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granite mix sixteenth

And yet another mix of music from my collection which grows and grows. I selected a few tunes using Spotify the other night when I was round at a friend’s house which I’d never done before. Easy enough to find an artist then for simplicity’s sake I pressed shuffle play. It seemed to me that was a crap way of creating a mix. Without any knowledge the results soon debase to tedium. That’s why I have no interest in investing in a streaming service. As far as I’m concerned you’re far better in knowing and understanding your own collection. That’s not a rant just an observation.

Granite Mix 16
Artist Title Album
Echoes of Zion A Charge To Keep I Have Get On Board Little Children
Ravi Shankar Fire Night Improvisations
Bob Dylan Clothes Line Saga The Basement Tapes
Gato Barbieri El Dia Que Me Quieras Fénix
Back Door Askin’ The Way Back Door
Aretha Franklin Respect I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
John Surman Three Aspects A Biography of the Rev. Absalom Dawe
Michael Mantler When I Run Silence
Yochanan Hot Skillet Mama Sun Ra – The Singles
Geoffrey Toye The Haunted Ballroom Miniatures (British Light Music)
Kevin Ayers Eleanor’s Cake Which Ate Her Joy of a Toy
The Velvet Underground Guess I’m Falling In Love Live at the Gymnasium 1967
Stan Getz O Morro Nao Tem Vez Jazz Samba Encore!

Echoes of Zion a gospel quartet have been going since 1930. No upcoming events but they did a gig in October at Zion Grove Baptist Church in Atlanta.

I once sat a couple of rows behind Ravi Shankar at one of his daughter’s gigs. My first exposure to his music was probably his soundtrack to Jonathan Miller’s TV version of Alice in Wonderland in 1966 which was probably responsible for fostering a love of Indian classical music in me.

I’m not familiar with Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 hit song Ode To Billie Joe but after all you can enjoy Dylan & The Band’s song just for its own quirky calm inanities.

Gato Barbieri here in his usual passionate style swoops down with a version of Carlos Gardel’s eponymous song from his 1935 film.

In the summer of 1972 friends and I would range out to the North Yorkshire Moors to a lonely pub called the Lion on Blakey Ridge to see a band play in a packed bar. It was a classic case of being in the right place at the right time and listening to tracks like Askin’ The Way which they used play then brings it all back to me.

I love a lot of female singers but Aretha is the greatest.

The first John Surman album I bought was Westering Home which came out on a low-priced Island LP series, not brilliant quality vinyl but it still plays ok now I think – there was a distinctive black inside sleeve. He was already using overdubbing techniques then which were further developed during the S.O.S. (Skidmore, Osborne, Surman) days. This country it seems to me has never properly recognised one of its greatest musicians.

I’m very fond of the 3 words and music albums that Michael Mantler did. I think he did at least another one but I don’t have it and maybe it doesn’t exist, but the 3 I’m thinking of are No Answer, The Hapless Child and Silence from which this track comes. The last one is my favourite.

In the sleeve notes to the double CD of Sun Ra – The Singles there is the following description of Yochanan by blues researcher Dave Whiteis

He had an elastic face with big bulging eyes. He would contort his face into odd expressions and roll his eyes. He was very comical, very creative. Yochanan wore loud colored clothes – bright reds and yellows, or sun colors. He wore a turban and wore sandals all year round even when it was snowing. He never wore an overcoat no matter what the temperature. Never needed it he said because he was ‘the man from the sun’.

Geoffrey Toye’s ballet music is the oldest piece in the mix dating back to the thirties when it was produced with contributions from the legendary figures of Ninette de Valois and Robert Helpmann. It also goes the furthest back for me because this was a piece of music I heard frequently in my childhood, so when I rediscovered it when I bought a secondhand album called English Music some twenty or thirty years later it evoked an involuntary memory.

I first heard this song by Kevin Ayers on the Harvest Records sampler double album – Picnic – A Breath of Fresh Air. In my opinion it’s the best song on that album along with Syd Barrett’s Terrapin, but I would think that wouldn’t I.

I only heard for the first time the live recording of The Velvet Underground from 1967 last year, but all the tracks are great and it should be much better known. I particularly like the instrumental version of The Gift but didn’t choose that for this mix because… well probably because I often choose tracks by just randomly keying in some letters as a search string.

But I think I decided specifically to end the set with Stan Getz for some reason. Maybe not the nicest of guys by most accounts but he was a great musician and a great interpreter of the work of Jobim/Moraes.

granite 16

Categories
geology mixes music wells

Granite mix 4

Back in 1968 Aretha Franklin brought out an album which was called Aretha Now. I was 14 back then, my brother or my sister who were older than me had the album which contains 10 songs including Think; Say A Little Prayer; You Send Me and the one in this mix See Saw. I remember, I remember, I remember and I’m speechless.

Twenty-two years earlier in 1946 the BBC adapted Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost for radio and Gerald Finzi wrote the incidental music. Later he developed the music into an orchestral suite.

Over the last year or so I’ve been making some arrangements of a few instrumental pieces for solo guitar. One of the first ones I did was a setting of My Foolish Heart as played by Bill Evans. One day I hope to arrange Waltz For Debby for 2 guitars. There is much to…

Córdoba.
Lejana y sola.

Paco Peña is one of my favourite guitarists. This recording comes from a Radio 3 programme which I think was broadcast sometime in the 90s. I don’t know the details of what the piece is, but it is, of course, beautiful.

And I’m pretty sure this is Nicanor Zabaleta although I don’t seem to have the cd any more and can’t find anything obvious on amazon (no link I’ll let you try that one yourself). Somewhere I’ve got some radio recording of a Gillian Tingay recital which I can’t seem to lay my hands on. It was easier when it was all vinyl. Still they did seem to go mysteriously missing even then.

I have written before about the 1st time I saw Kevin Ayers & The Whole World back in 1971, but I’m not going to trot it out right now, maybe later sometime. That was the year that whatevershebringswesing came out. I remember still hearing some of it first on John Peel‘s Sounds of the Seventies. A bit disappointed at first. But Song From The Bottom Of A Well in itself would justify the whole thing and there’s a couple of other classics.

Kevin was “born 16 August 1944 in Herne Bay, Kent” according to Wikipedia. According to the same source John Douglas Surman was born exactly 2 weeks later in Tavistock, Devon. Well that’s strange isn’t it, perhaps not. I think John Douglas is the first repeat I’ve made in this Granite series but as far as I am concerned he is much under-appreciated and is one of the finest British musical creators of the last 50 years.

John Lee Hooker was born in 1917, the same year as my father. In fact 99 days after my father’s birthday. 9 + 9 is 18 and if you subtract 1 from 18 you get 17. This is starting to get scary.

I also don’t have much to say about Gulzar and his film, Lekin because I don’t know much about him, but I always loved this Bollywood stuff after hearing it in Brick Lane curry houses in the late 70s and early 80s. Here’s a link for some incredible excerpt from some film with music by Hridaynath Mangeshkar and Gulzar.

And also I heartily recommend this film of John Fahey playing in 1969.

And for the end we have Nico, well her son’s on vocals. I love the presence of his breath intakes in between the song’s verses, for me that’s duende.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 4
Artist Title Album
Aretha Franklin See Saw Aretha Now
Gerald Finzi Music for Love’s Labour’s Lost: Alegretto grazioso Finzi – A Centenary Collection
Bill Evans Trio My Foolish Heart Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Paco Peña Unknown Radio Broadcast
Salzedo Chanson dans la Nuit Unidentified Nicanor Zabaleta album
Kevin Ayers & The Whole World Song From The Bottom Of A Well whatevershebringswesing
John Surman The Snooper Withholding Pattern
John Lee Hooker Blues Before Sunrise Unknown JLH Compilation
Gulzar & Hridaynath Mangeshkar Kesariya Balaam Gulzar’s Lekin
John Fahey Unknown Tango I Remember Blind Joe Death
Nico Le Petit Chevalier Desertshore
Categories
mixes music

granite mix 1

A few years ago I put some mixes up on the web and each one took quite a lot of preparation. For a start the music was on vinyl and I had to digitise it. Then I researched each artist and wrote a little bit about them. And also scanned cover art and then loaded it all up and used html (nothing too complicated). Now I’ve worked out this easier way which even takes away the need for me to make any choices…or hardly any. I have this Brennan box that a friend gave me and I’ve loaded up a lot of music onto it. Like most things you can randomise it and it does a neat little segue between tracks. I know everyone does this sort of thing all the time anyway. Which means that I’m not exactly sure of the value of putting this up. In the end it’s like a radio show and I suppose those are still popular enough. I wanted to use some sort of name to associate with this process and hit on granite – not sure why exactly although if pressed I’m sure I could think of some reasons

Here’s the mix

Granite Mix 1
Artist Title Album
John Surman Druid’s Circle A Biography of the Rev Absalom Dawe
Jeru the Damaja Me or the Paper Wrath of the Math
Carla Bley End of Animals Escalator over the Hill
Wayne Shorter Night Dreamer Night Dreamer
Willie Walker Dupree Blues Ragtime Blues Guitar
Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans Who Cares You Know What I Mean
The Cramps Love Me Off The Bone
Gang Starr Work Moment of Truth
Sheppard A Solis Ortus Cardine n/a (radio broadcast)
Kronos Quartet & Asha Boshle Piya Tu Ab To Aaja You’ve Stolen My Heart