Monday, August 07, 2006

A Newsclip from the Past, and the music of Tonight

A clipping from The Manila Times, circa November 1971:

FOUR U.S. GROUPS BILLED FOR 1972 CCP JAZZ SEASON

The 1972 international jazz circuit will include Manila with four top jazz orchestras in the United States being billed for performances at the Cultural Center of the Philippines starting next January.

Duke Ellington and his 19-piece band, with two vocalists, will open the 1972 Jazz Season on January 20 in a symphonic jazz concert with the National Philharmonic Orchestra under Prof. Redentor Romero. Duke Ellington will give two concerts which will feature his own popular and symphonic works.

The other top American jazz musicians who will perform in Manila are: Charlie Byrd, classical and jazz guitarist of international renown; Charlie Mingus, the 'enfant terrible' of the '50s jazz scene; Earl 'Fatha' Hines, one of the leading American jazz pianists; and the original New Orleans Jazz ensemble.

The Charlie Byrd jazz concert is scheduled in March, while Earl Fatha Hines will give a 'Tribute to Satchmo' concert in September. Hines and Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong used to be in the same band for years and were very close friends.

A 'History of Jazz' concert by the original New Orleans Jazz Band is scheduled in September, and the jazz concert by Charles Mingus in October.

The engagements of the four top US jazz bands puts Manila in the international jazz circuit which had been on stream since 1952. While Asia and the Far East had seen and heard regular visits of American and European jazz groups, Manila was not really in the circuit except for a few stopover engagements and although several Filipinos are rated the top jazz musicians in Asia.

The 1972 jazz season will be preparatory to the first full international jazz festival in Manila tentatively set at the Cultural Center in May, 1972.

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Well we can only harken back to the days when Manila was considered as such by the likes of 'The Duke' and Charlie Mingus -- with what must have been the very proactive participation and doing of our own Redentor 'Red' Romero, but the music is still there and playing -- on monday nights at the Oarhouse.

Tonight's featured music:

Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges, 'Side by Side' (1959) -- Hodges was Duke's man on alto sax, and this recording is the unhurried, after-hours small combo setting that the Duke and guys like Ben Webster, Harry 'Sweets' Edison and Billy Strayhorn relished. To round out the night, there'll be sets from Stanley Jordan's 'Cornucopia', Rahsaan Roland Kirk, John McLaughlin's 'Electric Dreams' (1978), Branford Marsalis' jazzbluesy 'I Heard You Twice The First Time' (1992), and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers' 'Midnight Session' (1957). Plus more musical gems between all that. ;-)

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