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Live At The Berlin Jazzbühne Festival 1982

Philip Catherine | Nicolas Fiszman

Live At The Berlin Jazzbühne Festival 1982

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: The Lost Recordings
UPC: 3770020964022
Catnr: TLR 2204044
Release date: 03 February 2023
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Label
The Lost Recordings
UPC
3770020964022
Catalogue number
TLR 2204044
Release date
03 February 2023

"... The situational tension can be felt in the recordings and makes this performance so unique."

Jazzpodium, 31-3-2023
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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DE

About the album

“In the afternoon we performed in a rather austere theatre in East Berlin. Then I remember we crossed Checkpoint Charlie that evening to play in a club in West Berlin. The atmosphere was completely different. I felt as though we were living in a black and white spy movie.” Nicolas Fiszman recalls that chaotic day of 13 June 1982. Two outstanding guitarists, Philip Catherine and Nicolas Fiszman, who at the time was only seventeen years old, were taken from one side of Berlin to the other in pouring rain to perform to unlikely audiences. At both concerts, they played the same programme of seven pieces written by Philip, with the exception of “Crystal Bells”, composed by Charlie Mariano. The pair were not master and student. Rather, Philip remembers Nicolas like a young brother he might have taken to the beach. After the 1960s, Philip became a major figure on the jazz scene, working with the greatest: Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Stéphane Grapelli, Dexter Gordon, to name only a few. Nicolas has played with Charles Aznavour, Vanessa Paradis, Francis Cabrel and Eric Serra, and travels the world with Sting.

On that gloomy afternoon, the two guitarists, alone on stage, decided to brighten up the morosity that reigned. The pieces they played bore titles such as “Janet”, “Babel” and “Petit Nicolas”. It is hard to believe that this varied, well-constructed, polyphonic music was not entirely written down on paper. Philip says, “Nothing is written from beginning to end. I compose the themes and some harmonic bridges. Then we have a chord chart … and that’s it.” The foundations are written; inspiration, taste, fantasy and friendship do the rest. We feel as though we are taking a nonchalant walk through Rio or Miami. The concert is punctuated by thunderous applause.

For these brief minutes in that year 1982, the East Berliners were able to fly over their tightly closed borders.

We are privileged to have unearthed this unique concert where two outstanding artists bring together two cultures to create an intense blaze of happiness.

"Am Nachmittag traten wir in einem ziemlich strengen Theater in Ost-Berlin auf. Dann erinnere ich mich, dass wir am Abend den Checkpoint Charlie überquerten, um in einem Club in West-Berlin zu spielen. Die Atmosphäre war völlig anders. Ich hatte das Gefühl, in einem Schwarz-Weiß-Spionagefilm zu leben." Nicolas Fiszman erinnert sich an diesen chaotischen Tag des 13. Juni 1982. Zwei herausragende Gitarristen, Philip Catherine und Nicolas Fiszman, der damals erst siebzehn Jahre alt war, wurden bei strömendem Regen von einer Seite Berlins zur anderen gebracht, um vor einem unwahrscheinlichen Publikum aufzutreten. Bei beiden Konzerten spielten sie dasselbe Programm mit sieben Stücken, die Philip geschrieben hatte, mit Ausnahme von "Crystal Bells", das Charlie Mariano komponiert hatte. Die beiden waren nicht Meister und Schüler. Vielmehr erinnert sich Philip an Nicolas wie an einen jungen Bruder, den er an den Strand mitgenommen hätte. Nach den 1960er Jahren wurde Philip zu einer wichtigen Figur in der Jazzszene und arbeitete mit den Größten zusammen: Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Stéphane Grapelli, Dexter Gordon, um nur einige zu nennen. Nicolas hat mit Charles Aznavour, Vanessa Paradis, Francis Cabrel und Eric Serra gespielt und reist mit Sting um die Welt.

An diesem düsteren Nachmittag beschlossen die beiden Gitarristen, die allein auf der Bühne standen, die herrschende Tristesse aufzuhellen. Die Stücke, die sie spielten, trugen Titel wie "Janet", "Babel" und "Petit Nicolas". Es ist kaum zu glauben, dass diese abwechslungsreiche, gut strukturierte, mehrstimmige Musik nicht vollständig auf Papier niedergeschrieben wurde. Philip sagt: "Nichts ist von Anfang bis Ende geschrieben. Ich komponiere die Themen und einige harmonische Brücken. Dann haben wir eine Akkordtabelle ... und das war's." Die Grundlagen sind geschrieben; Inspiration, Geschmack, Fantasie und Freundschaft erledigen den Rest. Wir fühlen uns, als würden wir einen lässigen Spaziergang durch Rio oder Miami machen. Das Konzert wird von tosendem Applaus unterbrochen.

Für diese kurzen Minuten konnten die Ostberliner in jenem Jahr 1982 über ihre fest verschlossenen Grenzen fliegen.

Wir haben das Privileg, dieses einzigartige Konzert ausgegraben zu haben, bei dem zwei herausragende Künstler zwei Kulturen zu einem intensiven Feuerwerk des Glücks zusammenführen.

Artist(s)

Philip Catherine (guitar)

Philip Catherine could so easily never have been born. His maternal grandfather, Mr. Brennan, a member of the first violin section of the London Symphony Orchestra, was supposed to travel to New York on the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic in April 1912. He had booked his ticket, but by the time he got to Southampton, the ship had already sailed without him. Not long thereafter, Philip Catherine's mother came into this world, and Catherine himself was born on the 27th of October 1942. This story, which gained the status of myth in his family, helped his mother to instil a love of music in him. Now, at the age of nearly 73. Philip Catherine has been able to...
more
Philip Catherine could so easily never have been born. His maternal grandfather, Mr. Brennan, a member of the first violin section of the London Symphony Orchestra, was supposed to travel to New York on the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic in April 1912. He had booked his ticket, but by the time he got to Southampton, the ship had already sailed without him. Not long thereafter, Philip Catherine's mother came into this world, and Catherine himself was born on the 27th of October 1942. This story, which gained the status of myth in his family, helped his mother to instil a love of music in him. Now, at the age of nearly 73. Philip Catherine has been able to fulfil a long-held wish to have his music performed with a large orchestra, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, conducted by Frank Braley. Nine arrangers made orchestral versions of his tunes, the guitarist/bassist Nicolas Fiszman was tireless in helping with the preparations, which enabled the new work to receive its premiere after just six hours of rehearsals, in the Brussels Jazz Festival on January 13th 2015. “I was so entranced by the sound, by the beautiful new cloak which my tunes had been given to wear, I missed my entrance in “Transparence,” says Catherine. “I just sat there for four bars, listening instead of playing- that's something which has never happened to me before.” Catherine re-captured those four bars in a session afterwards, and that was the only tune which needed to be patched in the studio. Everything else is exactly as it was played and heard in concert on January 13th. “We had never imagined that we would make a CD of this concert – mainly because we had had so little time to prepare it. But the Flemish TV station VRTCanvas had made a complete recording, and when we heard it played back, we all thought: Hey, this has to be a CD. “ Ever since the 1970's, Philip Catherine has had a decisive influence on the sound of the guitar in jazz. This period – four decades – has also been the time during which the guitarist has worked together with Siggi Loch, which made his the appearance of first CD on ACT feel like such a natural step. That album “New Folks,” a duo album with the bassist Martin Wind, is now followed by “The String Project - Live in Brussels.” Philip Catherine is one of the finest exponents of the melodic way of playing the guitar. Having been schooled in the music of Django Reinhardt, Catherine took his playing to another level in his duo with guitarist Larry Corryell, and several albums which he made with Chet Baker constitute a major recorded legacy. “With this string project, I didn't feel that I wanted to prove anything to anyone, so I consciously avoided playing anything showy. The sound of the arrangements, plus what the orchestra and the conductor were creating from them, was all so fascinating, that my only ambition was to put myself at the service of the project, to use my instrument and my abilities to complement and to enrich the overall sound.” That said, Catherine's highly individual sound is instantly recognizable, whether he is in a 'pas de deux' with the violins (in “Philip a Paris”) or with the cellos (in “Toscane”). “I spoke about complementing, but that doesn't mean that I blend in to the point of being unrecognizable. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was important to me that the orchestra should be able to maintain its own identity - and that my band should too.” Catherine's quartet was integrated into the project, and assures that there is variety and contrast. In “Transparence” the band temporarily takes on the leading role. There are fascinating duo sounds alternating with the full orchestra, for example in “December 26th”. Catherine's co-organizer Nicolas Fiszman takes the bass part in “Virtuous Woman” and plays the second guitar in “Isabelle.” The alternation of sounds is always subservient to the idea of hearing the full orchestra. “The String Project - Live in Brussels” brings classical music and jazz together – you would never know they had spent time apart.
less

Composer(s)

Philip Catherine (guitar)

Philip Catherine could so easily never have been born. His maternal grandfather, Mr. Brennan, a member of the first violin section of the London Symphony Orchestra, was supposed to travel to New York on the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic in April 1912. He had booked his ticket, but by the time he got to Southampton, the ship had already sailed without him. Not long thereafter, Philip Catherine's mother came into this world, and Catherine himself was born on the 27th of October 1942. This story, which gained the status of myth in his family, helped his mother to instil a love of music in him. Now, at the age of nearly 73. Philip Catherine has been able to...
more
Philip Catherine could so easily never have been born. His maternal grandfather, Mr. Brennan, a member of the first violin section of the London Symphony Orchestra, was supposed to travel to New York on the fateful maiden voyage of the Titanic in April 1912. He had booked his ticket, but by the time he got to Southampton, the ship had already sailed without him. Not long thereafter, Philip Catherine's mother came into this world, and Catherine himself was born on the 27th of October 1942. This story, which gained the status of myth in his family, helped his mother to instil a love of music in him. Now, at the age of nearly 73. Philip Catherine has been able to fulfil a long-held wish to have his music performed with a large orchestra, the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, conducted by Frank Braley. Nine arrangers made orchestral versions of his tunes, the guitarist/bassist Nicolas Fiszman was tireless in helping with the preparations, which enabled the new work to receive its premiere after just six hours of rehearsals, in the Brussels Jazz Festival on January 13th 2015. “I was so entranced by the sound, by the beautiful new cloak which my tunes had been given to wear, I missed my entrance in “Transparence,” says Catherine. “I just sat there for four bars, listening instead of playing- that's something which has never happened to me before.” Catherine re-captured those four bars in a session afterwards, and that was the only tune which needed to be patched in the studio. Everything else is exactly as it was played and heard in concert on January 13th. “We had never imagined that we would make a CD of this concert – mainly because we had had so little time to prepare it. But the Flemish TV station VRTCanvas had made a complete recording, and when we heard it played back, we all thought: Hey, this has to be a CD. “ Ever since the 1970's, Philip Catherine has had a decisive influence on the sound of the guitar in jazz. This period – four decades – has also been the time during which the guitarist has worked together with Siggi Loch, which made his the appearance of first CD on ACT feel like such a natural step. That album “New Folks,” a duo album with the bassist Martin Wind, is now followed by “The String Project - Live in Brussels.” Philip Catherine is one of the finest exponents of the melodic way of playing the guitar. Having been schooled in the music of Django Reinhardt, Catherine took his playing to another level in his duo with guitarist Larry Corryell, and several albums which he made with Chet Baker constitute a major recorded legacy. “With this string project, I didn't feel that I wanted to prove anything to anyone, so I consciously avoided playing anything showy. The sound of the arrangements, plus what the orchestra and the conductor were creating from them, was all so fascinating, that my only ambition was to put myself at the service of the project, to use my instrument and my abilities to complement and to enrich the overall sound.” That said, Catherine's highly individual sound is instantly recognizable, whether he is in a 'pas de deux' with the violins (in “Philip a Paris”) or with the cellos (in “Toscane”). “I spoke about complementing, but that doesn't mean that I blend in to the point of being unrecognizable. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was important to me that the orchestra should be able to maintain its own identity - and that my band should too.” Catherine's quartet was integrated into the project, and assures that there is variety and contrast. In “Transparence” the band temporarily takes on the leading role. There are fascinating duo sounds alternating with the full orchestra, for example in “December 26th”. Catherine's co-organizer Nicolas Fiszman takes the bass part in “Virtuous Woman” and plays the second guitar in “Isabelle.” The alternation of sounds is always subservient to the idea of hearing the full orchestra. “The String Project - Live in Brussels” brings classical music and jazz together – you would never know they had spent time apart.
less

Press

... The situational tension can be felt in the recordings and makes this performance so unique.
Jazzpodium, 31-3-2023

... And when Catherine then acted electrically, then you felt it again, this warmth of the role models, these wonderfully flowing and almost singing solo runs that can drill into the soul, so especially "Crystal Bells" can fully convince me...
Musikansich, 28-3-2023

... The result is wonderfully light-footed, polyphonic music.
nrwjazz, 20-2-2023

... rich in impressive and surprising solutions, but also communicative and full of authentic emotions...
Jazzfun, 10-2-2023

... A memorable concert that moved both artists very much and encouraged them to improvise, including on the ten-minute "Petit Nicolas - Grand Nicolas"...
Inmusic, 28-3-2023

The album is a succession of virtuoso guitar playing by two talented guitarists who follow each other effortlessly, give space and complement each other.
Music Frames, 23-3-2023

A unique historical discovery that requires listening!
Jazzenzo, 16-3-2023

Philipp and his pupil Nicolas are on a roll.
Jazzflits, 13-3-2023

... The result is a wonderfully light-footed, polyphonic music.
nrw.jazz, 21-2-2023

... And to be heard is the then only seventeen-year-old Nicolas Fiszman, who makes a congenial duo with his more than 20 years older compatriot Philip Catherine...
virgin jazzface, 20-2-2023

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