Friday, March 31, 2017


The Belmondo's in Mediterranean French Riviera jazz

Belmondo's, brothers, sons and father, and Yusef Lateef


Yvan, Lionel, Stéphane Belmondo
Yusef Lateef
Un jazz de souffrance dans un écrin méditerranéen
(5 critiques en français)
Suffering, Morbid, Islamic, Mediterranean Jazz
(1 critique en anglais)
Intro in English
6 recent CDs 

This is jazz and in spite of what John Steinbeck said jazz is the descendant, one of the descendants of Black African polyrhythm that was imported under duress and in suffering by slavers in their slave ships to America.

To survive – a very short life expectancy was their lot, hardly more than 21 years – they had to manage their suffering collectively. They just hummed their basically rhythmic musical African heritage so that all the slaves worked at the same speed and had the same results in the evening, thus avoiding the whippings of the slower slaves and the increase of the requirements for a standard day of work – generally of course from sunup to sundown in the fields which meant getting up before daybreak and going to sleep after nightfall – and even so whippings occurred, especially because it was some kind of game for the slavers, be they slave owners or just white supervisors. 

African music was polyrhythmic and still is and the music that evolved from this heritage in America is polyrhythmic. And in our modern world it has become the global heritage of humanity. Many forms exist and jazz is one of them. Polyrhythmic like hell with the drums devised and invented for jazz with real, simple drums and cymbals and other percussions that can produce several rhythmic tempos since the two hands and the two feet are working simultaneously. The bass is another rhythmic instrument and of course you have the third or third and fourth instruments, no matter what they are that can have their own tempos. There are also quintets and sextets, but those are rarer formations.

You add to that the syncopated style and you have these various rhythms swinging not in unison but in coordination. If you take that heritage off this music you may have some “jazzy” music but it is not jazz. 

A last detail is that generally every instrument will have a solo moment in the piece when the concerned musician will prove his virtuosity and will in all possible ways build some rhythmic patterns that will be tremendously faster and more intense than the basic rhythmic pattern that is kept in the back. That’s direct heritage from African music. [...]

Research Interests:

African Studies, Cultural Heritage, History of Slavery, Jazz Studies, Jazz History, Cultural Globalization, PTSS, Polyrhythms, and Post Traumatic Slavery Stress

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