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Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Blue Wild Angel

Over the last weekend I have been buying music again. God, I'm a cd junkie! I bought:

1. Tom Waits - Real Gone
2. Jan Garbarek - In Praise of Dreams
3. Jimi Hendrix - Blue Wild Angel: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Isle of Wight
4. Various Artists - Cash Covered (cover versions of Johnny Cash, from latest Mojo magazine)

There is so much great new music around at the moment. I'm dipping into the new Tom Waits album a bit at a time. Like most of Waits' recent albums, it needs time and small bursts before you 'get it'. The melodies are hidden away in subtlety. There is some amazing guitar work on this album from Marc Ribot. I first came across his work on the David Sylvian 'Dead Bees on a Cake' album where he brought the blues to Sylvian's work.

I've been a fan of Jan Garbarek's work since I was 16 and have collected 20 albums by him over the years. I've also seen him live a couple of times. He is a true musical visionary, producing his own soundscape and musical worlds. A few years ago I read Michael Tucker's 'Deep Song' which is a great book introducing Garbarek's work and its influences. This new album has Garbarek on saxophones, synthesisers, samplers and percussion. He is accompanied by Kim Kashkashian on viola and Manu Katche on drums. It's a very sparse album, filled with real beauty in its melodies. The interplay of saxophone and viola works perfectly. Garbarek has a great ability to work well with collaborators. This album is up there with Officium and Mnemosyne which he made with the Hilliard Ensemble. The way that the saxophone and viola work together reminds me of those two earlier albums. Truly magical.

The Hendrix album was a real bargain, picked up for £8-00 - a double album documenting the 2 hours of concert at the Isle of Wight festival not long before Hendrix died. I've not had time to get to the end of this album yet - got stuck in the middle of the drum solo! The versions of familiar tunes - 'Purple Haze', 'Hey Joe' and 'All along the Watchtower' are all brilliant, and it is good to have a decent booklet included too.

The Johnny Cash tribute album has a wide mix of artists doing their take on the music of Johnny Cash. It's a great piece of work - Mojo magazine are giving away some brilliant cover discs. Recently they had an album of music that influenced Led Zeppelin which was also fantastic - included Robert Johnson, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Spirit, Howlin' Wolf, John Fahey.

As I type this I am listening to the album 'Finn' from 1995 - an album by Tim and Neil Finn. I'd forgotten how good this album is. There's a new album out by the brothers, and they are on tour at the moment. I've heard a few tracks from the new album - sounds good. As I said earlier, there's so much good music around - makes me wish I got freebies from the record companies. Well, I can wish, can't I!

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