Monday, May 20, 2013

Roll Up Sleeves exhibition " A piece of the CINEMATIC and LIBRARY room "

..there were 6 rooms, in every room a type of jazz...this is library music and cinematic room . Together with the sleeves I added some comments about that period of some of JAZZMOTEL friends musicians, you can read here and see some pics . The Dear Edda Dell'Orso worite some lines for " Roll up Sleeves ", she was so kind to wrote the feelings she had in the 60's singing on Morricone Bossa tunes ...

 Edda Dell’Orso for “Roll up Sleeves” aprile 2013 :

Molto spesso ho cantato in brani di stile "Latin iazz", sempre per colonne sonore, e mi sono trovata proprio a mio agio perchè quel ritmo "balance" che da l'idea di essere sospesi in aria combaciava perfettamente con il mio carattere "aereo", privo di equilibrio.

 Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield , the Library music Masters wrote some lines too !

 Alan Hawkshaw for “Roll up Sleeves” marzo 2013 :

At 8 years old, I would play over and over on my brother’s portable wind-up gramophone the old standard “After You’ve Gone’ played by Fats Waller and Benny Payne as a piano duet. As a result, I was now and forever a slave to all that jazz had to offer. Although a serious art form, it became pure joy to me. It lifted me up. Waller and Payne gave way to more modern jazz pianists, George Shearing, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Ahmad Jamal. But most of all it liberated me as a player. Playing Jazz let me experience the empathy and unpredictability of playing with others, letting instinct take over and becoming truly ‘in the moment’. Jazz to me is spiritual. We connect with the listener and co-players in a way no other art form can.


Keith Mansfield for “Roll up Sleeves” marzo 2013 :

The sound and feel of jazz have probably always been a part of library music. Sometimes it may be a very obvious dynamic, but mostly the influence of jazz is  much more subtle, and is expressed in the harmonic and rhythmic choices of the composer. Like so many others, jazz has had a big influence on me. In 1966 I was asked by KPM music to record an album of 'jazzed up' Xmas carols for the American market. This was the start of a 40 year association. The 60's and 70's were a time of big changes, with the music of the Beatles, Beach Boys and Rolling Stones making a huge impact. There was also a strong latin feel that was very evident, particularly in the amount of 'Bossa Nova' music that was being recorded. Many jazz musicians began to move away from the traditional swing approach. It was natural that these changes would influence composers as well.   'Funk' music was a natural hybrid of these influences, and many library albums over the next decade were full of funky rhythms and themes. It was a very direct form of music with much less improvisation than 'straight ahead' jazz. However, for me and many others it helped to have a strong affinity with jazz. This may not have been to the liking of the 'jazz purist' but it was very much the music of the time.    Maynard Ferguson recorded a composition of mine in 1969 which he titled 'L-Dopa' This had actually been recorded a few months earlier for KPM as 'Powerhouse Pop'. Maynard's version successfully combined the elements of big brassy writing with plenty of space for extended jazz improvisation and used the energy of both funky and swing rhythms. It was a good time to be around ..Composers continue to express themselves using jazz influences as a natural part of their repertoire

Sunday, April 28, 2013

ROOL UP SLEEVES sleeves moods graphics from the 60's and 70's Jazz scene

After a while Jazzmotel is coming again . This is an anticipation about the 60's and 70's record sleeve exhibition called " Roll up Sleeves "Jazzmotel organ-ized in April 2013 . You will also read some of the comments that was sended to me from some of the Jazzmotel friends like Airto , Marcos Valle , Janet Lawson , Keith Mansfield and Alan Hawkshaw , Lonnie Smith and more . see you soon so . Peace all over the land. Jazzmotel

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jazzmotel is still here ...

Hi to all Jazzmotel readers ! Be ready for some cool jazz posts !

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Interview with Janet Lawson

As always it was quite incredible, I get in touch with another great person , a fabulous singer and a very kind woman ...
Let me introduce you another interview here in this strange , Jazzy , crazy , beloved Motel ...

Janet Lawson, GRAMMY®-nominated jazz vocalist and one of the founders of the Vocal Department at New School University, has forged the way for jazz singers to develop their full musicianship through her lauded "free-spirited" scat singing, live and in recordings with the Janet Lawson Quintet. She has performed in Europe -- London at the Jazz Café, Paris at the Duc des Lombards, Denmark with Butch Lacy´s Very Big Band, and Eastern Europe in Latvia and Lithuania at various jazz festivals and clubs -- and giving master classes at Universities and Jazz Camps throughout Europe, Lawson opens the door for jazz singers and instrumentalists to play together as partners in jazz. As she continues to recover from an illness that took away her voice, she has directed her creative energies into a forthcoming book, The Integrated Artist: Improvisation as a Way of Life, as well as a children´s story with original music about the history of jazz, "Grandma Sage and Her Magic Music Room," co-written with world-renowned composer and author Carman Moore. And she continues to foster the vision of jazz singing as "a musician´s expression with your voice as your axe." In support of this vision, noted jazz critic and journalist Stanley Crouch says, "Janet Lawson is a true musician ... up next to the musicians with whom she´s working on an equal level."

What are your musical tastes and how did they develop? Which musicians influenced you the most?

My musical tastes are eclectic. I grew up in a household of parents who were professional musicians – my mother was a singer/lyricist, my father was a drummer/pianist/composer. Their parents came from Eastern Europe – I heard that flavor of music as a little girl. The music of the day was big bands. My peers listened to what was called “race music” in Baltimore during the ‘50’s – LaVerne Baker, Fats Domino, Mickey and Sylvia, The Coasters, Elvis – I listened to the contemporary music of that time, classical music on the radio my parents played and also the records they played – Teddy Wilson, Peggy Lee – I was into Frank Sinatra a lot and sang the songs he sang with a big band that hired me when I was 15 years old until I was 19 and left for New York.

How did your musical career come about? I know that you sang with musicians of the calibre of Tommy Flanagan, Joe Newman, Barney Kessel, Milt Hinton, Ron Carter, Barry Harris, Dave Liebman, David and Lida Baker, Rufus Reid, Clark Terry, Billy Hart, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins and Bob Dorough. I know that you had your début with Art Farmer.

When I arrived in New York in 1960, I took a secretarial job at Columbia Records and recorded demos on my lunch hour – leading me to gigs on the weekends – leading me to the people who were keeping jazz alive in New York. I was fortunate to be guided by Jules Colomby, who, with his brother, Harry, managed Thelonious Monk. It was through Jules, my first gig in New York City was at The Village Vanguard with Art Farmer and his group – Steve Kuhn-piano, Steve Swallow-bass, Pete LaRoca-drums.
Tell me something about the concept of the voice as an instrument.
When I listened to Frank Sinatra, I heard what the band was doing behind him and found those musical ideas fascinating. When I sang with the Bill Maisel big band in Baltimore for those 4 years, what the band was playing was exciting and called to my ears and my heart; I wanted to sing what they were playing – all I got to sing was one chorus and then I sat down. The instrumentalists played all the time. I call what I did “Letter D” singing: The arrangement had Letter A, the head, Letter B, the repeat of the head, Letter C, the modulation to the trumpet player’s solo, Letter D, modulation to the female singer’s key (after I sang that’s when I sat down), Letter E the out chorus. I heard the sounds of trumpets, saxes, trombones, piano, bass, drums, guitar and wanted to make music the way they did. It really called to me!
So, when I started improvising, I imitated all those instruments I’d heard and became them when I sang.

When did you arrive in New York? What was the atmosphere like ? What sensations?

I arrived in New York in 1960. New York was like everything I’d seen in the movies – foreign, intriguing, huge and small at the same time; it was a city I grew to know as if it were a small town. I typed for Temporary Agencies – in between touring in Central America, The Caribbean, Japan, Bangkok – I’d type, go sing in the Aruba Caribbean Hotel, come home and type and go out to sing again. Each time I typed it was in a different part of the City: The east side, west side, uptown, downtown – I felt as if New York was my home town. Everything was so much cheaper then, I was in the jazz clubs all the time, hearing Monk at The Five Spot, Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard, Ella at Basin Street East. I was at the theatre just as much watching Jason Robards, Jr. in Eugene O’Neil’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Beyond the Fringe (British Satirical Comedy) the New Wave Film Directors - Truffaut, Louis Malle, Jean-Luc Godard. It was a rich time in New York but you didn’t have to be rich to reap the benefits of all its gems.

I heard you for the first time with Dindi in 1977, which for me remains the best version of this Antonio Carlos Jobim song.
How did this version come about and why has it never been released on an LP?

This came about in a very strange way.

I went to the Village Vanguard one evening to hear the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and met their producer Sonny Lester. He’d heard my singing and wanted to produce me. But he wanted to put out a commercial record, me singing a pop tune. The rap was always, “Get famous this way first and then you can sing anything you want”. I can’t tell you how many times I heard that!!! This was the first time, though. I was young and fell for it yet had the connection in my heart to the real music and insisted that on the flip side of the record I sang, Dindi with Sir Roland Hanna/piano, Richard Davis/bass, Mel Lewis/drums. The song I recorded for Lester starting moving up on the Country charts – but Dindi remains in the hearts of jazz purists – me included!

...And then to 1980 and the album “The Janet Lawson Quintet” and “So High”, I think this song is part of Dancefloor Jazz history. What can you tell me about this album?

We recorded this entire album in just 5 hours – mostly first takes – produced by Jack Perricone, who heard us performing around New York City and said he wanted to get our music out to a wider audience. He’s a song writer, a musician himself so his ears were attuned to what we were creating. He got us a studio on W. 23rd that was used for classical recordings – a big room, great Steinway piano, no small booths separating the band from each other. We recorded just like we played on our gigs – close and bouncing off each other.

So High was written by Diane Snow-Austin with whom I had created a musical about women Jazz musicians called, JASS IS A LADY, that was funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and produced in New York City by Playwrights Horizon. So High became a huge success in England as a dance tune and when I performed at The Jazz Café in London in the late 90’s and toured there, as well, So High was a requested part of our repertoire.
On the second album “Dreams can be” like on the first also, we notice your Skat style and the “freshness” of the songs, an unstoppable energy. How does this sound come about?

My scat style evolved by playing with the great musicians I had the honor to play with – to study on the gig with – or to actually study with – like Warne Marsh, the master tenor player, who taught me the way he taught his sax students. My studies included using my whole range on all the scales, employing patterns, improvising and writing down the ideas I sang, learning horn solos, all the things I now teach my Vocal Jazz Students at The New School University in New York. The energy comes from the life force of the music – of life, itself!

I know that you also teach in some music colleges such as the Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Indiana University at Bloomington, City Stages in Birmingham, Alabama, and the University of Calgary. Tell me about these masters.

As I said, I am presently Adjunct Professor of Vocal Jazz at The New School. I was Adjunct Professor of Vocal Jazz at New York University for five years until they cancelled their Vocal Jazz Program I have given Master Classes and performed at The Manhattan School of Music with my Quinte; Berklee College of Music with Bob Stoloff (now Chair of Vocal Dept.), and with Bob Dorough and Stephanie Nakasian and Hod O’Brien; Indiana University at Bloomington with David and Lida Baker; City Stages in Birmingham, Alabama with Barry Harris and Milt Hinton,
The University of Calgary with singer Vivianne Cardinal and the wonderful musicians from the area.
These master classes included: creating a safe, fun environment for singers to explore their musicianship, their connection to the instruments inside them. Having musical conversations with other singers, improvising with one instrument at a time (voice and bass, voice and drums, etc.), being the instruments by singing in the language of the instrument (articulation, tone, rhythms), feedback from performances, discussion of discoveries.
Towards the end of the 80's there was a rediscovery of the JLQ thanks to a few Dj's such as Gilles Peterson and of the rediscovery of Dancefloor Jazz. All of this relatively close to the period when you recorded the albums as opposed to other jazz artists rediscovered lets say by this movement. What do you think about this “second coming” of the group?
I am very grateful to Gilles Peterson and Seymour Nurse (DJ) and the manager of The Jazz Café, Adrian, for this “second coming” of the group. Seymour has followed the life of the JLQ for decades and in our talks described how the music has offered him deeply emotional experiences. Knowing this is a gift!

What are your plans and projects for the future?

My plans for the future are to recover from the illness that took out my voice (Lyme Disease and Bell’s Palsey) and prevented me from performing for several years. My producer, Jack Perricone and Legendary Jazz Critic, Ira Gitler (who also wrote the original liner notes for the Grammy Nominated Album, The Janet Lawson Quintet – calling it “Vox Instrumentum”), are working to connect with a record company to release the early works plus 4 cuts from a project we started in the late 90’s before my voice was hurt – a vocal tribute to Miles Davis.

Friday, May 29, 2009

"Metti una sera a cena " interview with Edda Dell'Orso

I was listening to an Ennio Morricone soundtrack , I was traveling with the sound of the Italian Soundtrack Lady voice Edda Dell'Orso , the Soundtrack was " Metti una sera a cena " .
I decide to look for this fantastic voice , call her and ask for an interview .
This woman was never too much on the scene and it was not easy to find her , but after met , I realyze that she is a humble woman and a great artist , so in invite her for a dinner " a cena " .
this is the result .

"Metti una sera a cena " interview with Edda Dell'Orso

What are your musical origins? What were your influences?

Musically I began as a pianist. I started to play the piano when I was 5 or 6 years old. The music that I listened to were mainly music from American film scores, mainly music by Gershwin, Cole Porter.

What were your experiences before your contact with the world of cinema?

I started with the chorus. A classical chorus that was called Coro Polifonico. I then moved to the Franco Potenza chorus and finally with Maestro Alessandroni (I Cantori Moderni )where I was lead soprano. Every now and again a voice was needed for 7 or 8 measures and it was then that I became to Morricone's attention for the first time. And then came C'era una volta il West (Once A Upon A Time In The West)and thus was born the “instrumental voice” which is was what I loved to do when I was small.

Speaking of Alessandroni and Cantori Moderni, you were part of this very versatile and in demand vocal group. How did the hiring come about?
You recorded many film scores in a relatively short time. Were the composers in competition with each other to have you work with them?

The hiring of Cantori came from Alessandroni, Morricone, and Cipriani. They would call me at home. While for other engagements we were contacted by the management of the single Orchestras.

How did you go about developing a theme? Did the projection of the film or the reading the screenplay have any influence or did the composer instruct on how the piece should by executed?

Umiliani, Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Jess Franco, Berto Pisano, Alessandro Alessandroni, You sang with the greatest masters of music for films during the golden age for this genre. What were you feelings and emotions at the time?

During that period we made many recordings. At times I would find myself in the recording studio from 9 in the morning until midnight. In any case there was a 3 hour shift every day and we worked very hard but it was very exciting to work with such masters. It was my life.

I heard your voice when I was just 5 years old, listening to theme music to “Metti una sera a cena” which remains my favourite. Can you tell me something about the development of this music?

Usually I would be called in when the film was already finished. Many times I wouldn't even see the scene. Again, the Musical Director Morricone gave my the score and I would read and interpret it as if I was an instrument. This was my way of singing. I remember that Morricone played me the theme on the piano. The film director Patroni Griffi was also there. The theme was the one which I would have to sing. If I remember correctly, when I heard the first bars, that “haunting” riff, I was very affected by I told Morricone that it would be great if it was sung. That’s how the famous theme to “Metti una sera a cena” came about.

Do you usually listen to the theme tunes you have sung? Which is your favourite ?

All of them are great. I particularly like “La Donna Invisbile”(Morricone). I also like “Giù la testa”, “Margherita”, “le Stagioni della Vita”.

In the last few years film music has made a comeback and many theme tunes have been reissued, while a few have remained very rare and costly gems. What do you think of this comeback?

I think it’s due to the fact that they are showing those types of films again and also that Morricone is playing a lot with his orchestra and so he presents these themes again and the public appreciate them a lot.

Many of your songs for Morricone are vocalised or skat but a few times, “Verushka” for example you sing in a pseudo-English. How did this style of singing come about?

Let’s say that a few songs, mostly the Bossanovas, for example “La Donna Invisibile”were very suitable non only to vocalisation but to this thing also. If you ask me what I was saying. I don’t know. Maybe every now and again an English syllable would come out but all this would come from the way I would read the music, they’re called “Phonemicsi”

Many theme tune were inspired by jazz or Bossanova or Samba. These genres were all the rage at the time.

Usually Bossanova was chosen for the lighter situations, let’s say, erotic, (Director Dell’Orso). Let’s say it wasn’t exactly Bossanova which is a quite definite Brazilian way of music. It was a lighter rhythm that resembled Bossanova. Morricone played plenty of that.

Did you ever sing on compositions that were later used as soundtracks?

I sang “Il treno” by Bruno Nicolai that had been written for an advert for the Ministry of Transport. Many times I would sing and then honestly I wouldn’t know what use they would be put to.

What are your plans for the future? What are you doing at the moment?

When there’s an opportunity, I sing. Benefit concerts and a new CD called “A childs dream”... A Morricone double CD will shortly be released with all the famous tracks I song on, all original recordings apart from the theme to “Deborah”, which due to some editorial reason had to be re-done.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Ray Mantilla Birthday Jazzmotel impressions

Celebrating Ray Mantilla’s 75th birthday is not something you do every day.
I’ll skip the presentation of this artist as Jazzitlalia has already elaborated upon him with interviews and articles. I’ll focus on the emotions and sensations that the evening afforded me.

Thanks to Zero Zero Jazz and Associazione Culturale Miles I had the privilege as an independent Jazzmotel journalist and connoisseur of Latin Jazz music to attend this celebration from the late afternoon, attending the sound-check, the concert and the after-concert.

On arrival at the Don Mazza Auditorium in Padova, after trying with some difficulty to find parking, I enter this student college that houses a recently built concert hall and I await the arrival of the artists.

When they arrive I instantly take note of their warm-hearted friendliness, which probably is a by-product of their 40 years of touring, playing and meeting people.

The stage is practically ready, only the lights and sound-check are missing. Three congas Latin Percussion, 2 Timbales and a Cajon make up Mantilla’s instrumentation

The sound balance is over very quickly and is achieved by establishing a “true” sound rather than looking for a “perfect” sound. I note with great surprise the “electric” sound of pianist Edy Martinez. I then have the chance to meet the band and to ask Mantilla a few questions his about his music in the 60’s and 70’s focusing on “We Insist” which I find quite topical and up to date. He tells me about how he was contacted by Roach and about the atmosphere of that period ….a then a break and something to eat in a bar around the corner.

On my return the hall is packed and the background music is of great quality. The concert begins. I close my eyes and I have the sensation of being in the Bronx or in the Latin Barrio in the middle of the 70’s.
Martinez, with his electric piano typifies the sound of the gig, sounds that largely recall those of “The Other Road” by Ray Barretto FANIA on which Martinez contributed composing, in my opinion, the best tunes of that album.

With fantastic conga solos by Mantilla, jazzy embellishments by saxophonist Willie Williams (the Jazz “soul” of the band) and a fantastic rhythm section comprising a very tight Cucho Martinez on bass and Bill Elder on drums, after nearly two hours the Padova concert celebrating Mantilla’s birthday comes to an end.

A chat and a few drinks in the room housing the refreshments after the concert. I exchange emails and phone numbers and my evening as a Jazzmotel correspondent comes to a close accompanied by a piece of New York Barrio in my “Alma Latina”

Monday, February 16, 2009

JOE CUBA 1931 2009

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