A 13-year-old kid who discovers a jazz record - Miles Davis's "Kind Of Blue".
"So What" as a basis of that culture, and the beginning of his journey.
On "Kind Of Blue" the solos are improvised.
The legend has it that a single take was enough for the 5 tracks of the album. Miles, Coltrane, Adderley and Evans improvised furiously on that day, the 2nd March 1959, but as they were recorded, their work took on a special importance.
Their solos will one day become as well known as a song's lyrics, impossible to change (to such a point that scores would be published 10 or 20 years later by editors who have re-written the solos note for note, having had the luxury of playing the tape in slow motion!)
The little boy soon knows by heart the solos of "So What" and "Freddie Freeloader".
(like all jazz lovers around the world)
When he is not at home, stucked to his stereo, he goes to clubs to see jazzmen playing live. The notes that he hears strike a chord but disappear as soon as they have been played. Of course, it's touching to listen to a musician who is living the moment and to try and catch the fragile thing he's creating.
But it is just as touching to tape this jazzman because what he's improvising will be available for listening for ever.
So either we record it or our brave publisher is in the room to write down that Be-Bop solo !!!
The fact of recording the music on a tape is magical and that's the choice the boy makes because he's never going to learn how to read music.
Jazz records always used to be played "live" - a reflection of what happens in clubs.
It's only much later tha Jazz would try studio tricks whereas pop music completly gave itself to it centuries ago.
By entering a studio, a single flutist becomes an orchestra !
It is as if the jazzmen were frightened of losing the essence of their music by manipulating their recordings - like a sacrilege - while Jazz was looking to go elsewhere.
Back to "Kind Of Blue"
The single-take-legend was almost true because in 1997 (almost 40 years later), Columbia released an alternative take of "Flamenco Sketches", the fifth track of the album.
We can easily imagine that the unquestionable influence of "Kind of Blue" on music history would have been different if Miles Davis and producer Teo Macero had chosen the alternative take as the one to be released.
Ring Finger & Pinky (Jazz visions)
Jazz in clubs.
In Strasbourg, in the much-missed "Piano Bar" of place Gutenberg.
A sax solo which appears from the far end of the room.
And then, sitting in the same place every Wednesday evening, an old guy who smokes a cigarette with his Brandy. Elegant and serene.
Till the night when he draws a trumpet from under the table as if taking out a gun.
He improvises, cigarette wedged between the little and the ring finger of his playing hand.
That cigarette is maybe still burning...
Down Town Business
Strasbourg April 2006
Instruments have been hired.
We record with David Florsch, Marco Schmidt and J-B Coudert.
In one of the buildings in avenue Jean Jaures, on at least the 15th floor !
"Down Town Business" - a piece of music that will not be released.
It will exist and find its reflection through "Undiscovered".
Its sense and harmonic embodiment at least.
Strasbourg October 29th, 2006
Winter has come.
When cycling, the snow breaks up in a soft and silky sound.
A year has passed and the music begins.