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Journey into Jazz


Back in the Saddle

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Hi there readers,This is Max Babi, back in the saddle to continue our saga My Journey Into Jazz once again after a short hibernation.I had a close brush with death, as a result of a minor surgery after which over-medication resulted in my being on oxygen for a day: a miraculous return actually. Had it not been for an alert physician at the hospital where I spent almost a week and then six weeks in bed ...


Transcendental Jazz: Does It Exist?

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Aparna is a close friend who not only blessed with a heavenly voice, a deep insight into vocal music and a restless questioning mind... it’s fun to sit discussing with her all the pros and cons of music right from downright trivial to the soul-uplifting philosophical ones. More about her can be found at .I did startle here with the observation that a perceptive American psychiatrist has said that dialogue between two humans is usually doomed to ...


Some Thoughts On Fusion

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It hardly needs any emphasis to reiterate the fact that jazz has been like a river, magnanimously accepting the smaller streamlets that come tumbling in from every likely and unlikely corner. Like the English language, it lives due a constant influx of new vocabulary from every which way...And the happy some total is the fact that all these outside influences leave jazz enriched, refreshed and as if just reinvented.Reinvention is nothing new for jazz for the ...


Conned Jazz Artistes

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I love enduring all kinds of new experiences, the more intriguing and exasperatingly complex, the better. Recently a close friend, a leading astrophysicist Dr. D.J. Saikia invited me to spend a day with him at the GMRT [giant metre wave radio telescope] which nestles amidst a green bowl-like formation of low hills standing like a troop of gigantic frozen sentries.He had spent a couple of nights peering into the deep sky, guiding some budding scientists hell-bent on unraveling ...


The Nitty Gritty Of The Hurdy Gurdy

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September 6th is going to be etched in my mind, almost as deeply as 9/11 thanks to the Hurdy Gurdy: an instrument I had never seen nor heard, nor dreamt of in my wildest fantasies. Jazz with its ocean-like receptivity has allowed some pretty alien critters to come crawling in from the cold and get a warm applause: but fifty of those oddities could not make one Hurdy Gurdy.What on earth is a Hurdy Gurdy? Well the classical ...


Carla Marciano: John Coltrane's Spiritual Daughter...

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Carla Marciano is a child prodigy who grew up to be a serious-minded jazz musician. Even her choice of instrument is uncanny and remarkably prescient. Both alto sax and sopranino sax she wields with a natural grace and ease that can mark the musicianship of someone who has played it devotedly for many decades longer than she has been playing' it's pure genius at play, liberally peppered with unmitigated inspiration.Carla hails from, lives in and works at Salerno ...


Who Listens To Jazz?

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Again a departure from our usual topics of discussion – exactly who listens to jazz? In other words, what are the jazz ‘fans’, ‘fiends’ and ‘fanatics’ like? You or me, are the common garden variety of jazz fans: may their tribe increase by leaps and bounds. J-fiends are those who have, surreptitiously entered the jazz room from anywhere but the main door –who like only one narrow band from a galaxy of jazz styles and will not lose an opportunity ...


The Funk Transition

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Some time back a student of music, Chris, wrote to me an email, asking a very interesting question: “Why is it that some jazz musicians preferred to adopt funk instead of jazz-rock when the transition took place." There were more sub-queries, but this itself is a calls for a thesis, just as he was writing one. I am writing this article broadly based on my reply to him, and though he never acknowledged it [perhaps it didn't reach ...

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