The Listening Project week ending April 10

(NZ) La Petite Manouche Odd Times Odd Places 2013 La Petite Manouche

Christchurch based guitar duo La Petite Manouche is inspired by Django Reinhardt and Manouche (French gypsy) jazz of the 1930s and 40s. A very lively fun album, and while their overt influences may be from a distant time and place, that doesn’t mean that they don’t also sound modern- their style is actually very timeless. You could drop them into any period of jazz and they would sound as if they fit in that period.

(NZ) Paul Lestre Group A Nite at the Hi Diddle Griddle 1963/2013 Stebbing’s Archive Series

One of the earliest live site (as opposed to studio) albums* made in New Zealand. There were site recordings going on before this, but very few have ever been released in album form. The Paul Lestre Group was one of the chicest jazz bands in 1960s Auckland- they played at all the grooving hot night spots- including the Hi Diddle Griddle at 507 Karangahape Road- the ads would say that it was at 507- food from heaven- Karanga-happy Road.

*It’s important to note that the recording industry in New Zealand got a late start- the viable commercial recording industry didn’t start until 1949. There were plenty of recording activities going on, but they were mostly related to radio broadcasting rather than putting records in shops.


Rolf Lislevand and the Bjergsted Jazz Ensemble Tourdion 2015 Inner Ear

I love the mix of early music and jazz on this album. I first heard Rolf Lislevand on the radio with a full on early music group (instrumentally speaking- definitely not in terms of performance practices) doing La Perra Mora, so I was actually trying to find that album- I didn’t (at least not immediately), but I certainly have no regrets, this is really awesome. Who need HIP (Historically Informed Performance) when you have such fresh takes on the music? That isn’t to say that I don’t like HIP performances, I just sometimes feel that HIP-sters place too much emphasis on how things ‘were’ according to writings and treatises, when really we’ll never know how music sounded back in the day and we should embrace that and use our imaginations (as opposed to saying that someone has a wrong interpretation.

All that being said- here’s the version of La Perra Mora that put me onto Lislevand in the first place:

I love, love, love, how this group grooves together!


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