The World Poetry Café Radio CFRO 100.5 FM , August 23, 2018. 1-2 PM PST, celebrated its 20 year on the air this year with a new segment in Living Memory for Dr. Warren Stevenson and a tribute written by his daughters.
A unique, talented musician and educator Jeff Densen joined us at 1:30 PM,PST with his new CD, Outside my Window .
Subscribe to his newsletter and receive a demo at www.jeffdenson.com *Courtesy of Braithwaite and Katz. I love this CD, it is powerful, haunting and enjoyable.
The Team: Co-host Jaqueline Maire and host Ariadne Sawyer, super tech Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer Sharon Rowe with her Big Bessie Story, read by Victor.
Another talented award winning poet from the Lincoln Club: Jane Rowland with her lyrical poem, Simple Courtship was read on the show.
Sometimes all it takes is a tiny spark to ignite a raging inferno. For Jeff Jensen, the spark occurred in 2011. Feeling the need for a fresh start, he loaded up his car to head back to his boyhood home in California. Just as that journey was to begin, a deep and unexpected calling starting boiling inside, Jensen changed directions and headed to Memphis. There was no job waiting for him; no plan, no family, no band, just a lone friend with a temporary place for him to stay. But our intrepid guitar player felt it was the right move, the only move. In less than thirty hours after arriving, he met Brandon Santini and was offered the opportunity to be his guitarist. Soon after, Jeff became music director for the Brandon Santini Band. The inferno has been building ever since. After two years, almost 500 shows and three recordings with Santini, Jensen re-formed his band with long-time friend and musical collaborator Bill Ruffino (bass). Then they recruited Memphis native Robinson Bridgeforth as drummer. They hit the road and never looked back. Most people are in for a shock the first time they experience a Jeff Jensen Band performance. It starts with the trio mixing an eccentric blend of soul, rock, and American roots music with a deep blues influence. Suddenly Jensen feels the spirit, transforming into a whirling dervish of sight & sound as he bounds across the stage, barely able to contain himself as he wrenches stark, biting six-string explosions from his guitar. His passion is there for all to see, a rare occurrence in these times of buttoned-down music-making. At first, the sheer emotional force he creates can be a bit overwhelming. Then you realize that all art is an expression of the soul, of the power of the life-giving force that created the universe. And Jeff feels it is his responsibility to make the effort to communicate his passion with each member of the audience every night. After all, music is art, and art is the physical form of emotion. In 2015, Jensen released the vibrant Morose Elephant album that captures the flavor of the band’s creative force. Combining seven originals with covers of songs from Memphis Minnie and Amos Milburn plus a traditional gospel hymn, Jensen articulates the depth of his musical vision with help from a number of friends including Victor Wainwright, Reba Russell, and Annie Harris. The disc received even more critical acclaim as the band’s previous release, Road Worn and Ragged (2013), both produced by Jensen. This led to two consecutive Blues Blast Music Award nominations in the Sean Costello Rising Star category (2014/2015). The band continues to tour the US, Canada and many European countries relentlessly, as the inferno shows no signs of burning out. Whenever there is a break in the schedule, Jensen switches roles, acting as the producer with other artists including Mick Kolassa, John Parker and co-producing Santini’s This Time Another Year, nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category (2014). *Biography written by Mark Thompson.
On March 29th. 1-2 PM PST, the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM PST welcomed features:
Jacqueline Maire, World Poetry Lifetime Achievement Winner and author with her poems in English and French.
Co-host Dr. Diego Bastianutti took the hosting lead for Bassist/bandleader Lello Molinari’s new album Italian Job, Lello and Diego discussed the importance of roots with music selections. A fascinating show in English, French, Italian and Spanish. Lello’s section below.
E-poem: By the talented youth Wonder Poet Kezang Dawa from the lovely country of Bhutan.
E-poem by Malik Ahmed originally from Bangladesh.
Thanks to our World Poetry Team of Ariadne Sawyer, MA, producer , co-host Diego Bastianutti and special Volunteer Sharon Rowe.
Feature Bassist/Bandleader Lello Molinari Returns to his Italian Roots, Reimagines Classic Repertoire in Stunning Modern Jazz Settings
Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 2 features Italian and Italian-American musicians transforming folk and popular songs and classical arias from throughout Italy’s rich musical history
“Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 1 is a dynamic showcase for [Molinari’s] instrumental skills… covering an all-star roster of Italian musical icons with passion, respect and imagination.”
– Stacey Zering, No Depression
“Molinari’s music: in your face, a little raw, fiercely alive.” – Thomas Conrad, DownBeat
It’s often been said that “you can’t go home again” – but with his Italian Job project, Lello Molinari proves that old cliché wrong. The acclaimed bassist has not only returned to his Italian roots, but brought with him three decades of experience as a bandleader, an educator, and a virtuosic bassist with his fingers on the pulse of modern jazz. Now he views the unparalleled musical traditions of his homeland through the lens of a lifetime’s worth of accumulated musical knowledge, creating something that’s both Old World and New, deeply personal while reflecting a profound tradition.
Molinari left his native Naples, Italy in 1986 to study jazz at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. In the intervening years he’s gone on to become a revered educator at that same institution, perform as an in-demand bassist on both the jazz and classical music scenes in Boston, tour the U.S. and Europe with his own Quintet, and venture to the leading edges of jazz in partnership with saxophone great George Garzone.
In recent years, however, Molinari began to glance back over his shoulder at the wealth of musical riches to be found in the land of his birth. That adventure began as part of his 2000 album Multiple Personalities, which peppered three Italian tunes into an album that also veered from forward-leaning jazz to a Monk classic, and featured Garzone, guitarist Mick Goodrick, pianist Frank Carlberg and renowned Italian vocalist Chiara Civello. On the 2016 release Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 1, he explored material from across the wide spectrum of Italian song – traditional folk music, classical arias, popular songs – and radically transformed them through his own singular jazz voice. Now, with Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 2, he offers a second collection that marries timeless melodies to contemporary sounds. The CD will be released on Friday, March 9, 2018 via Fata Morgana Music.
“I had a desire to reconnect with my roots,” Molinari says. “But I also wanted to incorporate these new things that I’ve learned over the years here in the States to old material and give it a fresh look and a fresh take.”
As on the first volume, Molinari leads a quartet of stellar artists who share his Italian heritage – and are all members of the Berklee faculty. Drummer Marcello Pellitteri is a fellow immigrant, hailing originally from Sicily, while saxophonist Dino Govoni and guitarist Sal DiFusco are both Italian-American. Their repertoire for Volume 2 varies from a Respighi tone poem to popular Neapolitan songs that have been sung for generations, to original music penned for the project.
With centuries of musical history to delve into, Molinari found that the hardest part of the project has been whittling down his list to just enough repertoire to fill (so far) two volumes. “Rather than picking which songs to do, I really had to think about which ones not to do,” he says. “If you think about Italian music, it’s like saying
‘Jazz’ – there’s so much and it’s so diverse that it’s impossible to put it into one place. Because I play with a number of orchestras, I’ve reconnected recently with classical music and opera. Then there are certain pieces of music that I just adore and that I wanted to do with my group in my way. Others were songs that I grew up with, folk songs that I’ve known since I was a kid. So it was a natural process.”
The insistent tap of Pellitteri’s percussion opens “’O Sarracino,” a popular song by legendary Neapolitan performer Renato Carosone, given a jazz-funk feel by Govoni’s keening soprano, Molinari’s slinky electric bass line, and DiFusco’s strummed groove. “Jazz Tarantella” takes the melody that is the bane of every Italian’s existence – you know the one, it accompanies every Italian stereotype and cartoon that’s ever appeared on screen – and reimagines it as an alluring straightahead jazz tune in the vein of Miles Davis’ “Dear Old Stockholm.” DiFusco’s original “Sulla Strada di Damasco” follows, inspired by the story of the conversion of Saint Paul and incorporating a vaguely Middle Eastern feel.
“Intermezzo Sinfonico,” from Pietro Mascagni’s operatic masterpiece “Cavalleria Rusticana,” is jolted into the present via Govoni’s EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and Lello’s harmonies on Electric basses, while Pino Daniele’s “’na Tazzulella ‘e Café” makes the unlikely journey from Napoli espresso bar to Bourbon Street coffeehouse in Molinari’s New Orleans-influenced arrangement. Ottorino Respighi’s four-movement tone poem “Pini di Roma” becomes a lush, impressionistic ballad, followed by Luigi Canoro’s famous mazurka “Tra Veglia e Sonno,” which opens familiarly with a mandolin and percussion intro before Govoni’s tenor shifts it firmly into the jazz realm.
“Lidio Napoletano” shows off the improvisational empathy of the trio, built on a short melody in the Lydian mode and created in homage to the treasured Boston band The Fringe, mainstays on the local scene for more than four decades. “Anema e Core,” which has been sung in different languages by everyone from Perry Como to Andrea Boccelli, is a famous Neapolitan song written by Salve D’Esposito in 1950, rendered as a moving duet for bass and guitar. Another song that’s traveled the globe, the famous “Torna a Surriento” has been recorded by everyone from Luciano Pavarotti to Dean Martin to Elvis Presley (as “Surrender”), its heartbreaking melody here pairing Govoni’s EWI with cello played by Meena Murthy. The gorgeous melody of “Tu ‘si ‘na Cosa Grande” is set to a slow, swaying beguine, while Molinari and Pellitteri close the session with an improvised duet, evocatively titled “Neapolitan Snake.”
“I guess as I get more mature,” Molinari concludes, “I don’t need to play ‘punk jazz’ anymore or do music that’s so difficult to listen to. I can enjoy a simple structure, a simple melody – Lello’s Italian Job lets me do both, reinterpreting this old material from a new, contemporary jazz point of view.”
Lello Molinari: Born and raised in Naples, Italy, bassist, bandleader and educator Lello Molinari studied contrabass at the Scuola Civica in Sesto San Giovanni. In 1985 he joined the Italian Vocal Ensemble, performing on radio and television as well as at Italy’s leading jazz festivals. The following year he moved to Boston to study at Berklee College of Music, earning his Bachelors Degree there and his Masters from the New England Conservatory. He’s since joined the Berklee faculty, where he leads an ensemble dedicated to the music of his mentor, Dave Holland, and a new ensemble drawing on Italian repertoire. In the early ‘90s Molinari toured the US and Canada with the acclaimed Either/Orchestra and began a longstanding collaboration with sax great George Garzone. Since 1992 he’s been the principal bassist for the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, with whom he’s recorded several albums. He’s also a member of the Cape Ann Symphony, Hillyer Festival Orchestra, and Salem Philharmonic. Molinari has played with such jazz legends as Kenny Wheeler, George Garzone, Mike Melillo, Jerry Bergonzi and Victor Lewis, leads his own Quintet and co-leads the trio 3Play. Lello’s Italian Job, Volume 2 is his 5th release as a leader.
Source : Braitwaite and Katz with thanks. * Sorry to be so late, was doing a special project.
World Poetry News: We had our second World Poetry meeting at UBC, Saturday, November 24, World Poetry Youth Team Celebration,1-3pm, Lillooet room ,301, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia, 1961 East Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, www.ikebarberlearningcentre.ubc.ca/
World Poetry Canada & International Peace Festival Home for April.
World Poetry Youth Team Hosts: Yilin Wang, World Poetry Youth Team Leader and Anita Aguirre Nieveras, MA, Educator and professor, author of several books.
Jim Wong-Chu is a poet and editor. A nationally recognized and founding member of the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop, he is the writer of a number of published works of poetry, including Chinatown Ghosts (Arsenal) He had two meetings with us and gave us lots of helpful suggestions as well as doing an exceptional reading from his book.
Features: Israel Mota, poet, actor and musician, Spanish host of the World Poetry Cafe Radio Show.
Jacqueline Maire, World Poetry Life Time Achievement Award Winner, 2012 and author of Your Last Brainwaves, published by World Poetry Publishing.
Workshop: Creative Dreaming Tools for Your Art. Use creative dreaming tools including day dreaming an interactive workshop to enhance your creative work and bring forth new talents and abilities. Poets writers, musicians, dancers and film writers will benefit from this workshop. Ariadne Sawyer MA, is a Creative Consultant who has worked with poets, novelists, artists, musicians , filmmakers and writers to achieve their creative goals in classes, workshops and individual work. 30 minutes, handouts included. If you want a copy of the handout, please send a message to email@example.com
Allan Chou gave out UBC gift bags which were greatly appreciated by all. Among the gifts was an envelope from the UBC Library Archives with a collection of treasures to warm any poet’s heart! A letter from Emily Carr, dated May 22, 1937 to her friend, a note from Frank Lloyd Wright, pictures and paintings were some of the gems included.
World Poetry would like to thank all for coming and sharing with us.
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, University of British Columbia, 1961 East Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, www.ikebarberlearningcentre.ubc.ca/ Home of the World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival, April 4-30th.
Here are some photos taken by Allan Chou’s able assistant Sion: