Stanley Cowell (1941 – 2020) was an American jazz pianist and co-founder of Strata-East Records.
Strata-East Records first gained notoriety outside the world of jazz after the British label Soul Jazz Records put out three anthologies of their recordings in the 1994-1997 period.
I give you “Travelin’ Man” (1974) in its first version.
Has anyone besides me noticed the likeness to “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes?
Every once and a while somebody dies and his or her death makes you reconsider what you know of the deceased.
Such was the case with John le Carré (1931 –2020). At first I thought he was just another spy fiction writer and that my relationship to him was probably nothing.
I found the opening lines of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and found them appealing, put them on my encyclopedia but I still did not know what to post on my blog.
Then I read that the recurring Smiley character was a sort of anti-hero but most of all an anti-James Bond, badly dressed, bald, overweight, bespectacled, unattractive. With a wife that cheats on him more than once. Also with a Russian spy.
And then today, in my local press, I read Marc Reynebeau (born 1956):
“If the setting of Le Carré’s work changed after the Cold War, his theme remained. This is anchored in a pronounced skepticism about institutions and the corrupting effect that is inherent in every institutional dynamic.”
The corruption. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” said John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton. There is no escaping the corrupting power of power.
Skepticism about institutions. I recently read Paul Collier and he put me on to this. It’s fairly obvious, but somebody needed to point it out. There are two kinds of societies. Societies with high level of trust and societies with low level of trust.
The former develop.
The latter stall. For example, Collier says in Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World (2013):
“It is not possible for Nigerians to get life insurance. This is because, given the opportunism of the relevant professions, a death certificate can be purchased without the inconvenience of dying.”
And then, diggin deeper still, one founds an interview of le Carré which shows him critical of consumerism that makes you wonder whether Michel Clouscard was awareof it:
“I dislike Bond. I’m not sure that Bond is a spy. I think that it’s a great mistake if one’s talking about espionage literature to include Bond in this category at all. It seems to me he’s more some kind of international gangster with, as it is said, a license to kill… He’s a man entirely out of the political context. It’s of no interest to Bond who, for instance, is president of the United States or of the Union of Soviet Republics. It’s the consumer goods ethic, really, that everything around you, all the dull things of life, are suddenly animated, by this wonderful cachet of espionage. With the things on our desk that could explode, our ties that could suddenly take photographs. These give a drab and materialistic existence a kind of magic.”–John le Carré interviewed by Malcolm Muggeridge, first broadcast on February 8, 1966, 16:45
RIP John le Carré
Richard Corben was an American illustrator and comic book artist.
I liked his coloring.
Here the short film Neverwhere, from the film Heavy Metal.
He said sweet things about my hero Tanino Liberatore’s creation RanXerox.
Harold Budd was an American composer working primarily in ambient music.
His two collaborations with Brian Eno, 1980’s The Plateaux of Mirror and 1984’s The Pearl, established his trademark atmospheric piano style.
Update: it took a Facebook comment of David Toop to bring Budd’s best work to my attention:”Bismillahi ‘Rrahman’ Rrahim” (1975):
Budd’s track on the Marion Brown Vista album:
and Budd’s own recording of that track on The Pavillion of Dreams.
Howard Wales was a keyboardist best known for his collaborations with Jerry Garcia in the early 1970s.
However, solo, he produced little gems such as this “Rendez-Vous With The Sun, Part. 2” on his album of almost the same name in 1976.
The tracks is also included in DJ Harvey’s cult mix “Sarcastic Disco Volume 2” which you will find on Soundcloud.
RIP and thank you for the music.
This happened some time ago. But the general public only found out years later that Emmanuelle Arsan had died. At first it said that it happened in 2007, but later it appeared to be in 2005.
More than any fictional character Emmanuelle was the symbol of the sexually liberated woman, celebrating her new freedom because of the pill, the main cause of the sexual revolution.
The funny thing about this Thai born woman, is that nobody today can confirm that it is she who wrote the Emmanuelle novels, some say it was her husband.
What is certain though, is that my hero Eric Losfeld published the first novel of the series clandestinely in 1959 as Emmanuelle (1959).
About the re-writing that has happened since 1959, the book Censure, autocensure et art d’écrire: de l’antiquité à nos jours (2004) by Jacques Domenech notes that the first version was ‘harder‘, more hardcore.
For the occasion of this post, I watched the Italian film Io, Emmanuelle (1969), which seems a better film than the 1974 Sylvia Kristel vehicle.
But this 1969 version has nothing to do with Emmanuelle.
The name Emmanuelle has gone on to become a by-word for erotic films and conjures up an image of the rotan peacock chair which was used as a publicity shot in the 1974 film starring Sylvia Kristel.
François Leterrier was a French film director and actor. He entered the film industry when he was cast in Robert Bresson’s film A Man Escaped (1956).
Goodbye Emmanuelle (1977) features a reggae-inspired soundtrack by Serge Gainsbourg.
Jutta Lampe was a German actress best-known for her film Marianne and Juliane (1981).
In that film she plays the ‘good’ sister, the regular journalist. The ‘bad’ sister has joined the RAF.
Many people forget, but Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, witnessed a series of bloody terrorist attacks rivalling the islamist terrorism of today.