Abstract Jazz Arrangement (AJA), Bodo y Bakero…

(foto propiedad de FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

Menudo enredo…primero Bodo Vespaciano, ahora Francisco…pero C’est la vie, las cosas cambian, la gente igual y todos vamos madurando y mutando mientras vamos creciendo y desarrollando nuestro arte y talento. Al fin y al cabo, el talento es el resultado de horas y horas de dura faena artística.

Quisiera que conocieras la música que tocabamos cuando hicimos AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement, que significa “arreglos de jazz abstractos” o “arreglos abstractos de jazz” como quieras). El siguiente enlace te lleva a un website donde podrás escuchar piezas de piano y contrabajo:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja

Ese CD lo grabamos en el 2004 un gran pianista y yo en el bajo.

Y aquí te dejo el vídeo “Aranaki” con la canción “Yerushalahaim” de fondo. Y preparate porque durante esa etapa me llamaba Bakero. Toco la guitarra y el bajo en la grabación:

(Música original de FBC, cuadros y fotos de FBC, Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia)

Te invito a suscribirte a mi canal YouTube donde todos mís vídeos contienen mís cuadros y fotos igual que la música que he compuesto con AJA y solo.

INSTAGRAM: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

JaZzArt en Valencia: http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

Grupo AJA: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja2

gracias…

My East River, New York…

(The East River, Manhattan, foto property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

For me there is always something magical, mystical, special, enchanting et cetera et cetera about a body of water, especially a large one, even though it is a river. Such a body of water is the East River in New York City.

Running alongside of it is Franklin Delano Roosevelt East River Drive that will take you up to Harlem, passing in front of such places as the United Nations…

From Manhattan to Brooklyn, you can cross this river through the Brooklyn Bridge, an historic icon and a beautiful structure. The Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883…

The Manhattan Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge will also get you to Brooklyn or from Brooklyn to Manhattan…

There are also tunnels…

From Manhattan to Queens, you can cross via the 59th Street Bridge, and the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge as well as tunnels such as the Queens Midtown Tunnel…

(The East River, Manhattan, foto property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

There is also a beautiful river walk that starts at the 59th Street Bridge and takes you all the way uptown to Harlem…

(The East River, Manhattan, foto property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

I loved my morning walks uptown from Mid-Town Manhattan…you get a feeling of strong energy and peace, it’s like a moving relaxed-concentration state and it is all due to the power of that river…

New York is one of the most wonderful places I have ever lived in…I love the energy, the spirit the excitement of the city. And it is beautiful! It is kept as a jewel. New York reflects the true spirit of America. It is a melting pot where you find people from all parts of the world working together, developing their business, their life, their art and their hope for the future. They are all different in many ways but all agree on one thing, their undying love for New York. If you have ever lived in New York you will always be a New Yorker and if you’ve ever visited you will never forget it!

(The East River, Manhattan, foto property of FBC, C.2019 All Rights Reserved)

C.2019, Francisco Bravo Cabrera, Valencia, Spain, 29 NOV 19, All Rights Reserved.

If you liked what you saw and read, I would greatly appreciate if you would hit that like button as well as share and follow and I would like to know your feelings and experience about New York, the Big Apple!

You can see my artwork on INSTAGRAM @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

and my JaZzArt en Valencia, paintings and drawings of 2019 at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

For my Jazz Music, the Abstract Jazz Arrangement, (AJA), please visit http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja

and you can also check out my YouTube channel

THANKS!

i REALLY don’t KNOW the Reason…

Featuring “Evil People” the song/video clip that I did quite a while ago with AJA, the Abstract Jazz Arrangement (www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja and http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja2)

Hope you enjoy the images and the paintings that I did during the early years…you might recognise a few that I’ve featured in posts on this blog.

The name “Evil People” comes from the name of a restaurant/club that existed in Miami in the 1970’s. The place was made to look like an ancient castle, with little flames of light coming out of tiny windows high up on walls made to look like thick stone battlements…anyways, here’s the song, please tell me what you think…and if you like it, hit that like, share and follow…

THANKS!

REVOLUTION! (no, just kidding, it’s just a song)

(After a concert with AJA, photo by FBC)

I wanted to write a song about revolution, but it was meant to be satirical, not real. I do not believe in revolution and if there is such a need to fight one, then immediately after peace has been established, the “r” must be removed from the word…and the idea of…revolution so that the country can advance.

In Cuba, the Revolution was fought to oust a dictator. It was a politically motivated and generated by the hatred of most Cubans of the Batista regime. It was not a worker’s struggle. Workers, peasants and the poorer classes, were not involved in the fight, although the small farmers of the eastern mountains, the Sierra Maestra eventually…towards the end of the war…did join in the fighting. But the ones who rose up to fight Batista were the professional classes and the upper middle class, with the support of many of the rich and of the Catholic Church. By no means the Cuban Revolution can be considered a class struggle.

But the Revolution was stolen from those who fought it. It became the “revolution”, (or “robolucion” in Spanish, meaning it was accomplished to steal from those who had so that Fidel Castro could become the 9th richest man on Earth). The reason I do not use a capital letter to identify Castro’s revolution is because it was not a revolution. Castro stole the revolutionary struggle and then the power of ruling the country, by lying to the people. He back stabbed everyone, beginning with his friends and comrades whom he had assassinated by firing squad, accusing them of being anti-revolutionary. Then he denounced democracy, saying elections were not needed, that the struggle meant that Cubans had already voted for him and finally declaring that he was and always had been a Marxist-Leninist. He betrayed the revolutionary struggle and established himself, and his communist party, as the eternal dictators of the island.

So…I still wanted to try and ridicule the so-called revolution in Cuba…

I wrote this song and I did it with AJA backed up by Ayoko, our singer at the time. I belive the year was about 2006, but I am not so sure…

I took the pictures on a short trip to Cuba that I did in 2015…so the video clip is from 2016…so all the pictures are part of my personal experience from my visit to that island.

If you liked it, please hit that like button, follow and share. I would also be interested in reading your comments, for or against, it doesn’t matter as long as they can lead towards a civilised discussion.

AND…

If you liked my artwork and would like to see more, I post everything I do on Instagram, please follow @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

and for my “JaZzArt en Valencia” 2019 series and collection, visit my online galleries: http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

You can also subscribe (above from the video clip) to my YouTube channel!

THANKS!

All is Heaven…

(Photo by FBC, C.2019 Derechos Reservados)

ALL IS HEAVEN…ALL IS WATER…ALL IS IN MY IMAGINATION…

I have been born with imagination,
in a simple tree branch, a thriving nation,
I see a million clouds that form the shapes of dreams and hopes
in a cloudless sky.
And many times I wonder if we are fragments of a storybook
recited to a child in Heaven...

I called my studio of art, Omnia Caelum Studios, because of certain verses in Ovid which I always found interesting:

“…ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum
unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,
quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles
nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem
non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.”

I liked the significance which translated roughly means:

Before the sea and the lands and (which covers all things) the sky,
one form was in the whole sphere of nature,
which they called Chaos, a raw undigested mass,
and nothing but an inert mass, and heaped up in the same [place],
the discordant seeds of things not well joined
.”

Not well joined until touched by the hands of the artist who can redistribute, reshape and create something beautiful out of an undigested mass…

I was attracted to the order from chaos idea which in many ways describes the way I approach art. But mostly I was attracted to the line “omnia caelum”, which I know to really mean…at least really to me…that “all is Heaven”. All starts from Heaven and ends as well for Heaven is still there for us to look up and smile and wonder. After all in the skies…Heaven…we see so many incredible things…

From the source, Heaven, I can create the first line on my canvas that will inspire my improvisation that will ultimately create Jazz Art right here on the plane of Earth.

And not just my paintings, I have also created music using the same idea of Jazz. I formed the “Abstract Jazz Arrangement” (AJA) in 1999, withing Omnia Caelum Studios. I use the “Arrangement” to collaborate with jazz musicians, or others who like the idea of creating from short lines and forming complete tunes…

I like to work with the certainty that there is something before and something after. To me the concept of Heaven is many things, for example, the place…the horizon on the sea…where you see the union of sky and water…

I want my studio to be what I think art is, therefore it is conceptual, that way I do not lose my place and I can continue to work within the structure that I have created for myself. It is not a limitation, it is simply a border, a reminder. After all just because your elbow does not bend outward, are you limited?

I chose “jazz” as my style not just because I love that musical genre but because it creates something pure, organic and complete out of randomness. I wanted to unite with music in the spirit of the abstract, after all what can be more abstract than music?

If you would like to see more of my artwork, paintings and drawings, please follow me on Instagram as there I post them as I paint them, just go to @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and if you would like to see the 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” series, please access my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

For my music with AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement), samples can be heard at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja

And, please, do not forget to hit that like button, follow and share and always leave me your comments, they are welcome and encouraged!

THANKS!

Poco Fa, ho avuto una visita gradita

(“Ganso Dorado #3” acrylic on canvas 20x50cm Private collection Valencia)

When I created AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement) I wanted to explore as much as I could the music and the sounds that I loved and as well sing in whatever language I chose, from Castilian to Latin…

For more, please listen to the other video clips on my You Tube channel and you can check out AJA on http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja and http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja2 for more…

If you like what you have heard or seen, please like, follow and share, it would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to know more about my artwork, please follow me on Instagran @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja

THANKS!

NOSTALGIA…

This video clip was made when AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement) was getting into World Beat Music, back in the late 1990’s in Miami, Florida…

The paintings are from a series I made, much later, called “Morfeta Man”.

Hope you like it…and if you do, please hit that like button, follow and share…

You can find more about my artwork on Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

and more of my JaZzArt in Valencia online galleries of 2019 at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!

While Listening to…

“Ascension Jazz in Red” 30x40cm acrylic on wood (private collection, Melbourne, Florida, USA)

John Coltrane’s “Ascension…

I love jazz, always have since the late seventies. I sort of transitioned over from my first love which was and still is, rock. Now they call it classic rock because it has transcended through the decades and it is still as fresh and powerful as when it was originally done. It’s hard to improve on classic rock, I believe.

I have been a musician, a soldier, a playwright, dancer and, I guess, always always involved with something artistic. I prefer to call myself a poet of the brush, the strings and the written word. But I am simply a “jazz” painter. The reason is not just because I like to paint references and scenes that relate to music and dance. Although I tend to usually include in my compositions instruments and players. But the reason, as I have stated in other articles, is that I have adapted the “official” definition of Jazz…developed by the original masters back in New Orleans at the turn of the XXth Century…and made it the ruling guideline for the way I paint.

Jazz is considered to be the “performer’s art”. To define the genre, it was accepted, by convention, I guess, that for a song to be “jazz” it had to have the musical element of improvisation, it had to allow for the player…or players…to compose as they play, musical and compositional spontaneity, and it must swing. Jazz must have rhythm. Some purists actually think that Jazz should not have melody, that it should be purely the structure of the music, placed against a rhythmic back beat and that if it became too melodic, the melody would steal away the purity of the notes, chords and sequences.

I’m not a purist. I love Jazz in most of its forms. But when I heard John Coltrane’s “Ascension” album, I was moved to actually paint what I heard. This was a pivotal album, as some critics have called it, for it broke away, in many ways, from Coltrane’s previous work and it marked his farewell to the Miles Davis ensemble.

Coltrane assembled the following musicians to create “Ascension”: McCoy Tyner on piano; Jimmy Garrison on bass; Elvin Jones on drums; Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders on tenor saxophone; John Tchicai and Marion Brown on alto sax; Freddie Hubbard, Dewey Johnson on trumpets and Art Davis also on bass. Coltrane played tenor saxophone. The album was recorded at van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on the 28th of June, 1965. “Ascension” was released in 1966. It is a masterpiece.

The year 1965 was a great year for music…and this is an aside, naturally…because that was the year the Beatles released, what in my opinion, is their best album…at least it is my favourite…”Rubber Soul”. Both of these albums, Ascension and Rubber Soul, albeit sounding eons apart from each other, included major changes within the structure of the songs and the instruments used. The Beatles went much further in their musical aesthetics when creating Rubber Soul. They used many studio techniques and many innovations. Their experimentation and quest for a new and unique sound while recording Rubber Soul, led them to record and release, in 1966, the second greatest album they have ever made, in my opinion, which was “Revolver”.

So, from Coltrane’s “Ascension” to the Beatles, that is what Jazz is all about. You know where you start but not so where you will end up and that makes the journey very interesting. I try to capture that in my paintings and my drawings. Not only through compositions that include musical instruments, dancers and musicians, but in the way they relate to each other and in the way the compositions line up in layers with an implicit perspective that enhances the whole idea of improvisation, spontaneity and swing.

So, prepare your ears and listen to “Ascension”. If you are not used to improvisational jazz, sans melody, it may sound like noise to you. But do not give up. Listen as much as you can, then listen again. If you take a break from Ascension, listen to Rubber Soul and then go back to Coltrane. You will see that little by little you will hear the spirit of the album. You will sense the message it transmits. You will commune with the players and meditate upon the endless universe created by the notes, the harmonies, the chords and the rhythm of such an interesting work.

All artwork and photographs included in this blog are my work and original. I am an artist from Valencia, Spain. If you would like to see more of my artwork, paintings, drawings and music, please visit my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my YouTube channel under the same name. My “JaZzArt en Valencia” 2019 collection can be seen at my online galleries http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

THANKS!

The Question of Questioning Jazz…

Some ask, what is Jazz?  Is that a good question?  Does it really matter?  It may…but then again, isn’t Jazz a style of music and isn’t music meant to be listened to and…well, I know that we question music, we write about music, we discuss it, we analyze it and critique it…so naturally, we are used to definitions and we want to apply it to Jazz, which by nature, would seem to defy definitions…and that is because the only constant with Jazz is CHANGE!  So wouldn’t that mean that today’s definition would change tomorrow?  What is the purpose of trying to define something if the words, the thoughts, the meaning of it will be lost in a short amount of time…but I would say that to me Jazz is like Religion…it is something that you adhere to by faith and because you like what you hear…you might be a musician seeking expression and realized that the only type of music that can allow you the freedom to be whatever you want to be is Jazz! You might like to listen to something that you know comes from way deep in the heart and soul of the player…or you might be a composer seeking to challenge yourself and your ego as you write something that you know is not going to be played as you wrote it or even as you imagined it…that is Jazz too…A religion? Did I say that? What is Religion? It is a conduit that takes us from the profane to the Sacred…Jazz is a conduit that takes us from the simple to the most complex but it lays it out before us and all we have to do is enjoy it…just like God, we cannot comprehend the mysteries of the universe, but God makes it simple for us…simply believe, trust and expect a miracle…I think that the more I think and the more I delve deeply into a topic, the more I understand that all things are connected, the more I see the face of God…