Saturday, February 16, 2008
Mohamed Amin ben Azouz,a cultural-pop figure whose Fifties (the restaurant) echoes the fifties decate,McCartism in U SA and Music of the world .
The good society known intellectually for its artists such as painters ,film-makers, poets and theatre-goers awaits an opening for true artistic clubs in Rabat where they want to enjoy verses of peotry without the secret surveillance of Big Brother or listen to music and appreciate its good melodies without being annoyed by creepers and bureacrats . Fortunately, there is the restaurant Fifties situated right in the heart of Rabat known for its calm ambiance, good Kitchen and especialy its soft- piano music played by The Spanish guy Paco, and sometimes by the manager himself ,Mohamed Amin Ben Azouz.
Allal-cinemagoer : Mr,Ben Azouz,You have preferred the era of the Fifties ,is it because this period is so particular to you or may be something that you have in common ?
Ben Azouz : It is simply my great passion to that kind of music of the decade.Although classical music remains planted in my heart especially the music of Chopin and Tchaikovski ,i feel more close and in love with the great music of the twentieth century.Besides the Fifties symbolizes the golden age of all artistic phenomena like models "Group girls " remember that fashion Jupe, Mini jip;that french word for lovelly skirts that girls used to wear ,western movies,starring John wayn that were popularly seen around the world and admired fervently while this world of that decade was preparing itself to go to the moon .
what makes things so dynamic was the youth especially in America.This era gave birth to Rock and Roll.When Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock became popular in 1955, America learned to swing to a whole new sound. An emerging force called teenagers disovered that vitality in Rock and Roll. it was a new music form that developed from a combination of various music genres. Rock and roll combined elements of blues, rhythm and Jazz, country western, hillbilly, and boogie woogie. i might be fair to you if i devide that musical times in America as follows :
1. Bubblegum - 1950 to 1954
2. Early Rock - 1955 to 1964
3. Serious Rock - 1965 to 1974
4. Disco - 1975 to 1980
5. Beats The Hell Outta Me - 1981 to Present
Allal-cinemagoer : What is the characteristic of music of the Fifties ?
Ben Azouz : Everyone had that time his own timber and style .You take forexample ; the saxophonist;this artist would breath into his instrument using his own Etiquette or voice . The same happened with flutes and other instruments . We had swing which is a nice calm rythm .Gospels gives birth to soul music .Elvis presly was influenced by the music of gospels by frequenting Negro churches .We had also the blues which derived from the blue notes .Songs of dignity and cotton fields were songs by negroes and lately after continuous fight against racist and against constipated mentalities ,Negoroes become Blacks which means that the dignity of black people was respected .
Presumably that two civilizations were joined together which was a nice achievemnt of humain intellect and self-togetherness. The west embraced the east ,black joined white knowing also that there was mixed musical teams between blacks ad whites in America .
Allal-cinemagoer : Yes.There is also that famous piece of music called Blue Moon by the Marcels and all of the "girl groups" that were from the sixties . In brief, we missed that kind of Good America of McCartism ?
Ben Azouz :Yes.It is true .I do not know what is wrong with America .It becomes so violent and a pinching nation.May be America misunderstands the world or may be some lobbies in the states want to make trouble among decent people through politics and arrogance. We have deep nostalghia for those blissful moments of great America .I am not referring to the liberation of sex,Hippy music , free jazz and Be- bob that Charlie Parker used to improvise .I am meaning the value of a great time of a once nation ;the one you mentioned,the nostalagia of McCartism era.So, i always refer to the fifties decade because it has influenced my life deeply . I named my restaurant fifties hoping to achieve that Nervana in music , So as you see ; tasty food and handsome decoration that the fifties used to enjoy.My restaurant has all kind of clients including simple clerks, free-lance agents , and especially artists . Walls are ceiled with refined decoration of highly fashioned stones in which Abderrahim Idrissi's paintings give varied dimensions through,lighting, exquisite use of colors and anybody interested to see Idrissi's craft of painting ,he or she visits his weblog: http://color-light-action.blogspot.com/ .
Allal-cinemagoer : I understand the use of live music mingled with live cooking is nicelly plotted by yourself .Do you insist that your shef must have a high standard of culture ?
Ben Azouz : Of course . My Shef must know how to communicate with his clients .He should be in a good position to defend his tasty food .Now, what is common ;is the Italian food ,which is so adored by my restaurant-goers,is nicelly done by my Shef .we have all kind of Pastas ,Spaghettis,lovely Lasagnas and of course ,not to forget Moroccan delicious food namely Couscous,Bissara,Harira and Tagine.
People adore watching Pizzas and Pastas burnt into fire ;and the action is happening right in front of them, while they are listening to Piano music by our spanish artist , Paco .He plays melodies of the fifties and you may ask him any piece you want such as movie known music,like Casablanca,Aida,Yesterday and more .My best moments is to see my clients enjoy the moments of combining their happiness to listen to music and have an open appetite for long romantic nights to come . I can feel their desire and they really appreciate what i am offering them .See Allal,that is my true Nervana.
Allal-cinemagoer : Looking at the decoration of your restaurant seems as if you only have a particular creamy people .Do only Artits frequent your restaurant ?
Ben Azouz : Fifties is simply visited by those people who love the good taste.The geographical state of fifties where it is situated,does not really affect my restaurant-goers, although there are very exquisite hotels nearby offering nice meals and music too ,but it is on the contrary, as you notice in the north we have Mohamed The fifth Theatre ,Grand-Hotel is near ,some hotels here and there ,and in the South there lies The mausoleum of The Mohamed the Fifth .By the way, at Hassan Hotel,now there are too many American actors,movie-makers shooting a new movie about Irak-war who selectively prefer to come to my Fifties, because of the good kitchen,Paco and also these wonderful paintings of Idrissi.
Allal El Alaoui