Aug 10

What Did You Do In The Trad Wars, Daddy?

 

In retrospect, it seems antradwars unlikely scenario. Followers of two distinct styles of music exchanging virulent verbal abuse and in some instancies  this even involving physical altercation. The war between the devotees of New Orleans Jazz and Modern jazz. Long before the famed accusation of 'Judas' aimed in the direction of Bob Dylan. During a concert presented by 'The Humphrey Littleton Band', who had  the temerity to introduce a saxophone into his line up, a cry from the audience of "Go home dirty bopper!"

 

Dress codes differed. The New Orleans aficionados generally unkept, and bearded. The modern jazz crowd dressed in smart two piece suites and particular style of hair cuts. The Trad clubs closed packed, smoky, and beery. Modern jazz clubs crowded, hot but cool, smoky, the smoke with undertone of the herbal.

 

Much like the current world,  well researched facts were ignored and reinterpreted to reinforce the belief...

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Jul 30

Joy for the Planet: The enchanter of Amsterdam - L'enchanteur d'Amsterdam.

Objective, to spread joy rather than division. How about that for an inexplicable concept.

 

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Jun 3

Racism, A Conditioned Reflex

 

racisimThere was a time when I travelled extensively in Europe. Naturally my trombone was always with me and I took every opportunity to play with local bands and to visit jazz clubs. In Zurich, Switzerland, at that time there was a very notable venue called 'The Widder Bar'. It was in actuality a restaurant, the owner a dedicated jazz lover, presented jazz in the evenings. Not just anyone, top international names.

 

One one particular evening I visited 'The Widder Bar' with a business associate, someone who travelled with fairly often. He, a really amiable individual, an American who lived in one of the more up market northern states, but from his marked accent originally from one of the states in the deep south.

 

The band included Thad Jones and Jerome Richardson and several other luminaries. Small audience, no more than thirty people, an intimate and agreeable ambience. A great evening of jazz from jazz greats. When the gig was over...

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May 31

Atheism - A Defendsible Concept?

 

Born Again AtheistChurch was what you did. Myself the small child saying a rote learned prayer for an uncle away in the army. Starting school as five years of age, the reproduction of William Holman Hunt's 'The Light of the World' hanging on the classroom wall. Sunday school every Sunday afternoon. The Cubs, church parades, and then the Scouts with its curious mixture of Christianity and Baden Powell's - good works and good deeds - bowdlerized Afrikaans and Swahili mores and verse. Did I believe of it? Did I have some kind of faith imbued in me? The honest answer would be no.

 

My knowledge of the Christian doctrine was hardly the depth of a nanometre. At that time in my mind the crucifixion was a very singular form of execution designed for the founder of Christianity. Not as I discovered later a very common form of execution within the Roman Empire. A choir boy, did I listen the drone of the sermon's? no. The church building, Victorian, unlovely,...

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May 26

Van Engel, Bier - Ventieltrombone - Valve trombone - Belgium - 1910

 

sixvalvetromValve trombone with 6 independent valves. The trombone is made by H. Van Engel in Lierre (Bier), Belgium. The Van Engel family operated a musical instrument factory in Lierre from 1813 to 1926. This trombone was made by the great-grandson, Henri van Engel between 1893 and 1926. The instrument does not contain a serial number. The bell measures 5 3/4 inches and has the inscription: fabrication, artistiques & perfectionee, H van Engel - 66 rue Delisp, Lierre, modele adopte par, mr Dax, professeur au Conservatoire de Bruxelles. The trombone is very unusual with 6 valves which work independently, the instrument is played in the same way as a sliding trombone. No valve pressed is the 1st position, 1st valve is 2nd position, 2nd valve is the third position etc. This trombone was invented by Adolph Sax in the 1840s. Complete with original case and mouthpiece, museum piece! Is leaving the collection....

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