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Time Out Ten

Oded Tzur

Here Be Dragons


For this item you need to be able to stop for ten minutes.


We are often moving on to the next job, the next meeting, scrolling down social media, taking the next call ......'Time Out Ten' asks you to stop for ten minutes and listen to a particular piece of jazz; to find a time when you won't be interrupted, when you can put in/on your headphones and chill out. Ten minutes isn't long.

This month we feature the title track from the ECM record Here Be Dragons by Oded Tzur, the New York based, Tel Aviv-born tenor saxophonist, here with Nitai Hershkovitz (piano); Petros Klampanis (double bass) and Jonathan Blake (drums). Don't be mislead by the 'dragons' reference, these dragons are calm.


Take time out for ten to listen to Here Be Dragons.





'In 1439 the Dutch Society of Cartography commissioned one of the greatist artists of the Renaissance, the Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi, to join a pirate ship in search of dragons. When the the father of linear perspective stepped onboard the main deck Brunelleschi immediately noticed a giant sea creature slowly climbing up the mast. Dudu the snail, as the other pirates called him, was also carrying what seemed to be a half empty bottle of rum.

It took another month of sailing before the captain finally appeared at the fore. Brunelleschi had heard the stories, but did not expect the most feared pirate in the world to have both light and dark sapphires in her hair. Elisheve was looking at what was forming in the distance: a most terrifying wave. The Renaissance man managed to recover after a friendly pirate poured some rum on his face, but regrettably fainted again when he saw the size of the wave approaching the ship.

During the next few months Brunelleschi learned to stay conscious as they made their way from one set of coordinates to the next. However, he could not reconcile the events that took place with any known science. Every time the ship drew closer to a dragon on the map, the waves got smaller and smaller until they practically disappeared. His instruments measured unbelievable waves from a distance, but in close proximity could only register the slight vibration that, a hundred years later, Galileo Galilei would call a sound wave. Equally difficult to explain was the tendency of the captain and the crew to consistently go straight into danger, as if a treasure was waiting on the other side.





One starlit night the ship came close to a dragon near the coast of the Tupinambà, Which would later become known as Brazil. Having developed his own rum habit by now, Brunelleschi somehow ended up at the helm, where he could swear Dudu was steering the ship and Elisheva was looking into the distance. The astrolabe, compass and maps were all thrown aside, and through the wheel the scientist could see a giant wave approaching. Suddenly, the hull flickered with countless little droplets of water that became suspended in the air. The ship was at full sail but the ocean off the port bow appeared to have come to a halt. Elisheva turned around and said: "Time has no map. All you can do is hear the music. "

The international community took the crisis in the oceans very seriously and Brunelleschi's failure to produce any evidence that the dragons had indeed been slain did significant damage to his career. With no other sea captain up for the journey, the Latin phrase Hic Svnt Draconesr remained on maps for years to come. Nevertheless, the sparse notes he sent to the Dutch Society of Cartography did end with a clarification: "There are no dragons, but here is a song."

Oded Tzur


Here Be Dragons map


Album details: Here Be Dragons

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