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 ...


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...

Read "Carla Marciano: John Coltrane's Spiritual Daughter..." reviewed by AAJ Staff

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 ...


A Peep Into European Jazz

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This is an interesting departure from the various avenues of jazz I have looked at so far, and at the outset I must than my good friend Diane Parekh and her husband George Patyrka –both of Ann Arbor, MI. She was kind enough to act upon my casual request to look for stuff by Czeslaw Niemen –the keyboard wizard and Michal Urbaniak –the violin virtuoso, during their recent trip to Poland. I was surprised to find four CD’s : three ...


Subconscious Chatting

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I must start out with a load of thanks to my friend Scott Dolan of Missouri who sent me an interesting little aside which appealed to me so much that I decided to write an article on it... Here it goes : it seems recently a friend of Scott's sent him an e-mail and they were discussing the merits and functions of free jazz. They were talking about how odd it was that they both got quite similar feelings and ...


Pleasures of Re-learning The Ropes

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Probably no other form of jazz requires more patient listening and sustained efforts at assimilation, than free jazz, also sometimes called Freedom Jazz by some who like to split hairs. Of course one does not include the much-admired and yet much-maligned avant-garde and the other assorted ‘atonal’ forms of jazz which also developed almost simultaneously branched out in entirely different directions. Free jazz happens to hold some ‘lasting value’ or staying power, indeed.There could also be no other ...

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