Saturday, December 29, 2012

...further live broadcasts...

... ah yes. järvenpää... now, what i had originally meant to talk about, which was the very first thing i had been struck by just before i started thinking of desert island discs, or whatever: the way in which all manner of skewed and bent attacks - smears and slurs and satan alone knows what else - take both the listener far out into the hinterlands, and very quickly about it, but (take) also the ensemble beyond itself, into a group-identity configuration which transcends its localised and (putatively) lowly origins. - this within just a few minutes, so that by the time five minutes came up, it already felt longer (and the effect increased at a exponential rate over three quarters of an hour!). yeah, best-of motherfucker, this would indeed then be the kind of "excitement in the mind" which triggers that sort of self-serving, masturbatory thinking and scheming and stroking (*1).

so i actually got the chance to revisit those few mins today - then jumped quickly ahead to about five mins before i got cut off last time, i.e. to the overlap between comps. 144 & 145... and picked up from there. the second half of the cd continues to be equally thrilling, fulfilling and generally kelsey-defying as the first; and once again, in the cold (bloody cold actually, and rainy yet again *2) light of a new day, nothing happens to make me change my mind and take this one off the new shortlist. (and yes, i will eventually make it public... but not just yet eh)

- i really think it's a remarkable one-off, and although the style and sound is of course recognisable, it genuinely doesn't sound like any other album or recording of b's that i have yet heard, so i am raising a glass already just for that. (many hundreds, thousands of miles on the clock by now, let's be clear about this.) like i said last time out, buy this one now if you haven't got it, 'cos like comp. 192, once it's gone it'll be gone, at least for a while. (the duo with lauren newton has been unavailable for a few years now. utterly memorable music, needs to be back in print really... hint hint) - but what of the other one i mentioned, that time before..?  this was 11 compositions (duo) 1995, duets (yet again with the duets - but you know what, i never ever get tired of these) with american koto student brett larner. well, this one i didn't buy from the label in the end, cos amazon had a like-new copy which needed rehoming, and far more than just saving a few quid, this part of my collecting (giving a perfectly healthy, but unloved braxton cd a good happy home for the rest of its life) is one which i am always content to indulge, but again, copies of this are not necessarily that easy to come by so if you want it, again, it won't ever be going in the sale so just buy it already. the question is, is this one of similar quality?

just listening to this one now, of course, hence the follow-up live broadcast as it were... if you squint your eyes you may even hear the music in the ghostly astral distance, it's after all playing to use "as we speak" - and yes, it's very good indeed, beautiful and never-conventionally-tonal playing from larner the learner, and even by b's standards, he was having a very good day when this one was cut, and of course one can hear here (as always, mind) the way in which the maestro himself never stops learning, especially when one of these relaxed, open-ended duet masterclasses is in session. the material is very well chosen (again, as usual) and each piece gets fully turned inside-out at least once in the course of a very lively and sympathetic reading. b's horns really were captured very well on this date, and larner's turns out (like lewis's or gino robair's) to be a natural voice to match our man's music. familiar faves such as comp. 74a (which i still haven't yet dealt with properly... i know, i know...) get rotated through the kaleidoscope here and comp. 72c is just crazy, and rivetting with it. i will be happy to come and hang out here again, most strange a temple though it be, for the vibe is indeed very spiritually uplifting, and the music fresh and thrilling. yep, again - buy now or regret later. both the finnish disc and this one have nice covers too, and will grace any serious collection ;-)  (*3)

* see comments

1 comment:

centrifuge said...

1. but then, obviously, it takes one to know one... :)

2. apparently 2012 is set to be declared the wettest british year since records began, and if that's not a case of plus ca change..., etc etc

3. it's one of those elephant in the room things at times, but leo records is not always synonymous with tasteful cover design and at times (if the cover is particularly cheap and nasty) that whole the-back-cover-is-always-our-logo business becomes a little grating; but equally, there are some really nice little packages - and the larner duets is definitely one of the latter. eight-page booklet, inc. four pages of notes by mr lock (my "elder uncle" as it were), and two pages just for the composition diagrams, which is always welcome, both to the eye and for information. jarvenpaa - well, the booklet isn't quite as nice but with those colourful title-emblems on the front it still looks nice and besides, the music really renders any objections irrelevant. the larner duets really do make a gorgeous all-in package, so get in there while stocks last.