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Friday, August 31, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My digital rig

I'm a digital newbie, folks... in the sense I'm much more an analog-user and lover and a vinyl discs collector (as the ratio between 9000+ vinyls vs. circa 300 disks says) and always consider and considered disks second choice... furthermore I'll never be a download freak;-), so do not name me "liquid music"... as my friend Reinhard from Koln, but also Giorgio well knows it... anyway, here is my TacT RCS 2.2 XP AAA [preamp, room corrector, (partial) crossover and... DAC], Bang & Olufsen Beogram CD 5500 (using Philips TDA1541A DAC and CDM4-11) and Meridian 500 CD transport (a Mk1, always using CDM4)...

The other digital source, always vintage, like myself:-))), is a trusty, old Studer A730, my very first disk player, bought brand new in 1995, using CDM0 and Philips TDA1541A "Double Crown" premium quality DAC, directly feeding Mayer's Line Stage preamp, when not using TacT room correction... as I told you, sometimes it happens.

I like them all... yet, wish to point it out: B & O Beogram CD 5500 REALLY is a masterpiece, re. building quality and parts and sound-wise, and one of the most underrated piece of classic hi-end gears, ever... also with no remote control and with that weird programming system... uneasy and cool like an Aston Martin DB6 or a '60s Corvette.

R.I.P. Dept. - Lol Coxhill passed away on July 10th, 2012

Lol has been a much beloved and cherished musicians for yours truly for decades, now... he inspired me in my short career as an alto sax player when I used - as he (and Sonny Rollins:-))) did - an highway underbridge for practicing undisturbed...

I only saw him alive in Bologna, decades ago, solo soprano playing... he blowed my mind away...

I own several of his elusive, sought-after discs on Ogun, Caroline and several others progressive labels... and it's pure improvised music of rare beauty and deepness.

I'll miss him a lot... and world is a poorer place, now...

Here is Guardian's obituary... I apologize for hi-jacking, but it's nicely written and... ohhh, in the name of music:-)

"The saxophonist Lol Coxhill, who has died aged 79, was one of the great characters of British music – generous, gifted and amiably eccentric. He had long been a stalwart of the European jazz and improvised music scene, but he reached all kinds through his collaborations with a wide range of music – Afro-Cuban, R&B, soul, progressive, punk, minimalist, electronic and beyond – while remaining recognisably himself.

He achieved fame of sorts in the early 1970s with the crew of musicians surrounding the former Soft Machine songwriter Kevin Ayers, whose band the Whole World included the contemporary composer David Bedford and the teenage prodigy Mike Oldfield. Coxhill would turn up in all kinds of situations – jam sessions, improv nights and playing solo soprano saxophone by Hungerford bridge on the Thames. (He is thought to be the main inspiration for Real Good for Free, Joni Mitchell's moving paean to buskers, though she changed the instrument played by her hero from sax to clarinet.)

Born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, Coxhill grew up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and bought his first saxophone in 1947. As a teenager in the late 1940s, he organised club sessions that mixed live music with 78rpm recordings of the groundbreaking jazz then coming from the US.

After training as a bookbinder and two years of national service in the RAF, he became a busy semi-professional. He developed a practice of playing solo that continued throughout his life. The money for sax lessons with Aubrey Frank came from busking. The entire history of jazz could sometimes be heard in Coxhill's playing, from Dixieland through swing and bebop to the soundbending experiments of the most avant-garde, but a melodic aspect to his performances could charm people who thought themselves allergic to jazz saxophone.

He was a member of Denzil Bailey's Afro-Cubists and toured US airbases in the 1950s with the Graham Fleming Combo, later joining 1960s bands such as the Chessmen and Gass. He guested with performers such as Joe Harriott and Tubby Hayes and toured with visiting US artists including Martha and the Vandellas, Mose Allison, Otis Spann and Rufus Thomas, with whom he appeared (playing tenor sax) on TV, looking cool in sports jacket, shades and shaved head. He finally quit his day job in 1965.

Coxhill acquired a valuable champion in the BBC DJ John Peel, who signed him to his short-lived independent label Dandelion. Ear of the Beholder (1971), the resulting double album, includes solo performances and collaborations with Bedford, Robert Wyatt, the Dutch pianist Jasper van't Hof and the guitarist Ed Speight.

Despite his associations with several wild men of music, from Jimi Hendrix via the Brotherhood of Breath to the Damned, Coxhill eschewed drug culture, saying, in an interview with Jeff Nuttall: "Quite a few people were using various pills and smokes but I was never really interested. I've always felt that I can be more creative if I try to … bring out thoughts naturally."

An encounter at the London Musicians' Collective led to a collaboration with the keyboard player Morgan Fisher on Slow Music (1980), a pioneering album of minimalist, ambient music, based partly on Handel's Largo. Many of the album's hypnotic, glowing timbres were produced by looping and slowing down Coxhill's saxophone phrases, a tribute to the sound and intonation of his playing.

Coxhill had a pleasant voice which could be heard to good effect in his version of I See Your Face Before Me by the Melody Four in 1984, and a more chaotic performance of Embraceable You, at Battersea Arts Centre, London. He occasionally doubled as an actor, for example with the performance art group Welfare State and in Sally Potter's 1992 film Orlando.

Coxhill's personality and versatility made him a popular choice as compere or MC for events and festivals. He knew everyone, he was funny, and if the PA broke down, he could perform a short unamplified solo set, thanks to the years of busking. In the latter part of his career he could be heard with a wide variety of bands and agglomerations on the fringes of the jazz, improvised and alternative music scenes. These included Trevor Watts's Moiré Music, The Recedents, Bob Cobbing's sound poetry group Birdyak, the London Improvisers' Orchestra and duos with Pat Thomas, Lu Edmunds, Veryan Weston and many more.

He is survived by his second wife, Ulrike, and by two daughters and a son from his first marriage.

• George Lowen Coxhill, saxophonist, born 19 September 1932; died 10 July 2012"

R.I.P. dear Lol...

A wolf in sheep's clothing or one of the most beautiful Garrard 301 I'm aware of...

... aehm. not only a Garrard, actually:-)... a new Garrardzilla is around, folks... beware of this mighty, yet unassuming, extremely elegant and well sounding beast!

A new breed is born...

Hoooray for Garrardzilla 301.

... and thanks to Nick for sharing:-)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Michael Jackson and Enrico Rava... weird?!?

It was only after Michael Jackson’s death that Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava gradually became aware that he had for many years been ignoring, in his words, “one of the great protagonists of 20th century music and dance. A total artist. A perfectionist. A genius. I felt the need to delve more deeply into Michael’s world. There was only one way to do that: play his songs.” Thus this live album, recorded at the Rome Auditorium with the Parco della Musica Jazz Lab. Enrico’s trumpet is at its most extroverted here, vaulting above the spirited arrangements by Mauro Ottolini. Michael Jackson’s protean pop songs have never been heard quite like this. Rava is currently playing European festivals with this programme.
Weird? No... cool!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dasvidania tovarish!

... are you going to arrest US all, tovarish Vladimir?!?!?



Friday, August 17, 2012

Ears and Hearing Dept. - Five senses? Sure?!?

From schooldays onward, we've been told our body owns and uses five senses - i.e. sight, smelling, ohhh, well... you know what I mean...

... but... BUT... we all (or so) think this is sometimes a limited, pessimist point of view... a brand new:-) plethora of senses seems, scientifically blessed, to exist!

I'm not - for now - talking about those (fabled) bat-like hearing skills an audiophile builds up in years of spending huge amount of money on audio gears, discs and trying and tasting...


A recent book, "A tour of senses: how your brain interprets the world" by John M. Henshaw (The John Hopkins University Press $ 29,95) talks about, at least, of ten or more senses... the "newer" being skin or blood-pressure or sexual based...

It's like science is trying to explain why we fall in love or empathy among people... or why some people does or feels "things" others simply do not.

... on my part, beside the ironic, above mentioned hinting to audio/idiot-philiac hypes - my own included, of course:-) - we read and experienced in the last decades now have a scientific foundation...

Educating and learning the "hows & whens" of virtually any human art and skill, always bonded to a given sense is Life, whatever it is!

Thinking about those gifted people, an handful, worldwide, whose "nose" is capable of amazing selectiveness: applied to wine tasting or parfumes blending, it's a truly sought after and rare skill and attitude, indeed.

I'm after ears, hearing, listening to music, noises, the sonic breathing of creation... and I also love parfumes and, while biking in the countryside, my nose recognizes this or that scent, well before my eyes see the flower or the plant involved... it's an always "ON" sense, like ears...

... which are able to discern a tiny sound in a roaring waterfall or a leaf movement in a storm...

The layers and layers of sounds and musics and melodies and rhythms and patterns which my well rehearsed ears are able to feed my brain with is, always and always, every day of my life, amazing... surprising, magic, holy, mysterious...

Also if ears are always in "ON" mode, very often I'm pretty conscious I'm able to make broader or narrower the hearing "Delta", the gap, where, say, motorbiking is (aurally) made of wind, motor roaring, far in the background country noises, traffic...

... but, when I'm into music, playing my instruments or listening to my audio system, it's like I fold and fold and fold and blossom like I'm sooo focused and accurate and pin-pointed to the a.m. aural almost infinite layers, like a child looks at a freshly blossomed rose, intensely, like he's looking at the "first, one and only rose on the planet"...and always it's the very first time, in loop-mode, time after time, endlessly.

Sometimes, I enjoy music so much, so lightly yet intensely, almost painfully that - I already told you in the past - I loose my body, I'm lost... and my ears are much more than two weird looking flesh parts at head sides:-)

Maybe "hearing" involves outer ears, as we all have, and an inner ear - sort of a "Third Eye", aehm, "Third Ear" :-) - a humankind DNA-imbedded, universal super-ear, always growing with new aural experiences, ad libitum.

Something supremely non-esoteric and naturally clicking, only available when "ears" and "hearing" is an open-minded, relaxed, oblomovist and child-like mode act... for free and only available to our truest essence.


Record of the Day - John Zorn's "Filmworks III - 1990-1995"

Yesterday evening I had a pretty good time grooving on the following disk...

To make things spicier, try to get the sought-after, long-deleted "Evva" Japanese edition, with its 56 tracks (Guinness' Prize:-)) and textured-paper artwork... and AWESOME recording quality, in gorgeous AAD!

Filmworks III: 1990–1995 features the scores for film and advertisements by John Zorn. The album was originally released on the Japanese labels Evva in 1995[1] and Toys Factory in 1996 and subsequently re-released on Zorn's own label, Tzadik Records, in 1997.[2] It features the music that Zorn wrote and recorded for Thieves Quartet (1993), directed by Joe Chappelle, which was performed by the group that would become Masada; nine cues for Kiriko Kubo's Music For Tsunta (1988); eleven tracks for Hollywood Hotel (1994), directed by Mei-Juin Chen; and thirty-two pieces for advertisements by Wieden & Kennedy.


The Allmusic review by Joslyn Layne awarded the album 4 stars noting that "The third volume cataloguing John Zorn's film scores is a quality release that offers the scores from two films, a rare piece of music cues that would lead to Cynical Hysterie Hour, and music spots for commercials... The musicianship and stylistic range found here is commendable".[3]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [3]
Track listing

Thieves Quartet (1993), directed by Joe Chappelle
01/ Main Title - 1:00
02/ The Caper - 0:57
03/ Cadence - 0:15
04/ Kidnapping - 2:15
05/ Doubt - 0:19
06/ Nocturne 1 - 0:26
07/ Nocturne 2 - 0:55
08/ Bag Man - 2:00
09/ The Cop - 0:27
10/ Nocturne 3 - 0:55
11/ Juke Box - 2:45
12/ End Titles - 4:28
Recorded in New York City in July 1993
John Zorn: alto, piano on (12)
Dave Douglas: trumpet
Greg Cohen: bass
Joey Baron: drums
Robert Quine (11): guitar
Music For Tsunta (1988), directed by Kiriko Kubo
13/ Music For Tsunta (nine cues) - 3:31
Recorded in New York City in February 1988
Bill Frisell: guitar, banjo
Peter Scherer: keyboards
Carol Emanuel: harp
Christian Marclay: turntables
David Hofstra: bass, tuba
Cyro Baptista: percussion, voice
Bobby Previte: drums, percussion
Hollywood Hotel (1994), directed by Mei-Juin Chen
14/ Main Titles - 1:36
15/ Washing Machine a - 0:26
16/ Washing Machine b - 0:39
17/ Night Hotel - 1:17
18/ Japanese Tourists - 1:54
19/ Night Hotel 2 - 1:18
20/ Objects - 3:16
21/ Night Hotel 3 - 1:00
22/ Rooftop Death Rattle - 0:59
23/ Taiwan - 3:48
24/ End Titles - 1:50
Recorded in New York City on April 21, 1994
John Zorn: alto
Marc Ribot: guitars.
Music For Weiden And Kennedy (1990–1995)
25/ Holland - 0:16
26/ Canada - 0:31
27/ France - 0:16
28/ Germany - 0:33
29/ Sweden - 0:30
30/ USA - 0:28
31/ Canada 2 - 0:15
32/ Sweden 2 - 0:15
33/ Italy - 0:14
34/ Great Lobby - 0:33
35/ Wheelchair Races - 0:42
36/ Logo - 0:14
37/ Secret Code - 0:34
38/ Secret Code 2 - 1:04
39/ Don't Break - 0:40
40/ Don't Break 2 - 1:09
41/ Footnotes - 0:35
42/ Footnotes 2 - 1:10
43/ Retraction - 0:41
44/ Retraction 2 - 1:15
45/ Protest - 0:39
46/ Protest 2 - 1:13
47/ Launch - 0:42
48/ Launch 2 - 1:14
49/ Elevator - 0:40
50/ Elevator 2 - 1:09
51/ Fiance - 0:39
52/ Fiance 2 - 1:13
53/ Around the World - 1:06
54/ Batman - 0:32
55/ Abstract Woman - 0:35
56/ Mystic Woman - 0:39
(25-33) recorded in New York City in November 1990
(34) recorded in New York City in March 1992
(35,36) recorded in New York City on August 25, 1993
(37-52) recorded in New York City on May 13, 1994
(53) recorded in New York City on November 3, 1994
(54-56) recorded in New York City on January 24, 1990
Carol Emanuel: harp
Marc Ribot: banjo, guitar
Cyro Baptista: percussion;
Kermit Driscoll: bass
Peter Scherer: keyboards
David Shea: samples
Arto Lindsay: guitar, voice
Bill Laswell: bass
Ikue Mori: drum machines
Keith Underwood: flute
Jill Jaffee: viola
Miguel Frasconi: glass harmonica
Robert Quine: guitar
Guy Klucevsek: accordion
Anthony Coleman: organ, keyboards
Greg Cohen: bass
Joey Baron: drums
Chris Wood: bass
Sim Cain: drums
Eric Friedlander: cello
John Zorn: alto
All Music by John Zorn
Produced by John Zorn

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cantus linear-tracking arm by Rauna of Sweden

After eons only using 12 inches pivoted arms, I'll be soon deepening my knowledge of linear tracking arms... recently ordered a Cantus arm, attracted by its no frills, mechanical-only, clever approach, relative cheapness and... yes, because it was designed by the late, beloved Bo Hansson.

Also one of the most underrated, honestly priced and long-living projects on the market.

Will get it soon and use with a mighty ALLNIC's Verito Puritas MC cartridge... and in-slate "White Whale" Lenco/Goldring G-88... with brand new solid bronze bespoke platter!

Yeahhh... thanking Hakan Agborg (from Sweden) for his kindness and Moray James (from Canada) for his several writings and essays on the matter;-)

... and, last but not least, thanks to my friend David Beetles.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

John Fahey's wisdom

From one of my MOST beloved musicians and masters, ever:

"There is something about guitars - maybe something magical - when played right, which evokes past, mysterious, barely conscious sentiments, both individual and unversal. The road to the unconscious past.

Guitar is a caller.

It brings forth emotions you didn't know you had.

It's a very personal instrument."

John Fahey ( from: "How Bluegrass Music destroyed my Life"- page 218)

I agree from my deepest soul... humbly said, myself, too, when playing one of my acoustic guitars I clearly "feel" when that "something" - which the late, beloved John talks about - clicks, happens... it may be after ten minutes playing, late in the night or early in the morning or in a lazy afternoon Saturday afternoon...

It simply happens... and "guitar" becomes an antenna, capturing music which is in the air, while improvising, so naturally.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kate Bush's "50 Words for Snow" and Mark Okrand's Klingon "Quatlho"

I love this song... you know, the Inuits uses one hundred or so different names to describe "snow"...

Kate tried to give a poetic soul to these academic, anthropological facts... so we have a weird "slipparella" or "Zhivagodamarblatash"...

... but my snow-name of choice is "peDtah 'ej chIS qo'" as spoke by Klingons in Star Trek TV series... quatlho spoken here:-)!

... and the outside 35 degrees Celsius seems to do not worry that much:-)

BTW - The double vinyl is a beauty... in Bernie Grundman's mastering glory, also if some tracks are slightly distorting - i.e. in Elton John's singing track... changed two copies, and the third I finally kept was also sometimes slightly overloaded, so the vinyl-transfer was the problem.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Robbie Basho's first live footage ever!!!

Cathedrals and fleur de lis and Kowaka d'Amour, twelve and six strings guitar live in 1971... I've been searching for these footages for such a loooong time!

Thanks sooooooo much to Bernard aka YouTube's user "stpdeli" for sharing and, most of all, deepest thanks go to KQED, David Greenberger, Glenn Jones, "Tessaract3", and robbiebasho-dot-com. you cannot imagine how pleased I am!

Funny enough, Robbie performed the very same evening as Marcel Marceau, the French mime:-)))

Pure dadaist choice!

Horns dude

Posted by Picasa

Found this strange, fogotten solo shot of myself and old Gotorama in the background...

I like it.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chicco - one heavy month later...

... and pain for his loss isn't diminishing or vanishing...

I love him so... I dreamed of him two times... BUT my life is SO painful and sad without his gentle company and presence...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Heroes Dept. - Capt. Paul Watson's Sea Shepherd

Thanking this Man, whales, dolphins and fishes, sharks and their fins are safer than they should be...

He's the visionary Master & Commander whose Greenpeace in the past and now Sea Shepherd non-profit organizations fight every single day, every year, untired and strong.

I was in tears - I'm quite often in tears, these days... - watching at an Artaud's documentary which showed sharks barbaric fishing, where the noble fishes - thousands of them every year - are captured, mutilated of their fins and then, still alive and deadly wounded, are thrown away, in the sea again... to die horribly... for a soup in some Far East restaurant.

For a fins soup, folks...

For a soup...

A wonderful creature like a shark mutilated and killed for a soup!

Vomit... and tears.

... but also angriness!