Panorama Jazz Band feat. Joe Darensbourg - Κανείς Εδώ Δεν Τραγουδά (Kaneis Edo Den Tragouda - "No One Here Sings"

from Song​-​of​-​the​-​Month Club: Good Music For You by Panorama Jazz Band and Panorama Brass Band plus special guests

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Last Summer my dad, a buddy and I dropped in to Preservation Hall to hear the band and say hi to friends. Quite unexpectedly, we were ushered into the inner sanctum (a cozy office behind the back courtyard) by Artistic and Managing Director Ron Rona. They'd been putting on a Sunday salon featuring local bands trying something new and Ron invited Panorama to give it a go. We eventually landed on the idea, inspired by a quote from 20th century journalist A.J. Liebling (see below), of juxtaposing Mediterranean and Caribbean music. We called it "Mediterribbean Afternoon." There would be catering, cocktails, a beautiful hang, good bread plus we'd get a chance to play again in one of the holiest and acoustically lovely rooms in New Orleans.

Then came the problem. Although we already had a lot of Caribbean music in our book, what Mediterranean music would we attempt? Until that point, it had been an idea without a deadline and no leading candidates for eligible tunes.

Enter Joe Darensbourg. When I was working with a Jewish themed funk band in the early 90s, Joe, a Creole from New Orleans' Treme neighborhood, used to come out to hear us at Cafe Brasil. Nephew of a clarinetist by the same name who recorded and toured with Louis Armstrong, and a Punk rocker in his own right, Joe was drawn to the exotic melodies we were throwing down. He and I started hanging out, playing a little and talking about the various modes and rhythms heard in Eastern Europe. Before long he was off to Boston to study Greek, Sephardic, Arabic, North African and Turkish music and stayed there 13 years. Joe moved home recently and brought with him a deep cache of (and soul connection to) all kinds of Mediterranean, Eastern European and Western Asian traditions. We began work on a set list and Joe made the gig at the Hall with us, singing in Greek, Arabic and his native Creole.

One of the numbers Joe brought in, "Kaneis Edo Den Tragouda," is from Greek songwriter Nikos Papazoglou. We learned this lament, describing the singers feelings of loss when her lover has gone, from a version by the popular chanteuse Glykeria ("Sweetness"). At the recording session, Joe and I were trying to communicate the feel of the Greek dance tempo "zeibekiko" to the other cats on the session. We felt the closest thing in New Orleans may be what they call "leadfoot," a slow, heavy step done in funeral parades to dirges like "Closer Walk." For this tune, we also called in Bulgarian-born, New Orleans living banjo and guitar man, Georgi Petrov. He plays the vamp on tenor banjo but then breaks out his cümbüş (pron. "jumbush"), a Turkish iteration of the banjo, for the taxim (the improvised section) over a tsifteteli groove.

Panorama would like to dedicate this track to the memory of a close friend of both Joe and Ben, Michael Pelias, a poet and musician with a huge heart who died last summer. His family originated from Greece and he felt a strong kinship with the music of his ancestral homeland.

Mike, we think of you when we play "Kaneis Edo Den Tragouda." We loved you more than you knew and we'll miss you until we see you again. We'll be hiding in the corner of the tavern to catch a glimpse of you.

Ben Schenck
Clarinetist / Leader
Panorama Jazz Band
New Orleans, LA

Quote from AJ Liebling's "Earl of Louisiana"

"New Orleans resembles Genoa or Marseilles, or Beirut or the Egyptian Alexandria more than it does New York, although all seaports resemble one another more than they can resemble any place in the interior. Like Havana and Port-au-Prince, New Orleans is within the orbit of a Hellenistic world that never touched the North Atlantic. The Mediterranean, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico form a homogeneous, though interrupted, sea. New York and Cherbourg and Bergen are in a separate thalassic system."

lyrics

Κανείς Εδώ Δεν Τραγουδά (Kaneis Edo Den Tragouda)
By Nikos Papazoglou

Ραγίζει απόψε η καρδιά
Ragizei apopse i kardia
με το μπαγλαμαδάκι
Me to mpaglamadaki
πολλά κομμάτια έγινε
Polla kommatia egine
σπασμένο ποτηράκι
Spasmeno potiraki

Θυμήθηκα που πίναμε
Thimithika pou piname
σε τούτο το τραπέζι
Se touto to trapezi
τώρα ποιος ξέρει πού γυρνά
Tora poios xerei pou girna
ποιος ξέρει τι γυρεύει
Poios xerei ti girewei

Κανείς εδώ δεν τραγουδά
Kaneis edo den tragouda
κανένας δε χορεύει
Kanenas de horewei
ακούνε μόνο την πενιά
Akoune mono tin penia
κι ο νους τους ταξιδεύει
Ki o nous tous taxidewei

Τυχαία δήθεν αν τη δεις
Tihaia dithen an ti deis
φέρ' την στο ταβερνάκι
Fer'tin sto tavernaki
κρυμμένος θα 'μαι στη γωνιά
Krimmenos tha 'mai sti gonia
για να τη δω λιγάκι
Gia na ti do ligaki

Κανείς εδώ δεν τραγουδά
Kaneis edo den tragouda
κανένας δε χορεύει
Kanenas de horewei
ακούνε μόνο την πενιά
Akoune mono tin penia
κι ο νους τους ταξιδεύει
Ki o nous tous taxidewei

English translation:

No One Here Sings

Today the heart cracks
With the baglama*
It all fell to pieces
Like broken glass

I remembered, we used to drink
At this very table
Now who knows where she's running to
Who knows what she's looking for

No one here sings
No one here dances
They only hear the tune
And their mind drifts

If you happen to see her
Bring her to the tavern
I'll be hidden in the corner
To see her a little

No one here sings
No one here dances
They only hear the tune
And their mind drifts

* A baglama is a small instrument of the lute family. In Greek folk music, it is the symbolic companion of the heart-broken or down-trodden.

credits

from Song​-​of​-​the​-​Month Club: Good Music For You, track released March 1, 2018
Recorded February 23, 2018 at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA

Panorama Jazz Band feat. Joe Darensbourg
Joe Darensbourg - Vocals
Ben Schenck - Clarinet, Tambourine
Michael Ward-Bergeman - Accordion
Georgi Petrov - Tenor Banjo, Cümbüş
Matt Perrine - Tuba
Paul Thibodeaux - Drum Set

Written by Nikos Papazoglou (PD) and arranged by Ben Schenck (Snack Daddy Music/ASCAP) and Joe Darensbourg (Chicken Jive Records ).
Recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Lu Rojas at Oak Street Recording, New Orleans, LA
Cover photo by Greg Miles.
Photo of Joe Darensbourg = Selfie
Graphic design by Ben Schenck

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Panorama Jazz Band / Panorama Brass Band - New Orleans New Orleans, Louisiana

"New Orleans' genre fluid jazz band"

The Panorama Jazz Band and the Panorama Brass Band have been working steadily in New Orleans and beyond since 1995. Many hundreds of nightclub gigs, festivals, weddings, crawfish boils and Mardi Gras parades have added to this community of musicians' collective experience, all of which they bring to each of their recordings. ... more

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