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!


Agi said...

Yeah man, Obama has a lot of shit on his plate. It's almost an impossible task.

On the brightside, Zappadan is almost here...

microdot said...

commandante, I am sorry about the comment moderation...it is temporary.
I haven't been doing much visiting on other peoples blogs this year...but now that winter is upon us...

I also haven't done any Zappa posting in anticipation of the upcoming traditional celebration which is nigh upon us!

I am looking forward another Season To Be Jelly!

Anonymous said...


Leslie West turned 63 on October 22. Felix, you left ys all too soon. Can it have been a quarter century already?

I am sad to report that Mitch Mitchell, the last surviving memeber of teh Jimi Hendrix Experience, was forund dead in his Portland, OR hotel room yesterday.


microdot said...

TLGK, I read about Mitch Mitchell's death today and I will pst something about him...He was one of the most under appreciated drummers...facile, light, imaginative...He was the perfect drummer for Hendrix...combining the liquid feel of jazz with the solid beats of rock and rythmn and blues.
The guitarist Larry Coryell said of the Experience, "It took a black cat to make the white guys play their asses off!"

Meanwhile, Jack seems to be in recovery from his liver transplant.
He recieved one around 2000 and his body rejected it. Not being a widely selling Artist...this depleted his finances and he was heavily in debt after the second one.
One of the reasons Cream reunited was to help Jack Bruce pay for his health problems.

He's playing dates now, I hear he has a touring band with Vernon Reid and of course Bernie Worrell...I'm not sure who's playing drums.

Anonymous said...


In th esummer of 1987, when my wife was pregant w/ our 2nd child, we moved to the country. We reside on th elast high hill SE of Denver on th eshores of the Great Plains. The nearest town is Parker where Ginger Baker ws based in the 1990s b/f he moved to South Africa in 1999. As I recall, there was some type of dispute w/ his residency papers.

He raised polo ponies here. I never ran into him.


microdot said...

TLGK, what a character, Ginger Baker!
I have been listening to a 1992 recording he made with 2 young guys forming a young power trio...he was the ancient drummer called Masters Of Reality.
The record is called Sunrise On The Suffer Bus, and it's really great early 90's indie rock.
One of the high points is cut called T.U.S.A....the vocal part is Ginger, reciting in his morose thick accent ala Pressed Rats and Warthog, his disdain for the beverage which Americans refer to as Tea...the refrain is his directions of how to brew a proper cuppa.....

I saw it well reviewed at the time, but I don't think it sold very much.