Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Cifu's legacy

Picture by Jaime Massieu, October 2014
One year has already gone by since Cifu left us. He was the dean of Spanish jazz commentators, still active on national public radio, and his absence is still deeply felt. Time flies, though. Life goes on, there is music, and we are still breathing.

After the rains of sadness and tribute, In the months after Cifu's passing, happier news have been reaching our shores. One is the establishment of the association CifuJazz and its brand new website, to promote his legacy. The other one is the recovery, pushed hard by Cifu's family—his wife and daughters—of the series Jazz entre amigos, which aired from 1984 to 1991, on Spanish national television.


What this programme meant for my generation, barely a decade after Franco's passing, can only be described with superlatives. Today, in the age of the Internet, YouTube, and immediate access to whatever crosses one's mind, it may be hard to grasp that these weekly one-hour programmes were the first and, for years, only chance to watch the makers of this music. Bear in mind too that this was a low-budget programme; regarding its contents and approach, this was 1980s Spain, and jazz historiography has improved enormously since then. That said, and even though the programmes are, obviously, in the local language, I think non-Spanish speakers will find the footage, with abundant live performances and interviews, and some of it rather obscure, appealing enough to check this out.

Cifu's legacy remains with us, thanks to good people of the RTVE archive and the firm push by Asociación CifuJazz to keep this available to the public.

As of now (it is worth checking once a month), the programmes are as follows (and the date of the original broadcast):
  • Introduction to jazz (1984.10.03)
  • Jazz styles (1984.11.14)
  • Women in jazz (1) (Laurie Frink, Jane Ira Bloom, Dolly Jones, Ina Ray Hutton, Thelma White, Vi Redd, Mary Osborne, Marian McPartland, Melba Liston, and Alive) (1986.02.19)
  • Women in jazz (2) (Jane Ira Bloom, Anna Mae Winburn and the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Willene Barton, Salamander, Martha Davis, Joanne Brackeen, Carla Bley, Sharon Freeman, and Mary Lou Williams.) (1986.03.05)
  • Jazz ladies (singers: Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday) (1985.02.06) 
  • Pianists of the Forties (Soundies by Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, and Nat "King" Cole) (1989.10.10)
  • Cinema — 'Round Midnight (Bertrand Tavernier; it includes Sten Bramsen's Round 'Round Midnight) (1987.02.02)
  • West Coast Jazz (1) (Three groups: Shorty Rogers-Joe Maini-Pete Jolly-Max Bennett-Mel Lewis; Paul Horn-Larry Bunker-Paul Moer-Victor Gaskin-Milt Turner; Conte Candoli-Richie Kamuca-Russ Freeman-Monty Budwig-Shelly Manne.) (1987.11.16)
  • West Coast Jazz (2) (African-American musicians  The Jazz Crusaders: Wilton Felder-ts, Wayne Henderson-tb, Joe Sample-p, Victor Gaskin-b, Stix Hooper-d; Curtis Amy: Curtis Amy-ts, Dupree Bolton-tp, Ray Crawford-g, Charles Coker-p, Victor Gaskin-b, Ron Selico-d; Gerald Wilson Orchestra: Gerald Wilson-Al Porcino-Robert Knight-Jules Chaikin-John Audino-Fred R. Hill-trumpets, John Ewing-Bob Edmondson-Louis Blackburn-trombones; Buddy Collette-fl-as, Joe Maini-as, Teddy Edwards-Henry Grant-ts, Jack Nimitz-bars, Jack Wilson-p, Jimmy Bond-b, Mel Lewis-d.) (1987.11.23)
  • Pianists: Michel Petrucciani (with Palle Danielsson, Eliot Zigmund, and Jim Hall); Keith Jarrett (interview dubbed into Spanish); Horace Parlan (solo) (1987.11.30)
  • Rocky tenors (Joe Henderson: "Invitation" with George Cables-p, Herbie Lewis-b, and Louis Hayes-d; Sonny Rollins: "Alfie", Festival internacional de jazz de Barcelona, 1976, with Mike Wolff-p, Aurell Ray-g, Don Pate-b, and Eddie Moore-d; Dexter Gordon: "Those Were the Days" Café Montmartre, Copenhaguen, 1969, with Kenny Drew-p, NHØP-b, and Makaya Ntshoko-bat; Johnny Griffin: "Blues for Gonzi" with Ronnie Matthews-p, Curtis Lundy-b, and Winard Harper-bat.) (1984.11.21)
  • Club de Jazz San Juan Evangelista: The Berklee All-Stars (January 14, 1989): Gary Burton-vb, Jeff Stout-tp, Lennie Peterson-tb, Larry Monroe-as, Gregg Badolato-ts, Daniel Nash-keyb, Christian Jacob-p, Jim Kelly-g, Dave Clark-b, Ed Uribe-d + guests: Antonio Moltó-ts, Horacio Icasto-p, Victor Merlo-b, Carlos Carli-d + interviews with Alejandro Reyes and others (1989.06.05)
  • Great trumpets of Modern Jazz: Dizzy Gillespie (Oscar Peterson-p,  Joe Pass-g, NHØP-b, Martin Drew-d), Miles Davis (Bob Berg-s, John Scofield-g, Robert Irving III-kb, Darryl Jones-b, Al Foster-d, Steve Thorton-per), Freddie Hubbard (Joe Henderson-ts, Michel Petrucciani-p, Buster Williams-b, Billy Hart-d), and Wynton Marsalis (Branford Marsalis-ss, Kenny Kirkland-p, Ray Drummond-b, Jeff Watts-d) (1985.02.13)
  • Violins: Jean-Luc Ponty & Didier Lockwood (1986.06.20)
  • Brazil: an overview (Nara Leão, Peri Ribero, Hermeto Pascoal, Djalma Correia, Rosinha da Valença, Sivuca, Helio Delmiro...) (1987.07.20)
  • Small-group soundies: Count Basie / George Shearing / Louis Jordan (1990.05.05)
  • Jazz in black and white: Cab Calloway / Andy Kirk / Nat King Cole / Patterson & Jackson / Dizzy Gillespie w/ Helen Humes (1990.07.14)
  • Piano legends, documentary (Spanish dub) by Burrill Crohn (credits on LoC) + Ahmad Jamal on Jazz from Sixty-one, from 1959 (1989.04.17)
  • History of jazz in Spain (Tete Montoliu w/ Harold Land, John Heard, Roy McCurdy) (1984.12.05)
  • Village Vanguard (featuring Nat Adderley, Charlie Rouse, Mal Waldron, Woody Shaw, Lee Konitz, Sir Roland Hanna, Mel Lewis, Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter et al, plus snippets of interviews with Milt Jackson, Stanley Turrentine, Ed Blackwell, Charlie Haden, Peter Erskine, and Ray Brown) (1987.09.28)   
Single-artist programmes:

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