Archive for the Now Playing Category
This album of strange and beautiful music by Psarantonis
is like nothing else I have heard.
Though Monk cut many superb records with bands large and small I’ve always loved his solo excursions best and discovering these recordings, particularly the Black Lion sessions from quite late in his performing career, is a great pleasure. Last night I watched a documentary about György Ligeti wherein he spoke of his lifelong quest for a music that would be completely static and “always there”, like the landscape outside a window that is open for the duration of listening. For me Monk’s music has that quality, changeless and hypnotic, revolving slowly forever.
This is a collection of outstanding works by the acclaimed Finnish composer and I am particularly enjoying the richly atmospheric Six Japanese Gardens, “a collection of impressions of the gardens I saw in Kyoto during my stay in Japan in the summer of 1993 and my reflections on rhythm at that time,” Saariaho says.
Some of my earliest rock and roll thrills came from childhood listening to my mother’s Cream records and songs like “White Room”, “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, “Strange Brew” and “SWLABR” have long been part of the musical furnishings of my mind. Indeed so young was I when I first heard this music that I could not interpret the cover of Heavy Cream and, never having seen a guitar amplifier, imagined that the cartoon figures with guitars were performing inside telephone booths. Naturally it was with sadness that I learned of the death on Saturday of Jack Bruce. Here’s a nice picture of the heaviest band in the world, taken by Art Kane for Rolling Stone in 1967, with Bruce at right. Note that the cadaverous Ginger Baker, centre, is still going strong at 75.