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Who could say no to M. Jean Marais?


Brigitte Bardot LP from 1964…


Do you like volleyball? Look at the folks in this Bacardi advert- from 1979. They’ve given up on the volleyball and are about to succumb to alcoholism. If you’ve ever spent an hour in 40 degree heat trying to batter an old football over a saggy net, spending most of the time falling on your ass blinded by sweat and chewing sand you’ll understand the temptation to reach for the bottle.
When in 1895 William G. Morgan of Holyoke (Mas.) YMCA devised Mintonette as an indoor game to rival basketball, it was rather devoid of glamour. Beach volleyball evolved in the 1920’s amongst the surfers of Hawaii, soon spreading to California. (For more on the history of beach volleyball…)

This picture shows an early beach volleyball gathering in Hawaii:

Here we see actress and model Greta Thyssen with Gene Selznick and Bernie Holtzman, winners of the 1957 state beach open, Santa Monica, California.

Impromptu games resembling volleyball were a feature of Kartoshka family vacations back in the day.

In the above pic are a very young Pa Kartoshka, Maria – Bethania, one of Uncle Carlos’ innumerable ‘step children’, and the man himself- Carlos Alberto Dos Santos, aka Uncle Carlos.
These days of course, the beach volleyball is notable for the way in which male fans turn out in large numbers purely to show their appreciation for the athletic prowess of the female competitors:

I’ve been listening to this LP a lot recently and I’ve come to the conclusion that if you only ever listen to one Bossa Nova record then this should be the one.

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:


July brings us to possibly the greatest event in the sporting calender.
So they take drugs?
Surely, they would be mad not to.

In it’s 107 year history the Tour de France has given us a great many stories of endeavour and fortitude; romantic triumphs and tragic failures litter its history like discarded water bottles.
Something that the uninitiated often overlook is that cycling is a team sport. Whereas to win the Yellow Jersey appears to be a supreme individual achievement, the great riders also rely on hard work and sacrifice from their companions, most of whom will never become household names. Let’s look at two stories concerning the French rider, Rene Vietto (1914-1988).

In the 1934 Tour Vietto was doing very well in the mountain stages, and went on to win that years King of the Mountains. However, on stage 16 , his team captain, Antonin Magne (1904- 1983) damaged a wheel and , alerted by a motorcycle marshal, Vietto rode back to give Magne his cycle, effectively sacrificing his opportunity to take the Yellow Jersey.

Vietto following his act of sacrifice…

When racing resumed after the war, Vietto had graduated to a position of greater seniority. His relationship with his juniors, however, was strange to say the least. During the 1947 Tour Vietto suffered from a septic toe. His only hope of continuing the race was to have the afflicted digit amputated on a rest day. Vietto insisted that his teammate Apo Lazarides (1925-1998) underwent the same procedure. Lazarides, who had aided the French Resistance movement during the Nazi Occupation, was so much under Vietto’s spell that he went along with this.*
Later on in the race Vietto narrowly avoided a bizarre accident when an aeroplane crashed on the course, and was also said to have performed badly in the time trial because he had drunk a bottle of cider during the stage.

Vietto passes the recently crashed plane…

Vietto (who holds the record for having won most Yellow Jerseys without having been the overall winner of the Tour) finished 5th, Lazarides 10th, both limping slightly. Vietto’s toe is said to be preserved in a jar of formaldehyde in a bar in Marseilles. The whereabouts of Lazarides toe is unknown.

Apo Lazarides, dedication…

*I’m tempted to call this a footnote:
Checking the details of the 1947 Tour, it appears that Vietto and Lazarides were not team mates, but it’s a great story …

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.