Thursday, September 10, 2015

Berlin Existential

Either because of its pure rhythmic functions or the carefree, even primitive feeling of playing it, bongo has been associated with the beat movement on film, literature, and also in life. The story of Toby Fichelscher (pic: above), a Berliner beatnik, is alsohas its bongos, jazz, and free love.

Toby Fichelscher (1927-92) was a jazz singer, bongo and piano player in post-war Germany who also tackled on the blues and rock 'n roll. (There is a Tutti Frutti single, recorded by him in 1956, a year after Little Richard made it a hit.)

Released on the compilation album, Busting the Bongos, this is a rare chance to listen to the "lost sounds of a jazz phantom", one of so many forgotten European musicians of the post war period.

Interesting enough, the recordings presented on this album are the soundtracks of three films (Tobby, Max Knaack, and Schatten), all directed by Hansjürgen Pohland.

I've been interested in Pohland since watching his short masterpiece Schatten [Shadows], an experimental film in which the jazz soundtrack is providing the rhythm for a series of shots form shadows and silhouettes on the walls and the grounds and it features a West Coast-sounding soundtrack, probably the best of this compilation.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bill Coleman Meets The New Ragtime Band

Bill Coleman

I have no solid information on this Bill Coleman video, except that it's been filmed in Switzerland in 1969 and transmitted on March 20 of the same year.

From the bass drumhead, one can see that Coleman is accompanied by The New Ragtime Band whose members could be identical to the following line up: Jacky Milliet (clarinet), Pierre Descoeudres (trombone), Vino Montavon (piano), Bernard Moritz (guitar), Hans Schläpfer (bass), and either Marco Steiner or Rolf Sydler on drums.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker

Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue, an upcoming Canadian film directed by Robert Budreau.