Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Jazz Police ....

 I thought the concept of the Jazz Police was a great invention by Leonard Cohen, and here is one stanza of his lyrics.

"Jazz police are looking through my folders
Jazz police are talking to my niece
Jazz police have got their final orders
Jazzer, drop your axe, it's Jazz police!"

 But they're real. They exist!

And none other than Larry Ochs, widely acclaimed artist, and highly recommended by your humble servant, was the victim of the jazz police. While performing in Sigüenza, near Madrid, on Monday this week, a concert-goer called the police to judge whether or not the music Larry plays is jazz, claiming his money back.

"According to a report in El País newspaper yesterday, the khaki-clad police officers listened to the saxophone-playing and drumming coming from the festival stage before agreeing that the purist might, indeed, have a case", writes The Guardian.They referred the case to a judge.

 Read the full article in The Guardian or El País for some hilarious moments. 

True, you can argue about what is jazz and what is not jazz. But taking risks is not only the task of the artist. It's also part of the listener's role.

In any case, I truly hope that it will give Larry some wider exposure. Getting such a long article in El País and in The Guardian does certainly not happen frequently to"jazz" musicians.

"Can you tell me why the bells are ringing?
Nothing's happened in a million years
I've been sitting here since Wednesday morning
Wednesday morning can't believe my ears

You can also judge for yourself : here is a piece of the performance, with Satoko Fujii on piano, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Scott Amendola and Donald Robinson on drums.

 List of recommended albums by and with Larry Ochs :

John Lindberg - A Tree Frog Tonality *****
Darren Johnston - Reasons For Moving ****
Larry Ochs - Up From Under *****
John Lindberg - The Catbird Sings ****
Larry Ochs, Jeanrenaud, Masaoka - Fly, Fly, Fly *****
Larry Ochs - The Mirror World ****
Larry Ochs, Peggy Lee, Miya Masaoka - Spiller Alley *****
Larry Ochs - Stone Shift ****

I know that I am quite generous/enthusiastic with my ratings, but four out of eight albums with a five-star rating is even by my standards exceptionally high. Check them out!

Thanks to Foka for sharing this story.

© stef


Anonymous said...


Last saturday I went to the L. Ochs concert in Brussels ( the same tour).

On my way to it I had a car accident. One tire got flat, downtown Brussels just in front of the EU council building.
There was a police man. I said : I have to go to a " weird" jazz concert some 4 kilometers from here, in Forest / Vorst , in the Brass building. (1)Could I do this driving a car with one flat tire and (2) where exactly is salle Le Brass?
The police man answered yes to the first question & explained me where salle Le Brass was actually located.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to kill this debate. Somehow, someway. I wish everyone could just agree to call it music, listen, and mine it for appreciation. But that will never happen.

P.S. Keep up the great blog, man. This is a rare haven for reviews of interesting music.

Svenn said...

Heh heh, this is getting even better! W Marsalis is on the case.

Anonymous said...

"Never Was" *****

What We Live

Larry Ochs
Lisle Ellis
Donald Robinson


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