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SWING AN ART, SAYS NEWTON IN INTERVIEW
Popular Maestro Cites Part of Classics In Modern Music
By MAJOR ROBINSON
NEW YORK, Aug. 25 - Swing is an art with Frankie Newton, and he doesn't base it on jam session tactics.
   The Cafe Society band leader, whose crew has become a favorite with the downtown trade, names Bach and Chopin as his two favorite composers.
   "I think every musician who is honestly trying to contribute to the field of modern music, follows in their creative footsteps."
    According to newton, every conscientious swing man today is spending long hours trying to perfect a style and create an individual and original expression that makes for good music.
     Frankie is a philharmonic fan, but he regards swing as a serious art. To back up his belief, he points out that scholars in music in all countries have recognised the contributions of jazz musicians; that London streets have been named after swing bandleaders, and that each new swing composition is eagerly awaited and accepted by the world at large.
    He doesn't regard the "commercial: style of Lombardo and Kyser as adding greatly to the musical tradition nor increasing its prestige, but he advocates tolerance for all styles, commercial or otherwise.
    "I think good swing is a relaxed type of playing, completely harmonious, but at the same time individual, Improvising is the key to a fine number, and the various units of the band must feel their music, should be outstanding in their solo parts, and, at the same time, know how to avoid each other."
    "I've never agreed witht he school of swing that teaches the ear as the only one-way entrance to the feel. I like my audiences to be with the booys in spirit as well as the Lindy Hop"
   Frankie believes that the swingmen who are the cream of the crop such as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Bob Crosby, have done away with many of the misconceptions about the type f music demanded by swing.
    It is these musicians who have developed top-notch soloists in their bands, and audiences have become aware of such men, as well as their styles and abilities.
    In the old days Frankie said"people thought musicians couldn't read a note, and couldn't do anything but jam, loud and long. The modern swing man must know how to read and do it perfectly. He must also know the "spots" and give them their full significance, thus bringing out the best that's in a number."
    Frankie's trumpet ideal is the late Bix Biederbecke, whom he regards as perfect. Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge and Bunny Berigan, he also regards as great soloists.
    "Swing came form the great spirituals of the Civil War days." Newton said, "or, rather indirectly, through the blues which came form the hymns. Duke Ellington and Count Basie are carrying on the tradition of adding to the art and bringing it to the public."
    Newton believes the job of the modern band leader is to improve swing and make it a cultural thing rather than a passing fancy, As far as his own work is concerned, he's studying courses in theory and harmony, searching minutely into the technique of the old masters.
... and by the way, for me unpacking is harder!! YES, i have moved (and i have not as of yet, left the ol' etas unis, but if they close another store it just may vukovar my chicago presence) - a better hood, better digs, and with a friend i can implicitly trust (en with my life). actually friends are the one thing i am good at knowing- also have great discernment on who is trustworthy.
    i am almost setup, i will be back with a stronger presence here, on facebook, setting up the website, rehearsing rocambu jazz et all very soon -
so if one hears little from me right now, don't take it bad, just setting my life back up ... love to all my friends, and soon some more mp3's for all to enjoy (here or on twindowlicker, don't quite know where lol)
à bientôt

 

LIWA - the only way I can deal with death is an old song written by HENRI BOWANE (one of the architects of Congolese populist music - I believe he was the second guitar on WENDO KOLOSOY'S "MARIE LOUISA" that started it all)
  my friends EDWIN JOHNSON (1920.avril 7 2010) - tenor sax master) and MARVIN REISMAN (used to work with him for years, even spent a birthday with him in December ) - both died in this month of Avril 2010.
  I do not deal well with death - indeed a half bottle of cachaha would have been consumed if I was at home when i found out about Eddie - but i was at a jam session and just played by ass off instead ...

here is a partial translation from the Crammed discs CD that reissued LIWA by Henri Bowane*

Oh death - Oh! /death, brothers - oh!/ Death is so sad.  listen, friends: I'm singing death. You, mothers listen: I'm singing death. Listen to death, Let's drink, let's think, let's think of death. Our bodies will die, turn to dust. I'm singing today, day after day, night and day. I'm singing today, the saints in heaven will hear me today. I'm singing today, friends, we have to go brothers.

Why does this vaguely comfort me - the ancient culture saw death as a part of life, indeed LIWA makes it in a way a a part of a cycle. I believe he sees his ancestors before he passes in front of him

but please, no more friends die - please, Eddie and Marv are enough for this year - may their journey pass onwards to whatever peace may be in front of them

* Bowane himself died rather young, and was an excellent musician and promoter of the early Ry Co Jazz, his best records were recorded at the time LIWA and MBULA EBETI NALELI in the middle 1950's in Congo ... (both reissued on CRAW 10 and I believe since on a 2 CD set of Congolese Rumba Rock of the 50's)
so busy that i don't have time to spend more than an hour a day on facebook (may have to curtail that to days off, and not stay on the 'puter all day for it) ...
moving to a friends house at the end of april ... can't wait (only until september - may move out of Chi for good then, but where??)
will write an entry of 2010 so far ... that is if i ever write - or have time - besides the ping pong ball effect i have as an reactionary to what anyone (and i mean everyone - hence the FB addiction)
if you wonder why i am silent - don't worry, i'm making it to the next plane (and thinking of planes i need to take one to somewhere , anywhere)
gotta run (a song is here somewhere)
y

Writer's Block: Citizen of the universe

what country - i'll take the following:
France, well en acutel i am almost a EU citizen in general, and France in particular, a test is all that is needed, my mother was born in Paris, my father in eastern Europe
France has great food even in small towns, produces excellent wine, health care
with that in mind i am also interested in the following countries:
most other EU nations (but France is the apple of my eye in Europe, certainty would not reject Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and the UK)
Canada
Australia (very much so)
and for cultural reasons (though I am not so certain about certain aspects of democracy, infrastructure, health care etc) add:
Argentina (would love this one!!)
Brazil
Chile
Uruguay
esp Argentina & Chile - always trust a country that produces great wine
and in east Europe there IS Serbia and Bulgaria
... besides I could visit Cuba and listen to the old sons and other great musics right off the streets - i love old school Cuban music (as in Buena Vista Social Club)
need to see the world, been to France a few times, as well as Canada, also want to see Mexico that is not on the list (esp Mexico City) and all the Caribbean nations - esp Martinique (after Cuba, Martinique, Curacao and Trinidad rate well), North Africa also interests me ...

finally - a posting (LOL)

hola - this is my first "real" blog (i use facebook as a blog sometimes)
i have had this account for some time now, deciding weather this is going to be my jazz blog about obscure 1920's and 30's jazz trumpeters i idolize (newton, page, pinkett, my personal friend jabbo smith et all), the collection of rare african and other records i love so much,  about my life as an eccentric jazz horn player with an equally eccentric life - or the random musings about the varied interests i have in life - the uber  dionysian soul that can fall in love on a drop of a hat (though my hat rarely drops - it usually ends up in the bell of a trumpet for some god forsaken reason) - or the  dry anaytical person who loves everyone but cannot express it in a meaningful manner. what i can say is a few facts about me:
i am a jazz trumpet player - who played with franz jackson and paul bascomb
like a jazz musician would - i never quite know what i am going to do next
i love to play gigs
used to like to record - but i think recording drives me crazy
i love the voluptuous woman - in whatever that terms means - the current society's wanting to worship skinny and young is just plain wrong to me - both in our current "artists" as well as our perception of beauty
i could go on endlessly about politics - why? (but someday i may) nothing is going to change until WE as a society WANT to change ...
and 
if this society i live in does not want to change i am certain there is one i would fit better - after all paris is hot for trad jazz trumpeters, as i am certain london, buenos aries, sydney, shanghai and a dozen other metropolises would be, not that i am going anywhere (yet) ... except moving form the world's smallest kitchen in a 1 bedroom apartment by the lake on the north side of a city i have lived in for decades ... chicago (not the apartment ... long story, another day, perhaps)
just finished a decedent crepe (black cherry, cointreau and dark orange chocolate) ... copying a song for tonight (is you is or is you ain't my baby) that a fan requested me to sing tonight) and ready to leave chicago for wisconsin - the state that loves yves françois for some reason ... remember love to all of you and i will soon be blogging (though i do no know what course this will take me)
listening to: TANGUANGO (comp: ASTOR PIAZOALLA) recorded by: AHMED RATIP Y SU COTTON PICKERS DE BUENOS ARIES (on a TK 78 from 1952) - and if you ever needed to know who i am - owning such a record is so much who I am ... takav sam ja
ps love always - and off to K-TOWN TG's ROCKS!!!!!!!
yves