Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Taran's Free Jazz Hour.
Taran Singh is flatly exemplary as a free jazz supporter. His surname suggests a Punjab origin, a magical land straddling the India/Pakistan border with Amritsar as its capitol and spirit center. As you'll note below, his modesty is disarming but very typical of the many low profile altruists who put their hearts into giving the idiom a hand. He is also keen on reaching out to younger musicians and working to ensure his listeners know that Free Jazz is alive, well as can be expected and still growing. If you have limited resources for circulating self made cd's for airplay, Taran should be a the top of your list. NPR, listen up, Taran may have a model for you. It speaks well of France that he has several stations airing his shows. 1. Describe your discovery of Music. "Growing up in India, in the 80s and 90s, I was into the music of the classic Hindi film era, the 50s-70s. The songs were pure poetry, unlike today. Then Elvis, Sinatra, the Beatles, the Doors, Ledzep, Robert Johnson and Miles Davis. I came to France In the year 2000, and discovered Charlie Parker and other beboppers. I came to free jazz through poetry. in the year 2001 I discovered Langston Hughes and immediately dug his blues drenched poetry. Langston Hughes is the blues. A year later, in the municipal library of the city of Angers in France, I was intrigued by the cover of a cd and started to read the album notes. It said that the recording was of a live concert that commenced with a reading of a Langston Hughes poem. I had never heard of the musicians on the CD but the mention of LH intrigued me enough to listen to it. And when I did, I knew that was my music. the disc was "Underground Railroad" by Joe Mcphee. I was 23 then. Strangely, I had listened to Anthony Braxton solo and quartet albums before the Mcphee cd but didn't like them so much. Later, I went back to the Braxton recordings and fell in love with Anthony Braxton. in 2004, I had the opportunity to interview him, a big event for me. Ever since, I've been diggin deeper into free jazz and improvised music." 2. Describe your research of Free Jazz as a scholar and fan. You wont believe, but it's true that when I started listening to free jazz in 2003 through mid-2004. I thought that free jazz was a music of the 60's and did not happen anymore. That most of the free jazz players were dead and gone and the few who remained were Archie Shepp, AEC and a few others. Even months after having started my show, I was ignorant. Then I met some people through the show who opened my eyes to the fact that free jazz/free improv was happening now, more than ever. I got in touch with some musicians and record labels by email, who sent me their music for airplay. Ever since I've been constantly surfing the web in search of unknown musicians of the free music idiom. And I have come to know so many of them, become friends with some and interviewed a lot of them. But I am in no way a scholar of the music, rather an advanced, maybe obsessive, dabbler. 3. Describe the attractions and appeal of your favorite periods and artists. "I don't understand music. It's hard to explain, but I mean I don't understand music like for example a record reviewer does, I can't say on this song the musicians do this or that or on another song they play a thing that reminds me of a Coltrane piece or an Ornette piece, and stuff like that. My liking and not liking of music is based purely on sound. If the sound of what I hear sounds beautiful, intriguing or original to my ears, I dig it. I have no favourite periods and I love lots of artists. My favourite instruments, soundwise, are the doublebass and the alto saxophone. Some bass players whose work and sound i totally dig: Michael Bisio, Ken Filiano, Reuben Radding, Nick Stephens, Lisle Ellis...and my saxophone hero is Marco Eneidi." 4. Describe the trajectory of your work as a web radio innovator. "Well, even though I fantasize about becoming an innovator and inventor of something, I'm far from being one. I started the show on the local radio of Angers in august 2003 and then started podcasting it in 2006. I was the first podcaster on radio-g and maybe even in that area of France, so there you go for the innovator bit. Then euradio 101.3 fm in the city of Nantes started broadcasting it. In april 2009, a radio in Toulouse started broadcasting it. and now I'm looking for more radio stations all over the world to air the show." 5. Describe evolving methods that are a facet of running your media system. "Not much to say here. Podcasting has been a great help in the propagation of the show, also facebook, twitter and myspace." 6. How has change in the economy impacted your work? "No impact at all. the economy for free music has always been bad." 7. Describe aspirations, projects and future hopes. "I would like to create an ashram of free jazz and free love, and be the guru. people will come to the ashram looking for a haven of love and peace. they'll meditate, have loads of sex and listen to free music and spread their money at my feet. I'll use that money to help musicians and keep the music alive, organize a festival of free music in India and open a performance venue in France. I guess I'm getting carried away there. I'd like to interview more unsung heroes of the music on the show."