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Monday Notes

Dollar Brand and Johnny Dyani, Ntsikana’s Bell. Two voices from Africa

[Monday’s Notes No. 104] Dollar Brand’s music is rich in spirituality and brings us the sounds of his native South Africa. Together with double bassist Johnny Dyani, Dollar Brand performs a duet dedicated to the prophet Ntsikana, who was among the first to translate and explain Christian ideas to the Xhosa people (South Africa).

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Monday Notes

Perigee, Azimuth. Between progressive rock and free jazz

[Monday Notes no. 101] Perigeo is an Italian band that was active for a short time in the mid-1970s. Azimut is the title of a song and also of the band’s first record, the piece is blended between progressive rock, psychedelic music and free jazz. Franco d’Andrea’s solo on piano makes the track even more…

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Monday Notes

Jaco Pastorius, Kuru / Speak Like a Child. The electric bass is the star attraction

[Monday Notes no. 63] Jaco Pastorius revolutionized the electric bass, popularizing the the fretless bass (i.e., no frets on the neck). In addition to playing fantastic bass lines, Jaco was also capable of playing chords and harmonic sounds, turning the bass into a solo instrument. Herbie Hancock also participated in his first album, let’s analyze…

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Monday Notes

Bobby Hebb, Sunny. A Soul piece that is ideal for playing Jazz.

[Monday Notes No.58] Sunny is a 1966 Bobby Hebb song, a great Soul music classic. The very simple but effective harmonic progression has made the song enter the jazz repertoire. So it is often the case that Sunny is played in jam sessions, especially jazz-rock ones. Here is the analysis of the song and the…

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Monday Notes

Gato Barbieri, Merceditas. Music of the Andes meets Jazz

[Monday Notes No. 56] Merceditas is taken from Bolivia, one of Gato Barbieri’s best albums. The song makes extensive use of the pentatonic scale. The scale is used in various musical cultures, from Africa to the Far East, to Andean folk music, which uses instruments tuned precisely to the pentatonic scale.

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