Rudresh Mahanthappa i Ashley Kahn, en el Before/After de l'any passat (fotografia: Michael Weintrob)
Per Ashley Kahn
The JazzTimes Before/After column is always one of the most exciting items to read in the American monthly magazine: great musicians listening to, and expounding on music that may or may not recognize in the ten or eleven musical tracks – some famous, some obscure – that are played. And to do this in public, with an audience that can listen along and see exactly how a musician’s ears work, only adds another layer of pleasure. Despite the blind aspect of the exercise, the point is not whether or not the musician recognizes the music (very often they do) or if they like it (sometimes they don’t!) but how he or she feels the music, processes those sounds and then speaks about it.
Bob Belden is a rarity among jazzmen: a bandleader, arranger and composer whose deep understanding of jazz expression and tradition is matched by an ability to speak at length with insight and loads of information. He’s a natural teacher and a sponge, and his recording projects have ranged from always interesting, genre-bending tributes to the likes of Miles Davis, Prince, Puccini and others, to projects focusing on his own, mood-setting music (like the award-winning album Black Dahlia). On monday november 26 at 18.30 – a few hours before the much-anticipated concert by Belden’s new group Animation at the Conservatori del Liceu -- I will meet Belden in the same venue for a special Before/After to which the public is invited. You don’t want to miss this unusual and very special event!