07 de juny, 2010

El 'top ten' de Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum, en 2006 en el Auditori, en la inauguración del 38è Voll-Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona (foto: Ricard Cugat)

Crooner de éxito y, asimismo, una de las mentes más abiertas que pueblan el jazz contemporáneo, Jamie Cullum ha aceptado la invitación del periódico The Guardian para proponer una lista de diez de sus principales inspiraciones. Es, claro, una lista personal, en la que el cantante británico destaca diez músicos de jazz que han sido vitales para su desarrollo como artista. Por supuesto, en los comentarios hay quien se queja de las ausencias (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter y tantos otros), sin entender que una lista de diez es, además de personal –como lo es la de Cullum– más que limitada.

Destaquemos parte de los comentarios –inteligentes, agudos– de Cullum con sus propias palabras, para cada uno de los elegidos en su particular top ten.

Charles Mingus: «There's nothing polite about it, but I responded to his style of dirty jazz tinged with violence in a positive way.»

John Coltrane: «He was my epiphany.»

Mary Lou Williams: «Mary Lou spanned the entire history of jazz. She started out playing in a swing band and moved every decade into a new arena of music, doing modal stuff in the 70s, and later playing avant garde.»

Herbie Hancock: «Through Herbie, electro and drum'n'bass, I developed an understanding of improvisation. I aim to operate somewhere between Herbie and Ben Folds at all times.»
Nat King Cole: «He was an immense talent in his own right as a jazz performer.»

Miles Davis: «I didn't understand the music, I didn't even like it that much , and yes, I knew there was heroin involved but I didn't know in what way. I just knew I should be listening.» 

Keith Jarrett: «I was about 18 when I saw Jarrett play in the Barbican. […]  I'd never heard that level of free form improv piano playing – he looked like a mischievous magician.»

Kurt Elling: «He's relatively unknown outside of the jazz world, but revered as a singer among musicians» 

Thelonious Monk: «The best way to describe Thelonious Monk would be to say that if Picasso's work was musical, it would sound like Monk.»

Wynton Marsalis: «He made me want to go to New York, which I did, and I watched him play four nights in a row. I didn't always agree with his style but having saturated myself with the masters, it was good to return to something traditional.»