Sunday, 27 May 2018

Eye Music 26

Deerhunter - Double Dream Of Spring

mirroring mirroring mirroring mirroring...

With just a few weeks to go to see John Etheridge playing a local jazz gig, I have been thinking much of Soft Machine and their album Third, the only one I know reasonably well – and I will never forget hearing for the first time back in the day – and I have of late reviewed work that uses the repetitions and loops of Terry Riley et al found in this SM album, so listening this morning to Deerhunter’s latest I was struck by the clear influences of all I have just mentioned on the album’s second track Dial’s Metal Patterns, with the piano repeats and the saxophones and other, these sounds and loops and backwards playing and so on occurring elsewhere in the album too. But this track at eleven minutes is most reflective of that Soft Machine sound and it has been a timely, most enjoyable mirroring. A stand-out.

Hands Music 43

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Nigel Kennedy - Kennedy Meets Gershwin, album review

Being Candid, Kennedy Plays Better Than Villa Did Today...

The opener, Rhapsody in Claret & Blue, sounds initially like the theme music to a 60s BBC drama serial, nothing literary and instead homegrown in black and white clich├ęs and with its title an obvious cop/detective duo [that’s one named Claret, the other….and yes I know it’s actually the colours of Aston Villa FC, who lost their play-off game today, my son-in-law a lifelong fan and season ticket holder, so my sympathies all around, Rhapsody in Blue a perfect empathetic original title], but it soon enough reveals itself as a Gershwin, as it would being in the title of the album, but it also quite quickly becomes rather playful, as it would being Nigel Kennedy.

The playfulness is infectious because it seems full of affection for the original songs, and of course it is virtuoso in its frolicking. Knowing such famous songs so well the listener expects to hear their melodies, and does, and so it is the dancing around and in these which adds further delight. Summertime, however, takes its time wonderfully to get to that melodic line, the violin strains building and building, bluesy and swirling, and the brooding pace with sharp string hits and then light touches is tauntingly compelling. As is its psychedelic close: far-out.

The accompanying ensemble of players add their own brilliant tones, like the flute in Summertime, and the players are:

Howard Alden & Rolf “die Kobra” Bussalb (guitars)
Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska (cello)
Tomasz “Insomnia” Kupiec (bass)
Members of the Orchestra of Life: Alicja Smietana & Sonja Schebeck (violins), David Heath (flutes)

with Nigel Kennedy (violin, viola, piano, Hammond, harpsichord)

Porgy and Bess is beautiful, by the way.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Pickup Truck Music 10

Steve Tibbetts - Life Of, album review

Napping or Jungian Archetype

Tibbetts is new to me, though he has an established and highly regarded musical career as an innovative, distinctive guitar player, on this album his Martin 12-string acoustic. He has been with the ECM label since 1981.

In a quote I found out there, he has referred, I’m sure sarcastically, to aspects of his music as,

We did many interviews for the Choying albums, and writers were eager for me to talk about plumbing Jungian archetypes or pulling up buckets of inspiration from the primal substrate and bringing already-formed music into corporeal existence, giving it back to the world and so on ad nauseam.  If all could gaze online at my recording studio Steve-web-cam they’d see vacant stares, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments, confusion, and naps.

and I would say this album Life Of resides more in the nap rather than rending arena, and by ‘nap’ I am not being pejorative but rather locating its calm, meditative and therefore soothing atmospherics. The guitar is plucked and notes bent and even at times, as in Life of Joel, riffed in fast repetitions, and the piano is a constant if delicate accompaniment, percussion and other sounds adding ambient variations – but it is always fundamentally as far from gnashing as a toothless but very comforting pet Kintamani.