sábado, 28 de novembro de 2020
Naná Vasconcelos was one of the clusters of endlessly inventive Brazilian percussionists who changed the direction and sounds of Brazilian jazz in the post-bossa nova 1970s. Vasconcelos was an especially inventive virtuoso of the berimbau, the expressive instrument shaped like an archer's bow, and he is also adept at the odd-numbered meters (5/4, 7/4) that were used frequently in the north but not the south of Brazil. As the son of a guitarist, Vasconcelos got his start in his father's band at age 12 playing bongos and maracas. Taking on a drum kit as part of his arsenal, he moved to Rio de Janeiro in the mid-'60s and caught on with the young Milton Nascimento, picking up several other Brazilian percussion instruments in the process. Gato Barbieri heard him and snatched him up for tours in Argentina, Europe, and a U.S. jaunt in 1971; Vasconcelos can be heard on a number of Barbieri's Flying Dutchman albums. Following the tour, he lived in Paris for two years, occasionally gigging with Don Cherry in Sweden. In 1976, he made a remarkable duo album with Brazilian guitarist/wood flute player Egberto Gismonti, Dança Das Cabeças, the first of several dates as a leader or sideman on the ECM label. He reunited with Cherry in 1978 and, with Collin Walcott, formed Codona, a trio that played a fusion of music from four continents until Walcott's death in 1984.
In the meantime, Vasconcelos joined the Pat Metheny Group from 1980 to 1983 as a "special guest," one who had the effect of rerouting Metheny's music in the general direction of Brazil. Since then, Vasconcelos has played on and off with Cherry, toured and recorded with Jan Garbarek, played on many recording sessions, and, in 1995, formed an unusual duo with the Scottish classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie at the Bath International Music Festival. Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, he composed and played on film scores to much acclaim (and Grammy nominations). In addition, he kept to a heavy touring schedule.
Vasconcelos continued to perform and record as an in-demand sideman. In 2015, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent treatment. He recorded the album Café no Bule in collaboration with Zeca Baleiro and Paulo Lepetit but his health continued to deteriorate. He passed away from respiratory failure on March 9, 2016, at home in Recife. AMG.listen here
sábado, 21 de novembro de 2020
Spontaneously, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and many other parts of the nation young musicians are assembling to create for themselves and their friends a new kind of sound. As Lewis Carroll's Alice stepped through the drawing-room mirror into a world of rich imagining, so these gifted young experimentalists are determinedly breaking through the limitations of the old familiar forms - rock, and jazz, and folk, and blues, etcetera - freeing themselves to create a sound that encompasses all the as-yet unexplored possibilities of music.
These get-togethers are called musical happenings. The sounds they produce are called by some spontaneous music, and by others free-form music. Some also call it 'mind-manifesting music'. And as one of the performers in this album half humorously stated, it might with equal aptness and equal imprecision be called 'ethnic psychedelic Afro-Cuban folk rock'. It is an exhilarating, exciting, galvanizing symphony of musical moods, an exploration into a kind of completely unchained sound that has never happened before. But it's happening now! In the forefront of the musical organizations creating spontaneous music today is Fire and Ice, Ltd. Fire and Ice is the brainchild of two brilliant young men of many talents.
Pianist and organist Tony Scott was a child prodigy who gave early concerts in his native city of London. A strikingly handsome six-footer, he has been seen as an actor in leading roles in a multiplicity of feature films and television dramas in England, Italy, and America. Flutist and vocalist Paris Sheppard first sought artistic expression as a San Francisco poet amid comrades who included Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Leonard the Locomotive, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
So great was the demand for Paris s readings in Bay Area coffee houses that he found he could not write enough material to appease his audience's appetite for them. "So," he says, "I just began going on the stage cold and creating prose poems on the spot with no previous preparation." The spontaneous facility with words that this experience gave him is reflected in the strangely beautiful lyrics he sings in this album. These also were created by him spontaneously before the microphones as a direct inspiration of the music.listen here
Amon Düül II's fifth studio album is a more conventional recording than most, though there's still a lot of the involved experimenting and dark undercurrent which sets the band apart from the mainstream, along with the off-kilter hooks and odd humor which saved them from being lumped alongside more serious (and less easy to take seriously) prog-rock outfits. After the lengthy explorations of Tanz der Lemminge, Wolf City seems targeted to an extent at a commercial English-speaking audience, perhaps reflective of their increased status in the United Kingdom, if not in America. Regardless, the opening song "Surrounded by the Stars," the longest track on the album at just under eight minutes, is also one of the band's best, with strong vocals from Renate Knaup-Kroetenschwanz, a dramatic building verse (complete with mock choir), an equally dramatic violin-accompanied instrumental break, and a catchy chorus leading to a fun little freakout. Knaup actually takes the lead vocals more often this time out and turns in some lovely performances, as on the beautiful, perhaps slightly precious "Green-Bubble-Raincoated-Man," with a great full-band performance that grows from a nice restraint to a slam-bang, epic rock out. Lothar Meid gets his moments in as well, his sometimes straightforward, sometimes not-so-much vocals adding to the overall effect as before. The one full instrumental, "Wie der Wind am Ende Einer Strasse," is excellent, with guest Indian musicians adding extra instrumentation to an intoxicating, spacious performance. While Wolf City generally sounds like a tight band playing things live or near-live, there are some equally gripping moments clearly resulting from studio work, like the strange loop opening the title track (percussion, guitar?). Concluding with the groovy good-time "Sleepwalker's Timeless Bridge," including some fantastic E-Bow guitar work, Wolf City works the balance between art and accessibility and does so with resounding success. AMG. listen here