Tag Archive | jazz

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing

For those who like jazz, you may already know this song very well. Some people said that from here the word “swing” comes. The word “swing” here means a branch of standard jazz. This song was composed by Duke Ellington and the lyrics was written by Irving Mills.

The lyrics was so simple. Like this.

It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing
It don’t mean a thing all you got to do is sing
It makes no difference If it’s sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm Everything you’ve got

It is sung repeatedly with some interludes of  scat singing “do wah do wah” repeated too.

As we know that swing was born in New Orleans, the city which recently  celebrated Mardi Gras. From this era, big band began to be known. A band consisting of up to dozens of players. With horn and reed section. Among others famous big bands are big bands belong to Duke Ellington and  Benny Goodman.

Take Me to the Mardi Gras

C’mon take me to the Mardi Gras
Where the people sing and play
Where the dancing is elite
And there’s music in the street
Both night and day

Hurry take me to the Mardi Gras
In the city of my dreams
You can legalize your lows
You can wear your summer clothes
In the New Orleans

And I will lay my burden down
Rest my head upon that shore
And when I wear that starry crown
I won’t be wanting anymore

Take your burdens to the Mardi Gras
Let the music wash your soul
You can mingle in the street
You can jingle to the beat of Jelly Roll
Tumba, tumba, tumba, Mardi Gras
Tumba, tumba, tumba, day

Today I read a posting  about Mardi Gras. Because of curious and I like that event so I search about it in internet. Then  I know that the event that happened in New Orleans was over yesterday. If I am not wrong.

I’ve never been there. I wish I could. New Orleans. City where jazz was born. And jazz is one of my favourite music. I only can see the pictures of that parade.  I hope someday I could  be there.

Talk about that song, it’s my favourite song. But do you know that there’s one Indonesian song has almost the same tone as “Take Me To The Mardi Gras”. The title is “Begadang”, composed by Rhoma Irama. The same tone was in the first row of the lyrics.  That is “C’mon take me to the Mardi Gras” and “Begadang jangan begadang”.

Funny ? One was composed by Paul Simon, an American singer  and the other was composed by Rhoma Irama, an Indonesian singer. Or did they ever meet each other before ? Maybe someone has an idea to gather them on a stage ?

But apparently, this situation, the similarity has not been used by comedians. Especially, Indonesian comedians. Maybe the song “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” is not so popular among them. Maybe someone, a comedian wants to take this idea as a joke material ? 🙂

Tribute to Bubi Chen

Dated  February 17, 2012 , I read an article that Bubi Chen has died at the age of 74 years because of  diabetes melitus  in Telogorejo hospital   in Semarang, Central Java.

He was wellknown as a jazz maestro, even regarded as one of  jazz ancestors in Indonesia. Beside  a pianist, he was also an arranger. As far as I know, he usually play mainstream like swing. During his lifetime he received several awards as a musician.

He began his career in music with learning classic piano. He rearranged some classic compositions from Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart into jazz. After that, he began to study jazz by himself beside took a course. His teacher was Teddy Wilson.

Bubi Chen founded a group named  “The Circle” with Maryono (saxophone), F.X. Boy (bongo), Zainal (bass), Tri Wijayanto (gitar) and Koes Syamsudin (drum). With  Jack Lesmana, Maryono, Kiboud Maulana, Benny Mustapha and his brother Jopie Chen, he also  joined  “Indonesian All Stars”. ” Indonesian All Stars” ever performed in  Berlin Jazz Festival in  1967. After that, they made a record , Djanger Baliwith  Tony Scott.

In 1959, with Jack Lesmana, he made a record in  Lokananta titled “Bubi Chen with Strings”. The reocrd ever broadcasted by “Voice of America” and discussed by a famous US jazz critic in 1960. He called him as “The Best Pianist of Asia”.  He ever founded  “Chen Trio” with his brother  Jopie and Teddy Chen in  1950’s. In the same year he also joined “Jack Lesmana Quartet” which changed name into “Jack Lesmana Quintet”.

In the middle of  1976, Bubi released a record titled  “Kau dan Aku”, with  Jack Lesmana, Benny Likumahuwa, Hasan, and Embong Rahardjo.  In 1984, with jazz musicians like  John Heard, Albert Heath, and Paul Langosh, he made a record  titled “Bubi di Amerika” in America and was circulated in Indonesia. He still released many more records after that.

In 2004, Bubi Chen received  “Satya Lencana” award for his dedication in art from the former president  Megawati. One year later, in   2005, in  Java Jazz Festival, Peter F. Gontha  gave him  an award as  “Jazz Living Legend” musician for the first time. Bubi Chen also  received Life Achievement Award from the governor of  East Java,  regarded of introducing  Surabaya to internasional world through  jazz during  “Wismilak The Legend of Jazz” in the early of  2010.

He was not just an Indonesian jazz artist, but he was an international jazz artist. We as jazz lovers surely miss him. This brief biography was adapted from Wikipedia.  If you want to know more details about him, here is the link http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubi_Chen

When I’m 64

Maybe you already know this song so well, or maybe you don’t know it until you play the video above. Apparently, The Beatles which  a pioneer rock ‘n’ roll band  can sing and play jazz too. Paul mc Cartney can write a jazz song too. And they sang it so well.

The sound of clarinet confirms  the accent of jazz further, beside its rhythmic and the sound of hihat in the background. Once I heard this song when I was a kid, I directly like this song. Even in that time I still didn’t know about jazz and didn’t like jazz. I don’t know, maybe because the  swing of the song sounds good to me. Like an old saying “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”.

This song is included in the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. This song tells about a husband and wife who love each other and about their fantasy  when they grow old. The husband in this song asked if his wife still loved him when he grew old. A very romantic song.

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

You’ll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.

I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too drear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

Well, after you read and listen to this song, will you send me a valentine or just leave me a comment ? It’s almost Valentine day you know or do you forget about it ?

Eliane Elias

Born March 19, 1960 in São Paulo, Brazil is a Brazilian jazz pianist, arranger, vocalist and songwriter. She married to Randy Brecker, a jazz trumpeter. She is blessed with beautiful body, face and voice. Beside her intelligence. Their daughter, Amanda Elias Brecker sings too.

Her voice is warm, husky, smooth. That is what makes me interested in her, beside her piano playing, type of her music and last but not least her physic. She was one of my favourites female jazz singer and pianist.

A radio announcer once mentioned her as a junior Tania Maria. Because she and  Tania Maria both are equally Brazilian, jazz vocalist,  pianist and composer. But Eliane Elias was more luckier than Tania Maria,  because she was not blind. Her songs are more gentle and soft, tend to use acoustic instruments and tend to mainstream if compared to Tania Maria’s songs.

In album “Around The City” she sings  the very famous Tito Puente’s song that written to Santana “Oye Como Va” with her own style. Her voice in this song is smooth , sighed and spoiled. The song sounds sexy, vivacious and flirtatious. It sounds different when played by Tito Puente or Santana. The first time I listened to this song, I directly like this song very much. This song  has been impressed me very much.

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