Archive for August, 2015

The Nyckelharpa

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16, 2015 by johnny haddo

Excavated Shellac

sellin1From the Great Steppe, we now travel to the middle of Sweden, to a small village about five miles outside the city of Örebro called Tysslinge. In the previous entry we focused on the morin khuur of Mongolia, and now we’ll pause for a little rumination on one of the most dignified and fascinating stringed instruments of Europe, the nyckelharpa.

Without a doubt, the nyckelharpa, sometimes described as the bowed hurdy-gurdy, is positively medieval. Its origins date back to at least the middle of the 14th century, and documentation of its use and existence under various names and slight iterations appear in church paintings, early books on music, and relief sculptures, for several hundred years, until the modern era. The nyckelharpa is a “keyed fiddle,” and quite large. Played with a bow and held with a strap around the neck, the instrument today has 16 strings and 37 keys…

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This Day in Jazz – The greatest photograph in the history of Jazz

Posted in Uncategorized on August 15, 2015 by johnny haddo

thejazzword

Great_Day_in_Harlem

Photographer Art Kane took the most wonderful photograph in jazz history – remarkable for many reasons. In features 57 of the best jazz musicians and the image has come to be called, ‘A Great Day In Harlem’.

Kane, a freelance photographer was on assignment for Esquire magazine, and took the picture at around 10 a.m. on 12 August 1958 at 17 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenue in Harlem. Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue. In 1994 a TV documentary was made as to how this incredible photo came to be taken, one that Quincy Jones calls, “An astonishing photograph.”

What makes this photo so extraordinary is that it was Art Kane’s first photo shoot; he was an art director for various New York magazines. He was given the chance and it was Kane’s idea to take the photo in Harlem, a risk on many…

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