Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thanksgiving tracklistings and reading

They say every blogpost tries to get you to buy something or click something. Here is one that doesnt. But it does ask you why we celebrate.  This page is easy to print and write chords, tabs, or notes on.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and how similarly we celebrate this festive season the world over is clear in the dhaks of the Bengali pujas, the turkey and the pumpkin patch, the lights of diwali, the carolers with their guitars slung over their shoulders and hoods up, the anniversary fervor of the gakkai members, the widely accepted birth of christ, the year end, and the new year crackers.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd And the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Of course it sounds entirely different when you hear Celine Dion , Jackie Evancho, Josh Groban, Pavarotti, or Bocello or even Michael McManus. Which is your favorite? The one from Glee? Leave a comment, and then read on for the rest of the Cantique de Noel.

For those of you more fond of listening, but totally not this song, google celine dione i drove all night acapella video! Link from youtube below.  Don't buy it, let it remain rare.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
So led by light of A star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men From Orient land.

The King of Kings Lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials Born to be our friend.
He knows our need, To our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us To love one another;
His law is love And His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break For the slave is our brother;
And in His name All oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy In grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us Praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dizzy Gillespie is 93

Dizzy Gillespie: The Best Of Odyssey - 1945-1952
John Birks Gillespie (aka Dizzy cuz of his foolery) played the trumpet and was one of the key figures in the birth of "bebop" jazz.

Along with Teddy Hill and Lionel Hampton, he went on to lead his own band just as did Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis.  

A practitioner of Bahai faith, his contribution to contemporary musical expression as an instrument of social change goes far beyond genres and timelines.

My one track for the desert island, Sonny Side Up.

Google celebrates with this doodle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Paul McCartney and the Wings: Band on the Run, Deluxe edition 2010

Band on the Run was among my favorite albums as a teen.  The Beatles were done.  John, Paul and George were doing their own things.  My friends and I were listening to Jethro Tull, Return to Forever, Pink Floyd and John McLaughlin.  Venus and Mars, Ram, and BOTR were the three big releases from Paul and Linda in those times, better known as the Wings.  Later, as a grown man, the 25th anniversary edition reminded me of how precious that album was to me.  
Band on the Run
On its cover, along with Paul, Linda and Denny Laine, were other “convicts” including Christopher Lee and James Coburn, caught in the beam of a searchlight, the inspiration for the poster of the animated film, Madagascar years later.  The Apple label with its two sides (inside and outside of apple) mesmerized me as did the storytelling of the songs.  

The Helen Wheels track, which showed up on the album only on the anniversary reissue, but was there on the US and International release, and the first US issues did not list it in the tracks, leading it to be called the hidden track.  The 25th anniversary issue contained a lot of subtext and comments, and is of value only to completionists and students  (I consider myself both) of music of our times.  I felt it was a lot of time and attention to be demanded from a casual listener.  Well, you do save time not having to turn the disc over, though.

The charm of the post Beatles music is how the four went on to live their lives, creative and otherwise, and the tweets that they left behind in their songs.  Harrison had chosen a clear path, as had John and Yoko, and Ringo was happy behind his kit and out of the spotlight.  Paul with his above average bass playing skills, set new benchmarks for popular socially aware song and songwriting.  The who did it better game between the two namesakes of the phenomenon called Lennon-McCartney would last but a few years, as they continued to create their iconic oeuvre.

BOTR, Jet, Bluebird, Mrs Vandebilt, Let me roll it, Mamunia, No Words, Helen Wheels, Picasso’s last words, and 1985, and the 1974 B Side of Helen Wheels in the later reissue, Country Dreamer.  A similar tight act many years later was Tug of War.  BOTR easily remains a critical landmark album, in spite of not containing much of either his best or most popular songs.
Tug of WarVenus and Mars
Mom, Dad, and we recently learned what it meant, even if for a while, to be the band on the run.  Hence it is a wonderful time to wait for the 3 CD 1 DVD combo Deluxe edition releasing on November 2, 2010.  You can get it from amazon by clicking here 

you will also want to read
review of paul mccartney’s chaos and creation in the backyard
tribute to john lennon on his 70th birthday
Band On The Run [Deluxe Edition - 3CD+1DVD Combo] 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vitoria Suite: Paco de Lucia Wynton Marsalis

Vitoria Suite

Released earlier this year in Europe to wide acclaim, Vitoria Suite releases today as a 2-CD + DVD set in the United States on EmArcy/Universal.

Vitoria Suite is a 12-part work, the structure inspired by the 12 measures of the blues.

Composer Wynton Marsalis uses the impulse of the blues as a foundation to jointly explore the jazz and blues of North America and the indigenous Basque music and flamenco of Spain.  Paco de Lucia brings his magic to the journey.

Support Jazz at the Lincoln Center. That would be nice.

Get this from Amazon.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Happy Birthday, John Lennon!

There is no better way to capture the essence of this prophet of peace, who went from abandonment to the heights of acceptance, from violence and aggression to giving peace a chance, and who lost his life to a jealous fan’s bullet, than to let him speak for himself.  

Imagine there's no Heaven, It's easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky
Imagine all the people, Living for today

Imagine there's no country, It isn't hard to do, Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too
Imagine all the people, Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one

Read my full post on Lennon's 70th birthday.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Diamonds and Rust: Joan Baez

The commentary is classic and worth a read. One of the LPs I owned and loved.  I am in the process of writing this piece, and would appreciate comments on her recent outings.

Diamonds & RustDiamonds & Rust - MFSL Original Master RecordingDiamonds & Rust [Vinyl]

It took me over a couple of months to be able to come back to starting writing about Joan, as Jan 9 draws closer, and I think of her more and more, more and more of the time.

The pain of lyrics like those of D&R, Jesse Come Home, and In the Quiet Morning (not from the D&R release though) is something that one can totally identify with.  For me, D&R was more of discovering love songs by a folk and protest icon.  My personal adventures, both before and after, have caused her songs of love and longing to be very deeply imprinted on my life.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Janis Joplin, a Blue deeper

John Lennon received Janis Joplin’s gift for his 30th birthday after she died on October 4, 1970.  Along with Mercedes Benz, her recording of Happy Trails to send to Lennon for his birthday about a week away, was the last song she would sing.  Forever plagued with a poor self image and filled with distrust and doubt, Janis died without knowing that her songs would live on, to be discovered and re-discovered, to be revered and imitated, for generations to come.  

Pearl (Exp)Essential Janis Joplin

My first exposure to the music of Janis was as a kid at Trincas in Kolkata on nights they’d allow kids in, while Pam Crain sang Move Over and Summertime, and then as a teenager listening to Anjum Katyal at Calcuta School of Music with Nondon Bagchi and friends singing Cry, Cry Baby.  I was curious to hear what these gut wrenching renditions sounded like in the original.  Woodstock on a Sunday morning at Metro was the first time I saw and heard her.  It was part of a much more overwhelming experience but it remained etched in my mind, and my friends and I set out looking for the music of Janis Joplin.
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