Thursday, October 9, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN
Antonio G. Pereira © 2008 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________





I'm just remembering John Lennon on his Birthday (which is my reason for posting this). And I hope you are too. Y'know, it's funny how somebody who didn't think he was all that special, ended up being so special and meaning so much to so many people; all over this planet.


You may wish to check out this essay:


A Meditation On Hendrix, Lennon and The Counterculture


http://observer1984.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html


Peace,

Antonio

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wes Montgomery: Live In '65 DVD. Complete Live In Paris 1965 CD Set.

Wes Montgomery: Live In '65 DVD. Complete Live In Paris 1965 CD Set.
Antonio G. Pereira © 2008 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________



The DVD, Wes Montgomery: Live In '65, released by Jazz Icons (Reelin' in the Years Productions), is a marvelous collection of archival footage of Wes Montgomery's television appearances in Europe; during his 1965 tour. You see him speaking and directing the other musicians, and playing wonderfully. The liner notes, by guitarist Pat Metheny, are pretty above average, informed, delightful to read, and not full of the know' it' all (which is actually I ' know ' nothing at all) school of thought, that usually inundates liner notes these days. You can actually feel Pat Metheny's awe and admiration for Wes Montgomery, and what he accomplished in his lifetime; all through the liner notes in the booklet accompanying the DVD. There are also additional notes by Wes Montgomery's wife Serene (for whom he composed that gorgeously touching instrumental, Serene, on his last album for A&M, Road Song), his grandson, actor Anthony Montgomery, and the wonderful guitarist and composer Carlos Santana. The DVD consists of Wes Montgomery's television appearances in Holland, Belgium and England. You see and hear Wes playing masterfully on extended Jazz compostions, that are covers, and his own originals, from his albums. And the delight of the musicians is very evident. This whole set is beautifully presented, and worth every cent.




An additional note: Wes made an appearance on The Joe Franklin Show (or was it Irv Kupcinet?) on WOR Channel 9, in New York, sometime during the mid-sixties. I wonder where THAT footage is? And why none of the 'Jazz Historians' or 'Jazz Experts', have mentioned it?




The Complete Live In Paris 1965 CD Set, Definitive Records (Spain) http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=5865033 , was originally released as 2 volumes on LP, back in 1981; but only in Europe. That is also the case here. So until some enterprising American Record Conglomerate (we rarely use the term 'Record Company' anymore), decides to release it here, this 2 CD Set can only be obtained (with some difficulty), as an import. The liner notes are passable, but not particularly informed. The recordings however, are pristine, and stunning in clarity. This is Wes Montgomery Live In Concert, recorded during his 1965 European Tour (the only time he ventured outside of the United States to perform). He is backed by Harold Mabern on Piano, Arthur Harper on Bass, and Jimmy Lovelace on Drums; who were his (at the time), usual backing band, and also backed him on the Belgium recordings on the DVD. This is a tight ensemble, and the improvisation is effortless, with endless virtuosity. They are joined on the last three numbers by the exceptional Saxophonist, Johnny Griffin (who also played with Wes on the Live At Tsubo Coffee House in San Francisco recording, for Riverside Records), who happened to be in Paris at the same time. (Griffin, by the way, gave a very enlightening interview many years ago. You can read it here: http://www.melmartin.com/html_pages/Interviews/griffin.html) He and Wes revisit some of the songs from the Live At Tsubo San Francisco recordings, plus Thelonious Monk's, 'Round About Midnight, and really do them justice. This is a wonderful Live In Concert recording. Highly Recommended!




Now a word about the subject of Liner Notes. As of late, I continually see the same 'generalities' repeated over and over again. (i.e. Wes' critics and fans didn't like his Verve period, and thought he 'sold out'.) Well, aside from the obvious drones copying each other (God knows where this trail would lead to, as to where this misinformation originated from), who repeatedly single out only Smokin' At The Half Note, and occasionally his work with Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery made some extraordinary studio recordings at Verve. For example, his recording of 'Chim Chim Cheree', from the movie Mary Poppins, where he really stretched out on some of the best Jazz Guitar soloing of his career; playing chorus after chorus. (Arranged by the exceptionally talented Oliver Nelson, who worked with Wes quite often, and whose arrangement of Goin' Out Of My Head, {the title song of the album} earned Wes a Grammy. Oliver Nelson, by the way, also composed some of the music score for the television show, Ironside; along with Quincy Jones. {To get a real taste of Mr. Nelson's boundless talent, check out the CD, Oliver Nelson's Big Band. Live From Los Angeles. On Impulse Records.}) Another example is Montgomery's beautifully melancholy, almost 6 minute reading of Joe Zawinul's, Midnight Mood, on the album Tequila. There are just so many other examples that could be cited, and they are as plain to see as the nose on one's face. There is simply no excuse for such poor, lazy researching and cursory acknowledgement of someone so important in the history of American Music, in this country.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

For Maria

For Maria
Antonio G. Pereira © 2008 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________





Felt I wanted to come say hello to you





Tonight with magic's swirling moonlight smile





Touching you in soft embrace





Words like Rainfall,





music at it's heart





Hoping you are somewhere





Surrounded





By beautiful fragrant flowers





Camera snapping every wonder of God's Creation





Loving the sound of birds





Singing softly in the background





On a Glorious, Glorious Day

Monday, June 30, 2008

Miles: The Autobiography & Miles and Me

Miles: The Autobiography & Miles and Me
The Remarkable Dual Journey of Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe
Antonio G. Pereira © 2008 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________


Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe (Published by Simon and Schuster), and Quincy Troupe's follow-up, Miles and Me (Published by University of California Press), are two great pieces of American Literature. In his autobiography, Miles Davis put down his life for posterity. And his choosing of Author, Editor, Journalist and Poet, Quincy Troupe to assist him in this, assured that the story was told correctly. His accurate (and often times brutal) honesty, spared no one; including himself. The Music Critics, portrayed by him (with a few notable exceptions, Leonard Feather, Nat Hentoff and Ralph J. Gleason), as a bunch of know-nothing freeloaders, reluctantly learning as they were led along with each innovation Post-Dixieland (and able to rewrite history later on, in their all-access to publishing {Albert Goldman comes to mind}), are given their just desserts and more. Miles says just about everything many were thinking, but didn't say; and Quincy Troupe took it all down, in detail. Miles deep friendship and admiration for Arranger and Musician Gil Evans, and among others, everyone from Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan to Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Bill Evans, John Coltrane to Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Sly Stone and Prince, make great reading (I wish he had said more about his mentoring and helping the marvelously talented Singer and Pianist, Shirley Horn.); and Davis has many stories to tell. Strangely, Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, though a very talented musician, begins to come off as someone out of his depth, and a bit of a bumpkin. Mr. Troupe's own book (which is the follow up to the autobiography), Miles and Me, is one hell of a magnum opus. A clear window into the heart of what it was like to work with Miles Davis. He did not publish it until many, many years after Davis' passing. It's obvious that Mr. Troupe went through quite a catharsis to write this book, and one has the feeling that he felt much better when it was done. Miles is pictured as a very complex, difficult-to-know, human being. And Mr. Troupe's relationship with him was not always an easy one. (Their association began when Troupe did a remarkable two-part interview with Miles Davis for Spin Magazine, in the Nov. and Dec. 1985 issues.) But this book is a wonderful work. Easily a piece of American History that will be read and studied (and probably argued over), long after we have all met our maker (and probably Miles too!). I think to best enjoy this book, put on one of Miles records, and play it softly in the background while you are reading.

Additionally, you can find a wonderful, full colour photograph, of John Lennon and Yoko Ono with Miles Davis at: http://www.johnlennon.it/ (Just click on John Lennon Pictures, on the left hand side, after entering the site and choosing your language.)


A final note. Quincy Troupe gave quite an interesting and enlightening interview to The American Poetry Review. You can read it here: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-130276925.html


And lastly. In his final group, Miles Davis had an exceptional Bassist/Guitarist named Foley McCreary, who was right out of the tradition of Jimi Hendrix and Pete Cosey. Foley McCreary's very fascinating website is: http://www.smartalecmusic.com/


Antonio Pereira

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dictionary Be Bop Blues or Sunday In The Quicksand With George

Dictionary Be Bop Blues
or
Sunday In The Quicksand With George
Antonio G. Pereira © 1988, 2001, 2008 Antonio G. Pereira
____________________________________________



Famous?



The Fickle Public's Farblungent Photographic Imagination's



Idea of me is a Fool's Fantasy



Fictitiously Figuring that I am far out while



Funky Times are upon us is similar to setting



A Phaser on stun and pointing it at hoping you



Don't look two faced but you are my fellow americans



Fellow Americans?



Fleecing Me of every phenomenon I fantasized



And philandering me with a phlebitic philistine



Philosophy that even Tom, Dick and Harry couldn't



Be fooled with by the next fast talking, phony



Phi Betta Kappa philadelphia lawyer politician



Proselytizing phantasmagorical delusions of



Grandeur Act II.



Modus Operandi being a no count no good fictitious



Face-Saving, flagwaving, filthy apple pie overdone to



Perfection convincingly silver tounged 2 dollar throughbred



Corporately creaming over a nation of nitwits



Spread evenly, and thinking they're awake in ecstasy



When in reality they're really fast asleep, Oh Say



Can you see aren't we the beautiful people bossa nova.



Usually waking up when it's too late on time, I smell your



Breath, I smell your armpits, your family smells around



the dinner table, patriot preaching ferret to ferret of



Far off lands across the city, across the world



Away from you, far, far away



As far away from you as they can get



Far, far away



As far as the eye can see



Far, far away, away



Far, far away, away



Far, far away, away



Far Far Away