Piano Demon – The Teddy Weatherford Story


Sometime last August, while in Calcutta, we heard that a New York based writer was working on a project on Teddy Weatherford. His research assistant had located Weatherford’s grave in Park Street Cemetery and had contacted us via Carlton Kitto in the hope that we might have answers to some riddling questions relating to the “Godfather of Indian Jazz”.. Why we would not want to get in touch ? !!

This week sees the release of Brendan’s e-book on Teddy Weatherford,

Piano Demon

available exclusively through the Atavist on Kindle, via Amazon, as well as on iPad and iPhone!

Brendan has been a good friend to this project and we appreciate it. His research is meticulous and thorough and his writing tells the tale of a contender to Earl “Fatha” Hine’s stride piano prowess, … born in West Virginia, developed legendary piano chops in Chicago..and went on to march with the saints whils’t gigging in Calcutta !

While Brendan tells a good tale, indeed, we couldn’t resist celebrating his book with the accompanying Video which includes a rare first hand account of Teddy…. Has anybody else seen Mr. Weatherford ?

Narrating the story are, in order of appearance, Ajoy Ray (Kolkata), Jehangir Dalal (Mumbai), Dan Morgenstern (Newark), Naresh Fernandes (Mumbai), Louiz Banks (Mumbai) and our eyewitness, the last of Calcutta’s Big Band crooners !

Special thanks to Jenny Legget, the daughter of Cedric West, for photo..And the Oberoi Grand, Calcutta for their gracious co-operation.

Advertisements

Alix Combelle – Update


Sometime last year we came across more material on Alix Combelle – the #1 European tenor man in the late ’30s – who resurfaced as a Calcutta bandleader !

see the blog post Alix Combelle – in Calcutta and the associated comments

We had found no archival material about Combelle’s time in India until recently, while reviewing material we had collected, we noticed that we did indeed have some documentation:
Note both these images are high resolution and can be clicked on to provide more detail

The only photograph we have seen of the Alix Combelle band playing in Calcutta

A letter, or a briefing wriiten in French by Niranjan Jhaveri which appears to been published in le Jazz Hot , June 1952 – “News from the Orient” communicating information about Jazz in the then Far East, with mention of swinging Manila, and other hot spots for Jazz. It references Alix Combelle “est toujours a Calcutta” amd that Rene Franc , ex clarinetist of the Orchestre Blaslavsky can be found in Bombay! . A full translation would be appreciated, as would any other information.

The Gentleman behind the story…Jehangir Dalal


In Alexandria, VA lives a quiet and modest gentleman. Once from Bombay, now a Virginian, but always in Jazz..Over the last 65 years, Jehangir Dalal a respected authority on the origins of Jazz in India, has quietly researched, collected and documented how the music came to India. In fact, it was his early research, as acknowledged in Storyville magazine, that was the source for much of our information on the African-American musicians who carried Jazz from the salons of Montmatre to the grand hotels and ballrooms of Asia.

Much more than a historian and archivist, with jazz memorablia and a music collection that is emblematic of his passion for the music, he is an erudite and deeply knowledgeable expert on Jazz and its characters. A close personal friend of some well known musicians, (who may recognized in the video clip) he is deeply respected by those in the know. This week he turned 80, and admits that he remains under the continued influence ….of Jazz !

Happy Birthday Jehangir !!

Here’s a short clip that shares his story

Jehangir has been instrumental in helping to make this documentary come alive. Constantly available, and ever willing to dig through his trove, he has been a part of the Documentary project from its inception. Thanks Jehangir for all your help and support!

JAZZ NOIRE ? A Jazz tale from Bombay!


We are back after a self imposed break ….and now ramping up on activities in preparation to finish the film.. …and ‘luck by chance’ TEHELKA magazine published this nice little tale that speaks of a time past
, tinged with a sadness of a long lost age when musicians in Bombay could say they were “jazzmen”…and a requiem for those men and women that made Bombay swing….and yes, with names and places that will surely evoke memories for the hardcore Bombay jazz fans

Click here to read ABRIANI’S SIX by ATUL SABHARWAL.from TEHELKA’s PULP & NOIRE Special

Atul’s cast of characters include a member of Duke Ellington’s band, and some less familiar but well respected names, including including Chic Chocolate, Leslie Godinho , Anibal Castro… and yes, can anyone tell us more about Shirley Myers !!

2010 in review


The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 19 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 43 posts. There were 19 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was July 21st with 82 views. The most popular post that day was Alix Combelle – In Calcutta – 1951.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were blogcatalog.com, facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, allaboutjazz.com, and mail.live.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for paul gonsalves, arthur gracias indojazz, niranjan jhaveri, teddy weatherford, and carlton kitto.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Alix Combelle – In Calcutta – 1951 July 2010
2 comments

2

Bridging the World November 2009
5 comments

3

Niranjan Jhaveri – R. I. P. May 21, 2010 May 2010
8 comments

4

About Blue Rhythm August 2009