Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Learning to Enjoy the Moments...












Jazzmoss album and lessons on The art of Being Here and Now.
Too many times we do activities thinking of other stuff. I do it all the time. I am in the thick of things; my mind wanders away, pondering over what I “should be” doing. I am chatting to someone over the phone; thoughts slither away to the dinner am going to have, a movie I shall be watching next week. We have to constantly remind ourselves to live the second, the instant, enjoy the moment. Zen.
This life.











And that was the lesson of Jazzmoss album release party. So many years have passed since I experienced so much harmony and tranquillity. Everything was so blessed and in sync that Sunday afternoon on October 14th 2007...
You come in through the quiet driveway past small trees and shrubs straight to Charlton House. Charlton is of course part of Greenwich, and for those overseas, we are talking of London’s Greenwich Meridian Time; the district.

Huge, ancient building that reminds you old is gold. Green mellow lawns. There is a lady outside checking her hat and she points at the door. You almost think you are in a church, a museum, a castle. Up there on stage Jazzmoss musicians are finishing off their sound check. Empty chairs. Gill is darting here and there making sure everything is alright. Gill Swan is part of Global Music Fusion and Arts an organisation that brings you dances, drama, music, arts and people of various colours and ages. Gill is one the friendliest person on earth. When the phrase, good woman was made, the creator had people like her in mind.


Gill also found time to sing with the band...

Her son, gentle, smart and immaculate as usual, is at the bar. Alex Swan is not only ready to serve wine and food, he will be taking photographs and filming. That is what Global Fusion is all about. M-u-l-t-i-f-a-c-e-t-e-d-n-e-s-s.
One hears that boring question all the time: “How do you do so many things?”
Global Fusion answers that question. Multi-tasking, multi-talented-ness is natural and normal here.

Kit-Drummer par excellence, Trevor Tomkins.

The tables are spread with bites, flowers and bottles of wine, ready for guests. The stalls behind are divided into two. One side is the almost ritual corner stacked with the sacred Jazzmoss album, photos of the musicians making it. People in labour. The labour of love. Other side? Racks of Global Fusion manuals, CD’s , leaflets, more photos and DVD’s. Global Fusion does it all.

The visuals, the sounds, the goods. They work in schools, with the neglected, in cultural centres; they run projects, make films and record albums. And like the word Global they are global. All races welcome here…whoa! Global Fusion compilation album, Global Fusion produced albums of songwriters like Algerian Rai musician Farid Adjazair.

Louisa and Kaz :their collaboration streered this album, with she writing the songs and him the music.

The band has finished sound checking and now each vanish, to have a drink, smoke or chat. Kaz Kasozithe Ugandan multi-instrumentalist musician, pianist and arranger of this album is now strolling around chatting to whoever in sight; calm and relaxed. This is microcosm of the music and the ebony genial musician embodies the spirit. Tito and his pal are fidgeting with the sound controls. The unknown but very appreciated pilots of music engineering. I have known Tito for years. Since the days of Bar Lorca, that Latin club.

Tito, Ghanaian musician and engineer, who has been on the London scene for ages.

Backstage, Louisa is a bag of nerves. Without Louisa Le Marchand our said event would not have been.
“I have been thinking about this album for thirty years.” She says her voice trembling with emotion.
Anyone who has done anything with passion; be it preparing a meal for friends, driving fast to reach a destination, rushing to meet a fresh date, starting a job, company or heading to a new country for the very first time, would recognise this feeling. If you are genuine you will be feeling apprehensive, concerned and anxious; words that describe honesty. Louisa is here not only as musician but producer and moment maker.

Mix and Henry from the dazzling wind section, which stands out brightly in the CD.

The band members are at the back too.
I can see Liran Donin, the jovial funky Israeli born bass player and Trevor Tomkins kit-drummer extraodinaire…there is also guitarist Michael Casswell in the company of Mix Amylo. He and her; she and him; him on strings, she on wind instruments help the melody section, steering Louisa’s singing and Kaz’s crisp piano.Henry Lowther trumpet player, is not absent either.
These guys are living legends of British jazz. Art Theman, for example, who is one of UK 's top Sax players has been playing since the 1950's and has worked with Jack Bruce, Alexis Korner as well Stan Tracey (best UK small group of 1995)not forgeting touring and recording with Charlie Parker's contemporaries, Red Rodney and Al Haig.

Art Theman in action while Henry Lowther waits for his turn...

Charlton House is suddenly filling up and the Sunday sunshine is painting the gardens and windows. Autumn leaves, October rhythm and blues, Champagne and Wine. Otis Redding must be smiling at us. Later when I say to people the wine was free, they go:
FREE WINE AND MUSIC?
Yes. Jazzmoss made it’s own quiet history, herstory.

Guitarist Michael Casswell here with Kaz after the fantastic gig.

Yes; now the place is filling up. People of all sorts; women, girls, boys, men, old guys, young guys; middle aged mammas teachers, models, fellow musicians, voyeurs, painters, jazz lovers, they are all here. I can see André Mathurin, the bass player from St. Lucia with Farid Adjazair. They are always talking music these two.
I am almost thinking Miles Davis has risen from his grave when I realise it is none other than Henry Lowther blowing the place away on his trumpet. The concert is in motion and people are munching and sipping wine and the sun is singing with the occasion. Oh Yes. “I sip Your Lips.”

I sip your lips, a taste divine
Heaven and earth, they are all mine
Your eyes shine bright, yes they do
Like crystal clear, excitement rides, happy tear.”

Reena (second left)with family and Gaz;their late brother Sukh, kit-drummer, amazing musician and fantastic person was a founder member of Global Fusion.
Alex Swan is busy filming; Kraw has just sauntered in, helping on camera as well. Kraw is the Capoeira artist, a young, robust cool, calm but energetic man from Uganda. His eyes spell danger and love at the same time; I am looking at him taking in the jazz with a stride. It reminds one of sun, jazz, coconuts, samba and bullets. (Capoeira, if you didn’t know, is a Brazilian martial art, disguised as a dance).

Kraw...

They are all here.
The music sifts in like dew drops. I have been present to newly released album promotion gigs and here and there you will hear people chatting, getting up to leave to the loo; things of the sort. Nobody leaves. They are all seated from intro to end. And encore. All I can compare this feeling is mornings. With it’s dew and wet grass sprinkling your sandals or bare feet. The best thing about Jazzmoss is it’s endless whimper, whisper, whim. Those musicians should advertise good wine. That drummer, Trevor Tomkins, should be watched by students and even experienced kit players with egos the size of mountains. Tomkins never fights with his kit, he is there to accompany the melody and rest of the team rather than fight or compete. What a team; what a day.


You can always tell which song went well with an audience. For Jazzmoss it is “Looking Back” which has the perfect combination: groove, mellowness as well as reflecting Louisa Le Marchand’s gift for song-wrtiting, poetry and prose. When she sings; the tension is gone, her bedroom, boardroom, living room, pecking soprano voice is a murmur; reminding us to always enjoy the moment.

When I look back there are so many things
That I find hard to remember
Where has the time gone and where will it go?
Where has the time gone and where will it go?
Cause there is love and hate, happiness
Bad things turning to good
And there is the long road that’s hard and wide
And being misunderstood…”



Visit www.jazzmoss.com Or ring Global Fusion Music and Arts for bookings and music products. Tel +44-208 8589497
/Mob. +44-7976-941435

1 comment:

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