Archive for the 'Música' Category

David Byrne: Playing the Building

noviembre 15, 2008

Yma Súmac

noviembre 9, 2008

yma

EFE
EL UNIVERSAL
WASHINGTON LUNES 03 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2008
10:43 Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, soprano peruana conocida como Yma Súmac y que se decía princesa inca, falleció a los 86 años como consecuencia de un cáncer de colon, en Los Angeles (EU.), informaron hoy sus admiradores.
Un sitio en internet dedicado a la artista informó hoy de que su fallecimiento ocurrió el 1 de noviembre en una residencia para ancianos y que “fue una muerte en paz, con Yma Súmac rodeada por sus seres más queridos”.

“Su último año lo pasó cuidada por quienes la amaban”, añade el mensaje. “Que sirva de consuelo para quienes la han querido y admirado el saber que estuvo siempre rodeada de flores, de vuestras hermosas tarjetas, fotos de sus días de gloria. También la acompañaron dos pequeños chihuahas a los que ella adoraba”.

El alto registro de la voz de Súmac, de cinco octavas en tiempos en que las cantantes de ópera alcanzaban dos octavas y media, cautivó a millones de admiradores a mediados de la década de los años 50.

Casi todos los detalles biográficos de Yma Súmac -su versión de las palabras quechuas “ima sumaq”, qué linda- han sido motivo de controversia, desde la fecha y lugar de nacimiento, a su afirmación de que su madre era descendiente de Atahualpa, el último emperador inca.

Según su asistente personal, Damon Devine, que dice haber visto el certificado de nacimiento, Yma Súmac nació el 13 de septiembre de 1922 en la localidad andina de Ichocán.

Las crónicas dicen que la niña Zoila Augusta fue una autodidacta que, con gran disciplina, desarrolló una técnica admirable.

La joven cantante llamó la atención del musicólogo y compositor limeño Moisés Vivanco, con quien se casó en 1942, y poco después se integró a un conjunto de 46 cantantes y bailarines indígenas en una gira por América del Sur, durante la cual grabó temas con el nombre de Imma Sumack.

Yma Súmac alcanzó gran popularidad en el período posterior a la Segunda Guerra Mundial, cuando lo que en Estados Unidos se consideraba exótico se puso de moda.

Un crítico del diario Los Ángeles Times, Don Heckman, una vez describió a la cantante peruana como “una fantasía musical, en technicolor, viva, que respira, una ilusión caleidoscópica de lo exótico según Metro Goldwyn Mayer producida en tiempos de pragmatismo”.

Sus primeras grabaciones datan de 1944, y en su discografía se cuentan temas como A ti solita te quiero, El picaflor, La Benita, Amor, Amor indio, Waraka tusuy, Carnaval indio, Cholo traicionero, Wifalitay, Parihuan,Mashiringa, Punchauniquipy y Vírgenes del sol.

Los títulos de sus álbumes y las fechas dan un bosquejo de la extensión y amplitud de la carrera artística de Yma Súmac: Voz del Xtabay (1950); Leyenda de la virgen del Sol (1953); Inca Taqui (1953); ¡Mambo! (1955); Leyenda del jíbaro (1957); Fuego del Ande (1959), y en 1972 Milagros con música de rock.

En la cima de su carrera musical Yma Súmac también tuvo participación en las películas Secreto de los Incas (1954) y Omar Khayyam (1957).

Durante sus presentaciones en vivo Yma Súmac tomaba poses mayestáticas y sujetaba con broches hacia atrás su larga cabellera negra lo cual resaltaba sus pómulos.

Gustaba de un vestuario ampuloso, con abundancia de joyas en oro y plata, y solía decir que los animales de la jungla habían influido en su gusto musical.

Los recitales periódicos y el lanzamiento en 2005 de Queen of Exotica, una enorme antología de su trabajo, alimentaron el fervor de sus más ardientes admiradores, y, según algunos críticos musicales, Yma Súmac fue una inspiración para artistas punk y rock.

Yma Súmac deja un hijo Charlie, fruto de su matrimonio.

Yma Sumac: Farewell, Chosen Maiden
Posted Mon Nov 3, 2008 2:04pm PST by Billy Altman in Stop The Presses!

I know it’s something of a cliché to note someone’s passing by saying that “there’ll never be another [fill in the name].” But hearing the news today of a once-famous singer’s death this morning at age 86 in Los Angeles, I think we have one of those instances where you can safely say it: “There’ll never be another Yma Sumac.”

Just ask the B-52’s, or Yoko Ono, or Cyndi Lauper, or any of the many who over the years have been inspired and influenced by the music and image of the ever-mysterious “Nightingale Of The Andes.”

It was in 1950 that, without much fanfare, Capitol Records released Songs Of The Xtabay, an album of tunes “based on ancient Peruvian folk music” performed by Yma Sumac–an exotically named, exotically dressed beauty whose nearly five-octave vocal range made her sound much more than simply exotic; positively unearthly was more like it. So was her backstory: Supposedly a descendant of an Inca emperor, Sumac had come to the United States in 1946 after starring in a Lima-based Indian song-and-dance troupe, where she’d met her husband, musician Moises Vivanco. Settling in New York, she began appearing in a variety of venues (including the Catskills Borsch Belt circuit), where her often trancelike singing usually left audiences agog.

“Discovered” a few years later by West Coast-based Capitol, Sumac’s Xtabay album showcased a voice that, as one classical music critic would later note, “warbles like a bird in the uppermost regions, hoots like an owl in the lowest registers, produced bell-like coloratura passages one minute, and dusky contralto tones the next.” It quickly zoomed to the top of the charts, and made Yma Sumac a “overnight sensation.”

Throughout the early-to-mid ’50s, her career blossomed, with sold-out concert tours, Broadway and Vegas showcases, and even a few movie roles, including Secret Of The Incas (1954), an Indiana Jones-prefiguring action adventure film where she appeared alongside Charlton Heston:

Like many stars from this era, the rock ‘n’ roll revolution eclipsed Yma Sumac’s star, although thanks to artists like the aforementioned B-52’s and Lauper, interest in Sumac did generate a brief and memorable comeback in the 1980s.

Her career was not without controversy: During her heyday, there were nagging rumors that she wasn’t any Peruvian princess, but rather just a Brooklyn housewife named Amy Camus whose enterprising husband had concocted the entire attention-grabbing story. Of course, even if that were true–and outside of the lineage part, and her real name (Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo), it does appear that the rest of the biography is pretty accurate–nothing, and we mean nothing, can take away from the unimpeachable majesty, and mystery, that was Yma Sumac.

Farewell, chosen maiden.

LEYENDA PERUANA DEL MUNDO LÍRICO DE LOS AÑOS 50 Y 60
Falleció Yma Súmac

La muerte de la diva peruana Yma Súmac en Los Angeles provocó el lunes una reacción masiva de dolor en la prensa peruana, en la que se recordó que poseía un prodigioso registro de voz que podía mezclar los tonos más agudos con los más graves en una misma melodía. Desde tempranas horas las televisoras y radios dedicaron amplios espacios a la soprano, cuya muerte a los 86 años de edad, ocurrida el 1º de noviembre en un hogar de ancianos, recién se difundió este lunes vía su sitio oficial en internet.
Enrique Bernales, presidente de la Asociación Lírica del Perú, recordó que “Yma Súmac tenía una voz totalmente fuera de lo común. Las notas más graves y más agudas las hacía en una sola canción”. “De todos los registros que se tienen conocimiento desde el siglo XX, Yma Súmac tenía la única voz que era capaz de ese prodigio, pero además, lo hacía sin desafinar, con notas colocadas exactamente en su registro y en su tono musical”, declaró a la radio local RPP.
Su excepcional registro vocal poseía una enorme variedad de tonos que van desde las notas de un tenor hasta los sobreagudos más agudos de la soprano más aguda, resaltó el crítico musical José Quezada.
“Es la única peruana que tiene inscrito su nombre en el Paseo de la Fama en Hollywood”, señaló con orgullo un canal de televisión local.
En tanto, la Cámara de Comercio de Hollywood, que administra este boulevard turístico, anunció que colocará flores sobre la estrella de la “Peruvian Songbird” Yma Súmac, en el Paseo de la Fama, e invita a sus fanáticos a depositar flores en ese lugar.
Yma Súmac, cuyo verdadero nombre era Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, vivía desde hace sesenta años en Los Angeles, donde se labró un nombre en Hollywood en la década de 1950 y 1960.
Su nombre artístico significa en español ‘qué hermosa’ y se popularizó del quechua (el idioma de los incas) para reforzar la leyenda de que se trataba de una descendiente del último inca Atahualpa, muerto en el siglo XVI. Durante el esplendor de su carrera artística, en las décadas de 1950 a 1960, actuó en Estados Unidos, Francia, la ex Unión Soviética, Japón, Italia, Gran Bretaña y países de Europa del Este que formaron parte del bloque soviético. Presentándose como una sacerdotisa inca, la diva triunfó en musicales de Broadway y Hollywood, y también protagonizó con Charlton Heston el filme “The secret of the Inca” (1953), a la vez que grabó numerosos discos. Vendió miles de discos interpretando música andina y latinoamericana, y en los años 90 la música pop estadounidense la redescubrió. Su disco más popular fue “Mambo”.
Yma Súmac fue una pionera en la música popular al mezclar géneros diversos como la música folclórica con el jazz, el mambo e incluso el rock, un estilo personal que la hizo famosa pero que al mismo tiempo le valió críticas de los puristas, señaló el diario El Comercio.
Reconocida como la artista peruana de mayor prestigio en la historia de la música, Yma Súmac fue condecorada con la orden del Sol por el gobierno peruano en 2006 con ocasión de su última visita a Lima.

Adiós Princesa!

YMA SUMAC official web

(Obama) “Today is the Day” by Yo La Tengo

noviembre 5, 2008

Is America ready for a surfing president? It turns out that Obama, who grew up in Hawaii, has spent some time on a sufboard- this fact came to light after he ran into a few of the industry giants at a fundraising about a year ago. A few cocktails later, he had his very own custom board.

It’s amazing to think that the elected president of the United States has ridden waves.

Fuente: SurferMagazine

The Opportunity We’ve Been Waiting For

The election of Barack Obama as the next U.S. President opens up enormous opportunities for America – and for the world. With the economy in shambles and the world’s ecosystems in even deeper debt, the transition comes not a moment too soon.

At a time when millions of people are losing their jobs and traditional manufacturing industries are shrinking, the transition to electric cars, energy-efficient green buildings, wind power, and solar energy represents the largest economic opportunity the world has seen in decades. U.S. leadership in building a green economy will inspire similar efforts from Europe to China – and will allow the world to address the looming climate catastrophe.

Worldwatch and its partners are excited to provide our newest leaders in Washington with a road map to a green economy.

Fuente: Worldwatch

obaming

YO LA TENGO

Joao Gilberto e Caetano Veloso – O Pato

octubre 24, 2008

S u p e r b l o g persigue buenas noticias. De ahora en lo adelante, los viernes postearemos muy buenas noticias, de lo contrario, pondremos música. Hoy empezamos con O Pato (Jayme Silva – Neuza Teixera / arr. Joao Gilberto).

Orilla Del Mundo: Haden & Rubalcaba

octubre 1, 2008

Original de ROJAS com arranjo de Charlie Haden, contrabaixo, e de Gonzalo Rubalcaba, piano. Conta ainda com Joe Lovano no sax, Federico Britos Ruiz no violino e Ignacio Berroa na percussão. É o tema de abertura do disco Nocturne (Verve, 2001) de Charlie Haden. …

Esperanza Spalding: belleza abrumadora

julio 17, 2008

 

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David Byrne’s New Band, With Architectural Solos

mayo 30, 2008

THE symphony of Manhattan Island, composed and performed fortissimo daily by garbage trucks, car speakers, I-beam bolters, bus brakes, warped manhole covers, knocking radiators, people yelling from high windows and the blaring television that now greets you in the back of a taxi, is the kind of music people would pay good money to be able to silence, if only there were a switch.

The other day, in a paint-peeling hangar of a room at the foot of the island, David Byrne, the artist and musician, placed his finger on a switch that did exactly the opposite: it made such music on purpose. The switch was a white key on the bass end of a beat-up Weaver pump organ that was practically the only thing sitting inside the old Great Hall of the Battery Maritime Building, a 99-year-old former ferry terminal at the end of Whitehall Street that has sat mostly dormant for more than a half-century.

PHOTOS: OZIER MUHAMAD / NYT

The organ’s innards had been replaced with relays and wires and light blue air hoses. And when the key was pressed, a 110-volt motor strapped to a girder high up in the room’s ceiling began to vibrate, essentially playing the girder and producing a deafening low hum — like one of the tuba tones played by the mother ship in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Or, if you were less charitably inclined, like a truck on Canal Street with a loose muffler. Mr. Byrne ran his fingers up the keyboard, causing more hums and whines, moans and plunks and clinks until he came to a key that seemed to do nothing.

“We’re not getting any register on that bottom one anymore,” he said, sending two artist-technicians up onto a scaffold to figure out why a certain magnetic knocker was not turning one of the room’s giant Corinthian columns — topped by upended, gaping dolphins — into a kind of architectural castanet.

The project Mr. Byrne has created with support from the public-art organization Creative Time is a kind of twist on the projects Creative Time has brought into being since it started helping artists use the city as a canvas in 1974. Often the organization finds dilapidated, neglected, historically rich buildings, and artists create installations inside, as the British artist Mike Nelson did last year when he turned a wing of the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side into a dimly lighted labyrinth. The ferry-terminal project, called, appropriately enough, “Playing the Building,” opens at noon on Saturday.

But in the case of Mr. Byrne — a founder of the Talking Heads who has been a visual artist as long as he has been a musician and producer — the Beaux-Arts terminal itself has become the installation, or at least a stunning, 9,000-square-foot part of it that once served as a soaring waiting room for passengers who came there to board ferries bound for South Brooklyn. The building has been one of those glorious Manhattan antiques caught in a decades-long time warp, not used for major ferry service since 1938. Plans to have it house everything from a children’s museum to a dance troupe to even Creative Time’s offices have fallen through over the years, and now a developer has been chosen to rehabilitate the terminal and build a hotel atop it.

At least for the next two and a half months, though, the building will simply serve as a gargantuan cast-iron orchestra. Besides being fitted with several motors, which produce the bass sounds by vibrating a set of girders that once supported a stained-glass skylight in the 40-foot-high ceiling, the organ is attached to a pump that blows air through a tangle of hoses. These hoses snake into the huge room’s old water and heating pipes and conduits, making primitive flute sounds. And then there are more than a dozen spring-loaded solenoids, attached like woodpeckers to the columns and even to a linebacker-size radiator that emits a surprisingly sonorous tone when struck in just the right place with a metal rod.

When you get both hands busy on the keyboard — as anyone who comes to see the work will be allowed to do — the room roars and clatters to life, seeming to harbor an invisible band playing something written by Philip Glass in collaboration with the Stooges, a Japanese sho virtuoso and a kitchen full of 3-year-olds with pots and ladles.

Working on the project recently in his SoHo studio, Mr. Byrne said he had generally avoided music-related art projects because he did not want his reputation as a musician to become confused with such work.

But when he was invited several years ago to propose a piece for Fargfabriken, a gallery space in a former factory in Stockholm, he began thinking about how to turn a building into an instrument. (One of his ideas for the Swedish project was to build a huge microwave oven inside the hall.) He had inherited the out-of-tune pump organ from a friend who was moving out of his print studio in the meatpacking district. And so Mr. Byrne used the organ to create the first version of “Playing the Building” in 2005.

Because he generally likes to distance his art from his music, Mr. Byrne has not composed pieces for the building-organ and does not plan to play it publicly. But he said he hoped the project would say something about the direction of popular music.

“I’m not suggesting people abandon musical instruments and start playing their cars and apartments, but I do think the reign of music as a commodity made only by professionals might be winding down,” he said in a discussion about the piece with Anne Pasternak, the project’s curator and Creative Time’s president. “The imminent demise of the large record companies as gatekeepers of the world’s popular music is a good thing, for the most part.”

The music that will soon be heard from the maritime building’s infrastructure and the organ, with assistance from a stream of visitors over the summer, is essentially “authorless,” but “strongly directed,” he said.

With only four days left before the doors opened, Mr. Byrne and two people who helped build the piece, Mark McNamara and Justin Downs, were working hard one recent afternoon to arrange the organ’s keyboard so that it played the building roughly from low notes to high — very roughly. (“Nobody’s going to be able to play Bach on it,” Mr. Byrne said.)

A white rubber mallet, useful early on for determining the lyrical quality of rusty steam pipes and girders, lay atop the organ. And even with the sun streaming through the room’s expansive skylight, there was an element of gothic ghostliness about the setup, a prim-looking church organ commanding an empty waiting room. (By way of unintentional back story, to add a little extra eeriness, in 1885 The New York Times reported that J. O. Weaver, a member of the family that owned the Weaver Organ Manufacturing Company of York, Pa., became “violently deranged” in a Dallas hotel room and committed suicide by cutting his throat “from ear to ear” with a razor.)

Mr. Byrne, wearing a straw fedora with a feather stuck in the band, seemed to grow momentarily bored with architectural harmonies and took a visitor through a doorway into a shadowy hall that led to a seemingly darker history for the building: two empty meat lockers and a tiled room with a drain that might have been an abattoir, perhaps once used for supplying meat to Governors Island, whose ferry leaves from the slips below.

“There’s some really weird stuff back here,” he said.

Then he grabbed his backpack and headed out to another appointment uptown, by means of that weirdest and most musical New York City instrument of all, the subway.

“Playing the Building” opens on Saturday at noon and will continue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m., through Aug. 10 at the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South Street, Lower Manhattan; (212) 206-6674 or creativetime.org/byrne. Admission is free.

Fuente: NYT

John Lennon

diciembre 10, 2006

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26 años del fallecimiento de John Lennon.

“Hold On”

Listening With Ornette Coleman

septiembre 25, 2006

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Foto: Lee Friedlander for The New York Times

Listening With Ornette Coleman
Seeking the Mystical Inside the Music

By BEN RATLIFF
THE alto saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman, one of the last of the truly imposing figures from a generation of jazz players that was full of them, seldom talks about other people’s music. People generally want to ask him about his own, and that becomes the subject he addresses. Or half-addresses: what he’s really focused on is a set of interrelated questions about music, religion and the nature of being. Sometimes he can seem indirect, or sentimental, or thoroughly confusing. Other times he sounds like one of the world’s killer aphorists.

In any case, other people’s music was what I wanted to talk to him about. I asked what he would like to listen to. “Anything you want,” he said in his fluty Southern voice. “There is no bad music, only bad performances.” He finally offered a few suggestions. The music he likes is simply defined: anything that can’t be summed up in a common term. Any music that is not created as part of a style. “The state of surviving in music is more like ‘what music are you playing,’ ” he said. “But music isn’t a style, it’s an idea. The idea of music, without it being a style — I don’t hear that much anymore.”

Then he went up a level. “I would like to have the same concept of ideas as how people believe in God,” he said. “To me, an idea doesn’t have any master.”

Mr. Coleman was born, in 1930, and raised in Fort Worth, where he attained some skill at playing rhythm and blues in bars, like any decent saxophonist, and some more skill at playing bebop, which was rarer. He arrived in New York in 1959, via Los Angeles, with an original, logical sense of melody and an idea of playing with no preconceived chord changes. Yet his music bore a tight sense of knowing itself, of natural form, and the records he made for Atlantic with his various quartets, from 1959 to 1961, are almost unreasonably beautiful.

Following that initial shock of the new came a short period with a trio, then a two-year hiatus from recording in 1963 and 1964, then the trio again, then a fantastic quartet from 1968 to 1972 with the tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman (who died three weeks ago), then a period of funk-through-the-looking-glass with his electric band, Prime Time. Mr. Coleman is still moving, now with a band including two bassists, Greg Cohen and Tony Falanga, and his son, Denardo Coleman, on drums.

He has a kind of high-end generosity; he said that he wouldn’t think twice about letting me go home with a piece of music he had just written, because he would be interested in what I might make of it. But there is a great pessimism in his talk, too. He said he believes that most of human history has been wasted on building increasingly complicated class structures. “Life is already complete,” he said. “You can’t learn what life is. And the only way you die is if something kills you. So if life and death are already understood, what are we doing?”

A week later we met for several hours at his large, minimal-modernist loft in Manhattan’s garment district. Mr. Coleman is 76 and working often: he is making music with his new quartet that, at heart, is similar to what he made when he was 30. On “Sound Grammar,” his new live album (on his new record label, of the same name), it is a matter of lines traveling together and pulling apart, following the curve of his melodies, tangling and playing in a unison that allows for discrepancies between individual sound and intonation and, sometimes, key.

Unison is one of his key words: he puts an almost mystical significance in it, and he uses it in many ways. “Being a human, you’re required to be in unison: upright,” he said.

Mr. Coleman draws you into the chicken-and-egg questions that he’s asking himself. These questions can become sort of the dark side of Bible class. Many of them are about what happens when you put a name on something, or when you learn some codified knowledge.

Though he is fascinated by music theory, he is suspicious of any construct of thought. Standard Western notation and harmony is a big problem for him, particularly for the fact that the notation for many instruments (including his three instruments — alto saxophone, trumpet and violin) must be transposed to fit the “concert key” of C in Western music.

Mr. Coleman talks about “music” with care and accuracy, but about “sound” with love. He doesn’t understand, he says, how listeners will ever properly understand the power of notes when they are bossed around by the common Western system of harmony and tuning.

He’s not endorsing cacophony: he says making music is a matter of finding euphonious resolutions between different players. (And much of his music keeps referring to, if not actually staying in, a major key.) But the reason he appreciates Louis Armstrong, for example, is that he sees Armstrong as someone who improvised in a realm beyond his own knowledge. “I never heard him play a straight chord in root position for his idea,” he said. “And when he played a high note, it was the finale. It wasn’t just because it was high. In some way, he was telling stories more than improvising.”

MR. COLEMAN’S first request was something by Josef Rosenblatt, the Ukrainian-born cantor who moved to New York in 1911 and became one of the city’s most popular entertainers — as well as a symbol for not selling out your convictions. (He turned down a position with a Chicago opera company, but was persuaded to take a small role in Al Jolson’s film “The Jazz Singer.”) I brought some recordings from 1916 and we listened to “Tikanto Shabbos,” a song from Sabbath services. Rosenblatt’s voice came booming out, strong and clear at the bottom, with miraculous coloratura runs at the top.

“I was once in Chicago, about 20-some years ago,” Mr. Coleman said. “A young man said, ‘I’d like you to come by so I can play something for you.’ I went down to his basement and he put on Josef Rosenblatt, and I started crying like a baby. The record he had was crying, singing and praying, all in the same breath. I said, wait a minute. You can’t find those notes. Those are not ‘notes.’ They don’t exist.”

He listened some more. Rosenblatt was working with text, singing brilliant figures with it, then coming down on a resolving note, which was confirmed and stabilized by a pianist’s chord. “I want to ask something,” he said. “Is the language he’s singing making the resolution? Not the melody. I mean, he’s resolving. He’s not singing a ‘melody.’ ”

It could be that he’s at least singing each little section in relation to a mode, I said.

“I think he’s singing pure spiritual,” he said. “He’s making the sound of what he’s experiencing as a human being, turning it into the quality of his voice, and what he’s singing to is what he’s singing about. We hear it as ‘how he’s singing.’ But he’s singing about something. I don’t know what it is, but it’s bad.”

I wonder how much of it is really improvised, I said. Which up-and-down melodic shapes, and in which orders, were well practiced, and which weren’t.

“Mm-hmm,” he said. “I understand what you’re saying. But it doesn’t sound like it’s going up and down; it sounds like it’s going out. Which means it’s coming from his soul.”

MR. COLEMAN grew up loving Charlie Parker and bebop in general. “It was the most advanced collective way of playing a melody and at the same time improvising on it,” he said. Certainly, he was highly influenced by Parker’s phrasing.

He saw Parker play in Los Angeles in the early 1950’s. “Basically, he had picked up a local rhythm section, and he was playing mostly standards. He didn’t play any of the music that I liked that I’d heard on a record. He looked at his watch and stopped in the middle of what he was playing, put his horn in his case and walked out the door. I said, ohh. I mean, I was trying to figure out what that had to do with music, you know? It taught me something.”

What did it teach him? “He knew the quality of what he could play, and he knew the audience, and he wasn’t impressed enough by the audience to do something that they didn’t know. He wasn’t going to spend any more time trying to prove that.”

We listened to “Cheryl,” a Parker quintet track from 1947. “I was drawn to the way Charlie Parker phrased his ideas,” he said. “It sounded more like he was composing, and I really loved that. Then, when I found out that the minor seventh and the major seventh was the structure of bebop music — well, it’s a sequence. It’s the art of sequences. I kind of felt, like, I got to get out of this.”

He talks a lot about sequences. (John Coltrane, he said, was a good saxophone player who was lost to them.) With regard to his Parker worship, he kept the phrasing but got rid of the sequences. “I first tried to ban all chords,” he said, “and just make music an idea, instead of a set pattern to know where you are.”

I SUGGESTED gospel music, and he was enthusiastic. I brought something I felt he might like: sacred harp music — white, rural, choral music, about 100 voices in loose unison. We listened to “The Last Words of Copernicus,” written in 1869 and recorded by Alan Lomax in Fyffe, Ala., in 1959.

“That’s breath music,” he said, as big groups of singers harmonized in straight eighth-note patterns, singing plainly but with character. “They’re changing the sound with their emotions. Not because they’re hearing something.” But then we were off on another topic — whether a singer should seek a voicelike sound for his voice. “Isn’t it amazing that sound causes the idea to sound the way it is, more than the idea?” he asked.

Finally the listening experiment broke down. It’s hard to keep Mr. Coleman talking about anyone else’s music. His mystical-logical puzzles are too interesting to him.

He is writing new pieces for each concert, and was leaving for European shows. “Right now, I’m trying to play the instrument,” he said, “and I’m trying to write, without any restrictions of chord, keys, time, melody and harmony, but to resolve the idea eternally, where every person receives the same quality from it, without relating it to some person.”

He told a childhood story about his mother, who, he kept reminding me, was born on Christmas Day. After he received his first saxophone, he would go to her when he learned to play something by ear. “I’d be saying: ‘Listen to this! Listen to this!’ ” he remembered. “You know what she’d tell me? ‘Junior, I know who you are. You don’t have to tell me.’ ”

Fuente: The New York Times Company

Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991)

septiembre 15, 2006

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Miles’s Eyes

Foto: fuente desconocida, posible autorretrato

No encuentro un cuadernillo de apuntes donde a grosso modo, planteo una hipótesis: en el plano personal, de que la música de Miles Davis era inclasificable y la llave de la puerta de la comprensión urbana americana.

El día de su fallecimiento, la mala noticia la dió Monchi Escotto llegando desde Cabarete, en plena fiesta en Jarabacoa, camino a Manabao, cerca de la medianoche. Escuchamos repetidas veces Kind Of Blue, Miles in Berlin, Aura, Decoy, Black Beauty, Miles in Montreux [live], Amandla, etc.

Me tomó 10 años, mudarme a Nueva York y deambular los caminos, el mundo subterráneo, para disfrutar a plenitud de su obra en conjunto. Siempre está presente un eslabón perdido.

Miles ha sido un dibujante y diseñador gráfico extraordinario, (faceta muy desconocida y marginal) las divagaciones visuales y su relación con el mundo construído de sonidos, y su relación con la arquitectura me recuerda a Wagner. Estos experimentos de Miles Davis ocuparon mucho tiempo en su estudio, es notable en sus mejores grabaciones, performances y conciertos.

La asociación cromática con los sonidos, la Clave Tonal propiedad común en la composición de la pintura antigua y la música, es la fuente y base de datos para Aura, y Kind of Blue, la música oficial de tomar un avión, no sé la razón de esto: por default, suena Kind of Blue.

El 28 de Septiembre, le dedico la fiesta.

Miles Davis’ impact on jazz is almost incalculable. During his fifty-year career, his characteristic clear tone, and the delicate shading of his Harmon mute influenced virtually every aspect jazz. From his early days as a sideman for Charlie Parker, through his groundbreaking Birth of the Cool sessions, to his stunning small groups of the ’50s and ’60s, through to his electric renaissance, the trumpeter, bandleader, and composer has left a deep mark on all who came after.

Miles Dewey Davis was born on May 25, 1926 in Alton, Ill. and moved to East St. Louis, Ill. when he was a child. By the age of 10 Davis was playing trumpet, later performing in his high school band and several local jazz groups. In 1944 at the age of 18, Miles traveled to New York to study at the Julliard School of Music. Shortly after his arrival, he was playing in clubs with Charlie Parker, and by 1945 he had abandoned his academic studies for a full-time career as a jazz musician, initially joining Benny Carter’s band and making his first recordings as a sideman. He played with Eckstine throughout 1946-1947 and was a member of Parker’s group in 1947-1948, making his recording debut as a leader on a 1947 session that featured Parker, pianist John Lewis, bassist Nelson Boyd, and drummer Max Roach. In January 1949 he recorded “Birth of the Cool”, his first great album with arranger Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Lee Konitz, J. J. Johnson and pianist John Lewis. However, Columbia did not release the LP until February of 1957.

During the early 1950s, Davis struggled with an addiction to heroin and released a string of albums recorded in the innovative style of hard bop. In 1955, he kicked his drug habit and began a comeback that was marked by an appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival. In 1958, Davis was reunited with Coltrane in a sextet, also including bassist Paul Chambers, pianist Bill Evans, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderly, and drummer Philly Joe Jones. With this classic backing band, Davis recorded “Milestones” and “Kind of Blue”. He was reunited with Gil Evans in a series of discs including “Porgy and Bess” and “Sketches of Spain” that pitted Davis’s solo trumpet against a large jazz orchestra.

In the 1960s he formed a new quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams that set the standard for the decade’s small group jazz, and it drew him towards a freer approach to rhythm and his first experiments with rock beats. In the late 1960s with new bandmembers Chick Corea Keith Jarrett, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, he moved into a period of further experiment with free jazz and fusion including the discs “In A Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew”.

In 1975, Davis abruptly announced his retirement, which was reportedly due to his poor health after years of drug and alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, he returned in 1981 with a new band and released a series of popular electrified funk arrangements of jazz. After emerging from retirement, Davis toured and recorded intermittently throughout the 1980s. In 1989, he published an acclaimed autobiography, Miles, written with the poet Quincy Troupe. He played right through the summer of 1991 at various international events, including – for virtually the only time in his career – reunions with members of his former bands, as well as a Montreux concert of his Gil Evans collaborations.

In September 1991, Davis went into hospital in Santa Monica, California for, what he described to his friends, as a ‘tune-up’. On the 28th of that month, he died from pneumonia and a respiratory failure.

Discography
First Miles (Savoy 1945)
Birth of the Cool (Blue Note 1949)
And Horns (Original Jazz 1951)
Blue Period (Prestige 1951)
Conception (Original Jazz 1951)
The New Sounds of Miles Davis (Prestige 1951)
Diggin’ (Prestige 1951)
Dig (Prestige 1951)
Collector’s Items (Prestige 1951)
Live at the Barrel, Vol. 2 (Prestige 1952)
Miles Davis Plays the Compositions of Al Cohn (Prestige 1953)
Miles Davis Featuring Sonny Rollins (Prestige 1953)
Blue Haze (Original Jazz 1953)
Bags Groove (Original Jazz 1954)
Miles Davis Quintet [Prestige 185] (Prestige 1954)
Miles Davis & the Modern Jazz Giants (Prestige 1954)
Walkin’ (Original Jazz 1954)
Green Haze (Prestige 1955)
The Musings of Miles (Original Jazz 1955)
Odyssey (Prestige 1955)
Milt and Miles (Prestige 1955)
Miles Davis and Milt Jackson Quintet / Sextet (Original Jazz 1955)
Circle in the Round (Columbia /Legacy 1955)
Round About Midnight (Columbia 1955)
Cookin’ (Original Jazz 1955)
The New Miles Davis Quintet (Prestige 1955)
Miles (Prestige 1955)
Miles Davis & Horns 51-53 (Original Jazz 1955)
Miles & Monk at Newport [live] (Columbia 1955)
Workin’ (Original Jazz 1956)
Steamin’ (Original Jazz 1956)
Relaxin’ (Prestige 1956)
Cookin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet (DCC 1956)
Nouvelle Vague on CD [Original Soundtrack] (Philips 1956)
Miles Ahead (Columbia / Legacy 1957)
Milestones [Columbia] (Columbia 1958)
Miles Davis at Newport 1958 [live] (Columbia / Legacy 1958)
Porgy and Bess (Columbia / Legacy 1958)
Kind of Blue (Columbia / Legacy 1959)
Sketches of Spain (Columbia / Legacy 1959)
Directions (Columbia 1960)
Friday at the Blackhawk [live] (CBS 1960)
Friday at the Blackhawk, Vol. 2 [live] (CBS 1960)
Friday and Saturday Nights in Person [live] (Columbia 1961)
In Person: Friday Night at the Blackhawk [live] (Columbia 1961)
Miles Davis in Person, Vol. 1 [live] (Columbia 1961)
Miles Davis in Person, Vol. 2 [live] (Columbia 1961)
In Person: Saturday Night at the Blackhawk [live] (Columbia 1961)
At Carnegie Hall [live] (Columbia / Legacy 1961)
Miles in St Louis [live] (VGM 1961)
In Person at the Blackhawk [live] (CBS 1961)
Someday My Prince Will Come (Columbia 1961)
Quiet Nights (Columbia / Legacy 1962)
Sorcerer (Columbia / Legacy 1962)
Miles at Antibes [live] (CBS 1962)
Seven Steps to Heaven (Columbia 1963)
Miles in Antibes [live] (CBS 1963)
Four & More [live] (Columbia 1964)
My Funny Valentine [live] (Columbia 1964)
Miles in Tokyo [live] (Columbia 1964)
Miles in Berlin [live] (CBS 1964)
In Europe [live] (CBS 1964)
E.S.P. (Columbia / Legacy 1965)
Live at the Plugged Nickel (CBS 1965)
Miles Smiles (Columbia / Legacy 1966)
In Berlin [live] (Columbia 1966)
Nefertiti (Columbia / Legacy 1967)
Miles in the Sky (Columbia / Legacy 1968)
Filles de Kilimanjaro (Columbia 1968)
In a Silent Way (Columbia 1969)
Bitches Brew (Columbia / Legacy 1969)
Big Fun (Columbia / Legacy 1969)
Live-Evil (Columbia / Legacy 1970)
A Tribute to Jack Johnson (Columbia 1970)
Black Beauty: Miles Davis at Fillmore West [live] (Columbia / Legacy 1970)
Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the… (Columbia/Legacy 1970)
On the Corner (Columbia / Legacy 1972)
Get Up with It (Columbia / Legacy 1972)
Miles Davis in Europe Lincoln Center [live] (Columbia 1972)
In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall (Columbia 1972)
Dark Magus [live] (Tristar 1974)
Dangaea [live] (Columbia 1975)
Agharta [live] (Columbia 1975)
We Want Miles (Columbia 1981)
The Man with the Horn (Columbia 1981)
Star People (Columbia 1982)
New Quintet (Original Jazz 1982)
Decoy (Columbia 1983)
Aura (Columbia 1985)
You’re Under Arrest (Columbia 1985)
Tutu (Warner 1986)
Music from Siesta (Warner 1987)
Live Around the World (Warner 1988)
Miles in Montreux [live] (Jazz Door 1989)
Amandla (Warner 1989)
Dingo (Warner 1990)
Hot Spot (Antilles 1990)
Doo-Bop (Warner 1991)

fuente: http://www.jazztrumpetsolos.com/Miles.htm