Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Five Point Program

We're wrapping up the month of May with the very first attempt at a 50th anniversary shindig ever here.
This was taped for broadcast on Norwegian television exactly 50 years ago tonight. It's lost fully none of its luster. The old saw about "they just don't make them like this anymore" never held more true.
In fact, you could say that this near-hour of footage is the single best and most illustrative document of the group it depicts ever captured.
It was rebroadcast a while back as part of this ridonkulous NRK-TV thing they do on their website, where the shows are available for a week or so in these HD MKV format files.
This dates from the maelstrom days of strikes and sit-ins, and was recorded just five days prior to the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
It documents a band whom, at the time, had just burst onto the music scene with an entirely different, almost ancient sound unlike anything that had been heard before.
It consisted of what were, even then, five well-traveled artists and was in essence one of the first supergroups ever formed.
Is it folk music? Jazz? Baroque trad-pop? Blues-based Early music? I feel like John Cleese's doctor holding the baby at the start of The Meaning of Life, and saying that it's too soon to be imposing roles on it, isn't it?
Piffle categories cease to matter, because The Pentangle did it all but sell T-shirts at the merch booth.
The Pentangle
Visefestival i Kroa
Dolphin Club
Masonic Building
Oslo, Norway

01 introduction/tuning
02 The Time Has Come
03 Mirage
04 A Woman Like You
05 Turn Your Money Green
06 Hear My Call
07 Haitian Fight Song
08 Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
09 Bells
10 Bruton Town (cuts at end)
11 Travelling Song
12 Pentangling

Total time: 53:19

Bert Jansch - guitar & vocals
Danny Thompson - bass
Jacqui McShee - vocals
Terry Cox - drums & percussion
John Renbourn - guitar & vocals

MKV file from an HD rebroadcast on the NRK-TV website
This will do it from me for this month, but I shall be back in a bit with a whole bunch of tune for your June, so feel no fret. For now it's time for you to get up close and personal with this seminal Pentangular broadcast, thought lost to the mists of time but resurrected -- on its 50th birthday, no less -- for your pleasure.--J.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Torn Curtain Call

All right, then. I know it's THAT guy's birthday; Christ I've blogged him more than any other single artist on here. Let's give someone else a chance at May 26th, can we?
Today's honoree turns a big 65 today, and has been cracking his axe wide open, so that new and astonishingly unguitarlike tones might be liberated from its pickups, for almost 40 years now.
Some of his records and bands and projects are among my all-time go-to platters. I think of those two Everyman Band LPs on ECM and the seminal, unbelievable Cloud About Mercury project he led right after that group split, also on Manfred Eicher's exquisite label of love.
And oh, those tones. This guy is definitely one of those guitar slingers that's almost always endeavoring to make it sound like a completely different, as-yet-undiscovered musical instrument.
All this to form the approach of one of our lifetimes' most unusual and instantly-identifiable players, whom we know as David Torn.
He was born this day in 1953, and to celebrate his latest trip 'round the Big Flaming Hydrogen Globe, we have upped into the aether a complete and wildly crazy Everyman Band concert from the midpoint of their early-1980s run.
This is sourced from two very recent European rebroadcasts and is unique, because none other than trumpet deity Don Cherry shows up to sit in mid-set, bringing the already-astonished audience to their knees in total, enraptured reverence.
Everyman Band
Berlin, Germany

01 stage announcement
02 Japan Smiles
03 Happy House
04 Talking with Himself
05 Bruce Yaw talks
06 Nuclear Suite
07 Trick of the Wool
08 Morals In the Mud
09 Fat Blatt
10 Multibluetonic Blues 
11 unidentified title
12 Celebration 7
13 Mummy Club

Total time: 1:18:31

Marty Fogel - reeds 
David Torn - guitar, effects 
Bruce Yaw - electric bass
Michael Suchorsky - drums
Don Cherry - pocket trumpet, nkoni on Track 11

lewojazz/Tom Phillips 16/48 remaster of a recent, two-part Kulturradio 320/48 rebroadcast 
comprising the whole concert
I will be back Wednesday with the final May post -- and the first 50th anniversary thing I've ever attempted! -- but today is the day for you to get Torn, I'm afraid! And many more HBDs to the man; long may he grind that axe into new and scintillating shapes.--J.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Plateaux d'Artifice

Good day and welcome to a birthday post not about the obvious birthday person of May 24th.
That other guy? I've done him many times. No, not sexually. Blogged about him. Yawn.
Not to detract from the Zimmerversary, but today is also the birthday of another, less recognizable, yet equally as transcendent figure.
Today's honoree is renowned for the meditatively still and contemplative, rather than the shrill and condemnatively verbose.
Not that there's anything wrong with the condemnative and the verbose. I tend towards those locations often when I write something.
Earlier this month we tributed Brian Eno, the acknowledged father of Ambient music. Today we pay homage to one of Eno's central collaborators and one of the leading lights of that genre.
To help do that, we have a lush, nearly-two-hour concert from 2004, when our hero was at a career crossroads and contemplating retirement. Luckily for us, Harold Budd -- as gorgeous a melodicist on piano as has existed in our lifetimes -- decided not to stop.
This features Hal -- born this day in 1936 -- and his pals playing a whole slew of his most iconic compositions. The source of this one is unclear -- it seems to come from a 320K web simulcast -- but the sound is not... this could and should be released officially and is sonically indistinguishable from such.
Harold Budd & friends
sound. at REDCAT
Disney/CalArts Theater
Los Angeles, CA

01 Lirio (1970)
Alex Cline, Gong

02 String Quartet (2001) & String Quartet (2003)
- It's Steeper Near the Roses (for David Sylvian)
- L'enfant perdu
- Chrysalis Nu (to Barney's memory)
- Three Faces West (Billy Al Bengston's)
- Haru Spring
- From the Sea of Changes
- Bandits of Stature
- Llano
- Babylon Balboa
Jeff Gauthier, Johnny Chang - violins
Natalie Brejcha - viola
Jessica Catron - cello

03 At This Moment (2004) & As Long As I Can Hold My Breath (at night) (2001, 2004)
Clive Wright - guitar

04 Islander with A J is Jil Sander
Works from Avalon Sutra (2004)
Works from “the last decade including yesterday”
Harold Budd - piano
Jon Gibson - soprano saxophone, bass flute

05 Opera & Nove Alberi & Sweet Earth Flying (1972, by Marion Brown)
Harold Budd - piano

06 Fragments from 1000 Chords
“a few one-offs”
Harold Budd - piano

Total time: 1:47:47
disc break goes after Track 03

spectral analysis indicates a 320K webstreamed FM broadcast of unknown origin,
perhaps originating from the website
I will return on Saturday with another avoidance of an obvious birthday, but if you're smart you'll pull down this delicious, mellifluous, and criminally undercirculated set and let your Thursday be defined by its beauty. All courtesy of the infinitely shimmering Harold Budd, turning 82 today and still tinkling away.--J.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

New England Jam Chowder

OK, as promised let's get this second of two consecutive weekend Rock posts happening.
 This bad boy was captured 36 years ago this evening and features one of that -- or any, really -- era's most cracking ensembles.
Their leader, who's fronted other beloved bands as well as his own now for many's the decade, turns 60 on Friday next, so this post can proxy as a tribute to his topnotch career output as well.
This set dates from quite the predicament for this band. They had built a reputation as the '60s Mod Revival group, and had tasted mainstream success on both sides of the Atlantic with it, but as they matured the Motown and Soul influences of their frontman kind of took over and drove a wedge between them.
Not too many groups break up with a record at #1, but that's how it happened with Paul Weller and The Jam, whose 1982 LP The Gift featured a couple of megahits and saw them go out at the top of the English charts.
This balls-to-the-wall concert, sourced from a delicious pre-broadcast reel and never legitimately issued, finds our heroes at the legendary Orpheum Theater in Boston, cranking out monster jams -- in the company of a horn section, no less, indicating to where Weller would helm his next group, The Style Council -- old and new for a hyper-enthused crowd.
The Jam  
Orpheum Theater 
Boston, Massachusetts

01 radio intro and interview
02 Circus 
03 Start
04 Pretty Green 
05 In the Crowd
06 That's Entertainment
07 Tales from the Riverbank
08 Carnation
09 A Town Called Malice
10 Move On Up
11 David Watts
12 Private Hell
13 Ghosts
14 When You’re Young 
15 The Gift
16 radio outro and interviews 

Total time: 53:37

Paul Weller – guitar, vocals, keyboards
Bruce Foxton – bass, vocals
Rick Buckler – drums, percussion
Pete Wilson – keyboards and harmonica
Keith Thomas - saxophone
Steve Nichol – trumpet

"Captured Live" radio broadcast series, 
pre-FM reel tape
If you love these guys there is simply no way you can afford to miss this show, and if you don't know them this is a great place to start.
 I shall return this week with yet more dollops of dopeness for your dowry, but for now we wish Paul Weller a milestone 60th b'day on Friday and a happy 36th birthday today as well for this burning hour of yummy, late-period Jam!--J.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Lifehouse Keeper

Welcome to Saturday and the first of two tight weekend posts. This one's a birthday homage to an icon.
I've covered two of his Who bandmates before, but never he. That seems ridiculous -- as he is the mastermind of that group -- and it changes today.
There isn't much to say about today's honoree; everybody knows who he is and there's nothing I am gonna come up with to embellish the legend.
The Who will celebrate their 55th anniversary next year. Only the Rolling Stones have had a comparable shelf life, and Keith Richards embalmed himself years ago and may live to be 1,000.
Certainly one of the central figures to help shepherd Rock music from its primitive infancy to adulthood, today's celebrant is the acknowledged father of the Rock Opera and is responsible for some of the enduring and successful concept LPs.
Kind of the ultimate survivor, there are few figures more mentionable in the pantheon of Rock-n-Roll than Peter Townshend, who turns 73 today.
I was intent on not sharing a Who thing for his big day, choosing instead to focus on PT's tremendously prolific solo career via a sweet MKV file made from the still-unreissued laserdisc of his 1985 Deep End concert in Brixton.
This was issued in 2004 on an audio CD, but the video has never seen a DVD issue and is out of print since way back in 1986.
Pete Townshend's Deep End
Brixton Academy
London, UK

01 Won't Get Fooled Again
02 A Little Is Enough
03 Secondhand Love
04 Behind Blue Eyes
05 Barefootin'
06 After the Fire
07 Love On the Air
08 I Put a Spell On You
09 I'm the One
10 Magic Bus
11 Save It for Later
12 Eyesight to the Blind
13 Walking
14 Stop Hurting People
15 The Sea Refuses No River
16 Face the Face
17 Pinball Wizard
18 Give Blood

Total time: 1:27:17

Pete Townshend - guitar & vocals
David Gilmour - guitar & vocals
Chucho Merchan - bass
Simon Phillips - drums
Peter Hope Evans - harmonica
John "Rabbit" Bundrick - keyboards & vocals
Jody Linsco -percussion
Billy Nichols, Chris Staines, Coral Gordon, Gina Foster, Ian Ellis - vocals
The Kick Horns:
Simon C. Clarke & Tim Sanders - saxophones
Roddy Lorimer & Dave Plews - trumpets
Pete Beachill - trombone

mkv file of the original 1986 Laserdisc, never issued on DVD
Look out for Floydian stalwart David Gilmour on stingingly lyrical lead guitar here, plus a full horn section.
I'll be back in a few days with even more weird for your window, but for now we need to celebrate Pete Townshend, born this day in 1945 and still turning the windmills of the mind of the world.--J.