Winter Journey (part 2)

After my view on Winter as a theme in classical music.
I will move on, and listen to some “Winter Blues“. First this fine example of Chicago urban blues, the style of blues that would later be very influential on the British blues movement (Zeppelin,Clapton,Stones ect.)

Kokomo Arnold : Cold Winter Blues. (1937)

Arnold

Kokomo Arnold (1901-1968), was born in Georgia, started his music career in Buffalo. But due to his main occupation of transporting alcohol under the Prohibition, he mainly recorded in Chicago. Arnold played bottleneck slide guitar. Most of his recorded material is solo work with just vocals and the guitar.

Another early blues legend, playing the winter blues, was Blind Willie McTell (1898-159). William Samuel McTier was a East Coast blues guitarist, playing the Piedmont fingerstyle on twelve-string guitar, with a unique soft vocal.

‘Cold Winter Day’ recorded 1935.

McTell have influenced and been covered by The Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, Jack White and more. Bob Dylan’s “Blind Willie McTell”, paid tribute to McTell.

Last but not least, this wonderful winter blues by Muddy Water (1913 – 1983) The father of modern Chicago blues, hugely influential on modern blues in general, and especially Blues Rock.

Muddy Waters – Cold Weather Blues

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Dangerous Curves

 

Friday is Fripp day
What a Fripp
So lets Fripp out.

King Crimson is not just one band, have been so many constellations, with so different members, playing so different music, that it would be very hard to digest in a post, or even a few posts. On the other hand, it would be too strange to do Fripp Fridays, and continue to avoid Crimson, so what I will do, is take one little piece once in a while, and post them in between other things Fripp.

“Dangerous Curves” is a track first found on the Level Five Live “Tour EP”, released I 2001.
It is a Crimson Instrumental, starting very calm and slowly building more and more heavy, towards a climax. In this version with a strange intro of (Belew’s) spoken words, and a wonderful clean sound.

This is not found on Youtube – But i would recommend every KC lover to get it, one of the best recordings KC did, from the mid 80’s and onwards.

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The track appears again on the 2003 full studio album “The Power to Believe”. It is now longer, scary, darker, a nice example of how Crimson develops their material, the track had changes quite a lot. The studio production of this particular track, in my opinion, makes it a bit weaker than the cleaner “Level Five” version

A live version

There is another live version, from the 2003 tour, supporting the release of “The Power to belive”.
Again we get a very different version, this time with a very raw (Belew) guitar base, an ambient texture of almost symphonic sounds, wild futuristic electronic percussions, now more robotic, industrial.

Live 2003

 

King Crimson, in this period:
Adrian Belew – Guitar, Vocals ; Robert Fripp – Guitar ; Trey Gunn – Warr Guitar ; Pat Mastelotto – Drums

Previous Fripp Friday January 24.

Winter Journey (part 1)

Snow have been falling, cold wind are blowing, it is winter time. So let us listen to some of the music made about this dark and cold time of year.

As oppose to Christmas with all its light, winter may often represent darkness depression and death, as it clearly does, in Schubert’s song circle Winterreise (Winter Journey). The theme of the songs is a journey, into the winter landscape, by a man having lost his lover to another man.
Schubert was very sick, from syphilis, when he wrote the music for the Poems by Wilhelm Müller.His physical and mental health clearly reflected, in the very dark moods of the songs.When finishing the last part of the song circle, he was almost dying.

Schubert : Winterreise.”Gute Nacht”

While not a very big name in his lifetime, Schubert (1797 – 1828) was highly regarded by the next generation of composers (Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms). Schubert is now regarded as one of the greatest composers of the early Romantic era. Schubert died shortly after completing Winterreise, only 32 years old.

A lot more uplifting was Frantz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Chasse-neige (snowstorm), In this case the composer transform the element of winter, the nature of the snowstorm, into his music. No longer does winter represent a human state of mind, the music is about winter itself.

Franz Liszt Chasse-neige

Franz Ritter von Liszt was an Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, and teacher.
Liszt was known by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist and was considered to be, one of the greatest pianist of all time. As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the “Neudeutsche Schule”. He influenced his contemporaries and anticipated some of the 20th-century ideas and trends.

To be continued

The Call – Blood Red (America)

The 80’s incarnation of the phenomena mainstream Rock, never had the big impact on me, not a big fan of Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, and that sort of thing, but some rock bands, did some very good albums, one of my favorite 80’s band was “The Call”, from Santa Cruz, California and particularly their 1986 album “Reconciled”.

Blood Red (America)

Im not sure if I should call them Mainstream, New Wave, or Alternative, it is somewhere in between.
It is plain and simple, basic rock music, very intense and emotional, and kicking my sorry ass to pieces. Can’t believe they never got that big international breakthrough they deserve.

Everywhere I Go

Legendary guitarist Robbie Robertson of The Band appeared on “The Morning””, Jim Kerr and Peter Gabriel backing vocals on “Everywhere I Go” . Michael returned the favor by singing on Gabriels’ LP So, as well as Simple Minds’ album Once Upon A Time.

The Morning

The Call disbanded in 2000, front man Michael Been died in 2010, after a heart attack.

Opeth – unspoiled beautiful, youthfully brutal

“Masters of Darkness” Part 3

Today Opeth have changed a lot since they were formed back in the mid 90’s.
But in this context of Scandivavian darkness, I will focus on the Opeth sound we hear on the early albums, they created between 1995 and 1996, their debut “Orchid”, and “Morningrise”, this is the virgin Opeth, unspoiled beautiful, youthfully brutal.

From Orchid

Orchid, was the closest Opeth would ever come, to the sound of the Black/Death Metal scene, But even so, Orchid combines influences from acoustics folk music and Jazz music, with death metal/heavy rock. As well as having both clean and growled vocals.

From Morningrise

On Morningrise, Opeth, or rather vocalist Åkerfeldt, leans a bit more towards clean vocals than on Orchid, but the album is otherwise still very dark, and continues the feel of the debut, though perhaps a bit more complex and experimental. The album contains only 5 tracks, all more than 10 minutes long.

Previous post in this series

Red Snapper – Acid Jazz Hop

Sit back, and relax, time for some Jazzy-Hop

From “Making Bones” 1998

Red Snapper is a British instrumental acid jazz/trip hop trio, founded in London in 1993, remarkable in their excellent use of acoustic instruments in Electronica. The three permanent members, Rich Thair (drums), Ali Friend (double bass/vocals) and David Ayers (guitar), was joined by guest musicians and singers

From Key 2011

In early 2002, Red Snapper spilt up, but in 2007 they reunited, and have since made Ep’s and an album in 2011. Their music moves from delightful low speed textures, to high speed beats. With effective melody mixed into a landscapes of electronica and hip’hop.

From “Making Bones” 1998

Radio Gnome Trilogy

Sunday, very cold and snow falling, a time of fairytale and fireplace.
No better time of year to watch a band of Gnomes with pointed hats and woolen sweaters, playing a strange, jazzy, acid induced, rock music with a cartoonish vocal arrangement. Sounds like pure madness ?, well it is, sweet madness at its best.

GONG is a progressive rock, so called Canterbury scene, group formed in Paris 1968. Between 1973 and 1974, Gong released their “Radio Gnome Trilogy”, three records that would be their most famous, and create the Gong (Gnome) mythology, Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg, and You.

After the triology Daevid Allen, Gong’s founder, left the band. Gong did another album without him, “Shamal” (1976), after that also guitarist “Steve Hillage” left, and the remaining Gong, became a Jazz/Fusion group as Pierre Moerlen’s Gong. Gong have later been reunited and reinvented in various forms.

Jurojin

Saturday, and I have had a bit of controversy with myself about what to post today, looking into everything from pop over punk and ska to canterbury scene and jazz , but nothing was suitable for my moods today.

The Heavier Jurojin

So finally I came across Jurojin, an experimental rock group from London, England. Playing a nice mix of world music, folk and heavy metal. Uniquely spiced by Simran Ghalley a classically trained Tabla player. Only one album have been released so far, The Living Measure Of Time (2010).

The Folk side of Jurojin

Jurojin have sometimes perform acoustic shows, focused on Eastern influences and the Tabla. Violinist Anna Phoebe (Jethro Tull, Roxy Music) have been performing with the band.

The more eastern influenced world music, side of Jurojin

David Sylvian and Robert Fripp

Friday is Fripp day
What a Fripp
So lets Fripp out.

Fripp and Sylvian had been working together on some of Sylvians solo albums and in 1993 they did an album together as “David Sylvian and Robert Fripp”, The First Day. With former Peter Gabriel drummer Jerry Marotta, and Fripp’s “guitar craft” student Trey Gunn, who had also participated on Fripp’s “Sunday All Over the World” project, with Fripp’s wife Toyah Willcox as vocalist.
The First Day, was followed by touring and a life album, “Damage”.

The band had changed a bit, on “Damage” Jerry Marotta was replaced by former Mr. Mister drummer Pat Mastelotto. He would, like Trey Gunn, soon become members of Fripp’s flagship, King Crimson, and they had expanded with Infinite Guitarist Michael Brook (*).

“Damage” works better for me than “The First Day”, it becomes much more interesting live. Sylvians soft voice, the music stretching from sometimes ambient, sometimes very catchy and accessible, to long heavy almost Industrial sections, pointing towards the music King Crimson would later be making in the 90’s and 00’s. Everything Spiced up by Fripp’s unique soloing.

(*) Michael Brook created The Infinite Guitar, allowing an electric guitar note to be held with infinite sustain. In addition to his own instrument, Brook produced two Infinite Guitars, one of which belongs to Daniel Lanois, the other to The Edge of U2.

1 Giant Leap – What About Me

1 Giant Leap is a project by Jamie Catto and Duncan Bridgeman. Traveling all over the world recording with artists, and from those many recordings, making film and albums, of world music, in the most true sense of the word. The projects completed so far have been the 2002 “1 Giant Leap”, and the 2009 “What About Me?”

“What about Me” took them to over 50 locations, around the world, Mali, Brazil, India, Japan, Egypt, China, New York, Oman and many other. Recording well known names like Alanis Morrisette, Carlos Santana, Stewart Copeland and less well known artists like, Rebirth Brass Band (New Orleans) , Samburu Tribe (Kenya) , Dibouka Dancers & The Mask (Gabon), Mirim Imperio do Futuro (Brazil), Kamal Sabri (India), Yoshida Brothers (Japan), and many many more.

From “1 Giant Leap” official homepage :“Next day we had our first music session arranged. A traditional Japanese folk singer, a Miss Honda. We drove up into the hills to a little studio and we met with the singer and her producer. John had given me a CD of her singing and to be honest I wasn’t sure where the hell it would fit, it was very obscure to my ears. I thought folk music meant ordinary people could sing along! I guess it’s all about reference points. They played me something they had worked on over the rocking part of the Love track and it sounded incredible, from another planet all together but perfect!”
(Slightly edited to keep it a bit shorter)

“What about Me” was four years in the making, including 7 months of traveling.
“Our mission was not only to gather insight on the huge universal themes of life…..but also to seek out the cream of the world’s musicians, and compose immence multilayered music with them.”

Digging Deeper into Music

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