Sunday, 22 February 2015

Modigliani, Meeham and Mouskouri

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...)


  1. Gavin, I didn't know you were also into sixties folk!
    However, I don't know how you define that, since the definition can be rather elusive.
    Some I like are Bob Dylan, and sons of older generation folk artists, like Woody Guthrie's son, Arlo.
    Folk artists of Woody's era had such a huge impact on later artists who are considered "folk artists"
    One of the artists I like best, who is is sometimes classified in the Folk genre is David Bromberg.
    Here's a song, and here's an interview with him worth listening to.
    Perhap's another country's folk like the Skiffle of Lonnie Donegan.
    Hopefully, it will be ok if I lump my comments on this post into one, with comments about former blog posts included here.
    I will now make comments on the earlier posts. (Please forgive me- I'm crunched for time, and about to leave for vacation, and tomorrow kick off my snow-covered shoes, and later in the day walk barefoot in the sand along the coast wearing shorts.)

    It appears that when you are attempting to deceive people into believing in tithing, anything goes! It's largely the source of income for these hucksters and for true believer leaders alike.
    It's important to note that being bound by reality is not a characteristic of these folks as they offer up sales pitches designed to convert people into believing their alleged truths.

    Any effective preacher will offer examples of tremendous blessings that adherence to their teachings has caused, whether it's David Miscavige of Scientology, Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church, or Roderick Meredith's Living Church of God.
    Because the ability these orgs' teachings is so very limited in positively affecting peoples' lives (and arguably , only a short-term positive effect, or a zero or long-term negative effect), a constructive question may be...
    "What about the vast majority of people in these orgs who have followed the teachings, yet experienced something different than the results in the cheesy promises?"
    There's something less than reality that is invoked by the salesmen of these belief-systems, since the picture given is not complete or inclusive of the larger reality.

    Scientology's followers have a psychological need to deny the existence of the RPF, followers of Joel Osteen have a psychological need to deny, marginalize or minimize the reality of the greater majority of his followers whose lives have come nowhere near what his stupid supersized sayings promise, and most of Roderick Meredith's followers also have a strong psychological need to believe in and continue with the belief they've bought in to.