Thursday, March 17, 2005

Miles Davis

Sabatchka Sam and Big Ba(n)d Frog
Why whenever I feel good hearing jazz I go back to the once-in-a-life-time concert of Miles Davis in Cascais, before the Revolutionary Military Coup? Because one tends to set standards in youth and stick to it? Anyway, I took the Russkaya to a new live music bar in town, in Calle Barco, cleverly called Bar&Co. A Big jazz Band with 17 guys, 17, was playing, led by a northamerican sax player, Bobby Martinez, but the outstanding musician was the pianist and author of the arrangements (better call it orchestration, really), Mr. Pepe Rivero, from Cuba.

The heavy traffic of signs passing on, back and fro, between the musicians, to make sure the 17 worked-played together with no oops was really amazing to witness. The grand orchestra directing moves were left to Martinez, who has an upper body of a weight lifter and brought the Band to an halt with his arms fully stretched and a paradoxically gentle hand waving. The mix of contemporary jazz and afro-Caribbean rhythms works really well, and the Rum and Pepsi "Mentiritas" ("little lies", 'cos Cuba ain't Libre, get it) were great.

In the interval, the Russkaya told me the story of Sabatchka Sam, who bravely dug out a frozen frog, one meter deep in ice-snow, with his little body, and short arms and legs. Of how he went all the way back, firmly gripping his treasure, to his foster mother, very proud of himself, to offer her that recuerdo from a walk in the Tver woods. Why on heart does it matter that the frog had been dead for at least five months, since the first snow storms on the Moscow area? Was it indeed a disgusting dark-greenish corpse? Does it change in any way the good heart and intelectual curiosity qualities shown by the Sam? Sam, the cocker-spaniel, my man.

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