I'm an obsessive collector of classical music, but I'm also into sixties folk. Others may groan at the thought of Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger or The Seekers, but I'm in my element. Ja, I know it dates me but I'll happily extend to Nana Mouskouri, The Kingston Trio and Joan Baez. My folk CD collection is extremely modest, but hey, this is the age of Pandora, so that's no issue - and no expenses incurred.
But Jazz? Not so much.
But then along comes an album that captivates you. You'd think New Zealand would be a jazz backwater - and perhaps it is - but it nonetheless has a surprising pool of talent. In January I wrote about Brian Smith's album Taupo. This month it's Norman Meeham and his 2007 album Modigliani.
I confess to buying it on spec because (a) it was way, way cheaper than the horrendous list price of $25 and (b) because in my alternate non-Otagosh life I occasionally teach art to kids, and Modigliani is one artist I draw on to inspire the little ratbags to try their hand at portraiture. Modigliani was a master of the stretched technique - taking the proportions of the human face and working wonders. That his visual art has inspired musical art... who could resist?
I'm not a jazz aficionado, but as with other forms of art I know what I like, and I enjoyed this album immensely.
(Too bad Modigliani didn't get around to creating a portrait of Nana Mouskoui...)