Popol Vuh – Nosferatu The Vampyre (1978) (Original Soundtrack)

Popol Vuh – Nosferatu the Vampyre (Original Sound Track)
2019 Reissue (Germany)
Original releases, 1978, as “On The Way To A Little Way” and “Brüder Des Schattens – Söhne Des Lichts “

Werner Herzog had one of the most notable and singular relationships between a director and a composer/musician through his friendship with Florian Fricke (who was basically Popul Vuh – he did the “solo-artist-with-guests-marketed-as-a-band” thing long before the indie kids).  The soundtrack to the classic Nosferatu The Vampyre film has one of the more confusing release histories in their partnership, being drawn from music that Fricke had already released as a Popul Vuh album on his own.  And unlike some of their other collaborations, like Aguirre, where the soundtrack runs through the film like a recurring character, Nosferatu actually didn’t feature much music in the final edit.  Nevertheless, the music is as otherworldly and haunting as any other work from Fricke’s prolific career, with his characteristic blend of mysticism and melancholy.  I share it here on Halloween, 2020, when we don’t even need to use our imaginations to see the horrific all around us.  May it provide a soundtrack to however you chose to spend the day.

1 Brüder Des Schattens 5:45
2 Höre, Der Du Wagst 6:00
3 Das Schloss Des Irrtums 5:37
4 Die Umkehr 5:57
5 Mantra 1 6:15
6 Morning Sun 3:22
7 Venus Principle 4:41
8 Mantra 2 5:23
9 Die Nacht Der Himmel 5:03
10 Der Ruf Der Rohrflöte 3:39
11 To A Little Way 2:33
12 Through Pain To Heaven 3:47
13 On The Way 4:05
14 Zwiesprache Der Rohrflöte 3:26

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Daniel Fichelscher
Oboe – Bob Eliscu
Piano – Florian Fricke
Producer – Florian Fricke, Gerhard Augustin
Sitar – Alois Gromer
Tambora [Tamboura] – Ted De Jong

Remastered By – Frank Fiedler, Guido Hieronymus


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Arsenio Rodríguez – Primitivo (1965)

Arsenio Rodríguez
Primitivo
Original release, 1965 – Roost Records LP 2261
CD reissue, 1999 Tico Records SLP-1173

The blind Afro-Cuban tres player, percussionist, composer and bandleader Arsenio Rodríguez was one of a handful of individuals who fundamentally changed Latin music in the twentieth century, a fact which history and audiences were somewhat slow to recognize.  This record features a lean, stripped-down ensemble he put together in early 1958 at the behest of Teddy Reig, who for some reason sat on the recordings for a full seven years.  Reig was apparently interested in “folkloric” Cuban music but Arsenio brought him a dozen new compositions.  It is kind of an “unplugged” album, though – the tres is unamplified, without the pleasingly gritty tone he would get when running it through an amp, and hence so of the most crystal clear playing he ever committed to tape.  The clarity is also helped by the absence of piano and bongó, leaving the middle and middle-upper registers all to the tres and the trumpets.  For me, “Rumba Guajira” is the most spell-binding cut here but all the tunes are excellent.  Maybe Reig’s thirst for folklore was quenched by the vernacular poetic form showed off in ‘Coplas de España” with Arsenio ripping 16th-noted arpeggios with hints of flamenco.  Shortly after this recording session, Arsenio made one of several tours to Chicago, playing for the Puerto Rican and  Cuban audiences on the city’s north side at clubs like the Capri.*

1 La Pasion
2 Me Engañastes Juana
3 Lo Que Dice Justi
4 Rumba Guajira
5 Coplas De España
6 Que Mala Suerte
7 Fiesta En El Solar
8 Me Equivoque Contigo
9 A Gozar Mujeres
10 No Lo Niegues
11 El Lema Del Guaguanco
12 Guaguanco De Puerta Tierra

Sessions recorded in 1958 in NYC.  Also issued as Arsenio y Kike: canta Monguito (Tico LP-1173) on vinyl.

Credits:
Ramón “Monguito” Quián – first vocal
Davy González – first vocal
Candido Antomattei – second voice
Israel Berrios – second voice and guitar
Agustin Caraballoso – trumpet
Johnny Malco – trumpet
Arsenio Rodríguez – tres
Abelardo Chacón – timbal
Kiki – tumbadora

Producer – Teddy Reig
Written songs composed by Arsenio Rodriguez except track 3 by Justí Barreto

*Information for this post was drawn from the excellent book, Arsenio Rodríguez and the Transnational Flows of Latin Popular Music by David F. García, 2006 Temple University Press.

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password: vibes

Tamba Trio – Tamba Trio (1975)

Tamba Trio
(self-titled)
RCA 888430906624
Original release 1975
Reissue 2014 (EU)

1 – 3 Horas Da Manhã  (Ivan Lins, Waldemar Correia) 2:42
2 Visgo De Jaca (Sergio Cabral, Rildo Hora) 2:35
3 Ou Bola Ou Bulica (Aldir Blanc, Joao Bosco) 2:12
4 Beira-Mar (Ivan Lins) 2:19
5 Olha Maria (Amparo) (A.C. Jobim) 4:45
6 Chorinho No. 1 (Durval Ferreira) 1:44
7 Jogo Da Vida (Sidney Miller, Danilo Caymmi) 3:15
8 Sanguessuga (Fernando Brant, Toninho Horta) 3:47
9 Janelas (Ivan Lins, Ronaldo Monteiro) 1:38
10 Contra O Vento (Ana Borba, Danilo Caymmi) 2:45
11 Beijo Partido (Toninho Horta) 2:28
12 Chamada (Helio Delmiro, Paulo Cesar Pinheiro) 2:10

Arrangements, piano, Fender Rhodes, Arp Synthesizer, Vocals – Luiz Eça
Bass, Percussion, Flute [In C And G], Vocals  – Bebeto
Percussion, Drums, Vocals – Hélcio Milito

With Hélio Delmiro (guitar)

Also featuring João Bosco (guitar and vocal on Track 3); Toninho Horta (guitar on tracks 8 & 11); Danilo Caymmi (guitar, tracks 7 & 10); and Rildo Hora (harmonica, track 2).

Recorded and mixed by Nestor Vitiritti, RCA Studios, Rio de Janeiro

Artwork By – Ney Tavora
Artwork and Photographic Effects– Sérgio De Garcia
Coordinator, Directed By – Raymundo Bittencourt
Design – Carlos Guarany
Photography – Ivan Klingen

 

This is a very solid record, and Tamba Trio was doing a fine job of updating their sound to stay contemporary with developments in MPB. So instead of Jobim & Vincius compositions, we have Aldir Blanc and Joao Bosco (who also guests on the record), Fernando Brandt and Toninho Horta (another guest), Danilo Caymmi, Ivan Lins (yet another guest), Paulo Cesar Pinheiro — only top shelf stuff here, it’s like reaching for the blue Johnny Walker bottle instead of the black or the red.  Another nice touch is the neo-chorinho composition by Durval Ferreira here.

But this is obviously no longer a trio configuration of the group, and the album doesn’t have the exuberance or urgency of their early records.  It does have the mature confidence of guys who have been playing together for over a decade and invited a bunch of their talented famous friends over to create new textures on their new album.  Bassist and flautist Bebeto sings on this record, and his voice is what I imagine Chico Buarque might sound like if he were suffering from dengue fever, with that microtonally desafinado (out of tune) quality so characteristic of bossa nova which – if you aren’t quite in the mood for it – can make a person feel a little seasick.

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Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival (1972/1996)

Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival
Original release 1972 Polydor (Japan)
1996 CD reissue Verve Records 314531641-2

Dipping back into the Roy Ayers Ubiquity catalog, this live performance hails from pretty early in their trajectory, and this version was expanded from the original LP to include 4 extra tracks for what is probably a pretty complete representation of their set.  (more below the break) Continue reading

In memoriam, Jerry Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)

Twenty-five years ago, when Jerry Garcia passed on this day in 1995, I was jaded and angry. Still reeling with unprocessed grief from the death of my only sibling a few years earlier, I had distanced myself from the scene I had once felt an affinity to (which had grown increasingly sketchy in the 1990s anyway). I refused to leave my apartment, stayed in bed most of the day, steadfastly avoiding the vigil in the park down the street from me filled with people tearful over somebody they “knew” as an abstract entity.  He was deified as a free-spirited messenger of peace and harmony while nursing a decades-long heroin addiction, the antithesis of freedom.  I felt like that dichotomy between a starry-eyed expanded consciousness and a hedonistic enslavement to the pleasure principle could have very nearly ruined my own life if it hadn’t been for the actions of a few people, my lost sibling among them, which took me off that path.  Famous musicians driving themselves into early graves through hard living — Garcia was barely 53 but looked about 80 when he died – was nothing new. I couldn’t or wouldn’t empathize with the collective eulogizing because all I could think was that it seemed in some way profoundly stupid for people who “had everything in life” to careless throw it away – I’d thought the same thing about Kurt Cobain’s suicide a year earlier even though I had only a passing interest in his music — while all over the world, parents had to bury children lost to horrible circumstances – accidents, diseases, murders – inverting the “natural order”, things weren’t supposed to happen that way. Those families, and mine, didn’t have crowds holding vigils in the park. They got awkward attempts at soothing from friends or relatives, often with platitudes like “he / she is in a better place now” or “God has called home another angel” and insipid shit like that.  Continue reading