Music and more

It has been a while that I wrote my little blog – so here we go: lots of things happened since the last time – great news and less good ones, great music and lots of work for the OKeh event in New York on January 11th.

We went to see Madeleine Peyroux perform at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid – repertoire: her latest album The Blue Room, which is doing very well for her and is a great record of covers and a tribute to Ray Charles. With a tight band and an amazing performance from Madeleine, this became a great night out, with music performed as you would expect it from her: slow and emotional, her unique phrasing sometimes leaving the melody only to make it stronger when coming back into it.

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Then it was Kat Edmonson, supporting Jamie Cullum in Madrid – just her and Steve Elliott on guitar – a tough call, as she had to deal with an audience waiting for Jamie and that didn’t pay much attention to her. Under the circumstances she did very well and made a few new friends – building a career. She spoke a bit of Spanish to the crowd and sung a Spanish song as well – which was appreciated and they loved her for making an effort. Some mobile phones came out and therefore people will remember her – a good ground to move forward on.

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This was followed by some great news: Michel Camilo won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album for his OKeh release ‘What’s Up?’ – so great for him and sooo good for the new label. A positive start with getting that kind of recognition.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any nomination for the Grammy for next year – all Jazz categories were without a OKeh record ….. and I had hoped that at least the song ‘Deep in the weeds’ by Bob James and David Sanborn would get something, having had such a great run on US jazz radio, being #1 at both traditional and contemporary jazz radio. But it wasn’t to be – more and better work than next year to get some ….

I went to Paris to see Dhafer Youssef perform his new album Birds Requiem in an old theatre – Les Bouffes du Nord and it was an incredible concert in a full house, that was perfect in style and atmosphere for the show. Dhafer for me is one of the great voices of our time – an amazingly pure singer, who can touch deeply by just chanting. Raw emotions. His band as well incredible powerful, especially Eivind Aarset on guitars, who is a magician of sounds and Kristian Randalu on piano, who is powerful and subtle at the same time. Impressive.

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What else: if you haven’t seen it yet, go and watch Blue Jasmine, the new Woody Allen movie – one of his best for years.And it is worth seeing just for the powerful performance of Kate Blanchett – a real contender for an Oscar.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela the world lost one of the few true role models of our time. Humanity needs people like him – every generation needs someone to look up to and he was this person for my generation more than anyone else. R.I.P.

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