You can see and meet Sam Walker, producer of the mega-film about Arthur Brown,with his great band Turning Green at the Lansdown Arms, Station Hill, Lewes on 26th August 2017 - if you never saw them in their heyday - see them now in this one-off wonder.... https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Turning%20Green
Woi? Tis them ole Kyngs …awl kikkin awf agin an they’m playin thairn nstrimints loik nobuddy’s biznis.
Lessus take a lissin an see woss appinin……
Thairs big ol Kyng Cliff an Li’lole Kyng Monty fiddlinwiv themthair quaybords loik thairs no tmorrer – all anoodlin an eplinkitty plonkin …an ears Kyng Tony mumbling thway ee normly do. Wait…..ole Kyngs Andy , Steve, Trev n Grame juss popt upp making allsortsa rowz n wotnot. Sounz alroit reely. Butt summut’s a-missin’….wot iz it? Ah Oi knose – tis lanky ole Kyng Stu on is mafforgn thingmajig. Ahhh – yer ee iz – now thetz propper fair dinkum Oi’d say….Ow bowchew?
Nex wuns a noysyer wun cawled ‘Octopus Stenchyn’ – coo don’it jus!? Ole Stu’s givnit a guddun yer .– moi gawd! [Loik OMG].
Dyew member them ole three jazz fellers - Coalman n Coaltrain n Albutailer n Sunraa n stuff bak inth ol dayz wen they’m all plain at wuns an yer coudnt make edner tale bowt it?... this iz wun ov them thyngs – bless me ifi taint propper gudnall. N’Andy’s givin it sum wollop too like ol capn beefart wen ee yewsta get his ole saxy thingmy owt –‘ neonmeate dream of a noctafish’ – member that un? – or wuz it ‘Air Pi’? Anywayz – twuz grate – jus loik thisun.
Nowz gon quoit – well wooda bin if Ole Steve adnt started up agin wivis orny wotnot. An Toe-kneez hollerin summut bowt sumthyn wotever thet iz.Sorta funqueeI recn….gorra reel groov t’wit. Mor loik they Mutthers Venshun thet yewsta be – ya knose – ‘Kyng-Kong’,’ Mr Greenbeenz’an swon an sworf. Prittyt neet, pretty gud. Enz up wi wun o them feedbaccy thynngs
O eyup, yeerz nuvver wun o th noyzy wuns. ‘Byrdman Wypers’ – wot thels thet? Ahh… tis loik wun o them Orkquinned thyngomeez - all spyshipz n stuff. Woooooof! Soitin sortuv.
Nummba for,’Wrong Head Collider’ – kent git rand their fensee spellin an wotnot. Butt Toneez grumbling agin, Andeez doin overthyme on is sexofone– I ope thym payin im extras. Swun o then reel swampee wunz loik oi loik. Nowt two it reely – Monteez runnin is finger upndown th keez,n’ tuthas arawl joinin in playin al throng notes asuzyall. Clevver thay are – jus banging thinstrimintz loik it meanz summut and we aff tdo al thwerk nterprittin it [cor thet werra long werd – gonna efta sit dan a minnit].
Ahh! Yer cumz nummba foiv ‘Big Black Garage’ [thetd bin Big Blek Garij if yewwnme ad rote it]. Toneez shouting summut thet sounz loik reel werdz this toim – stil kent mykem owt. Stu’s a-blonaway thare – sands purdy – sorta spaysrocky n weerd..
At that time Rebecka was operating out of her native Sweden and I rather disparagingly suggested that by releasing the CD on the somewhat esoteric eurojazz label PROPHONE, although recorded in LA, the chances of it being a worldwide smash were somewhat limited - which was a shame because I felt her voice and song-writing deserved a much wider audience than she was likely to get.
In the intervening years, it seems that Rebecka has, actually done rather well and transferred her centre of operation to New York City and changed label to Losen Records. She still returns to her Scandinavian forest for the purpose of writing her music. Now, this month of May - time for spring flowers to blossom - she has released her new album 'Whirlwind' whichI hope will blossom for her giving her the wider acclaim that I think she so richly deserves.
I also previously suggested that Reebecka fits more into the canon created by singer-songwriters such as Carole King than that of the usual conventional jazz scene. I very much stand by that statement on hearing the new material and by her own admission she references Joni Mitchell in her writing. And although she has carried several of the musicians from the 1st album forward to this one, and their pedigrees are largely working with jazzers, names such as Sting and Chaka Khan also pop up among them. I feel the crossover with the soft-rock and folk genres is so strong that it would serve Rebecka well to get her publicist to make rather more of the fact - unless of course she's happy to remain in what seems to me something of a ghetto.
The above is very much reflected in the song-writing which I feel is largely beyond the realm of lyrics normally associated with Jazz. Take Track 1o 'Hmm' for instance - this would happily fit onto a Joni Mitchell album of the 'Blue' era which most people would say was well ahead of the time when Joni was claiming to be a Jazz artist [albeit in the same way as Leonard Cohen might!]
On the other hand, Track 11 'My Shining Hour' does contain a bit of scat-ty singing and, throughout the album the very good instrumentation is very much into the 'lounge' style.I must say however I never felt I was being hit by the whirlwind promised by the record's title - perhaps whirlwinds have a very gentle nature it NYC -it might better been entitled 'Eddy'!
Anyway, perhaps I'm making too much of this issue of genre - I'm just concerned that knowledge of her excellent work should be more universally acknowledged. However, whatever the general consensus on where the record belongs, it needs to be said that Rebecka is an excellent artist and her second album shows a good natural progression beyond her first and is deserving of as wide a hearing as possible.
This album consists of 3 works, dramatically illustrating the wide spectrum of different musics that Paul Lansky is renowned for bringing us:
Tracks 1-11. Contemplating Weather (2013), a choral cantata based on poems by Jonathan Greene, performed by Western Michigan Chorale and Birds on a Wire, conducted by Kimberley Dunn Adams
Tracks 12-15. Travel Diary (2007), a percussion work performed by the Meehan/Perkins Duo
Tracks 16-21. It All Adds Up (2005) a piano 4-hander, performed by Quattro Mani
Contemplating Weather almost immediately has one thinking of the scenic wilderness scenes conjured in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ using music by Ligeti, one also thinks of Penderecki masses and the divine ‘Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima’. Sometimes like Gregorian Chant: sometimes reminiscent of Scott Joplin rags, George Gershwin tone-poems or even Aaron Copeland landscapes , this piece darts from one style to another: now dark and threatening, now jolly and dancing – one begins to see the relevance of the work’s title – how weather has different moods which create light and dark skies, sunshine, rain, hail, snow etc. if one has travelled in countries such as Wales or Iceland, one is often told the weather can run through its complete repertoire in a single day – bright sunlight one minute; blizzard five minutes later…. There are pure contemplative moments which have one wondering what weather this represents and I come down to the conclusion that it’s describing Humanity’s relationship with The Weather when one simply sits looking out of the window watching the clouds go by, watching the cumulonimbus build up & wondering if there will be a storm or will it just skirt by taking its wrath somewhere else…. ‘Contemplating Weather’ is both a painting in parts of the different moods created by weather and a kaleidoscope of the feelings and reflections we experience when observing the landscape presenting different facets according to how Thor, Zeus, Horus or Indra are feeling at any particular time. It’s an excellent and significant work which is a welcome addition to the canon of expressive music.
Travel Diary So…..how to describe this? Gamelan meets Zdeněk Miler’s Mole character? I’m really not sure. There’s a wide variety of percussive effects going on here sometimes individually, elsewhere in concert – and every aspect of it is interesting , effective and, most importantly, musical. But, unlike ‘Contemplating Weather’s impressions of highly visual material, I’d say this piece is almost entirely abstract, any pictures conjured drawn from one’s knowledge of, say, the aforementioned Mole’ various adventures. The moods are generally quite light [even when the percussion is heavy, if you see what I mean] so none of the seriousness of Steve Reich’s ‘Drumming ‘ for instance. Interestingly, however, the abstraction is somewhat lacking in emotion - it’s rather like a dream which is neither fairy-tale nor nightmare – it just happens – maybe like the view from the window of a train – one has no connection to the place one sees passing before one’s eyes – it’s just there…. This means one hears it without the commitment that Contemplating Weather evokes. It’s in another dimension. One doesn’t feel part of it and therefore one reacts with a neutrality that is unfamiliar – yet one can still appreciate it, like it even – and I do. A stranger in a strange land can still enjoy what he experiences although it does not equate with his normal existence. Curious….
It All Adds Up This piece reminds me of a soundtrack to a silent movie. I have heard similar music by Josiah Wordsworth – but this being a four-hander means twice as much content is possible per unit time. Once again Paul Lansky illustrates hid diversity and ability to change not just with the wind but it the blink of an eye – just the precise requirement for a fast moving film with constantly changing subject matter and scenery. Totally gripping fascinating stuff – just supply your own pictures.
So we have an album of 3 extremely different works here. One wonders if such variety is acceptable to every listener even if they do have a liking for the offbeat. All I can say is: ‘It works for me.’
from Becky Starobin at Bridge Records.....
Yours is the only review I have seen that captures my feelings about 'Contemplating Weather', which I consider a deeply important musical statement. Thank you!
I have forwarded your review to Paul Lansky and the performers.
May I have your permission to tweet and facebook it? With appreciation, Becky
I first heard of Laurie Anderson when Noel Edmunds introduced 'O Superman' to the UK. I learnt more after I was lucky enough to win the box set of LPs of 'United States I-IV' in a Radio Brighton competition back in the 80s. I bought the excellent 'Big Science' LP which was a mini-version of US 1-4, and about 4 following Albums which never quite matched Big science and it's massive predecessor.
The first time I saw her perform, it was 'Moby Dick' ay tjhe Barbican about 2000 I think. It was a creditable performance but somehow quite unexciting....I admit I was somewhat disappointed.
Last summer I saw her a second time when she appeared in Brighton Festival 2015 - again I found her story-telling disappointing, feeling it was lightweight,terribly disjointed, unentertaining and,frankly, lazy. I put this down to having not properly recovered from her quite recent loss of husband Lou Reed.
Last night I went to this year's Brighton Festival very excellent presentation 'Song Conversation' in which Laurie led a small band which also included Nik Bartsch on prepared keyboards and piano and Eivind Aarset on guitars and electronics. Besides playing numbers of their own [individual and collective compositions] they also played pieces by a number of other artists and composers including Lou Reed, Arvo Part and Leonard Cohen. The show hung together brilliantly, one tune blending into the next seamlessly, despite being of completely different mood or instrumental combination.... As far as I was concerned Laurie Anderson had reclaimed her rightful position in my pantheon of superstars.
The, this evening. I attended a solo show entitled 'Slideshow' and on arrival the stage set-up including a screen and an armchair reminded me of last year's second-rate exhibition.
After an opening piece on her ever present violin [ now used in conjunction with a variety of sound modification devices, rather than her former practice of building separate instruments for each different effect she wished to create [harking back to US1-4 days] she launched into story-telling mode by telling us how she'd thought of doing stand-up comedy rather than musical work because she'd have to carry much less equipment around from venue to venue, but she only knew 2 jokes - and she told us both during the first half-hour of the show.
However I soon found my misgivings were unfounded as her tales of working with NASA, prisoners around the world and many other encounters in her fascinating life and exploits trying to bring some of her utterly mad concepts to fruition. her delivery was smooth and punchy and although there was one small technological glitch, she dealt with it both professionally and without fuss of any kind.
Oh... and by the way she was very funny indeed - there's a second career in stand-up waiting for her any time she likes!