As one of jazz music’s leading voices on alto sax, David Binney’s musical vision is constantly shifting and expanding whether it’s in the realm of playing, composing or producing, Having played with giants such as Gil Evans, Maria Schneider, Jim Hall, Brian Blade, and Mark Turner, David was also a co-founder of the hard-edged quintet “Lost Tribe.” He has recorded well over a dozen albums as leader or co-leader. His career profile is, however, changing with the arrival of ‘Graylen Epicenter,’ which is receiving the kind of rave reviews that lead to awards and slots on year-end best-of lists. The album features a who’s who of the New York club scene, including Potter, pianist Craig Taborn, drummers Brian Blade and Dan Weiss, percussionist Kenny Wollesen, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, guitarist Wayne Krantz and others.
In the fifteen years between his first recording for CBS Masterworks and INSPIRED BY BACH, Yo-Yo Ma expanded and refined his conception of the Bach suites for solo cello. The performances are introspective, almost as if not for an audience at all. Sony’s close-miked recordings capture every sound.
Yo-Yo Ma Complete Cello Suites – Inspired By Bach
These recordings are part of a larger project: six short films by various directors, inspired by Bach’s suites (and Ma’s performances of them). These range from choreographic realizations of the music by skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean to Julie Moir Messervy’s garden inspired by the first suite. The suites are some of the basic works of the cello repertoire, combining technical challenges with musical satisfaction for both performer and listener. Ma is hardly the first cellist to return to Bach’s cello suites for a second recording–Janos Starker has taken them into the studio five times–and INSPIRED BY BACH is an example of the reasons for these returns. As Ma demonstrates here, the rewards of living with them over long periods of time are great.
Click on pictures….
Elephants are used for everything, and thus… are everywhere. Logging, land clearance, agricultural use, transportation… Not in Texas of course… even if everything is bigger here… but in Laos.
Why Laos? Only those who know me, know about my wife Thavone… and Thavone is from Laos. Thus, Laos became part of my life and has been feeding some of my dreams and has inspired my music for 23 years now.
In 1990, the country opened its borders to Lao people who escaped when communists took over, and wanted to go back and visit their family to eventually stay and help with the country’s improvements.
Thavone left her country in 1975 to be fostered by a French family and let her family behind. Like many refugees, a new life, a new birth, started for her.
Merci a notre (vieille) amie Nathalie - Tatoo
When we met, we had this big dream of going to Laos and find her family, which we did in 1990 as Laos opened its borders after being closed for 15 years. At that time, there was no direct flight. We had to fly to Bangkok, Thailand, cross the whole country to Nong Khay in the far north and cross the Mekong River to find her parents.
This was one of the most emotional day in our life! Especially for Thavone, who could not speak her own language after so long away from her parents, brothers and sisters. All in tears, we rode a tuk-tuk to arrive in her village, miles away from Vientiane, the capital.
The daily life was amazing: first, connecting with people without speaking the language was an enriching experience. Of course, we learnt to speak like kids do, word after word, improving as time went by. Banyan trees, rice fields and the Mekong river (Me nam khong: Mother of the water) became the daily landscape of a new and simple life. Going to the Buddhist Temple (wat) in the morning, and the market (Laotians only eat fresh food), staying with family and visiting the immediate surroundings was simply beautiful. People take everything as it comes and often say “bo pehn niang”… “it’s nothing” or “me vela lay” …”we have time.” If you learn those two expressions you can get around in Laos!
A whole different walk of life
Mekong River and the village
Living on one dollar a day, people take and make the best of each day. They say “sabay!” all is okay. Coming from a Western country with all of my little daily life concern, lots of food, health care and more, I started to take the lesson, learning to enjoy the big laugh and the simple gifts life offers you everyday. Lao people really know how to laugh outloud and enjoy. They are always smiling, even when hard times strike.
Listen to: Sukhany “All the Happiness”
Download from my album “I Write to You from Afar…”
Visit to the Buddhist Temple every morning
Laos- Buddhist Temple
Temples, with markets, are the centers of social life. It’s where people joyfully pray and make donations to the monks who later will serve meals to old people without family or to the poorest in the village, while others are distribuiting donations to families in need. Nobody needs to beg and all keep their dignity.
The temple also had the only T.V in the village to watch Thai programs and the only Lao music channel (popular Lambon Lao).
Kiddos always making fun of my big nose and my bird poop skin color.
Kids were very funny: they’d never seen a white guy, with blond hair who is so tall compared to other people. They use to surround me at the Temple or the market – where I shopped 3 times a day, staying to chit-chat (I am a born talker ), eat and then go back home to enjoy great family times! We rode bicycles in the evening along the Mekong. Banyan trees, rice fields, peaceful temples and the laughter of children playing in the river…
I could not come to write any letter to anybody. Instead, I composed a song based on a Lao scale and a bicycle rhythm. Peaceful and tranquil…
Alas, even if we postponed the departure several times, we had to leave, not knowing if the country would remain open or not. The last day was filled with sadness. Riding a tuk-tuk for the last time, we were all in tears.
As we returned, everything for us was changed, deeply transformed. We were missing the family, and Laos became like a dream engraved in our hearts and memories. My musical language also radically changed, I had this need to go beyond what I knew as far as scales, rhythms, and I started to mix everything… From the reminiscence of fields, of kids in the village and their laughters, the most beautiful fruit of a love story came to lifeL Jade my daughter. She is the strong combination of Latin sensuality and the deepest Buddhist thinking… above thinking. She is the intensity in the calmness, the passion and the reflection.
Al arrived later, but that will be a different story. Also, next, I want to tell you about the incredible recording session for this album, with one of the persons who became very important in my life, a friend, a musical partner: Bibi Rovere.
But for now, much love and happiness to all of you, all of you,
After performing around the World for more than 20 years (Carnegie Hall, Montreal Jazz Festival, various venues in Brazil, Mexico, Europe…) I found more enjoyable having an up close, intimate and personal experience. It is “Music as it should be…in the home, from the heart.”
Here is a description of a House Concert we gave at Art on 5th Ave, Fort Worth. My daughter Jade was part of it, but she now lives in Paris, France. Bistrot Bertaud
A house concert is where people can go to experience great music in a close, warm and friendly environment.
Imagine the music of Philippe Bertaud “The French Sensation” and his children, Jade and Alex, in concert.Imagine all of this in the warmth and ambiance of… Arts Fifth Avenue!
Philippe studied at the National Conservatory of Nice, under the renowned composer Jacques Charpentier. He has incorporated a wide array of elements into his music that he gathered from his travels around the globe. Along with his eclectic music tastes he has turned his inner harmony into an outward expression of musical style he calls “without border.” His fusion-laced music is rich in texture and elegant in presentation. Whether Philippe is playing classical, jazz or a fusion of ethnic elements you are sure to feel his rhythmic expression touch your soul and experience some of the joy that pours forth from the pure pleasure of his melodious compositions.
For more info: www.philippebertaud.com.
“Cookie” Alexander, at sixteen, has spent the last ten years with a guitar in his hands. He was only five years old when he gave his first blues performance. Interested by philosophy, reading, and healthy living, Cookie is above all a born musician spending his spare time writing songs and playing guitar. His influences run from Reggae, Gypsy Jazz to Punk Rock, which he mixes to create his own explosive style. Alexander is currently working on his first album.