Sunday, May 9, 2021
Monday, April 5, 2021
A quick note, not surprisingly about a translation: SMP Records, the imprint of German improvising pianist Hannes Selig, has just issued a bountiful box set dedicated to the longtime saxophone/piano duo of Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp. Special Edition Box, as it is called, gathers an unreleased 2019 studio session by the pair, a concert film of their performance in São Paulo from later in the same year (in multiple formats), and a lengthy essay by Belgian writer/ musician/ sometimes-impresario Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, titled 'Embrace of the Souls.' Last summer, while the global pandemic raged, I had the pleasure of translating this long text from the French over the course of two weeks. It is easily the most gratifying translation work I've done, and the result is much more than extended liner notes. Jean-Michel's essay captures the essence of one of the most accomplished ongoing collaborations in improvised music/jazz, and does so with a sensitivity and generosity perfectly suited to his subjects. I hope one day to be able to share the entirety of Jean-Michel's piece, here or somewhere else. In the meantime, the SMP box is available in limited quantities.
For French-reading fans of free improvised music, I recommend a visit to Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg's fantastic blog. His love of music, sounds, of pure creative expression, overflows in practically every post.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Still from Hatari!, 1962
Surprise! Quite generously, my friends at the Belgian film site Sabzian have agreed to publish a new translation of mine, a full-length review of Howard Hawks' ensemble adventurer, 'Hatari!' Written one year after the film's American release by Belgian writer/filmmaker Jean-Marie Buchet, it is a neat introduction to a great and under-recognized cinematic mind (Buchet's), as well as a reminder of the large-scale greatness of Hawks' film. For those keeping track, this translation is actually my first published anywhere on the web other than this blog.
If your interest in Jean-Marie Buchet's films is piqued, I highly suggest his first feature 'La fugue de Suzanne' (1974), a droll, absurdist comedy that plays like Luc Moullet crossed with Jean Eustache. It is available on demand from Avila, another wonderful resource for Belgian cinema.
Anyway, enjoy the piece, and by all means, take the opportunity to rewatch 'Hatari!'