Imogen Ryall sings Joni Mitchell/Charles Mingus
Saturday Nov 11th, 6:00 PM – Vocal Jazz. No fewer than five female vocalists in this programme. From Brazil, America, Germany and England. We zoom in on the British Imogen Ryall (photo). She recently published her remarkable Imogen Ryall Sings the Charles Mingus – Joni Mitchell Songbook. Its a tribute to Joni Mitchell’s Mingus, from 1979. That album was a key work for Ryall: “A door opener for me.” In 1979, Charles Mingus’ muscular disease ALS was in an advanced stage. He could no longer play. His wife continued to make efforts to pique his interest. She contacted singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, who was increasingly interested in jazz. This led to a special form of collaboration. Mingus sang melodies into a tape recorder, Sy Johnson provided the chords. Mitchell wrote the lyrics and arranged recording sessions with musicians from Weather Report. Mingus did not live to see the release of the Mingus record. The result achieved cult status, after an initially lukewarm reception from both Mitchell and Mingus fans. Back to Imogen Ryall. The extensive text of Sweet Sucker Dance revolves around the protagonist’s relationship with a loved one. ‘Dance’ is an oft-repeated term. This is just a dance – It’s only a dance. This is reflected musically in sections with an increased tempo, while the basic tempo is slow. The quartet accompaniment remains ‘restrained, with beautiful solo work by saxophonist Julian Nicholas. With The Dry Cleaner Cleaner From Des Moines we wind up in lighter emotions. The story takes place in the gambling palaces of Las Vegas. ‘Luck’ and ‘lucky’ are recurring and repetitive words. A cheerful blues. Listening to and comparing it with Mitchell’s Mingus from 1979 is highly recommended! Her band, with leaders such as Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Jaco Pastorius, is somewhat more extensive. The group is placed forward in the sound image, while the individual band members also make themselves heard more. There are other differences. In The Dry Cleaner… the finale, and Pastorius’ bass work, deserve a special mention. Click for Mitchells Sweet Sucker Dance and click for her Dry Cleaner. Click for the lyrics of Sweet Sucker Dance and click for the lyrics of Dry Cleaner. Also in this programme Anette von Eichel – Belonging Gabrielle Cavassa – Where are We (by Joshua Redman) Michelle Lordi – Two Moons Luciana Souza – Cometa Details in the Guide Vocal Jazz – Ineke Heijliger Feedback sturen Zijvensters Geschiedenis Opgeslagen Bijdragen
Mengelberg and Honing Playing
The Art of the Improvisers on Saturday November 4 23:00 CET features three acts from the International Avant-Garde: the Joris Teepe/Don Braden Quintet, The Persons, and the duo Yuri Honing & Misha Mengelberg. Saxophonist Honing (1965) and pianist Mengelberg (1935-2017) performed an unprepared improvisation during their first meeting. The result is recorded on the album Playing.
In Memoriam Thijs Dercksen
The editors of Concertzender Actueel are very sad to report that pianist and composer Thijs Dercksen passed away on October 15th. Thijs was 62 years old. Since May 2019, Thijs has written a column every other week for Actueel in which he explains music concepts and phenomena in a simple, light-hearted and playful way using fragments from his own composition, which he then plays in its entirety. He once said about this in an interview: “I don’t want to fall into technical terms and, on the other hand, I don’t want to sound childish. By listening to a piece of music, people sometimes understand better what I cannot explain in words.” Thijs composed chamber music, symphonic music and choral work, but his heart lay mainly with the piano because he could then implement his ideas himself and especially “because you have good control over the timing,” as he said himself. The editors of Actueel will greatly miss Thijs’ warm personality, his involvement in the program and of course his columns. We send our deepest condolences to his family.
Chronicle of Dutch Music
On Saturday November 25 at 12:00 CET we are broadcasting an extra episode of our series Chronicle of Dutch Music. The programme presents an audio portrait made by photographer Merel Waagmeester about the creative process of composer Simeon ten Holt (January 24, 1923 – November 25, 2012).
Saturday October 28th, 8:00 PM – Jazz Piano. On the piano stool sit successively Marc van Roon, Gerald Clayton (photo) and Robert Vermeulen. We zoom in on Clayton. Pianist, composer, bandleader Gerald Clayton (Utrecht 1984) – son of bassist John Clayton – made his Blue Note debut in 2019, Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard. The album received two Grammy nominations, including Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Clayton’s recent contribution to Short Stories (2023), a piano trio led by bass veteran Vicente Archer. The block ‘Clayton’ starts with a piece from Short Stories, a slow, almost meditative piece by drummer Bill Stewart. A Light – a composition by Clayton – is on the Village Vanguard album. Clayton opens with a style copied from the atonal music of the 20th century: no pulse, dissonances, big jumps, register changes, silences. Slowly the music creeps towards more recognizable and repeated motifs, and towards a pulse – a foreshadowing of what is to come. Drums and bass join in softly and carefully, building towards a dynamically solid foundation with a distinctive rhythmic motif. Enter the two saxes with a unison theme. In the subsequent development the temperature and tension rise, which is maintained until the return of the theme in the final phase. Halfway through the piece – 9’22” in total – a blown rollercoaster pendulum transitions seamlessly into the piano. A moment not to be missed! With Celia – in trio formation, without wind instruments – we enter the repertoire of pianist Bud Powell. Clayton also opts for a long introduction here. He takes the theme at a faster pace than the original. In the improvisation part Powell fades into the background. Bassist and drummer take plenty of time for an extensive ‘call and response’, with bassist Joe Sanders singing along in unison with his bass. Powell has the final say. Celia received a Grammy nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Details regarding this program are in the Guide. Piano Jazz – Robert Vermeulen