Sunday, April 28, 2013

Alice Coltrane - Eternity (Warner Brothers, 1976)

Alice Coltrane is one of those artists whose recordings I love to stumble upon. I haven't really sought out all she's done in her career (unlike other musicians, whom I seem to have a freakish memory for), but at all the points that I've discovered - from Journey to Satchidananda to her tape releases (my favorite of which you can find here) - she gives nuanced, joyful, and powerful performances.

On this one, she's got a lot of friends (check out this extremely detailed discogs post for the lineup), and the first song sums it up with its abrupt shift from organ introspection to an outburst of soul - there's a lot going on! The middle tracks on each side offer some of the meditative playing I'm familiar with... All in all, a great balance of funky rhythms and spiritual textures, with a little Stravinsky to top it off. Thoroughly enjoyable - I love those weird portamento tones she gets out of that organ! 

Here's my jam, all ten minutes: 

Enjoy! (I ripped this as sides 1 & 2, excuse my laziness)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Antonello Salis and Nana Vasconcelos - "Lester" (Soul Note, 1987)

So, the hotel room I'm in has a wifi connection so slow it's making me dream of screeching dial-up noises and the family PC... but I'm not going to let this sudden wind of blogging inspiration go unheeded. I've been away for a bit, wondering about the point of doing this, feeling like there's very little "community building" going on, just a lot of download-and-run (like I'm one to talk)... then one of my very favorite blogs, Invisible Arteries, got shut down...

All this to say, no big revelatory moment about why I'm suddenly anxious to post again. I think I'm still working towards that ideal of music sharing in an internet community, with no illusions (at least) that one day the daily effort that goes into blogging could disappear. Despite all this, I enjoy the search, finding something new to listen to, and someone with a fresh perspective on the music that strikes them.


Nana Vasconcelos is someone I've been listening to quite a bit over the past few months, from his work with Codona to his solo excursions... This session of duets with Antonello Salis, an Italian pianist (who says in the liner notes that his then-inspiration was Keith Jarrett... a man after my own heart), sounds like a perfect match to me. With Salis on piano and accordion and Vasconcelos on everything else under the sun, what we get is something improvised, yet more energized/dense that his Codona forays...

Here's the title track as a preview, an astonishingly beautiful number whose mood parallels a Chris Marker short that stands as the cutest internet cat video of all time:

And the cute cat for comparison (thanks as usual, Jason Urick)...