July 18, 2011

Summertime (again)

Mahalia Jackson 

Big Mama Thornton

July 15, 2011

Makanda Ken McIntyre

McIntyre was born in Boston, Massachusetts. In addition to his primary instrument, the alto saxophone, he also played flute, bass clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and many other woodwind instruments, as well as double bass, drum set, and piano. He recorded thirteen albums, one of which was released posthumously. He composed well over 400 compositions, and wrote about 200 arrangements, reflecting the culture of his Caribbean and African American roots, including blues, jazz, and calypso. His very first album entitled Stone Blues was recorded in 1960, accompanied by local Boston musicians with whom he had been rehearsing for several years.

In the early 1990s he changed his name to Makanda Ken McIntyre. While performing in Zimbabwe, a stranger handed him a piece of paper with the word "Makanda" written on it; the word means "many skins" in the Ndebele language and "many heads" in Shona.

Rythm is the essence of the universal philosophy in Africa. And rhythm is the essence of all African-American music. In rhythm there is a necessary tension that is oftentimes considered dissonant by those who wish to apply a harmonic analysis to a rhythm concept. The analysis should be capable of understanding that the fundamental reality of life is rhythm not harmony.

In the Wind: The Woodwind Quartets

1. Peas 'n' Rice 7:10
2. Home 6:42
3. Charshee 7:25
4. Black Sugar Cane 6:39
5. Chitlins & Cavyah 8:12
6. Mambooga 4:43
7. Blanche 9:54
8. Puunti 6:28
9. Chasing The Sun 6:26
10. Eileen 5:44
11. Amy 5:36

In his final years, multi-reedist Makanda Ken McIntyre was fond of saying in concert that a piece was off his last album, which came out more than twenty years prior. He would laugh, but the joke pointed out how criminally underdocumented he was during his life. In June 2001, that industry oversight was finally corrected with the release of A New Beginning , a bitterly ironic title since he died the same month.

McIntyre's associations were few, which perhaps is why he was so little recognized. He played a short stint with Cecil Taylor in 1966 and featured Eric Dolphy on the 1960 quintet recording Looking Ahead. With his interest in the woodwind family and the strong compositional sense he brought to his improvisations, Dolphy was perhaps the closest McIntyre had to a kindred spirit. In a just jazz world, McIntyre would also have enjoyed the sort of accolades Dolphy received.

He might get those laurels through the work of the Contemporary African American Music Organization (CAAMO), a project McIntyre himself founded over twenty years ago and which is now overseeing the release and publishing of his remarkable vision. In the Wind , the first CAAMO release, was recorded in October of 1995 and April of 1996, and it features a multi-tracked McIntyre playing a variety of pieces for quartets of like instruments. From a lovely clarinet setting of his staple "Peas 'n' Rice" to more challenging (for player and listener) pieces for oboe, English horn and bassoon, the disc is a gorgeous tribute while providing a fascinating insight into the composer and performer. For studio constructions, the pieces are surprisingly warm. At the same time, it carries the uncanny feeling of multi-tracked works by other masters (eg. Roscoe Mitchell) that give several voices to a single mind. The inner workings are made apparent by exponent.

CAAMO is in the process of cataloguing some five hundred compositions and two hundred arrangements by McIntyre, as well as digitizing over seven hundred recordings for donation to the Library of Congress and establishing repertory ensembles. It might engrave into history a great mind for the music. Better late than never. AllAboutJazz


The Contemporary African American Music Organization (CAAMO) was founded in 1983 by the world-renowned multi-instrumentalist, composer, orchestrator and educator Dr. Makanda Ken McIntyre. The mission of The Contemporary African American Music Organization is to promote free expression and continuing education in music and the performing arts with African-American origins.

CAAMO has produced more than 250 performances and educational workshops at venues throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Carnegie Recital Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Roulette, the Brecht Forum and the Knitting Factory. From 1984 to 1989, CAAMO sponsored open rehearsals and weekly performances by the CAAMO Orchestra. CAAMO has presented performances by a huge range of artists, including Dr. McIntyre, Craig Harris, Charli Persip, Wilber Morris, Joanne Brackeen, Jason Hwang, David Murray, Hamiett Blueitt, Sonny Fortune, Reggie Workman, Andrei Strobert, E.J. Allen, Donald Smith and Kwe Yao Agyapon.

In addition to its support of musical performance, CAAMO has produced workshops on music and creativity for students at the pre-school, elementary, secondary and collegiate levels. A partial list of participating institutions includes the New School University, Cornell University, New England Conservatory, Harlem School of the Arts, the CODE Foundation, the Philadelphia Clef Club for Jazz and the Performing Arts and the East Bronx NAACP Day Care Center. These workshops cover a wide range of musical and creative territory, including singing, rhythm, instrumental technique, composition, ensemble performance, history, theory and inter-disciplinary collaboration.

Makanda Ken McIntyre (born Kenneth Arthur McIntyre; also known as Ken McIntyre) (September 7, 1931 – June 13, 2001)wiki

July 11, 2011


‘We learn with the great spirits’ 

Picture © Claudia Andujar/Survival

The word, ‘shaman’, is thought to have originated with the Evenk people of Siberia, but shamans have a pivotal role in many tribal societies. Typically, they are men and women who specialise in communicating with the natural world and its spirits; people who have a heightened awareness of the divine and the intangible.
Shamans have many roles. They are variously healers and priests, custodians of their peoples’ sacred rituals, weather diviners, cosmologists, dream tellers and keepers of botanical knowledge.
Guided by spirits (xapiripë) and the wisdom of their ancestors,Yanomami shamans (xapiripë thëpë) command thunder storms and caution the winds.They prevent the sky from falling down and use their powers to ensure hunting successes, cure human diseases and put flight to hostile spirits.
The shamans give orders to the sun, and instruct the spirits to speak to the moon.

Picture © Claudia Andujar/Survival

I am shaman of the rainforest and I work with the forces of nature, not with the forces of money or weapons, says Davi.
Our wisdom is different. Our knowledge is a different knowledge.
It is the wisdom of our shamanic spirits, of the Earth, which is very important for the survival of humanity.

Picture © Claudia Andujar/Survival

Through dreams and trances, Yanomami shamans transcend the physical confines of their bodies and the limits of the human consciousness to commune with the xapiripë.
We Yanomami learn with the great spirits, the xapiripë. We learn to know the xapiripë, how to see them and listen to them. Only shamans – those who know the xapiripë – can see them, because they look like humans but are tiny as specks of sparkling dust and bright like light.
Their songs are powerful, and their thinking is straight.

July 8, 2011

Fragance of Dalmatia

The klapa music is a form of traditional Croatian a cappella singing. The word klapa translates as "a group of friends" and traces its roots to littoral church singing. The motifs in general celebrate love, wine (grapes), country (homeland) and sea. Main elements of the music are harmony and melody, with rhythm very rarely being very important.
A klapa group consists of a first tenor, a second tenor, a baritone, and a bass. It is possible to double all the voices apart from the first tenor. Although klapa is a cappella music, on occasion it is possible to add a gentle guitar and a mandolin (instrument similar in appearance and sound to tamburitzas).
Klapa tradition is still very much alive, with new songs composed and festivals are held. Many young people from Dalmatia treasure klapa and sing it regularly when going out eating or drinking. It is not unusual to hear amateur klapa singing on the streets in the evenings over some food and wine.
It is usually composed of up to a dozen male singers singing very harmonic tunes. In recent times, female vocal groups have been quite popular, but in general male and female groups do not mix. Wiki

Let us know if you had fun
you know same old boring

Read more on Klapa singing in pdf
thanks to Miguel

or even more:
Klapa singing is well-known folk singing phenomenon of coastal-urban and suburban areas and the islands of Dalmatia. The character, musical content and style of klapa were dynamically modified, through the time, freely adopting new changes. That is one of the reason for the present day popularity of the klapa, especially among the younger generation, and certain sign of long-lasting future of the klapa.Traditionally, the individuals who sing in the klapa are men. Female singers also sang the same tunes but on more of an individual basis. In the last two decades, there has been an accelerating popularity of klapa singing among women....

July 5, 2011

healing, feasting and magical ritual ~ songs and dances from Papua New Guinea

The music is predominantly vocal, songs of hunting, war, totemistic ritual, cannibalism, myths, initiation, courtship, rain-making, funerals, magical healing, shark-catching and marathon feasting. Many are danced, accompanied by percussion instruments (the garamut slit drum, kundu hourglass-drum, launut friction drum, shell rattles), lengths of bamboo end blown to give a single pitch, and bamboo flutes. The rhythms can be forceful or trance-like, and are a mix of simple repetitions of regular patterns with more complex ideas. The vocalisation of songs, normally full-throated and open, and usually sung by groups in unison, is rich and vibrant.

The recordings were made by John Thornley, who for many years was a senior producer of world music programmes for BBC Radio 3. They are impeccable. In this guise, as intrepid explorer, Thornley travelled in Papua New Guinea between August and October 1987, funded by a bursary from the Commonwealth Relations Trust. He lodged his recordings with the International Music Collection of the British Library's National Sound Archive (collection C838), and this album, part of the IMC series issued with Topic, samples the collection. 

The five regions represented are: Karkar Island, a volcanic island of copra plantations and fishing villages off the northern coast of New Guinea; the remote Green River, a tributary of the upper Sepik River in New Guinea proper, an area renowned for its legendary mosquitoes; the densely populated Wahgi Valley at Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands; New Ireland, the northeastern island first 'discovered' in 1516 by the Dutch; the Gazelle Peninsula to the East of the 500km-long New Britain. Each region has distinct and fascinating traditions.

1 Garamut Call
2 Mukoa Silali
3 Kanam Dance
4 Birua (Warrior Song After Killing)
5 Healing Songs
6 Two Healing Songs: Kua Kua! The Bird Of Paradise Is Singing / Let Us Kill A Pig And Put The Blood On Our Sick Friend's Wound
7 Women's Sago Song
8 Healing Song About Lake Kanary
9 Healing Song
10 Feast Song
11 Three Eevil - (Children's Healing Songs)
12 Hunting Song of the Moge & Kopi Clans
13 Women's Song of the Moge & Kopi Clans
14 Sing-Sing, Western Highlands
15 Two Songs of Love & Courtship
16 Bayer River Sanctuary
17 Pur
18 Bot - Malanggan Funeral Ceremony
19 Friction-Drum & Song on the Death of a Chief
20 Getting on a Lorry
21 Shark-Calling Song
22 Two Slit-Drum Improvisations
23 Rongari
24 Fire Dance

Magic ritual 

thanks to the always present Arvind and to a kind soul out there