Friday, January 22, 2021

The Mekong Delta Blues

Let's begin the weekending with this anniversary orgasm, featuring one of those hybridization projects where the molecules merge just right.

You may be wondering, why is he putting pictures of buildings and not people holding saxophones?

Well, for starters, the ancient kingdom of Champa is just way better looking than saxophonist Michael Blake, the marvelous mastermind of this music.

There he is. He's not a bad looking guy. But even Dexter Gordon would have to give it up for the kingdom of Champa, no?

I won't get into what this music tries to do, except to say that it's a super successful fusion of the ancient folk melodies of Vietnam with, say, the music of Michael Brecker.

This was a record in 1997. This tape hails from a tour featuring the very same personnel, but from a bunch of years hence. 
Look out for duetting drum deities Hamid Drake and Billy Martin (from Medeski, Martin & Wood) on this 100 minutes of delicious bliss.

Michael Blake & Kingdom Of Champa 
Teatro Manzoni 
Milan, Italy

01 The Champa Theme
02 MB speaks
03 Dislocated In Natrang
04 MB speaks
05 Folksong
06 MB speaks
07 Purple City 
08 MB speaks 
09 Mekong 
10 Hué Is Hué? 
11 band introductions
12 Perfume River

Total time: 1:39:16
disc break goes after Track 07

Michael Blake - tenor saxophone
Clark Gayton - trombone
Steven Bernstein - trumpet
Naissam Jalal - flutes
David Tronzo - electric guitar
Bryan Carrott - vibraphone
Rufus Cappadocia - cello
Tony Scherr - bass
Billy Martin - drums and percussion
Hamid Drake - drums and percussion

digital capture of an analog RAI Radio 3 FM broadcast
561 MB FLAC/January 2021 archive link

I'll be back Sunday with something/someone even weirder than this, trust me.--J.