My First Homage was written for a concert of music for two pianos that Dave Smith and I gave in New York in November 1978. It is a homage to the music of the great jazz pianist Bill Evans and more particularly to the trio that he led from 1959-1961 which had affected me deeply when I first began playing jazz seriously. In 1966, however, I gave up playing jazz after a long period during which improvised music had been my principal professional musical activity. Not only did I give up playing jazz but I developed, too, an almost pathological aversion to jazz and to other forms of improvised music.
Writing this piece represented not only a homage to music which had once been very important to me, but also served in part to exorcise my repudiation of jazz.
The title uses the same initials as those of a piece from the trio's last performance, recorded immediately before bassist Scott LaFaro's tragic death, called "My Foolish Heart", and quotes from it. I relished the harmonic approach of the Evans trio in every piece that they played, and also the rhythmic flexibility, both in Evans' own playing as well as that of Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, even at slow tempi. In addition I always found it touching that in the very last piece from this session, LaFaro's Jade Visions, the greatest bassist in the history of jazz dropped a beat in his own piece...
You can listen to Dennis Hopper explaining how he considers himself to be a much of ''lesbian'. I always needed someone to say that for me. This is a mind blowing documentary, a colorful and diverse sketch of the 70's by a such a controversial figure as Hopper was. A lot of people discard him as trashy drugged failure. He never quite followed the success of Easy Rider but his photographic work was always reason enough for me to admire him.
I visited Moscow last weekend to dj at the launch party of Kennedy Magazine at Oldich Dress and Bar. My recent trip to there served it's purpose once more as a confirmation that it's beyond the shadow of any doubt the most exciting city out there at the moment. A lot of people tend to forget that Moscow despite it's communist past was and still is the equivalent of the Big Apple. Especially now that it's riding on a big wave of creativity and diversity fueled by the steady cash flow that in many cases supports great ideas and projects from young people. And for me this is where the stakes are won. Give a young man some money to fuel his passion and he can come up with miracles. Most of the people involved in the new scene thriving in Moscow at the moment , are young beautiful people armed not only with their vision and bravado but with an economy that almost like fair winds blows in their sails. And this part is what goes terribly wrong with the rest of the world and especially my hometown Athens. The demise of young culture under the strain of economic asphyxiation. In a world with a population that is getting older and stiffer day by day money without the uncompromising spirit of the youngsters is just banknotes with no value. Well enough with the economic/social analysis here. I might as well focus on my adventures in the city. Starting off with my tiny room in Sleepbox hotel which was probably the most intimate hotel room i have slept in a while. Far away from boring corporate hotel rooms with unnecessary amenities and tasteless decoration, this spartan little room was way more intimate than any 5 star monster suite. The rain was waking up every day hitting hard on my skylight window over my bed. A room with a skylight window is enough for me to be happy. I mentioned rain. Yes, the rain was there 24/7 with a few moments that a faint sun made it's appearance. And my Alden Longwings have definitely seen better days from their rain soaked days in Moscow. I panicked over some water stains but like they say these shoes are made to last a lifetime. Time to hit on some proper boots this winter. And the unlined Indy Boot i came across at Fott are a essential. For those unfamiliar with it Fott is the leading menswear shop in Moscow. They are gonna launch their international site soon so it's a good chance to get introduced to them. Recently they produced an exclusive new model of Onituska Tiger X Caliber for their shop. One the pieces that draw my attention at the shop was a navy Harris Tweed jacket that is somewhere around the photos here. And speaking of Fott, Kennedy Magazine will soon be on sale at the shop as well as an interview with me for their great magazine. I'm really looking forward to this one after our chat with the magazine's editor in chief Julia Vydolob, one of leading people in Moscow's fashion industry. So back to my adventures there. One of the highlights of the trip was Friday's amazing set from Lovefingers and Chida at my favorite bar in Moscow Denis Simachev. Great music, gin and soda, and stunning girls as always. And people dancing and having the time of their life. Me eating rose petals and and me crashing on the floor landing on my backbone that still hurts like hell. But is a nice reminder of that night. Saturday found me playing at the opening of Kennedy Magazine that although did not attract the Moscow crowd as much as i expected it was a great night with good friends surrounding me. The place is really impressive with real church stained glass in it's corridors and a great back garden that hosted a memorable performance by Land of Light earlier this summer. Walking round the city was so good. Especially when i literally got lost on Sunday evening roaming aimlessly around a vast unknown still to me area. It's scary to think how huge Moscow is actually. And how diverse. It's funny that most of my activities there are based around a small circle of shops and bars in a walking distance. So i guess that i don't have a really rounded view of the city. Maybe my idea of it is too polished but still i love the diversity of it that reminds me of Athens. Like we say in Greece ''Hetereklito''. On Sunday night we visited a new spot called Enthusiast, a bike repairing shop that combines great beers and ales with light meals, records, biking gear and great music. That day i witnessed the live performance of a homeless dude that played his guitar over a drumbox and singed. Somewhere along Vinny Reily, Sensation's Fix and Lo Fi this guy was as genuine as it gets. Well i guess that this is already enough of talking. Maybe the pics will do a better job than my storytelling. I love this city!