Wednesday, December 7, 2011
If Beethoven is considered the main genius in classical music, then Esquivel would be the Beethoven of the 20th Century. Okay most of the songs weren't his own compositions, but his arrangements are completely unpredictable in terms of instrumentation, placement, and often zooming from one speaker to the other. I can't put it into words well, but this is instant good mood music, never fails.
On the record two orchestras were put in two different studios for complete stereo separation with all kinds of overdubs all over the place. There's even a live, 2 studio, piano delay, that sounds infinitely better than any delay pedal ever has.
I almost always prefer mono records, but not Esquivel. So many other groups don't know how to use stereo, hell listen to a lot of 60's pop/rock albums and you can't help but wonder what the hell the engineer was thinking. Esquivel is the master some sort of goofy art form of stereo mixing and arrangement. Too bad musicians these days take everything, especially themselves, so damn seriously, leaving music this fun to the past.
This is a masterpiece of wackiness.
All the tracks on the record blur together, so I just did each side on its own track. This is mostly more circusy versions of songs from "Juliet of the Spirits" and "8 1/2" with Italian and French clown dialogue, a few other tunes, and nicely rounded off with "Ebb Tide," a very fun record.
Yet another in the series of wonderful Nino Rota Fellini scores.
Seems like this made for TV movie is looked over way too much, Fellini fans who only like a few of his films really confuse me.
From the liner notes:
"It is all intricate and tragic and superbly simple-minded. As if to say: the clown is not dead and cannot die, but perhaps the world that cherished the clown is dead, the world of those who saw the clown in themselves. And that- the feeling that most people, so serious now, have forgotten that we are all partly clowns- is sad indeed."
La Mer- Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos
Iberia- The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy
Two great performances of two great pieces by one great composer on one scratchy record.
This copy is a bit rough, surely there's some surface noise from the 78 mastering and then the surface noise from this old LP. Not bad though, no skips or anything.
There's something so lazy about Sleepy John Estes, and I sure love lazy music. Great old blues.
Yet another "if the river was whiskey and I was a duck" song plus other nuggets of wisdom like "life is too short to worry about the one you love."
If Blind Willie Johnson is my favorite in harsh blues, Sleepy John is favorite of the lighter side...too lazy to get all worked up. Yep.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Two collections of great overblown energy from Bollywood.
I'm a bit partial to Vol. 2, probably because that's the one I heard first.
I must say that a lot of jazz really doesn't do that much for me, or maybe I just haven't heard the right stuff. The combination of Cuban jazz combined with 50's American improv. jazz makes for a good mix to me, but I have been watching a lot of Film Noir lately...a time when I'm much more vulnerable to jazz. It also helps that this is way less masturbatory than a lot of jazz sounds to me and with passionate performances, atmospheric qualities, song-ish elements, and the persistent energy, of the Cuban side, it can't help but hold my ear. Thankfully, not too flute heavy either.