R.I.P. Roland

On October 29th last year, one of the world’s best guitar players, composers, and arrangers died – Roland Dyens (see English and German Wikipedia pages in case you didn’t know him).

Here he’s performing one of his better known own compositions:

Roland Dyens, playing his “Tango en Skai”

Also listen to his interpretations and arrangements of Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunesia“, and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “A Felicidade“, the latter of which is now played by countless guitarrists around the world.

And if you play the guitar yourself, read this very good analysis of “his style of arranging and performing” (45 page PDF) by Michelle Birch.

R.I.P. Maestro.

A week in photos

Wow; it’s a week already since I’ve posted some photos, and a rather busy and fast one it was. So I didn’t take and upload as many pictures as usual, and most of them (in fact all except one) are in black & white.

Like this one here, of Tuna our cat. Tried some Ilford HP5+ film emulation on her, but without the grain:


The only colour photo I took and actually uploaded to Flickr was taken during a short cigarette break on the company’s roof garden. I was there with my colleague Arno and saw some other colleague (never seen him before), reading a book in the already setting sun. Looked like this:


Then, two days ago, this:


Zuleikha was just finishing her homework in normal room light, and from a comparison of more or less standard outputs of different raw converters which I did last weekend, I decided that for black & white, Olympus Viewer 3 gave the best results.

Also in black & white, and taken yesterday during a concert at Zuleikha’s school, Herr Koch on his Flügelhorn (they played “Feels so good” from Chuck Mangione, and indeed that felt and sounded very nice!):


I also tried to take some of Zuleikha’s friend Yuma who was excellent like always, but my photos weren’t. Guess I’ll have to ask and to invite them for a photo session in good light and in a controlled environment.

And finally, a few moments ago I took another cat portrait of Tuna, this time with bounced flash and guessed exposure (which was a bit too high this time, but I could correct it in post):


I cropped this one, and set the aspect ratio to 3:2 to get closer to a 135 “small” film (Kleinbildfilm) look. My aperture was f/2 here, so it’s about the same as a picture taken on 135 film with an aperture of f/4, concerning the depth of field.

As always, thanks for reading.

Two photos from Sunday, and two from today

On Sunday, my colleague Gertrud invited us to a concert in which she performed. It was also the 90th anniversary of her band, the “Mandolinenorchester Winkel 1926“. Here are two photos I took:


It was a bit dark in the Brentanoscheune, so I took that first photo with my 40-150mm lens at ISO 6400. The light was a bit unforgiving for portraiture as well, so I converted it to black & white.

This next one was taken with my 25mm/1.4 lens at ISO 4000, while the Mayor held his speech:


This shows the whole band, and it was a nice concert they gave – so thanks again for the invitation, Gertrud! We enjoyed it very much.

This morning when I came to work, I read Ming Thein’s blog for a few minutes (this article in case you’re interested), and then I decided to take a photo of my work place:


But the real nice light was outside, so I opened my window to take this, hand-held at 1/6th of a second:


As always, thanks for reading.


Love that piece of music, onto which I stumbled again lately. And I’ve actually played it myself half a lifetime ago, together with Christian Hecker (p), and with Sven Thomsen (dr), when we formed a band for a theater group.

It begins – as so often – with Rodrigo‘s Concierto de Aranjuez (which I also have on CD, played by Narciso Yepes), but the rest of the piece is Chick Corea‘s most well-known composition.

And tho I’m no Patitucci (and played a 4-string bass only), it’s immense fun to play it, and also to see the “old guard” plaing it (Chick is 75 by now). Enjoy…

Thanks for reading.


If you want to lose yourself for about a good half hour, listen to these guys:

Emile and Vincent are marvelous. Extraordinaire! Merçi…

R.I.P. Toots

Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans died yesterday, aged 94. I heard and saw him some 40 years ago in a Jazz club in Cologne called “Subway”, together with the young and aspiring bass player Jeff Berlin (who was unbelievably good).

Although you might not have heard of him, “Toots” was a superhero – and you did in fact hear him, like in Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t she lovely?”, or in Sesame Street.

Here is his most famous composition, “Bluesette”:

And here he plays with Jaco, who died almost 30 years ago, and who was one of these superheroes himself:

Merçi Jean, and rest in peace. (picture © Ron van der Kolk, CC-BY-2.5)

Nice analysis of a lovely song

This. It’s from their 1977 album “Aja”, one of their best ever. Oh, and “Aja” is pronounced like “Asia”. Couldn’t have done this any better.

Here is the song without explanations, and here is the album.


I agree with Downbeat, about Marilyn

At work I’m just listening to Jan Garbarek’s “Rites” CDs again to blend out some background noise with something not as disturbing, so I can keep concentrating.

And as always, I’m most impressed by that music, and by the musicians. The drummer is exceptional – it’s Marilyn Mazur. The Wikipedia page states:

“Down Beat has on six occasions rated her No. 1 Jazz Performer”

– and they’re so right. Wonderful music, wonderful musicians.

The photo of her is © by Hreinn Gudlaugsson, under a CC 4.0 license.

Thanks for reading.