl); Paul “Stump” Evans (as); Jelly Roll Morton (p-dialogue); Bud Scott (g); Quinn Wilson (bb); Warren “Baby” Dodds (d)

The reason for setting focus on Hyena Stomp here is to point you to another great performance of the tune just released today on You Tube as part of The Complete Morton Project  initiated by pianist Andrew Oliver and reed player David Horniblow (- learn more at Andrew Oliver's website, here). The project has now reached halfway through the 104 compositions by Morton, thus Hyena Stomp and the other tune released today, Dixie Knows, are milestones of this terrific and very uplifting project. The jubilee is further marked by the fact that the duo of Oliver and Horniblow is extended to a quartet with two guest performers in the performance of Hyena StompMichael McQuaid (clarinet/alto) and Nick Ball (laughing & drums), both members of Oliver's Vitality Five ensemble (- more info here )

The second tune of the Complete Morton Project released today is as mentioned above Dixie Knows, a tune Morton published and co-wrote with Mel Stitzel in 1930 but never recorded according to Oliver's notes (here). I remember a version of this tune for finger style guitar played by Swedish guitarist Lasse Johansson (- you can listen to it at Spotify, here ), however, the version by Oliver and Horniblow is different and performed as a stomp in the usual duo setting of piano and clarinet. Enjoy it below and be sure to follow the Complete Morton Project on You Tube every Tuesday through the remain of 2018!