As a Jazz Ascona Festival press officer, I had the opportunity to meet many artists and chat with them. One evening while writing a press release, I was distracted by a spicy fragrance. While still trying to figure out where the good and intense fragrance came from, I heard the sound of a trumpet. It was a clear sound full of heart. The melody accompanied the growing perfume to perfection.
I stopped writing and I followed the fragrance & sound down to the basement. The darkness was lit by a light. The kitchen door was open. Pamela Pierre Brown, the Gourmet Sacred Soul Kitchen chef, was committed to the stove; a little further, her husband Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown saturated the scented gumbo air with the notes of his trumpet. That was my unrepeatable chance to capture the quintessence of jazz: a greeting and an unobtrusive gesture to indicate the digital camera I had with me. The session started. The whole kitchen was pervaded with Souls: Pamela’ s Soul; Kid Chocolate’s Soul; my colleague Simona’s Soul; and my Soul. The feeling was to be living a real jazz moment that we wouldn’t be able to find another time. No book could ever describe the scene in a realistic way. I hope my photo shooting maintained that soulful fragrance and reflected for the observer the melodies of New Orleans jazz. After all, even photography is a question of soul… Let’s jazz, let’s groove, let’s swing!
P.S. The day after musicians and Jazz Ascona staff sat in the kitchen and tasted Miss Pamela’s gumbo (and fried fish).
There are places that “sound” like your own home. Around the world I have found a few, but the one where I really feel totally at home is a few steps from my place in Milan. Rossetti Records & Books second-hand store has been an institution for music (and book) lovers for over thirty years. Born from a “moment of rebellion & freedom” – as Maurizio Canella, a former philosophy student, tells me – the store near Piazza S. Agostino (via Cesare da Sesto 24), in the centre of Milan, has a strong fan base in town and all around Italy. In the Nineties Aron joined his father in the management of the store. In the music store the days are spent between tips on old vinyls (there are 100,000 titles in the archive) and chat about the ‘hoodies”. Writer Raul Montanari oftenkeeps Maurizio company. If you are in Milan and are looking for a place to regenerate yourself with Music, Rossetti is the place for you.