Tuesday, February 14, 2006

David Ricardo and Paco Sery

On the whole, I’m quite impressed with the i-pod and the i-tunes service. My one complaint is that American i-tunes users are not able to download from the international i-tunes sites. I’m sure that’s to protect the territorial rights of record labels. If an American label has the license for an album in this territory, they would not want U.S. users downloading the same music from a foreign record label, through one of i-tunes international arms. They are within their rights to expect i-tunes to help protect their investment. However, it is frustrating that we can’t access foreign music that is not being distributed in America.

Jazz record buyers have a long history of chasing import editions. I have a fairly large collection of Japanese import CDs reissuing American sessions not currently available in their original land of recording. Indeed high-end LPs are regularly flipped between Japanese and American collectors.

Music, like ideas and commerce should travel between borders relatively easily. During the 1950’s, the British musicians’ union essentially closed the country to visiting musicians. Yet, it was their members who suffered the most, forced to travel abroad to hear the latest developments in Bebop and modern jazz.

Jazz as an art form has a unique ability to soak in and synthesize foreign influences into something entirely new itself. Anything that constrains that trade, robs the music of new stimulus.

When I listen to the music of Paco Sery, it’s difficult to understand the demonization of global trade underway by the left. A native of Côte d'Ivoire, Sery played in the band of Joe Zawinul, an Austrian keyboardist whose own credits include stints with Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis. Sery’s CD Voyages, incorporates the sounds of jazz, world & traditional music, funk, and I’m not sure what else. It’s an amazing blend, but don’t bother looking for it on i-tunes. I purchased this French Bluenote CD on-line, and I intend to hold onto it.