Nov 262013
 

The wonderful South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim tells about the origin of his beautiful, meditative composition “Mannenberg” in the BBC video below. First we get to hear him playing a bit of it in a solo context. Then the camera follows the pianist into the New York jazz club Sweet Basil, where he performs the tune with his band Ekayah. Oh, why couldn’t I have been there that night?

I think if everybody listened to this song once in a while, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

On February 11, 2004–38 years after the the South African government rezoned District Six as a “whites-only” area–former president Nelson Mandela welcomed the first returning residents, Ebrahim Murat (aged 87) and Dan Ndzabela (82), and handed them their keys.


Apartheid Sign, District Six Museum, Capetown, South Africa

photo courtesy of Trip Advisor

District Six Memory Plaque, Capetown, S.A.

photo courtesy of 972 Magazine

Sep 132013
 
Thelonious Monk Big Band Rehearsing at the Jazz Loft for Historic Town Hall Concert, 1959 (photo by W. Eugene Smith

Thelonious Monk Big Band Rehearsing at the Jazz Loft for Historic Town Hall Concert, 1959 (photo by W. Eugene Smith)

Happy Friday the Thirteenth! I’ve long considered Friday the 13th to be a lucky day — among other things, my youngest son was born on a Friday the 13th. “Friday the Thirteenth” is also the title of one of my favorite Thelonious Monk compositions. I just learned today that saxophonist Steve Lacy, a Monk protege, compiled a list of his words of wisdom. Much food for thought here: Steve Lacy's list of Monkisms