Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Theme For An Imaginary Western
I haven't quite recovered from the election of Barack Obama yet. I read the news and realize what an over whelming task this man has ahead of him. I also read the backwash of prejudice and hate that has to be over come in the United States. I wonder if the Republican Party has any idea of how to deal with it other than try to ride the monster they created....
So, today, while hauling tractor loads of horse manure for my garden, I had this song running in my head. Perhaps if you are old enough, you remember the huge hit that Leslie West's group, Mountain had with it in the early 70's.
Actually, it was originally a piece on Jack Bruce's third solo record, Harmony Row from 1971. The connection was the bass player and producer of Mountain, was Jack's friend, Felix Papalardi, who was the producer for Cream.
This version is from a set of concerts that Jack Bruce did in 1993. He plays piano and sings. A great soulful, Scottish singer, he sings from deep in his stomach, rather from the throat.
Of course, the world knows Jack as one of the most influential rock bass players of all time, most notably with Cream and unless you have followed his career, which veered away from commercially successful rock, you might never have heard his piano or cello work.
He began as a Jazz player and was actually a member of the Rock band, Manfred Mann and has returned from time to time to Jazz, but a lot of his greatest work has been with modern new music composers like Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, Kip Hanrahan and Tony Williams. I have a version of the Samuel Beckett Play, No Answer set to music by Michael Mantler which becomes a tour de force vocal performance by Bruce.
But, Jack is first and foremost known as a Rock bass player and he has written grand cinematic, technicolor music that deserves a greater audience....
There was a great video of Keep It Down on YouTube from his record Out Of The Storm, but it was disabled for embedding...a mistake, I think.
I will try to find more stuff and post it!