Random Turntable: Posts to Facebook over a period of several weeks in 2013.
Random Turntable: Rejoice by the Emotions. How to start your Monday morning!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNtXDoS7y00 Produced in 1977. A great trio/a great beat. Enjoy.
Random Turntable: Eurythmics 1984. Doubleplusgood. And also frightening as hell. I thought I might clean house to this track.
Random Turntable: I just discovered a real gem in my collection. This morning I pulled “My Life in Recording Canadian-Indian Folk-Lore” by Dr. Marius C. Barbeau, Canadian C. Barbeau. The album was produced in 1957 by Folkways. I’m listening now to Barbeau talk and sing about his early life near Quebec City. Barbeau is considered by some to be the “father of Canadian anthropology.” He is best known, his Wiki bio says, as an early champion of Quebecois folk culture.” But his work is far reaching and fascinating. He was born in 1893. I’m attaching a YouTube piece about the museum that bears his name in Quebec. I’d love to go there and I am going to read a lot more about this man….whose recording I purchased so many years ago.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE01iFouGEE
Random Turntable: I don’t have this album. I want it. I’m planning to write an article on ice worm research in the Olympics and came across this title in my initial internet search for articles. Can you believe these tiny creatures have been celebrated in song and poetry? If YOU are doing ice worm research, please let me know!
Random Turntable: Italian Opera Choruses. Lamberto Gardelli Conducting the Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. Released 1972. During this period of my life, I was under the considerable influence of Dr. Maxine Mimms, my friend and long time neighbor, I was making a first attempt to become familiar with opera. She had/has been a lseason ticket holder/Seattle Opera for many years. Occasionally she took me along. I hadn’t a clue. It took a while, but I was hooked. I’m still a beginner, but I go to the Metropolitan regional auditions every year and troop off to the simulcasts at a theatre in Olympia. When I lived in Cluj, Romania I could walk to the opera house from my apartment and sit in a box for less than five bucks. Needless to say, I saw every offering. So let’s begin the week with Il Trovatore’s The Anvil Chorus and get to work!
Random Turntable: Oh my. A cold and busy Saturday morning. Perfect for Django Reinhardt, Volume III released by Everest Records Archive of Folk and Jazz Music. It was released in 1970 (Django died in 1953). You can still buy this vinyl….some advertised in “original shrink-wrap.” There are no credits for the other musicians on the album BUT hot clarinet leads me to believe this is the version of the quintet that features Hubert Rostaing. Wow. Just Wow. The few notes there are suggest that some people thought Django was “too folksy.” Lot of credit for his style given to his Roma roots and their distinct style of ornamentation. Everest created their “archive” with the purpose of selecting original 78 recordings and transcribing them for the L.P. audience.
Random Turntable: A dazzling ice cold sky. A blood orange crept from behind the eastern line of trees and flooded my room with light. Thanks. I needed that. Playing: a second volume (actually, the first that they produced) of Quarteto Italiano playing Mozart string quartets. This album has K. 80, K. 155, K. 156, and K. 157. A brilliant accompaniment to a brilliant day.
Random turntable: John Handy Recorded Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Released 1965. The old friends are going. It’s not even a slow going now. It’s a rapid every time you turn around going. So I listen to the music from when we were alive. I don’t have to try. Every time I pull a vinyl album from under the vintage phonograph, it’s just got to be that era cause that’s when I was buying. And before I got into tapes and cds. Let’s just add to when I was dancing to Aretha and edging up and down First Avenue in Seattle with my pool shark buddy (You have got the message? First Avenue was nothing like it is now), I was listening to John Handy at home. Oh yeah, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix, and such. Mandatory stuff. But Lou Rawls and Cannonball Aderly and Handy had the sound of the raw clubs on the and the street and the life I could not quite be part of but longed for. I was a wanna be but I didn’t know what or wherefore. Places like Tiger Al’s drew me right in…a line of big women with dark oiled duck assed hair and sleek black jackets, backs up against the bar watching their women dance on boxes for the customers. Their predatory eyes never missed a fiver slipped into a frilly pink bra or crenulated garter belt. Better not go to far, mister. Those women at the bar aren’t playing. I wondered then (and had before) why such places attracted me. There was something about the seamy side that appealed, a kind of danger that I knew I had to run from but didn’t really want to. By day I studied Bateson and Boas and Political Systems of Highland Burma and Levi-Strauss. After sunset I dreamed that other world and craved for, at least, a trip to Jackson Street or King Street for a plate of oyster sauce beef at Tai Tung’s. The best meal in town for a student in those days.
Random turntable: “Aretha Arrives,” 1967. Her second album for Atlantic. Well, as the “beats” would say, Wow. The first cut is “Satisfaction.” Sweaty parties in dark houses on Capitol Hill, equally dark rooms filled with smoke and Aretha’s beat somewhere in Portland, Pioneer Square the “open for tourists” make-over happened, women with tall hair, go-go boots, and leopard print umbrellas strutting their stuff, Princess Playhouse, Tiger Al’s, steamy saxophones, pool hustlers and Alaska runaways… ….close dancing, young bodies, and beer. “Night Life” was the good life. “That’s Life” she sang. The sound track of my life then. Somehow I finished graduate school. All that night life and marching on the streets during the day. I mean, there was a war. And we were out there. And in Delano. How’d we do it? The notes for this album were written by Nat Hentoff, a genius who wrote of jazz and politics. We read him in the Village Voice. He wrote of Aretha, “a conjugator of soul, she gets inside lyrics and shapes them into extensions of herself.” A conjugator of soul? Think about it. The perfect descriptor of this great artist’s work.
Random turntable: Should be waking up, moving, doing something other than listening to Mysterious Universe and a long discussion of Stan Grof, death and LSD (how old this news seems!) So I pulled an album from the raggedy collection under the phonograph. Today. “Maxine Sullivan sings the music of Jule Styne” with the Keith Ingham Sextet. It’s a lovingly produced album, a real tribute to both of these fine musicians. George T. Simon wrote about Maxine and describes the April 1987 day at St. Peter’s Church in New York when her friends gathered to say farewell. Some of the tunes on this album make me want to cry. I was a tot when “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” was popular (1945). The war was over and men were flooding back to families unseen for several years. I remember, as if a scene from a long ago dimly lit black and white film, a train station in the night, a man I didn’t know in a uniform. Christmas had been on hold for his return. It was at least 1946 for he’d been in occupied Japan for quite a while, sending, in a military-looking wooden trunk, a dark army brown-green, a child sized kimono and pearly tea set that I still have. “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” was the soundtrack for this period…my mother was a romantic, dreamy sort who always had a soundtrack playing somewhere, one for every moment of her goofy life. “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You” came out the year I was born in an overburdened hospital in Springfield, Ohio. Mother and Dad (he was due to leave soon) had been watching “The Pride of the Yankees”, the Lou Gehrig story. It had just been released. “He faced death with that same valor an fortitude that has been displayed by thousands of young Americans on the far-flung fields of battle,” Daman Runyon wrote. Mother’s labor started and she faced it with the same valor and fortitude of thousands of other very young women whose loves were about to leave them. They didn’t have a car so they walked and taxied to the hospital where cots had been placed up and down the halls for the overflow maternity cases. This was just a bit over nine months after Pearl Harbor. Perhaps the declaration of war had an effect on reproductive behavior. In any case, Mother and Dad had not married until late January. Jule Styne and lyricists like Sammy Cahn and Frank Loesser gave the women at home, doing their own part for “the war effort” the songs to hum and the fantasies of a romance that might never have been more than that but for war. Thanks, Maxine Sullivan, for a lovely trip….much more compelling than any Stan Grof could have taken me on.
Random turntable: Mozart String Quartets K. 158, 159, 160, and 168. Quartet Italiano. Mozard Work for String Quartet, Volume 3. This is a beauty. The album features a portrait of the quartet members and their instruments. They each look directly into the camera, each with a slight hint of a smile. They are a sober-looking lot/not to say somber. Then there is the bright gold circle in the lower right hand corner that declares “Imported from Europe.” It is a post printing label that draws attention to the album the way a gold medal draws attention to a bottle of wine. Perhaps the year this album was released it was a mark of distinction to be imported from Europe…a declaration of worldliness and taste like the Italian boots and jacket I sported around in as an undergrad…. or like going to French films and actually talking about them at coffee shops. It’s a Philips recording..the cover printed in Holland. The author of the album notes (extensive information about Mozart at the time these string quartets were written) writes, “each work is perfection within itself and within it own terms–one would not wish to alter a single note.” These quartets were written in Milan with the exception of 168 , written in Vienna in 1773. Happy Thursday. Mozart always helps the day along.
Random turntable: Mozart String Quartets K. 158, 159, 160, and 168. Quartet Italiano. Mozart Work for String Quartet, Volume 3. This is a beauty. The album features a portrait of the quartet members and their instruments. They each look directly into the camera, each with a slight hint of a smile. They are a sober-looking lot/not to say somber. Then there is the bright gold circle in the lower right hand corner that declares “Imported from Europe.” It is a post printing label that draws attention to the album the way a gold medal draws attention to a bottle of wine. Perhaps the year this album was released it was a mark of distinction to be imported from Europe…a declaration of worldliness and taste like the Italian boots and jacket I sported around in as an undergrad…. or like going to French films and actually talking about them at coffee shops. It’s a Philips recording..the cover printed in Holland. The author of the album notes (extensive information about Mozart at the time these string quartets were written) writes, “each work is perfection within itself and within it own terms–one would not wish to alter a single note.” These quartets were written in Milan with the exception of 168 , written in Vienna in 1773. Happy Thursday. Mozart always helps the day along.
Random turntable: Phoebe Snow/Never Letting Go Released 1977/produced by Phil Ramone. Born 1950 and died in 2011. She had a Martin 000-18. Birth name Phoebe Ann Laub. Her life story is pretty rough. Take a look at the wikipedia site. Beautiful voice/beautiful album. “The diary that ends too soon.”
Random turntable: The Andrew Sisters-Boogie Woogie Bugle Girls.Album cover doesn’t say when released and if these tracks were pressed from the original recordings or rerecorded for the lp. “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
This morning: Emotions / Rejoice album. Yes I danced my way through another rejection slip. The only way to face grim farce.
Monday morning, January 13 The ever revolving turntable of life dealt me a strange hand today. I pulled Django Reinhardt Memorial Volume 3 but the sleeve was empty. Never a good sign. Next pull was Elliot Carter whom I am attempting now, once again, to understand. Side two is “In Sleep, In Thunder” six poems of Robert Lowell.” What am I to make of this? Here are some words by David Schiff who wrote the liner notes: “The strings, at times passionate, at times desperate, a little rigid, a bit scrappy…and the odd couple of percussion and piano with their bottomless bag of tricks and transformations…..” Well, maybe not the thing for 7 a.m. Monday morning.
Random turntable: the high pitched warbling of Joan Baez In Concert. Released 1962! I was on my way to Borneo or maybe already there. I had a Phillips battery operated turntable and a few albums. Maybe someone sent me this one? I had seen her at Ohio State either right before I left for the Peace Corps or after I came home in 64 or 65. Probably 62. By 64 Phil Ochs was out on the quad singing about war. I think the Baez concert is the one I took my brother Judo to. She wore a simple green cotton shift and took off her shoes. What have they done to the rain? Indeed. What a prophet. The liner notes on this album are TERRIFIC. First line: “Heine once said that literature is a graveyard in which we wander, searching out and embracing the headstones of those ideas which are closest to our own beliefs. So it is with our researches in folk music.” Heine…liner notes that quote an early 19th century German poet whose work was set to music by Schumann and Schubert. According to wikipedia, Marx was an admirer…himself a radical. Take a look at a snippet of what he wrote a year before his death: “This confession, that the future belongs to the Communists, I made with an undertone of the greatest fear and sorrow and, oh!, this undertone by no means is a mask! Indeed, with fear and terror I imagine the time, when those dark iconoclasts come to power: with their raw fists they will batter all marble images of my beloved world of art, they will ruin all those fantastic anecdotes that the poets loved so much, they will chop down my Laurel forests and plant potatoes and, oh!, the herbs chandler will use my Book of Songs to make bags for coffee and snuff for the old women of the future – oh!, I can foresee all this and I feel deeply sorry thinking of this decline threatening my poetry and the old world order – And yet, I freely confess, the same thoughts have a magical appeal upon my soul which I cannot resist …. In my chest there are two voices in their favour which cannot be silenced …. because the first one is that of logic … and as I cannot object to the premise “that all people have the right to eat”, I must defer to all the conclusions….The second of the two compelling voices, of which I am talking, is even more powerful than the first, because it is the voice of hatred, the hatred I dedicate to this common enemy that constitutes the most distinctive contrast to communism and that will oppose the angry giant already at the first instance – I am talking about the party of the so-called advocates of nationality in Germany, about those false patriots whose love for the fatherland only exists in the shape of imbecile distaste of foreign countries and neighbouring peoples and who daily pour their bile especially on France”. This is cited in the wikipedia article about him. Oh….these wonderful lp album notes….where they can lead one!!!