Title inspired by lyrics ©Veronika Harcsa
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 Davis – Ascenseur 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 Mills – Just 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.
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 Gyémánt – Nicolas Thys – Antoine 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
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
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…
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 Drake – River 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
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-Heron – The 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 Land – 2022
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
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 Talk – Life’s What You Make It – The 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…)
‘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’.
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!
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.’
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.
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 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.