If you're interested in African music, I have two pieces in today's Times, pegged to the South Bank's "Africa Remix" festival. The Baaba Maal profile was supposed to be based on a phone interview, but what are the chances of tracking down a musician who's on the road somewhere in northern Senegal? Especially when the phone number turns out to be the wrong one anyway.

The Independent reports that black artists were snubbed at the Brit Awards. It's not the first time, as you may have noticed. Not that I have much that much sympathy for Jamelia and Co - R&B stands for Random and Bland at the moment. On the other hand, I often notice how few black people there are in the audiences at world music concerts in London. The same generally applies to shows in the US as well. And to most jazz, sadly.

Jimmy Smith generated more energy than most modern soul acts laid end to end. John Fordham's obituary sums him up:

Jimmy Smith really had one song - the churning, exhilarating, backbeat-cracking, riff-shouting organ blues. But he didn't need another, and his glowing audiences didn't expect another.

I interviewed Smith in New York about ten years ago. He was pushing seventy then, or so he claimed (I have a suspicion he was even older) yet he had the enthusiasm of an over-grown teenager. He wouldn't stop talking. I think I ran out of tape in the end.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-round-upif-youre-interested-in.html|||2/11/2005 01:45:00 pm|||||||||