KROKOFANT-KROKOFANT.

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dereksmusicblog

KROKOFANT-KROKOFANT.

What do you get if you cross a crocodile with an elephant? A Krokofant. For those not familiar with this surreal hybrid, then you’ve never heard the popular Norwegian children’s song. The Krokofant has been described as “a lumbering trumpeting beast with a fearsome array of teeth in its snapping jaws.” However, Krokofant is also the name of Norwegian jazz’s most exciting and pioneering groups. Their debut album Krokofant will be released on Rune Grammofon on 10th March 2014. Before I tell you about Krokofant, I’ll tell you about the story behind one of Norway hottest musical prospects.

Originally, Krofofant were just a duo, consisting of guitarist Tom Hasslan  and drummer Axel Skalstad. Then in 2012, Tom and Alex met saxophonist Jørgen Mathisen, in a guitar shop in Kongsberg, a town in Southern Norway which is famous for its annual jazz festival. Straight away, Tom, Alex and Jørgen hit…

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LONNIE LISTON SMITH AND THE COSMIC ECHOES-ASTRAL TRAVELLING.

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LONNIE LISTON SMITH AND THE COSMIC ECHOES-ASTRAL TRAVELLING.

Bob Thiele’s Flying Dutchman was the perfect label for Lonnie Liston Smith and The Echoes’ unique brand of cosmic jazz. Through working with some of the most innovative and creative musicians in the history of jazz, Bob must have realised that often, large record companies aren’t the best environment for innovative and creative musicians. Often, these musical mavericks didn’t thrive within such an orthodox environment. Their creativity is restricted, meaning they’re unable to experiment and innovate like they’d like. So when Bob parted company with Impulse, who he’d transformed into one of jazz’s pioneering labels, he founded Flying Dutchman Productions. This was the label that Lonnie Liston Smith and The Echoes would release a quintet of groundbreaking albums. Their debut was Astral Travelling, which was recently rereleased by BGP Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records. Astral Travelling is a cosmic jazz classic…

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COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA-AFRIQUE.

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COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA-AFRIQUE.

By 1970, Count Basie was sixty-six and a legend of jazz. The Grammy Award winner had achieved just about everything. Count Basie had come a long way since he dropped out of school to play the piano at a silent movie theatre. Soon, he was playing regularly. Whether it was pickup bands or groups travelling through New Jersey looking for a piano player, Count Basie was their man. When he was playing, Count Basie was having to hustle for gigs. This was all part of his musical education. Competition was fierce. So only the best got hired. Count Basie was working towards the best. 

Aged twenty, Count Basie left his New Jersey home and headed to Harlem. Soon, he was touring throughout America. Five years later, in 1929, Count Basie headed to  Kansas City to join Bennie Moten’s band. He was a member of Bennie’s…

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Sameer Khan, Taking Free Jazz by Storm

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This kid has what it takes. I plan on interviewing him within the next week about the new record with Ivo Perelman and his future plans in music, but for now all I have to say is that he has some of the best soloing ideas for a bassist of our time. Also, he is a 18 year old planning on playing free jazz for the rest of his life! What a pleasure to hear. I will post a full interview in due time. 

Aaron Parks

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This man is a great musician. I heard him with Terrence Blanchard on A Tale of God’s Will, and I was blown away. Can’t wait to here this guy again, sounds like a real hard bop soloist. 

These are a few of my Imaginary Things Number 2

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Janey Macken Street!

My writing group is called Inksplinters.

THE INKSPLINTERS ANTHOLOGY 2014  HAS GOT ITS HAT ON AND IS COMING OUT TO PLAY VERY SOON INDEED.

my favourite things

That’s not the cover by the way.

A few advance copies have been given to various “individuals” for review and comment.

The second one is now in.

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Imaginary Things I Think People Might Be Saying About Inksplinters Anthology 2014 In The Near Future. PossiblyNumber 2:

 “It’s better than sex.” Pope Francis.

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Praise indeed.

Tune in next time to hear more.

If you wish

or dare to dream.

Camillus John.

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Niko Red Star

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North Texas Narratives

When he’s not acting in, producing or writing horror films, Niko Red Star is the bass player and band manager for the gypsy jazz, swing and Dixieland playing band The Southland Swing Band. Tonight, instead of packing away costumes and camera equipment, he packs up instruments after an incredible performance-ending rendition of “It don’t Mean a Thing” by Duke Ellington.

“Duke Ellington has a special little place in my heart,” he says. “I love his compositions. You can swing the crap right out of them. It starts getting people shaking their booty’s, getting drunk and it’s a lot of fun.”

Niko Red Star has been playing upright bass for nearly ten years, since around the time he arrived in Dallas.

“I’m from a wee little country town smack dab in the middle of California,” Niko says, pressing his thumb and forefinger together to emphasize the size after finishing casing the…

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