Classic 'insect jazz' album released by Japanese label Cirque.Mavo, available for download on iTunes or in beautiful physical form from www.ultra-vybe.co.jp

Enjoy a taste!

Nefertiti - Becoming Insect

"I have a love/hate relationship with jazz - A music tragically stylized in recent years. Fortunately I find myself very much on the periphery of the 'human, all too human' aspect of this music: I live in a small rural town in the brink of the South African Karoo desert, and my fellow jazz lovers here are the myriads of insects that appear in my horse-stable/studio throughout the day...
Unavoidably, I have to wonder what a jazz-standard would sound like to an insect. Would its time frame be different, the song lasting for hours? The sound of piano and brushes combined with the rustling of wings and the crackling of legs? The machine-like rigidity of insect bodies projecting ritualistic repetitive tasks onto the abstract fluidity of Lee Konitz or Miles Davis?
I have always liked the Davis standard 'Nefertiti'. The lush chords, the reference to an African queen!
And particularly the endless repetition of the beautiful melody. I decided to apply repetition in a different way: A microcosmic view of each chord, repeating over and over until the innate nature of the chord becomes felt. To a human listening to Davis's version, each chord only lasts about 2 seconds before moving to the next one... My version simulates the intense experience an insect might have of each chord as it prolongs, swaying, rising, falling...
Nofretete was created during a particularly hot summer, temperatures in my studio reaching an average of 35 or more every day, languid heat and erotic claustrophobia seeping into the music. During this time I also travelled to Cape Town to play trumpet in the new year Cape 'Klopse' Carnival, and the hypnotic 'goema' rhythms travelled back with me to Tulbagh.
Throughout the recording of the trumpet, I was aware of the presence of the Cape Jazz legends that I have worked with: Robbie Jansen, Hilton Schilder, Winston Mankunku, Mac McKenzie; they have blessed me by initiating me into ways of playing jazz outside of the usual stereotypes."

Alex van Heerden


released October 4, 2008



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smallfunk Cape Town, South Africa

smallfunk is a label and publishing for the electronic works of alex van heerden, kate ehrhardt, paul miller, derek gripper and magnus johansson.

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