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Category Archives: Jazz Month

Ok, Jazz Month seems to have been quite a success, plenty of visits (our best month) plenty of downloads, hardly any feedback or acknowledgement, but such is life in the ether.Here’s one for the road:

Jose Ferreira Godinho Filho aka Casé- saxophone
Moacyr Peixotopiano
Luiz Chavesbass

There’s a Portuguese article on Casé (The Pelé of his Instrument) here:


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:

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.


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…

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


Art Blakey (1919 – 1990), aka Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, was an American drummer and bandleader, one of the originators of bebop. The Jazz Messengers went through several incarnations over some 30 years, but was consistently associated with the development of young musicians who went on to forge successful careers in their own right.

The line up on this energetic LP were together from 1959- 1961.

Art Blakey- drums
Lee Morgan- trumpet
Wayne Shorter- tenor sax
Jymie Merritt- bass

Bobby Timmons- piano


Charles Mingus (1922- 1979)- a colossal figure in Jazz. This is a compilation album and features an array of fantastic musicians. I’d like to be able to highlight them all, but I’m no Jazz scholar, and plowing through the Mingus discography would be a vast undertaking.

1. What Is This Thing Called Love -8:10

2. Spur Of The Moment -3:50

3. Yesterdays -10:14

4. The Sound Of Love -5:54

5. It Might As Well Be Spring -5:31

6. So Long Eric -4:32

7. Farewell, Farwell -5:57

8. Back Home Blues -13:01

9. Four Hands -11:47

Bechet to me was the very epitome of jazz … everything he played in his whole life was completely original. I honestly think he was the most unique man to ever be in this music. — Duke Ellington.
He was the first among the players of the barely baptized “jazz” to be identified as “an artist of genius.” Very few jazz musicians are as well known as Sidney Bechet, especially among people not particularly familiar with the music. No one has a voice more easily and immediately recognizable– Eric Hobsbawm

The autobiographical writings of Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) are now widely regarded as poetic fictions. He did however, lead a most colourful life. Born in New Orleans he was playing jazz before the term had been coined, and is recognised as the first practitioner of that staple of jazz, the solo. During the 1920’s, when jazz was first reaching a wider audience via gramophone and radio, primarily in the USA, Bechet was away from the spotlight, travelling in Europe- during his time he enjoyed popularity in the Soviet Union, was deported from Britain, and was involved in a Montmartre shootout.
Bechet also pioneered the use of the soprano sax in jazz- making it his primary instrument.
His influence reaches the present day, via such greats as Coltrane down to Courtney Pine.

Charlie Parker (1920-1955) was a saxophone player whose influence on jazz is immeasurable. In the 1940’s Parker was central to the development of Bebop, the music of The Beat Generation, and a key phase in the conception of jazz as an earnest intellectual genre rather than just a popular entertainment.

Parker began playing the saxophone at the age of 11- one story holds that as a 14 year old he was thrown off his school band for not being up to scratch. He later told Paul Desmond that he spent 3–4 years practicing up to 15 hours a day.

It was as a youth that Parker, given morphine following an automobile accident, developed the opiate addiction that curtailed his life.

In addition to addiction problems,Parker endured financial hardship and spells in mental institutions.

I’m not equipped to write about the technical factors that made Parker’s music so significant- but I certainly can recommend listening to the records!

Here is a 44 track compilation of some of his most famous recordings.