Blue – too many great jazz musicians have passed away this year, leaving a huge empty space, which just got bigger with the news that Kenny Wheeler (1930-2014) and Mandolin maestro U Srinivas have both passed away as well in the last few days. Wheeler, a great composer with a beautiful tone, has left many great recordings on ECM and Srinivas surprised the music world with his magic as a member of Remember Shakti with John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain.
True – we went on September 15th to the celebration of Independence of Mexico in Madrid’s Teatros del Canal – main attraction was Magos Herrera, first singing in the duo with guitarist Javier Limon and then with her Spanish group featuring Ivan ‘Melon’ Lewis on piano, Reiner Elizarde Ruano on bass and Georvis Pico Milian on drums. While the duo is a very intimate affair and focuses more on her than on a Javier Limon who perfectly supports her, giving the one or other little twist in the way he plays to guide her in a different direction within a song, the group gives her more freedom the relax and let the focus wander somewhere else and so they are creating a loose structure in which she can scat and improvise, building a beautiful and captivating atmosphere. She stuck truly to her musical world and I thoroughly enjoyed this set, but it was a bit lost at the audience, which came to see what followed: a typical Mexican Mariachi band, songs they could sing along to and celebrate Mexico.
New – a few tips of things I heard or saw or read:
GoGo Penguin, a British piano trio, cool and modern, powerful and mysterious … their new album v2.0 has just be nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize in the UK … check out their latest video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVTyOp2GTv8
Pablo Martin Caminero, whose previous album El Caminero was a truly great recording of flamenco/jazz has a new album coming out very soon: O.F.N.I.- Objeto Flamenco No Identificado, which translates as UFO – Unidentified Flamenco Object. You can watch one of the new tracks via below link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt0VnSEd53g
1.000 Times Good Night – a movie by Erik Poppe with a brilliant Juliette Binoche. Poppe relies on his own experiences as a war photographer in this tale of passion and choices to be made in life. Absolutely a Must-See!!!
Jonas Jonasson, The Girl who saved the King of Sweden – another funny and almost slapstick style written novel by the successful Swedish author – a book that tells the story of someone supposedly unimportant having a big impact on many lives … Beautiful!