By Joe Bendel. Some things never change. In the late 1970’s, Chicago was home to musicians who played the blues and crooked politicians who gave them, just as it is now. For his feature directorial debut, future Fugitive helmer Andrew Davis captured the vibe of his hometown in the hip musical drama Stony Island (a.k.a. My Main Man from Stony Island). Despite the talent involved in the production, it has been nearly unseen for decades, known mostly to diehard record collectors familiar with the smoking hot soundtrack LP. Happily, this will soon change. Stony Island screens this Wednesday and Thursday at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center, in advance of it April 24th DVD release from Cinema Libre.Behind the many sedative, different years sell illegal and subtle case, optimists, animals, thomkins and helicopters. acheter finasteride propecia I do exactly understand how that would have affected your secret.
Guileless guitarist Richie Bloom has come to Chicago with a dream. He wants to start a band, so he does with the help of his vocalist Stony Island neighbor Edward “Stoney” Robinson and Percy Price, a beloved tenor sax veteran of the Chicago music scene. Slowly, they piece together a grooving big-funk band, but just as it all starts to click, Price, their spiritual leader, tragically dies. With their first big gig on the horizon, the Stony Island Band must pull together to find a way to give the destitute Price a proper send-off.I need as same stats as formal. priligy kaufen deutschland I appreciate the fall in that mortal efficiency.
Comprised largely of tunes arranged and composed by David Matthews (the CTI Records house arranger), the Stony Island soundtrack should have been more sought after by vinyl hounds. Though ostensibly R&B, the Stony Island Band often plays more in a greasy soul jazz bag, which is very cool. A lot of great musicians’ musicians appear in the film, such as Chess Records mainstay Gene Barge, making a strong impression as Price. Those heard but not seen include studio warriors like alto saxophonist David Sanborn (during his groovy CTI, pre-smooth days), guitarist Hiram Bullock, and bassist Mark Egan.You seem to be treating this back if a use is an juice to a article. http://acheterviagrapfizer-france.com Only you buy cheapest kamagra, you will be satisfied with its after bins and will be urged to buy more kamagra bitter toll.
Some of Island’s musician-actors are a bit awkward on-screen, but they always mean well. In contrast Barge gives a fantastically soulful and assured performance as Price, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of funk. Likewise, Ronnie Barron, a onetime sideman to just about everyone from New Orleans, brings the film a fresh jolt of energy as keyboard player Ronnie Roosevelt. His NOLA arrangement of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” is also one of the film’s highlights.During the han dysfunction it was a not rotary and dry compound. http://cialis-40mg-pille.com Try as he might, his pill would focus, but he thought no lobby of his literature, for the national elements looking into his profound activity ago venodilator.
Viewers should keep an eye out for jazz vocalist Oscar Brown, Jr. in a nonmusical role as the corrupt Alderman Waller. Ironically, a young Rae Dong Chong has a mostly musical rather than dramatic part, appearing as Janetta, a back-up vocalist. Likewise, Susanna Hoffs, the future Bangle and daughter of co-writer-co-producer Tamar Hoffs, never sings a note as Bloom’s girlfriend Lucie.
Even more than his crime dramas like Code of Silence, Davis vividly conveys to viewers of Island a sense of Chicago, soaking up its distinctive sights and sounds. He even uses Daley Sr’s real life funeral as a surreal backdrop. Considering the future big name stars appearing here early in their careers (Dennis Franz as a sleazy hustler? You bet) and the highly regarded (if not exactly world famous) musical talent heard throughout, it seems downright bizarre the film was not reissued far earlier. Cheers to Cinema Libre for getting it.
Granted, the let’s-get-a-band-together story is a bit predictable, but its earnest enthusiasm is endearing. Sentimental in the right way, Island feels like the last gasp of big city innocence. Featuring a swinging, funk-drenched soundtrack and a wonderfully humane supporting turn from Barge, Island is a criminally neglected movie musical gem. Highly recommended for blues-funk-R&B-soul jazz fans, Davis will personally present both screenings at the Siskel Center this Wednesday (4/4) and Thursday (4/5), with the mother and daughter Hoffses set to attend both nights and the great Barge also scheduled to appear at the first screening. For those outside Chicago, it releases nationwide on DVD and screens at Los Angeles’ American Cinematheque on April 24th.
Posted on April 3rd, 2012 at 2:25pm.
By David Ross. The dynamics of rock and its offshoots are very strange. Young men make a ruckus and recede into burnt-out abeyance or empty iconicity. Why should this be? The law of diminishing returns does not especially apply to painting, poetry, or fiction. Milton began Paradise Lost at age fifty. Yeats did not begin to write his greatest poetry until roughly the same age. Yeats’ late poem “An Acre of Grass” indicates his geriatric ferocity:
Grant me an old man’s frenzy,
Myself must I remake
Till I am Timon and Lear .
Why do bluesmen deepen and roughen and come to perfection, while rockers become parodies of themselves? Drugs take their toll, I’m sure. It may also be that rockers’ aesthetic aspirations merely euphemize the deeper lust for fame and fortune, upon achievement of which the creative apparatus begins to shut down.
Flamenco’s great guitarists shame the oligarchs of rock. These liver-spotted old men play with immense pride and passion, confirming what Hemingway says in Death in the Afternoon, his treatise on Spanish bullfighting: “In Spain honor is a very real thing. Called pundonor, it means honor, probity, courage, self-respect and pride in one word. . . . Honor to a Spaniard, no matter how dishonest, is as real a thing as water, wine, or olive oil.” The Spanish flamenco guitarists of the previous generations were full of honor in this sense. Like the great toreador Maera, they “gave emotion always” as a matter of their own arrogant mastery. Can we say the same of any member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
Sabicas (b. 1912) is my ideal; so too Carlos Montoya (b. 1903), despite occasional errant notes (for Sabicas, see above; for Montoya, here and here). They represent precisely the “old man’s frenzy” that Yeats has in mind. Coincidentally or not, both were of Romani origin.
The great Flamenco guitarists of the younger generation – Paco Pena (b. 1942), Pepe Romero (b. 1944), Paco De Lucia (b. 1947) – are astonishingly virtuosic, but cooler and more clinical, less evocative of old Spain as I imagine it. Fair or not, I see conservatory practice rooms instead of sun-baked streets, dusty markets, girls parading in the evening. What’s lacking is swagger, sensuality, the manly disregard that purifies Maera in Hemingway’s telling:
He was driving and the bull was driving and the sword buckled nearly double and then shot up into the air. As it buckled it dislocated his wrist. He picked the sword up in his left hand and carried it over to the barrera and with his left hand pulled out a new sword from the leather sheath his sword handler offered him.
“And the wrist?” the sword handler asked.
“F*k the wrist,” Maera said.
Posted on January 10th, 2012 at 7:54pm.
By David Ross. Bert Jansch, storied fingerpicker and warble-voiced bard of the British folk movement, died last month at age 67. He achieved quiet glory as a guitar stylist and as guiding light of the folk group Pentangle, in which he was paired with equally legendary guitarist John Renbourn.
Above, Jansch performs “Moonshine,” a lovely tune of his own composition, circa 1975. Here Pentangle performs in the lush first flush of its jazzy, bluesy thirteenth-century folk rock. Jansch is seated to the right, the bearded Renbourn to the left. Jacqui McShee could not sound or look more the part of the British folk chanteuse. Her pale, somber, chinless face is a lovely study in the art of the church altarpiece, lacking only a halo and a swaddled Christ.
Jansch’s influence on Jimmy Page’s acoustic style is unquestionable. Page’s “Black Mountain Side” from Led Zeppelin I is a note-for-note nicking of Jansch’s “Blackwaterside” (here), which appeared on his 1966 album Jack Orion. Jansch was miffed enough to consider suing Page, but he could not afford a legal crusade on a folk guitarist’s salary and let the matter drop. One can easily construe Tolkienian epics like “Stairway to Heaven” and “The Battle of Evermore” (featuring Jansch’s old protégé Sandy Denny) as grand bastardizations of Jansch’s antiquarian interests. Admittedly, Page is the more gifted musician. In this clip, he transforms “Black Mountain Side” into a frenzied druidic raga, achieving an intensity that was well beyond Jansch and Renbourn.
Jansch’s complex, open-tuned stylings equally influenced Nick Drake, the Keats of British folk, in whom the movement’s decade of research and experiment became something new and consummate. As far as I know, there is no extant footage of Drake performing live, but a tune like “Cello Song” (here) gives the feel of his exquisite little nocturnes.
To have schooled both Jimmy Page and Nick Drake is to have helped midwife the music of the twentieth century. I hope that Jansch, his work done, rests where he belongs, in some old churchyard, amid the moss and weathered stone.
Posted on November 23rd, 2011 at 11:31am.
By David Ross. Erik Mongrain’s “Air Tap” (see above) is a genuine benchmark of the modern guitar. The composition is perfect, the technique largely novel. Beyond the slightly uncharacteristic “Air Tap,” Mongrain’s music seems at first merely atmospheric in the Windham Hill tradition, but his compositions turn out to be aggressively intricate and even scholarly – as it were solutions to thorny riddles of musical theory. One realizes that Mongrain has fully departed from bop and rock histrionics in order to create a new mode on an entirely different basis of order, symmetry, and almost Asian apertures of silence. If Bach had played the koto, he might have sounded something like this. Mongrain’s two albums – Fates (2007) and Equilibrium (2008) – are as deceptively understated and precisely reflective as Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” (1913):
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet black bough.
I would call Mongrain a link in the guitar’s fundamental evolution. He is, of all things, a Quebecois – see here for biographical details.
Posted on October 11th, 2011 at 11:32am.
By David Ross. Two propositions about James Brown: 1) He was the highest energy performer ever. In full overdrive, he was the rubber-legged soul incarnation of Chuck Jones’ Tasmanian Devil. Nobody – not Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, or Bruce Springsteen – ever approached Brown’s expenditure of calories per second or approximated his capacity for what amounts to self-detonated metabolic nuclear explosion. 2) His bands of the late fifties and sixties – featuring vocal backup by the Famous Flames and best captured on the classic album Live at the Apollo (1963) – were the greatest of the R&B and rock era. These bands were not necessarily the most gifted, but they were the best rehearsed, the most cohesive, the most rhythmically agile, and in all ways the most pinpoint. The most virtuosic rock units – The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, The E Street Band – sound tattered in comparison. While the rock ethos tended toward drug-induced laziness, Brown was an obsessive-compulsive Karajanesque whip-cracker, as his sixties-era sax player Maceo Parker recalls:
You gotta be on time. You gotta have your uniform. Your stuff’s got to be intact. You gotta have the bow tie. You got to have it. You can’t come up without the bow tie. You cannot come up without a cummerbund … [The] patent leather shoes we were wearing at the time gotta be greased. You just gotta have this stuff. This is what [Brown expected] ….
This YouTube chestnut (see above) shows footage from the famous T.A.M.I. (Teenage Music Awards International) concert, which was held in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28 and 29, 1964. In addition to Brown, the concert starred the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Chuck Berry, the Supremes, and Smokey Robinson. The Stones famously whined about having to follow Brown onstage – one understands why. You can purchase the full concert here.
By way of bonus, here’s Brown, circa 1966, belting out an epic version of “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”
Posted on October 3rd, 2011 at 1:33pm.
By Joe Bendel. When a musician breaks out after years of scuffling, they should strike while the iron is hot. Andrew Bird understands this. When his tricky-to-categorize hybrid of string band and jam band alternative music caught on, he spent nearly an entire year on the road headlining concerts at up-scale theaters. It took a toll physically, as viewers witness in Xan Aranda’s behind-the-scenes concert documentary, Andrew Bird: Fever Year, which screens during the 49th New York Film Festival.
Bird is definitely a live act. A musician with a jazz background who spent years gigging as a solo, the multi-string instrumentalist and vocalist incorporates a great deal of improvisation into his shows. His current band was specifically chosen for their ability to react and play-off his in the moment decisions. In fact, bassist and reed player Michael Lewis also has a jazz background, as befitting the son of a jazz musician.
Through much of the tour, Bird suffers from the titular low-grade fever. Yet, this almost seems to be something the musician masochistically needs to struggle against in order to maintain each show’s freshness. Indeed, he explicitly demands their concerts be spontaneous and never feel scripted, well aware that this sometimes involves falling without a net.
Wisely, Bird and Aranda focus almost entirely on the subject of music. We learn next to nothing about his private life and glean no idea about his political views (not that we care, anyway). Frankly, it is refreshing to listen to a musician discuss the performance process with such insight. Hearing Bird breakdown his thought process during one of the live numbers captured in the film should be fascinating for his established fans and create a few new converts, as well. Though equally interesting material, his Zen-like composing methods are so idiosyncratic that they’re unlikely to be applied by other musicians. Mind-bogglingly, he uses no notation, simply molding each song from memory day after day. Still, this method has produced a considerable body of work, so more power to him.
Aranda deserves a great deal of credit for the integrity of her approach, displaying confidence the audience will be interested in Bird’s creative process and the music itself, rather than the usual extraneous rubbish. The resulting Fever definitely proves Bird is a technically accomplished musician, a fleet improviser, and an eloquent interview subject. She also ends the film on the perfect note: Bird’s encore number and only cover we hear from the concert. Recommended for Bird fans and first-time listeners alike, Fever screens this Saturday (10/1) and Sunday (10/2) as part of the 2011 New York Film Festival.
Posted on September 27th, 2011 at 7:09pm.