Café Mouffe: Mike Ladd & Grand Pianoramax Feat

I’m no super-hero, but I’ve accumulated a few arch-enemies along the way. They aren’t likely to set foot in the Mouffe while spoken word artist Mike Ladd does his thing. Ladd freestyles with Grand Pianoramax Feat, led by Swiss keyboardist Leo Tardin, on Showdown and Blue Gold. Both cuts were recorded at the Jazzfestival Schaffhausen in Switzerland in May 2008.

I heard them first on PRI’s The World, and Ladd’s sense of the global neighborhood impressed me:

Mike Ladd currently lives in Paris.

And so when he comes to New York, he sees it with fresh eyes.

But Ladd also believes that part of the reason he and Leo Tardin work so well together is that he sees New York and Paris, and London, as part of one big neighborhood.

Mike Ladd: Intellectually I only survive in Paris by believing that I’m part of a much larger city: the Atlantic Rim. Which would include London, Paris and New York as downtown centers, which contain the influx of people from Lagos, Mumbai, Abidjan, Fort de France, Kingston, you name it. And that’s what makes those cities livable. Actually, New York, Paris and London become just these three sections of a very large downtown for the world.

Encore: For more Leo Tardin, try Tempest. I’ve heard Mike Ladd cover Les McCann, but I can’t find the clip now, so dig Les on the classic 1969 cut of  Compared To What?

Café Mouffe opens on Fridays. Please drop by for a listen and a chat. Sometimes the embedded videos don’t work here due to bandwidth constraints, but you’ll always find links to video sources in the notes. Try them. If you’re curious about the Mouffe, here’s the original idea behind it’s creation.

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