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Monthly Archives: June 2010

As our Jazz month draws to a close lets ease ourselves gently back towards Brazil and Bossa…

American jazz and swing music were a great influence on Brazilian guitar maestro Baden Powell de Aquino (1937-2000).
This LP dates from 1963, when Baden Powell’s collaborations with American jazz musicians were bringing him to international attention. Jimmy Pratt had drummed with a number of Jazz legends, most notably Charlie Parker.


Here is a link to some info on the recording:

Coming from a relatively poor part of town a lot of the women I knew when I was a kid ‘did cleaning’ in the bigger houses on the hill. Observing Ma Kartoshka’s daily rituals I couldn’t figure out how they had the time to do this. Ma made the maintenance of our own modest 5 room house into a 50 hour a week occupation. The old lady who looked after me when I was little sometimes took me with her on her cleaning jobs. She was a widow and seemed delicately old (she would, I reckon, have been about 65 at the time). I would sit in the dauntingly large rooms, chilly and high ceilinged as she sped around with an antique vacuum (itself a novelty)- the bag blown voluptuously full. She looked the part, in a pink checked tabard with a scarf knotted around her head. Auntie- why can’t Mr and Mrs so and so do their own cleaning?… the question seemed ridiculous to her. But I imagined that only people who were very old or very ill would need this sort of help. It was only as I got older and girls I knew began to take up such jobs that I realised. The rich were buying leisure time- in fact they were buying the leisure time of the poor…
So I’m quite ashamed to say that I regard having a cleaning lady as a hallmark of sophistication. I wonder if the Kartoshka pad would actually benefit? What good could she do, moving carefully amid the piles of clutter?

On reflection what I probably want is a housekeeper– forget the present pad- some other spacious eccentric apartment, with a matronly Mrs Hudson type installed downstairs to appear with tea and cakes at regular intervals. Elementary!

Rina Zelenaya: There’s a young lady to see you, Mr Kartoshka

Впервые появившись в СССР в 1922 году, джаз стал самостоятельно развивающимся музыкальным явлением. Для советских музыкантов возможности встреч и общения с американскими джазовыми музыкантами были ограничены. Основные знания о джазе они получали, слушая граммофонные пластинки. Джаз выжил, несмотря на репрессии и критику со стороны такого гиганта пролетарской культуры, как Максим Горький. В период ‘хрущевской оттепели’ слушатели получили более широкий доступ к джазовой музыке. В 70-е годы джазовые музыканты из СССР начали гастролировать на Западе. Их мастерство и техника исполнения производили неизгладимое впечатление на западную аудиторию.
Вагиф Мустафа-заде родился в 1940г., в городе Баку – столице тогдашней Азербайджанской ССР. Одними из первых музыкальных увлечений для него стали джаз (который он слушал по BBC) и мейхана (особый вид музыкально-поэтического творчества). Вагиф Мустафа-заде начал играть на фортепиано в возрасте трех лет и позднее получил классическое музыкальное образование. Однако именно джаз навсегда остался его самой большой страстью. Не ограничиваясь традиционной джазовой импровизацией, он смешивал ее с элементами мугама – основного жанра народной азербайджанской музыкальной традиции. Вагиф Мустафа-заде стал лауреатом многих Всесоюзных джазовых фестивалей: ‘Таллин-66’, ‘Джаз-69’, ‘Донецк-77’, ‘Тбилиси-78’. В 1978 году на Международном конкурсе джазовой композиции в Монако он завоевал первую премию за композицию ‘В ожидании Азизы’. Вагиф Мустафа-заде скончался от сердечного приступа в Ташкенте. Ему было 39 лет. Посмертно ему было присвоено звание Заслуженного Артиста Азербайджанской ССР. *Вагиф – арабское слово, означает ‘очень умный’.

Having first arrived in 1922, Jazz in the USSR was an independently developing phenomenon. Soviet musicians had limited opportunities to meet with American contemporaries, and most of their learning came from records. Despite being criticised by such greats as Maxim Gorky and periods of official repression, jazz survived. In the post Stalin era Soviet audiences got more exposure to jazz music. By the 1970’s, when Soviet musicians were travelling to the west, they were astonishing their new audiences with their technical abilities.

Vagif* Mustafazadeh(Вагиф Мустафа-Заде 1940-1979) was born in 1940 in Baku, capital of what was then Azerbaijan SSR. His early musical interests were jazz (heard via BBC broadcasts) and Meykhana rhythmic poetry. He had started to play piano at the age of 3 and received a formal musical education. Jazz remained his main passion, however. Dissatisfied with improvisational jazz, he began to fuse jazz with Mugam, a traditional Azeri music. He won awards at various All-Soviet Union Jazz Festivals (Tallinn-66, Caz-69, Donetsk -77.Tbilisi-78). In 1978 at Monaco he won the first prize at the 8th International Competition of Jazz Composers for his composition Waiting for Aziza.

Mustafazade died of a heart-attack shortly after a concert in Tashkent. He was 39. Following his death he was made an Honoured Artist of Azerbaijan SSR.

*Vagif is an Arabic word that means Extremely Knowledgeable.

Many thanks to Mrs. Kartoshka for the excellent translation.


In 1971 Billie Jean King became the first woman in sport to top $100,000 winnings in a single year. In 1973 she earned an estimated $150,000 for playing a single match. At the time Billie Jean, age 29, was the worlds number one. Her opponent in this match, billed as ‘The Battle of the Sexes’, was 55 year old Bobby Riggs, whose time at the top of the men’s rankings had come in the 1940’s. The match took place in the Houston Astrodome on September 20th, 1973 in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a tennis match (30,472). An estimated 40 million watched on TV, the game being broadcast in over 30 countries. Riggs was a ‘hustler’ and a publicity maestro. In the lead up to the event he hammed it up in the role of a chauvinist. He had previously beaten Margaret Court, and vowed that despite his age, no woman could beat him, and he promised to jump off a bridge if he lost, although it is rumoured that he bet heavily on his opponent.
King was borne into the arena on a gold chariot, carried by five toga-clad men. True to character Riggs arrived in a gold rickshaw pulled by six young women who were referred to as Bobby’s Bosom Buddies.
Billie Jean won with relative ease, a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 straight sets victory.

Whatever I’d say would be an understatement. I can only say my life was made much better by knowing him. He was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known, as a man, a friend, and a musician… John Coltrane.

Eric Dolphy (1929-1964) , alto sax, flute and bass clarinet, considered one of the pioneers of free jazz
Dolphy was very prolific, from April 1960 to September 1961 he played on 13 LPs. He collaborated with such greats as Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane.
He died under tragic circumstances, lapsing into a diabetic coma whilst in Berlin. One version of events has it that the Emergency Room doctor assumed that as an African American Jazz musician his unconsciousness must be due to the influence of narcotics.
This is a recording of a session for
Swedish Broadcast Station, Stockholm, Sweden, made on November 19th, 1961.
Details can be found here…

Abstract Composition- 193?

Abstract Composition-1932

Abstract Composition

Mikhail Mikhailovich Tarkhanov, (Михаил Михайлoвич Тарханов, 1888-1962) was born in Ukraine.
When thinking of the art of the Soviet Union it is easy to focus on Social(ist) Realism and The Constructivists. In the early days, however, the avant garde flourished, particularly at Vkhutemas ( Вхутемас: Высшие художественно-технические мастерские), the institute in Moscow at which Tarkhanov studied.
V.I Lenin admitted that abstractions in art weren’t really his thing, and doubted the ideological soundness of such work, ‘but what do I know?’ he quipped, ‘I’m an old man’. Later regimes though, were less tolerant of this perceived decadence, and in the 1930s Tarkhanov, whilst producing officially sanctioned graphic designs , privately developed his style of abstract composition, which he called Picturesque-Textured Improvisations.

Jazz is of course essentially an African American genre- but as it spread across the world it took on different attributes. Whereas in the USA it was an urban black (and therefore necessarily proletarian) phenomenon , when Jazz reached Europe it became the popular music of privileged young people (in England), the preserve of intellectuals (in France) or the subject of analysis regarding the relative merits of its proletarian yet paradoxically decadent qualities (in the Soviet Union). From the outset Jazz was open to cross pollination (fusion) with other genres , Bechet being an early example, and it was in the Latin American countries that provided a rich source for many such projects. In Latin America jazz melded into the rich traditions of dance music…

Vol One: 1. Pucho & The Latin Soul Brothers – Swing Thing 2. Ray Barretto – Descarga La Moderna 3. Cal Tjader – Mambero 4. Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis – Guanco Lament 5. Mongo Santamaria featuring La Lupe – Este Mambo 6. Louie Bellson – Sentido En Seis 7. Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band – Viva Cepeda 8. Pete and Shelia Escovedo – Solo Tu 9. Juan Amalbert’s Latin Jazz Quintet – Jackie’s Mambo 10. Terry Gibbs – Kick Those Feet 11. Cal Tjader – I Showed Them 12. Mongo Santamaria – Bac
Vol Two: 1.Francisco Aguabella –Shirley’s Guaguancho 2.Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers- Heat! 3.Louie Bellson and Walfredo De Los Reyes Salsa en Cinco 4.Freddie McCoy- Spiderman 5.Cal Tjader- Manuel Deeghit 6. The Latin Jazz Quintet- Out of This World 7. Ray Barretto- Exodus 8. Mongo Santamaría- Mazacote 9. Red Garland Trio plus Ray Barretto- Manteca


(click to enlarge)

Has ever a sport done so much for fashion as golf? Being the preserve of the bourgeoisie and steeped in tradition and etiquette golf demanded smart but serviceable attire. Whereas the earliest pros would be decked out as if they were going grouse shooting on the inhospitable Scottish moors, by the middle of the 20th century golf was developing a sartorial code of it’s own.
Top line:Here we see Henry Cotton sporting an Argyle sweater and plus fours.Sam Snead has a very rakish American style, the F. Scott Fitzgerald of the sportsworld, whereas debonair Max Faulkner looks as though he’s just popped out of the office.
Kathy Whitworth shows the move into more chic and daring styles for lady golfers in the swinging sixties. Middle line: Ben Hogan- the master of casual; four unknown gents in the thirties displaying a remarkable example of fairway dandyism; Moe Norman, a true genius of the game- this is the era when sportswear became distinct from the generic casual look- where else could a grown man wear those pants other than on the golf course? Bottom line: Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) and James Bond (Sean Connery) illustrate the contrast between the old and the new. Kathy Whitworth again- modern prints, slim waist, suntan; Kel Nagle, the Australian penchant for hats reached into the present day thanks to Greg Norman; Gary Player typifies the slim clean cut look of the sixties- the first mod- golfer.
In the next few weeks we’ll see the US open and The British Open- there will probably be some remarkable outfits on display, but I doubt that any will match the elegance of the bygone days of tweed and hickory shafts.

This reminds me of Uncle Carlos- he said his third wife left him when he complained that her stockings were wrinkled. How was I to know she wasn’t wearing stockings? he mused…