Sunday, December 24, 2006

Woody Allen marches to his own beat

Photo: Alex -Dec. 20 2006
Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band
Fox Theatre -Redwood City,CA.

"Film buffs assume Woody Allen would like to be Charlie Chaplin or Ingmar Bergman. The fact is, he might prefer to be 1930s clarinet virtuoso Sidney Bechet.
Allen is no dilettante. Jazz has always been his great passion. Eddy Davis, the New Orleans Jazz Band's music director/banjoist/vocalist and longtime Allen pal, says, "He loves to play music more than anything. But he knows he has to make films to be able to do so." Davis met Allen in Chicago in 1963, while he was attending music school and fronting a jazz band at the Bourbon Street club. Allen was doing stand-up at Mr. Kelly's and would sit in with Davis at every opportunity.
In the '90s, they put a rehearsal band together, which was different from the band Allen had been playing with socially at Michael's Pub in New York, and the new focus was New Orleans Dixieland.
Allen's band performs at Cafe Carlyle in New York every Monday night, and such legends as Benny Goodman, Toots Thieleman and Mel Torme (on drums!) have joined in the musical fun.
Davis points out that when Dixieland began it was considered an avant-garde music form. "It was different than anything else that had come before it. It was like when rock 'n' roll started, something new was happening. It was a pop form of music."
Davis says music naturally re-creates itself. "Music doesn't get used up. It just gets copied after a while. People go back and emulate the stars and that kills every form of music. Everybody would like to play like Louis Armstrong or Charlie Parker. But there's only one Louis Armstrong. Only one Charlie Parker. To copy them is not doing any justice to the music - where it came from," says Davis, the "Manhattan Minstrel," who early in his illustrious career played with the Turk Murphy Band at San Francisco's Earthquake McGoon's.
When the New Orleans Jazz Band plays, its energy breathes new life into the genre. However, Davis is well aware that the band draws packed houses, not because of the endless appeal of Dixieland, but because there are a lot of curious movie buffs out there. "Everybody goes to a happening. People come to see Woody, because he's Woody Allen".
By Paul Freeman

Monday, December 18, 2006

El Poema Silencioso del Camino. Versión 2

Foto : Alex Dec. 2006

"Camino pedregoso entre los campos
amarillo, verde y azul
Grandes nubes blancas hacia las montañas
Escucho mis pasos en el camino polvoriento
Cardos en flor
Pàjaros que se pierden en la claridad.
Por tres palabras que trato de enhebrar,
el mundo se despliega en un manto multicolor
Sòlo sigo la visiòn
Soy parte de un enorme poema
del que apenas puedo dar cuenta."

Ignacio B.
Para Alex, 17 de diciembre 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fallecio Pinochet - Ex-Chilean dictator Pinochet dies at 91

El ex dictador Augusto Pinochet, fallecido a las 17:15 GMT de este domingo en Santiago a los 91 años de edad, será recordado en Chile como un actor fundamental de la segunda mitad del siglo XX, con una herencia en que los crímenes contra los derechos humanos y la corrupción opacan definitivamente al estadista que algún día pretendió ser. (IPS)
"Pinochet's dictatorship laid the groundwork for South America's most stable economy, but his crackdown on dissent left a lasting legacy: His name has become a byword for the state terror, in many cases secretly supported by the United States, that retarded democratic change across the hemisphere. Pinochet died with his family at his side at the Santiago Military Hospital on Sunday, a week after suffering a heart attack".