Jazz and Pop, Youth and Middle Age like Young

By Francis Davis | Go to book overview

Tourist Point of View

Jetlagged scribblings on the initial Matosinhos Jazz Festival, named for and presented this June in a nearby suburb of Oporto, Portugal's second-largest city but its primary trade and industrial center, about 300 kilometers from Lisbon, overlooking both the Atlantic and the Rio Duoro:

Unlike many European festivals, Matosinhos was no grab bag. All of the headliners were pianists. Abdullah Ibrahim played solo. Paul Bley captained an all-star trio featuring the drummer Al Foster and the bassist George Mraz (Tommy Flanagan's teammates not so long ago). Geri Allen co-led a quartet with her husband, the trumpeter Wallace Roney (Buster Williams was on bass, and Lenny White on drums). Muhal Richard Abrams fronted a sextet with Jack Walrath on trumpet, Clark Gaton on trombone, Patience Higgins on tenor saxophone, Brad Jones on bass, and Reggie Nicholson on drums. Representing the locals was Màrio Laginha, a talented young pianist whom few Americans have heard of, though he is quite well known in Portugal as music director for the neo-traditional pop singer Maria João.

Not counting two solid hours of abstract hully gully from Abrams on closing night, my favorite moment of the festival occurred as I stood waiting outside a restaurant at dusk with a bunch of Portuguese journalists for the van that would take us to that night's show. Raul Vaz Bernardo, a retired bank employee deeply in love with his record collection who now reviews concerts for Expresso, a Lisbon-based weekly, began to sing "Close Your Eyes" in syncopated English and with as much gusto as he

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Jazz and Pop, Youth and Middle Age like Young
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Francis Davis *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Advertisements for Myself xi
  • Part One - Voices *
  • Swin G and Sensibility 3
  • The Great Hoagy 19
  • Not Singing Too Much 27
  • Billie Holiday, Cover Artist 39
  • Betty Carter, for Example 49
  • Part Two - Change of the Century *
  • Bud's Bubble 57
  • The Sound of One Finger Snapping 66
  • Aftershocks 77
  • Taken: the True Story of an Alien Abduction - (A Conversation with Sun Ra) 83
  • Rashaan, Rashaan 94
  • Inward 99
  • A to Z 106
  • Charlie Haden, Bass 116
  • ornette 134
  • The 1970s, Religious and Circus 141
  • Like Young 156
  • In His Father's House 169
  • Leaving behind a Trail 176
  • Some Recordings 186
  • On Stage and Screen 200
  • Part Three - Here and There *
  • Tourist Point of View 219
  • Time Difference 223
  • Part Four - Undercover *
  • Man Lost. Songs Found 235
  • Country vs. Western 242
  • Elvis Presley's Double Consciousness 246
  • Beached 256
  • Everybody's Composer 263
  • The Best Years of Our Lives 281
  • Infamous 297
  • Victim Kitsch 304
  • The Moral of the Story from the Guy Who Knows 316
  • Index 339
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