Ties that Bind

6 10 2010

Staying in NYC for the weekend for this and that, for both of them, saw and heard some very nice performances by Khaira (or Haira) Arby and Laurie Anderson.

On Saturday Khaira , ‘The Nightingale of the North,” aka, “The Aretha Franklin of Mali“ was playing a houseparty on the now nightlife-friendly Bowery.  Her North is the desert region of Mali, north of Timbuktu; the temp would make it the south in most countries, just about on a straight line with Jamaica.  The style is being marketed as ‘desert blues’ (she’s a cousin of Ali Farka Touré) and ‘duskcore,’ (think desert, not jungle or techno), but let’s say it fits in with the more established Songhai tradition (named for the Renaissance era African empire, village based, griot, largely secular, Islamic influenced, high tessitura praise singing) tweaked by monumental psych electric guitar runs from 17 year old Abdramane Touré.   One thing I noticed, and something I have seldom seen, is that for two plus hours no one in the band tapped their feet to the beat, any beat.  It just flowed.  So the voice is keening, soaring, evocative, the structure circular, haunting, hypnotic…but the guitar, but the guitar.

Here’s your dashing (means showing appreciation with cash in much of West Africa, not an attribute) author, reduced to singles in these hard times.

Like a lot of musicians in this world Khaira hopes her reception on her first US tour, and readily available music, will allow let her leave her day-job, as a salt trader along the old caravan routes.

It was a privilege to hear such a high quality performance in such an intimate space, the entire band smokin’ (but the guitar…).  I guess that’s why we live here, or in Timbuktu.

Here’s the discography I’ve been able to track down.  Cassette-player-less?  Get a copy of here first CD avail stateside.  I’ve never heard any of these, but did I mention I loved the guitar work I heard live?

• Moulaye     (Samassa Records, Mali, CS, 1990) We have also seen this listed as Diabira.

• Hala    (Mali, CS, 1994)

• Ya Rassoul   (Samassa Records, Mali, CS, 2002 or 2005?)

• Timbuktu Tarab    (Clermont Music, USA, CD, 2010)

This just in : a note from Clermont says they are looking to release all of the cassettes on CD in the future.

 

Now Laurie Anderson is also from the North (Illinois, Ireland, Sweden) and has brought her urban griot vision full circle, from the playful wondering of the early days to looking back and wondering why.  Her latest (Delusions) at BAM was majestic, the visuals not as striking as I wanted them (sheets of rain best), and the music better than ever (able accompaniment by Eyvind Kang on violin and Colin Stetson, sax.).   It was stories, non sequiturs, space-lore, snippets piled high, that by the end of the show are both zero sum and fully loaded, and you have no idea how she did it.

Her latest release is Homeland on Nonesuch Records.  For those of you who don’t know, I released LA’s first single, ‘O Superman,’ back when NYC was full of making, not the curatorial place holder it is now.   Nice to see her wearing my skinny ska tie I gave her in the 70s.

As both performers referenced their ancestors and offered unfamiliar nods to the Divine,  an e-mail that only came in today, addressed to “the Whole World,” seems to tie the skinny all together.

I, Margaret Veronica Nabakooza Kiyaga,

Katonda Afirika, WIFE OF GOD,

have the great honour and pleasure to announce to the whole world that The Lord God, has today,

the 27th September 2010,

beatified the beloved musician of Afirika, Franco.

MAY GOD BE GLORIFIED. AMEN.





Turn Around with Confidence (when the internet can’t dance)

28 09 2010

Like you, I look for records all the time.  But there are over two million here @ ARC, so it’s difficult to know when what you’ve found is what’s needed.  Not everything in the library is cataloged, and my computer is not always with me.  I’ve found that by just seeing the cover, I can keep about a quarter of a million items straight.  In general, when deciding if I should buy something or not, I guess.  The upshot is that I mostly buy junk.

Junk here, is of course, a well defined, highly selective term – an unusual item, in good condition, that catches my eye.  Under a dollar is a plus; completely bizarre, a must.  Nestled in the 40 or so discs I found this past weekend were a few gems, like…

What I liked about this misguided masterpiece is that some of the bandmembers were “unavailable for photographs due to hectic schedules.”  Now does that show confidence in this recording?

What amazes me is that there is little or no info on these recordings available on that internet thing.  The best known artists here, pioneering Calypsonian Sir Lancelot, is the subject of some online ink, but even WorldCat fails to deliver any sense of his recorded output.  i-tunes sez: “No results were found. Please try a different search.” (but he is on some compilations).  This is a 78rp ‘album’ containing 3 pristine discs, including one of his best-known recordings, “Ugly Woman.”

Sometimes there’s real musicianship buried here, like the trippy and yet unexplained People’s Victory Orchestra.  I’ve been searching for years for more than snippets of their history (70s releases, from Queens, principals William (or Richard or Robert) and Carla (Lund) Alt (or Arlt). Bill engineer @ Atlantic, with Carla ran vintage clothing store) and they have had the good grace to keep a secret, secret.  ‘Victory’ is seriously non rock-ey, unlike the other two LPs (The School and Weltschmerzen), but a nice hippy concept concerto of an LP, complete with a 64 page booklet chronicling a Canadian train ride.

Here’s another no informationer, recalling that fateful day, August 27th, 1965, when American and British royalty partied.  It’s by Lady KKK, sometimes Lady KinKyKarrot, but I bought it for the Chris Jones cover, he a major penciller for DC Comics.  This 10” is a soundtrack for the no doubt intriguing eponymous film, claims to be Various Artists but all the tracks are very much alike – filled with bad MS and BR accents doing mock-doc over very nice, moody lounge, with an occasional side of sitar.

It’s on Rockinbones Records, but their webthing has never heard of the Lady.  She’s from Brescia – Parma, Italy, and just a bit o’info @ http://www.myspace.com/ladykinkykarrot

Rounding out and down, here’s a late blooming singing nun, for our growing, and never listened to, singing nun section @ the ARC.





Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas

30 08 2010

As you may know ARC is building a Brasilian/Brazilian Collection.  Now if YOU are building a Brasilian/Brazilian Collection, I think the next record you should get is Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas, Tropicalia Psychedelic Masterpieces 1967 – 1976. (Tropicalia In Furs, USA, WPFC TIF 102, 2010).  This was put together by Joel Stones, our pal over at Tropicallia In Furs, New York’s best (only) Brasilian/Brazilian record store.

Bananas is a deluxe two record set, with a 3-D cover, appropriate viewing glasses, and a 48 page booklet insert providing details on all the source material in English and Portuguese.  The discs sound wonderful and the illustrated booklet gives a bit of history and the inside scoop on the dogged tracking down of the sounds.  You may think you’ve heard it all before, the soft sambas of the past, or those now-sound tinkly elctrobeats.  Brace yourself.  This is psychedelic, fuzz guitar, acid 60’s rock-solid+sloppy, loud, proud, funky druggie music.  Like a good table set in Salvador, there’s plenty to eat, but you don’t know the names of any of the fruits.  And occasionally there’s a bit of sand in that last bite.

Cuts are taken exclusively from elusively available, mostly promotional Brazilian seven-inch singles. It was a time when Brasil was in dangerous flux, but a mere dictatorship couldn’t stop folks from creating great pop scrambles, like Celio Balona’s take on the Batman theme, “Tema de Batman”, or Mac Rybell glow in the dark version of the Stones’, “Lantern”.  Not that all of these songs are covers, but a visiting scholar, Tom Cvikota, noticed that “Som Imaginario De Jimmi Hendrix”, may begin with a Experience-like crescendo, but is an unaccredited cover of the James Gang’s, “Funk 49”.

ARC regularly trades with and shops at Tropicalia.  Sure it’s predictably colorful, and fun, and Joel is cute and lovable and knowledgeable – but go anyway.

Tropicalia In Furs, 304 E. 5th St., New York, NY 10003, near Second Ave in the East Village.  Open, more than likely, late afternoon into night.  Call to make sure: 212-982-3251  No webthing.  So just order it from Joel.  Say B. sent you.  $20 for the discs, and $6 for shipping and handling.  There’s also a documentary on the enhanced CD, What Are Fuzz Bananas, which highlights the hunt (hey Joel, where’s the ARC copy?)

Today I took two friends to buy copies.  Last night Fred, Beco + B (the Dino, Desi and Billy of crate digging) spent a few hours at the store and returned with these fine, finer, finest vinyl’s – first the Brazilian+ world, then other assorted:

• Joao Bosco.   Galos De Briga  (RCA Victor, Brasil, 103.0171, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1976)

• Victor Assis Brasil.   Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim  (Continental, Brasil, LP 0-46 411 068, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1981)

• O Pequeno Burgues.   Azes Do Samba  (Cartaz, Brasil, LPC 5062, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

• Erasmo Carlos.   O Tremendao  (RGE, Brasil, XRLP-5.306, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n)

• Cartola.   Pranto De Poeta, Serie Documento  (RCA Victor, Brasil, 130 0058, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1989)

• Manâ Do Cavaco.   Martinho Da Vila Apresenta  (RCA Victor, Brasil, 103 0068, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1973)

• Dori Caymmi.   Dori Caymmi  (EMI-Odeon, 31C 064 422899, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 88)

• Nana Caymmi.   Renascer  (CID, Brasil, 8016, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, Mid-70’s)

• Maria Creuza.   Pecado  (RCA Victor, RCA, 103.0306, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)

• Carlos Dafâ.   Malandro Dengoso  (Warner Bros, Brasil, BR 26.036, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)

• Djalma Dias.   Nno Faéa Drama,,, Caia No Samba  (Som Livre, 403 6050, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1974)

• A.C.Jobim.   Matita PerÉ  (Philips, Brasil, 6349071, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1973)

• Ed Lincoln.   A Volta  (Musidisc, Brasil, HI FI 2088, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, –)

• Lord Kitchener.   Hot Pants  (Trinidad, Trinidad, TRCS 0002, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

• Machito.   Machito Goes Memphis  (RCA Victor, USA, LPM 3944, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

• Ruy Maurity.   Ganga Brasil  (Som Livre, Brasil, 403.6127, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1977)

• Marilia Medalha.   Caminhada  (RGE / Fermata, Brasil, 303.0017, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1973)

• Sencion Minaya.   Y Los Quisqueyanos  (Madely, 116, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

• Marilia Medalha / Vinicius De Moraes.   A Caneno E A Voz De Marilia Medalha Na Poesia De V  (RGE, Brasil, 303, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1972)

• Paulinho Nogueira.   Moda De Graviola  (Continental, Brasil, 1-01-404-110, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1975)

• Cir Pereira & Jaime Santos.   Avante Brasil  (ACS, Brasil, LP 002, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d)

• Jair Rodrigues.   Abra Um Sorriso Novamente  (Philips, Brasil, 6349 120, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1974)

• Claudette Soares.   Gil, Chico E Veloso Por Claudette  (Philips, Brasil, R-765 021 L, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1968)

• Elza Soares.   Elza Negra  (CBS, Brasil, 1 38184, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)

• Raimundo Sodre.   Massa  (Polydor, Brasil, 2451 144, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)

• Sparrow (Mighty).   Sparrow Come Back  (RCA Victor, Trinidad, LPB – 3006, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d. [1962])

• Zimbo Trio.   Zimbo Trio Vol, 2  (RGE, Brasil, XRLP-5 277, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, –)

• Nana [Vaconcelos].   Amazonas  (Philips, Brasil, 6349 079, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1973)

• Marcos Valle.   O Compositor E O Cantor  (Odeon Brasil, MOFB-3413, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1965)

• Vanusa.   Vanusa  (Continental, Brasil, SLP-10 156, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1974)

• Veloso, Caetano & Chico Buarque.   Caetano E Chico Juntos E Ao Vivo  (Philips, Brasil, 6349 059, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1972)

• Caetano Veloso / Gilberto Gil.   Tropicçlia 2   (Philips, Brasil, 79339, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1993)

…and here’s the other odds + ends we got…

• David Robert Jones  [ David Bowie ].   ChangesThree  (GRACE, AZL1-1984, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Arnett Cobb.   Sizzlin’  (Status / Prestige, ST 7227, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1961)

• Julian Dash.   A Portrait of Julian Dash  (Master Jazz Recordings, MJR 8106, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Davis, Eddie “Lockjaw”.   Cookbook Volume 1   (Prestige, 7141, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Davis, Eddie “Lockjaw”.   Trackin’  (Prestige, PR 7271, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Freddie and the Dreamers.   You Were Mad for Me  (Columbia, UK, 33SX 1663, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1964)

• Ron Goodwin.   Music in Orbit  (Captiol, T 10188, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• The Harmonizing Four.   Tommie, Lonnie & Me  (Atlantic, SD R026, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1970)

• Hollywood Saxophone Quartet.   Jazz in Hollywood  (Liberty, LJH 6005, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Carl Holmes & the Commanders.   Twist Party at the Roundtable  (Atlantic, 8060, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1962)

• Harlan Howard.   To the Silent Majority, With Love  (Nugget, NRLP-105, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Richard Hayman.   The Era of Cleopatra  (Time, USA, S 2080, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, n.d.)

• The Jet Black’s.   Twist  (Chantecler, Brazil, CMG-2.184, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• King Curtis.   Azure  (Everest, LPBR 5121, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1960)

• B. B. King.   Blues, The  (Crown, CLP 5063, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry.   Guitar Highwway  (Verve Folkways, FV-90919, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp     , n.d.)

• Houston Person.   The Big Horn  (Muse, MR 5136, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1979)

• James & Bobby Purify.   James & Bobby Purify  (Bell, BELL 6003, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Reno & Smiley.   On the Road with Reno & Smiley: Songs Truck Drivers Love  (King, 911, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Reparata and the Delrons.   1970 Rock & Roll Revolution  (AVCO Embassy, AVE 33008, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Shorty Rogers and His Giants.   Shorty in Stereo  (Atlantic, SD 1232, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Sonny Stitt.   All God’s Children Got Rhythm  (Prestige, 7248, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Sonny Stitt.   Come Hither  (Solid State, SS 18057, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Al Wagner and his Philharmonic Strings.   £12 English Sterling – The Music of Randolph Adcock  (Soundscape, , SRC 33700 P, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• The Who.   Pop History Vol. 3  (Polydor, France, 2673 007, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, n.d.)

• Sondra Williams.   Hark the Voice  (Atlantic, SD R003, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1967)








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