There’s nothing like crossing cultures to push artistic boundaries and to help you experience something different and unique. Japan has long been a creator of some of the world’s finest jazz and has many wonderful experimental jazz artists, whose work spans the entire spectrum of jazz! Listen to Japanese jazz and hear what’s possible in this as yet barely tapped musical genre!
My Swedish friend Marcus recently introduced me to some Swedish Jazz and the music of pianist Jan Johansson in particular. Jan combined Swedish folk music with jazz in a very unique style of composition and piano playing, which I find very refreshing ! Jan’s music has great power and transcends many of the traditional boundaries of jazz ! Fans of the likes of John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk will enjoy Jan’s unique approach to jazz !
There was only one John Coltrane and no one played like him. Even today people are still being inspired by Coltrane’s genius !
There seems to be a renaissance in the making and playing of ancient musical instruments and in the making and playing of new musical instruments. That to me can only mean one thing. That the world of sound and music is diversifying and blossoming.
In the late 80s / early 90s I got it in my head that I wanted to be a guitar god. Thankfully I woke up and realised that I was absolutely useless at playing guitar and went back to listening to those who could play. Today I don’t listen to much guitar music but nearly 30 years I can still appreciate the talent that many of these players have.
Marty Friedman and Jason Becker were two of my favourite players, along with Bucket Head, Paul Gilbert and Steve Vai. Jason Becker is one incredible human being. For over 20 years he has lived with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and has continued to live life to the fullest and make music.
Way back in the early 80’s my mother was into animal sounds and new age music. She had a couple of tapes with whale songs and in 1981/1982, I thought that was pretty cool. Little did I know then that my mothers love of new age music would help inspire me to explore a world of sound and music !
Today sound and ambient sound in particular, fills the internet and people are recording and sharing anything and everything that you can imagine ! I find several things inspiring about this. First, for the first time in human history, we can make audio maps of our world – both maps of human sounds and maps of natural sounds. Second, we listen to anything that tickles our fancy and in so doing let our imaginations run wild, conjuring up whatever our minds wish to see and experience. And finally, we now have endless sources of sound for sampling and using to create new music.
What a wonderful time to be alive ! Imagine what it will be like to be a digital archaeologist in the future and the wealth of sound that we and future generations will have recorded and created, as part of an overall aural portrait of our world !
Phish is an interesting American rock band who started in 1983, who specialise in improvisation and extended jams. Anyone who likes bands like The Grateful Dead, Rush, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Uriah Heap, John Lawton Band and similar bands of that era, will find their blend of psychedelic rock, experimentation, fusion, funk and Zappa-ish like extended melodies, very rewarding.
Enjoy ! 😉
And listen to this from tribute band Jazz is Phish.