Title inspired by lyrics ©Veronika Harcsa

N i e u w – Lo o s d r e c h t / N L – 1 9 6 4

Just imagine how lucky you are being exposed tho these cinematic sounds when you are a newborn.
Signed for life by my sweet, sensitive Papa on his endless bike rides to and from the local record store. I’m still playing them…❤︎
Miles DavisAscenseur pour L’Échafaud – 1958

This is the beautiful Ballade by Claude Debussy, that my father played endlessly for himself
and at my request, on house concerts we organised and the occasional wedding.
It made the whole damn marriage worth it.

Kathryn Stott – Ballade – Claude Debussy – 1890

This song by Pino Palladino and Blake Mills touches the core of a story.
What story that is I don’t know. I’m not even sure if I’d ask Mr. Palladino & Mr. Mills
if I would run into them in the supermarket. I’ll just dream on…it feels just right.

Pino Palladino & Blake MillsJust Wrong – 2021

‘I’m going to take you to my special place
It’s a place that you, like no one else I know might appreciate
I don’t go there with anyone,
but you’re a special case for my special place’

To special friendships, life saviours….kindred spirits….soul sisters & brothers…painting with words.

Not my all time favourite Mitchell or Gabriel song but 2 of
the most inspiring human beings to me…..together ☺︎

Joni Mitchell & Peter Gabriel – My Secret Place – 1988

Video – Anton Corbijn – 1988

Another story from deep, deep down….heart beating sincerity and love.
Such a sound songwriter & voice…

Jono McCleery – Follow 2020

‘It’s about time that we dare to listen….
It’s about time that we dare to see…’

She is so right….and so special!
Veronica’s vocalism & lyricism is extraordinary, like her partners in crime are.
So happy and proud to be able to be close to them….and they make me laugh out loud…

About Time – Veronica Harcsa Quartet with Bálint GyémántNicolas ThysAntoine Pierre – 2022

My lucky childhood soundtrack, thank you Papa for all the sweet sounds you’ve sent into my little ears. I’m still listening…
Thank you, courageous Curtis Mayfield – I wish you could come Back To The World

Curtis Mayfield Back to the World – 1973

‘I’m leaving on the 1:15
You’re darn right
Since I was seventeen
I’ve had no one over me
He says, Anima rising
So what
Petrified wood process
Tall timber down to rock’

The kind of sorrow that causes you to ‘cry the sort of tears that dry’.
Well, you can just let it be and write a song about it…or not.
And oh, the sound of her guitar!

Joni Mitchell – Don’t Interrupt The Sorrow – 1975

You could say that my life was rather turbulent (Indigo, Kind of Blue too…)
so all the more important are your loyal companions on this Long and Winding Road.
The lyrical, lovely, lively Sco has been one of them.
Still Warm, my dearest album. Thank you….✰

John Scofield – Still Warm – 1986

Another magical blend of iconic, musical, spirits…no words….
lucky me to have heard them both play live…(yes, I am that old).

Wayne Shorter – ft. Milton NascimentoNative Dancer – 1975

Time is so old and love so brief
Love is pure gold and time a thief
We’re late, darling, we’re late
The curtain descends, everything ends too soon, too soon…

Speak Low – Kurt Weill / Ogden Nash – 1943

In the early 90’s of the last century I spent a lot of time in NYC, with dear friends who were studying music at the New School. We would stroll the clubs in Greenwich Village for the most alive music and were lured into a (long gone) club on Bleecker Street, by the sound of this Voice. We tumbled from one emotion into another…we were in awe and cheered so loudly after every musical pearl that rolled into our ears, that the kindest Andy Bey himself came over to greet us with curiosity.
To me this is the deepest and most profound voice in jazz.
He never ceases to touch and soothe me…❤︎

Andy Bey – Speak Low American Song – 2004

One of my secret dreams is to do some quirky dancing with David Byrne on a deserted country road.
I do not see many impossibilities here, to be frank.
The car has to be mine though…

David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who – 2012

Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away
Or maybe stay
She wasn’t sure

Words fail me when it comes to this song (and many others) of the beautifully sensitive, sad Nick Drake,
who never revealed the identity of ‘Betty’ in the lyrics….

Nick DrakeRiver Man Five Leaves Left – 1969

The first time I heard the piano concertos by Rachmaninoff consciously,
I was 19 years old and it felt like coming home.
I literally could sing along with the rather complex melodies, wondering how this was possible.
My father (who studied some other piano pieces by the great Sergei) told me
he played this record constantly during my mother’s pregnancy with me….
Still my favourite recording, the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by
Bernard Haitink with Vladimir Ashkenazy on the grand piano.
Tears never dry….❤︎

Concertgebouw Orchestra – Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor, Op 30 – 1986

Дилмано, дилберо,
кажи ми как се сади пиперо

Dilmana, beautiful one
Tell me how to plant pepper

This piece blew me away the first time it was played to me by my dear friend, pianist/composer Tino Derado when he was still still studying in NYC (a long, long time years ago). It appeared that all his jazz mates were listening to it…totally enchanted by the harmonies. And such acoustic power….
Jazz is everywhere!

Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares – Dilmano Dilbero

The first time I’ve heard E.S.T. play live, it was on April 13th, 2003, at the ‘old’ Bimhuis in Amsterdam.
A revelational revolution! (or the other way around, take your pick).
We still miss you a lot, dear Esbjörn Svensson with your incredibly
autonomous creativity in both composition and play, your surprising pianistic approach
and charismatic personality…tack så mycket…also to Dan Berglund & Magnus Öström, naturally ❤︎❤︎❤︎

Esbjörn Svensson Trio – When God Created The Coffee Break Strange Place for Snow – 2002

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag
And skip out for beer during commercials, because
The revolution will not be televised

Gil Scott-Heron…much is said by him, much is said about him….but since we are talking
revolutions here…let’s give him some credit for that!
‘Godfather of rap? Revolutionary for civil rights? R&B, hip-hop or jazz?’
Who has the answers? Poetry, I would say. Anyway, just listen….and watch.

Gil Scott-HeronThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised Pieces of a Man – 1973

Really enjoyed a deep and inspiring conversation between passionate
radio presenter/interviewer/precious personality Andrew Makkinga and
pure & priceless Kenny Garrett at the North Sea Jazz Festival 2023.
Miles, Blakey, Hubbard, Shaw, Ellington…just a sensational saxophone solo away….

Kenny Garret and Sounds From The Ancestors – Tiny Desk Concert – 2023

Being childless, I sometimes dream about adopting some wonderful,
spiritual young folks. Like the beautiful, inspiring saxophonist/composer Kika Sprangers….
By now this has resulted in at least 87 imaginary adoptive ‘children’ from around the world,
most of them glued to a musical instrument. They bring me so much joy!
And I hope I can be there for them if they need me in their turbulent music careers.
Thank you! The future looks bright because of you….

Kika Sprangers & Pynarello No Man’s Land2022

Oh, Weather Report. What can I say? The awkward Joseph Zawinul, who moved from the
Vienna Music Conservatory to the Cannonball Adderley Quintet to Miles Davis’ band….
and then, in 1970, Weather Report was born.
The sounds……quirky, melodic, beguiling, inspiring!
I was highly influenced by their records and live concerts.
Don’t know where to start really…let me just say, for now….
everything is in there, especially Jaco Pastorius.
Mercy, mercy, mercy…

Weather Report – Live at Montreux – 1976

Baby, don’t try to shade it
Beauty is naked

Baby, life’s what you make it
Celebrate it
Anticipate it
Yesterday’s faded
Nothing can change it
Life’s what you make it

Isn’t this just one of the most powerful pop songs ever created?
A rhetorical question as you will surely understand, my friend.
The purity and simplicity of the lyrics, the enchanting arrangement and the urgency of Mark Hollis‘ voice.
I still can’t fathom that he isn’t with us anymore ❤︎
‘One of the most criminally underrated bands of the 80’s,
they were years ahead of everybody else’, someone said, somewhere.
I just say, some things will always stay and that makes my day, after day, after day…..

Talk TalkLife’s What You Make ItThe Colour of Spring – 1986

A very vibrant version of a ‘song’ that would make me happy as a toddler
(see photo at top of page), so my Papa told me.
And since I toddle on in life it still does move me.
Strong melodies are, kind of, my thing as you might have noticed.
‘And the melody still lingers on…’ (I’ll get back to that one later…)

Jolly garçon he was, that Maurice, who finished his quartets at the age of 28! Merde!

Dover QuartetString Quartet in F Major, 2nd movementMaurice Ravel – 1903

I understand you’re facing problems inside you
A certain difficulty of being that I know too
You may ask me, why do I fail
Just when I’m needed
I play my red guitar
It’s the devil in the flesh
It’s the iron in my soul

And now for something completely different…’reluctant pop star’ David Sylvian,
the coolest guy of the 80’s with his band Japan. (Not that I ever fell in love with a pop star).
Music critics didn’t really know what to do with him…
‘Sylvian’s voice is a Ferry derivative, and tends to drone on in a melancholy fashion
without ever really getting anywhere’, or ‘Japanophiles won’t be disappointed. There’s no great change in style, but it’s still all a bit self-consciously arty and angst-ridden’.

Music video by another true hero, Dutch master Anton Corbijn!

Red GuitarDavid SylvianBrilliant Trees1984

Can’t leave those boisterous Brits just yet.
The Name, a highly promising band from London in the early 90’s, that fell into oblivion for vague reasons. I ran into them at the London office of Dutch music/label manager/record producer/enfant terrible Frits Hirschland who has left this planet too soon and made it a lot more boring by doing so.
I was at the Grosse Freiheit during their live performance, with charismatic frontman
Mark Strobel, and it was a very intense and powerful set/song,
not in the least because it is a personal and sad story.
‘It made me cry the sort of tears that never dry’.
Love you forever!

3 of the band members were called Steve…

The Name – Cold – Machine God – Live at The Grosse Freiheit – Hamburg – Germany – 1989

What is Folk?
According to the www it is ‘a type of traditional and generally rural music that
originally was passed down through families and other small social groups.
Typically, folk music, like folk literature, lives in oral tradition;
it is learned through hearing rather than reading.’

Very interesting!
I’ll happily get back to oral traditions when it comes to songwriting…later.
So, here is one of my favourite folk songs (but is it folk…?)
The gentlemen of Nordik Tree, Hans, Arto & Timo (SWE/FI),
overwhelmed me with their concert in the small hall of
the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, over a decade ago.
The melodies, harmonies….it is almost Jazz.

The Lyre, symbol of folk music, and the highest point of
the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, since 1957.

Vals Till Vännen Min – (Waltz For My Friend) – Nordik Tree – 2012

So, this is what I call a happy couple. Harmony, respect, challenge and freedom. This works!
Our Dutch piano pride, Harmen Fraanje, is often sadly missed in the lowlands,
due to his many creative obligations elsewhere. But we forgive him for that.
And Norwegian Arve Henriksen, most probably reincarnated from an ancient
Japanese tea ceremony master….he can make a trumpet sound like a flute.
Why would you want to do that?
But, you know, it is such a compliment for the flute!

If you ever have the chance to hear them live…..do. not. miss. that.

Arve HenriksenHarmen FraanjeTouch of TimeECM – 2024

Accidentally, our paths crossed and there was an instant feeling of ‘just right’.
Mr. Jake Sherman, I invited him to perform a solo set at festival So What’s Next? in 2021.
Squeezed him in really, with the result that he had to play in a loud lobby on the first floor of the concert hall. I am still so ashamed. It was selfish, I just wanted him around.
He deserved to play the main stage.
His warmth, wit and coolness made the concert wonderful, although I am not sure
if many festival visitors really got it.

So, dear Jake, SORRY! I apologise from the bottom
of my jumpy heart and I promise to make it up to you.
I know you are fooling around with, Larry Goldings, Meshell Ndegeocello and Cory Henry…..
and I don’t blame you for that, but I just want you all to myself.
Jake Sherman, dazzling pianist, producer, songwriter, vocalist and magnificent mind.
You make the world a quirkier, and therefore a much better place. Thank you ❤︎

Jake Sherman – We Will – Sofar Sounds NYC – 2015