Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A couple of records that changed some things

I thought I'd use this opportunity to briefly talk about two records that had a significant impact on me. In this case, they are both from Brisbane, Australia:

Artisans Workshop: Artisans Workshop
Elliott Dalgleish (saxophones)
Jonathan Dimond (bass guitar and trombone)
John Rodgers (violin)
Ken Edie (percussion)

When I first heard this record I really couldn't believe my ears: "People in Australia, nay, BRISBANE played this?!" Apart from being some of the tightest ensemble playing you've ever heard (the solos-on-the-form playing in 'Ridiculous' is mind-blowing), and including some incredible instrumental playing (check 'Viv's Bum Dance), this record really presented my with a totally new sound. Never mind the kind of fusion-y production (it was the early 90's after-all): this is some of the toughest, most-committed, most joyful music you'll ever hear, anywhere, period.
You should get a copy at Tall Poppies. Elliott tells me there are other (he says even better) reel-to-reels siting in storage somewhere. If/when they come out, I'll be the first one there.

John Rodgers: A Rose is A Rose
John Rodgers (violin)
Ken Edie (drums)
Anthony Burr (bass clarinet)
Stuart Cambell (piano)
John Reeves (voice)

John's debut release as a leader is some of the most beautifully ferocious music I've ever heard. When I heard this I knew I wanted to find out what is was, how it was put together, and how I could get those sounds. 'Improvisation' is still my blueprint for playing with John, 'St. Mary's is some of the most ridiculous violin playing in all of my collection of music, and the trio of 'Duet for Violin and Bass Clarinet', 'Solo for bass clarinet' and Solo for violin' is astounding (if you ever get to, ask John about how these pieces relate, technically: mind-blowing!). As with "A.W.", the attack of the sound on this record is one of the first things that got me: you really can hear how virtuosic each musician is just by his sound on his instrument (never mind the out of tune piano). Get one here
Your life may never be the same.

Till next time, enjoy!

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