Books: Mabuhay Jazz (Jazz in Postwar Philippines)

Recently purchased a copy of Richie Quirino’s second installment on the rich history of Pinoy Jazz entitled Mabuhay Jazz: Jazz in Postwar Philippines.  I have to admit, a lot of the places and artists that Mr. Quirino talked about in the book were names I was vaguely familiar with.  Even so, Mr. Quirino’s anecdotes and collection of photos not only gives us a good sense of just how rich our country is steeped in Jazz tradition, but also how great a role Jazz played in our culture at the time.

The last part of this book is a collection of interviews of influential modern jazz artists here, from Aya Yuson, Gerard Salonga to Mar Dizon himself.  A few quotes to leave you from Sir Mar as we enter the holiday season:

“For me, I don’t have the authority to teach techniques because I don’t even know if my techniques are correct.  I share with them the realization of my experiences that made me grow, and then I correct them first from whatever bad habits they have developed.  I will just listen to their sound trying to figure out what’s wrong.  Sometimes people don’t have techniques of their own.  You will find it when you listen to their record. ”

(On attending the 1994 North Sea Jazz Festival, headlined by John Scofield and the Pat Metheny Quartet):

“They had fourteen venues simultaneously performing jazz music from four in the afternoon until two in the morning.  Very fine jazz musicians from all over the world took part.  It seemed like a smorgasbord when you are there … It was really very tiring but it was all worth it.”

“My ideal music would be similar to the album produced by Bob Aves.  But before, my ideal group was Weather Report, something like that and you already know what it is.”


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