Here is the 2010 Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine photographed by the Canon EOS 5D MarkII. It is the same photographer that comes every year for the committee picture, and he always works hard to get some smiles. The last couple of years he has used the EOS 5D MarkII with the 24-70L “brick” lens and a couple of external strobes. I was shocked to learn that he shoots jpg, not raw, and does minimal or no post-processing. As in the classiscal school, he wants to get the picture right already in the camera.
The Jazz Session featured drummer and composer John Hollenbeck in a recent podcast. I was really struck by his music so I got his “Eternal Interlude” CD. It is a work for a large ensemble, too long crew to list here but available from Hollenbeck’s website. The CD is sonically poweful with incredible textures, beautiful lines and cadenzas. One of the many hidden jewels that I discover through Jason Crane and his terrific podcast.
Featured here is the 19:21 minute long title track. An amazing piece.
Pianist and composer Myra Melford appeared with her Be Bread Trio at Jazzklubb Fasching, Stockholm on March 4, 2010. The Trio is a scaled-down version of Myra Melford’s Be Bread Ensemble whose most recent release “The Whole Tree Gone” appeared in the Firehouse label this past Janurary. Along with Myra Melford in piano and harmonium, the Trio fetaured Stomu Takeishi in bass and Brandon Ross in acoustic guitar. The Trio sounds definitely more intimate than the full ensemble with an even stornger improvisational compononent. Main highlights were the delicate tones from the harmonium, dramatic solos by Stomu Takeishi, and tempered guitar harmonise by Ross. Listen to Jason Crane’s interview with Myra Melford at the Jazz Session website. View the photo gallery of the Fasching concert.
I just have to log in this one. Recorded January 27, 2010, at House of Peranakan, Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore, with the Canon EOS 7D and the 24L II prime lens. We could just not believe what our ears where hearing. We had a great time, mostly due to the company, since the food was so so and the music was … well, this video tells the whole truth. Saying that it was “out of tune” would be a total understatement. Here it is in all its glory for the record of generations to come. Sit down on your favorite chair, and enjoy!
Argentinian guitarrist Luis Salinas and his band gave a concert at the Gran Rex theater in Buenos Aires on November 26, 2009, followed by Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer Hermeto Pascoal. Having taken distance from the Buenos Aires scene, Salinas was not in my radar. But I must say that I was very impressed about his musicianship, honesty and freshness. Technique does not get in the way for Salinas to convey the melodies and rhythms from his home country in an inspired jazz-folk fusion with solid support from a 5 men strong band of accomplished musicians. Not at easy with words, Salinas explained to the audience his affinities and admiration for the master Hermeto Pascoal, who appeared later in the evening with his own band including young wife Aline Morena in voice and percusssion.
A visit in November 2009 to the islands of San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela, gave us the opportunity to contemplate many of these beautiful animals in their natural habitat.
Several of the birds that live in the Galapagos are also only found there, such as the iconic Blue-Footed Booby, pictured here basking on the golden light of sunset atop black lava formations in Isabela island.
The Galapagos are a fragile ecosystem, threatened by increasing human activity as well as climate change. During recent El Niño episodes, the majority of Galapagos penguins were wipped out, rising fears that this unique species may not survive for much longer.
Marine iguanas are not an uncommon sight in the Galapagos. Here are two males having a good row at Tortuga beach in the island of Santa Cruz. By this time they had been fighting for over a couple of hours and began to look a bit tired. Not clear what the object of the fight was though. 🙂
The Munich-based record label ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) celebrated its 40 years of existence with a star-loaded festival in Mannheim, Germany, on October 22-25, 2009. I arrived a day later, and so missed John Abercrombie’s Quartet. Nevertheless, what followed was a series of truly outstanding concerts with many of the label icons that I have worshiped for many years. Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti appeared in 14-string guitar and piano in duo with his son, Alexandre, in classical guitar. A loaded evening in which the Gismonti’s touched upon most of the standards from several decades of Egeberto’s repertoire, from “Dansa das Cabecas” (1977) to “Saudacoes” (2008).
Here are two unreleased live recordings from trumpet player Paolo Fresu. D’Estate was recorded on July 1, 2007 during the Jazz Baltica Festival at Salzau, Germany, with Fresu in trumpet and Don Friedman in piano.
La Sicilia is a composition by pianist Steffano Bollani who appeared along with Fresu and Paolo Russo in bandoneon at Club Nefertiti, Gothenburg, Sweden, on December 12, 2007.
I was blown away by this trio when I saw them on the previous day at Jazzklubb Fasching in Stockholm. Both recordings come from the Swedish radio. The image (taken with the EF 70-200 L II lens on the EOS 7D) comes from Fresu’s concert along Ralp Towner at the ECM 40 Years Festival anniversary in Mannheim 2010.
Jurong Bird Park, on the west side of Singapore, harbors a huge variety of birds in a lush tropical backdrop. It is an ideal site for trying out telephoto lenses. It is possible to get really close to the birds and obtain nice portraits.
Here testing the 70-200 2.8 L IS from Canon on the EOS 40D. It was an overcast day, a perfect lighting condition to mitigate the tough midday sun of the equator. The light rain was not a problem.
A good close-up on an intriguing variety of peacock is shown here with its characteristic phlegmatic look.
A selection of images from that afternoon showing flamingos, pelicans, parrots, ostriches, birds of prey, ibises, crowned pigeons and more can be seen in the photo gallery HERE.