After starting to blog for the Yoko Miwa Trio, I felt inspired to learn more about jazz history. I wanted to hear the jazz while I learned about it, so I turned to the documentary JAZZ, by Ken Burns. In this series of posts, I’ll share my thoughts as I journey through some of the crucial decades in jazz history....
Unless you only just discovered the Yoko Miwa Trio, you know they’ve won some awards, * but did you know that the performance center they will be playing on Friday, February 15 with special guest Rebecca Parris is award-winning, as well?
Have you ever wondered about the name of the wine bar where the Yoko Miwa Trio plays Saturdays, and Yoko plays solo piano many Tuesdays? “Les Zygomates” (Lay ZEEG-oh-MAHTS) is French for some of the facial muscles you use to smile. In English, they are called the zygomaticus major and minor, but that just doesn’t roll off the tongue.
In January, I reviewed the first episode of Ken Burns’s 2001 documentary JAZZ. Today, I continue with episode two, The Gift.
One of the best anecdotes in the episode is the story of Louis Armstrong’s first record, made with King Oliver’s Band. Before microphones, musicians stood around a horn like the one on a phonograph to record. However, Armstrong overpowered his bandmates completely when he stood next to them, so he had to stand ten to fifteen feet back to create a balanced sound.
Live music on a weekend morning? Absolutely. The second and fourth Sundays every month, the Yoko Miwa Trio plays at 10:30 at Ryles Jazz Club, one of the gems of quirky-hip Inman Square, Cambridge.