That last one lead me to seek plain Blues For … among my non-jazz archives. And so you now have a compilation in the form of anthems, a ballet, dance, licks, lullabies, music (of course!), songs, a serenade, a theme, and a non-jazz waltz, all for ….
01. Steve Hillage – Anthems For The Blind 02. XTC – Ballet For A Rainy Day 03. Lenny Picket – Dance Music For Borneo Horns #1 04. Prelude – For A Dancer 05. Hatfield and the North – Licks For The Ladies 06. Robert Coyne & Jaki Liebezeit – Lullaby For Myself 07. Nigel Kennedy & The Kroke Band – Lullaby For Kamila 08. Penguin Café Orchestra – Music For A Found Harmonium 09. Harold Budd & Clive Wright – A Song For Lost Blossoms 10. Leon Russell – A Song For You 11. Mark Fry – Song For Wilde 12. Marc Ellington – Song For A Friend 13. Family – Old Songs For New Songs 14. The Residents – Serenade For Missy 15. Simple Minds – Theme For Great Cities 16. Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts – Waltz for Zizi
… celebrates workers by giving them a paid day off work.
Elsewhere, May 1st is May Day, a day for the unemployed to continue wandering the streets crying “Mayday“, or in French, “M’aidez” which is, of course, a plea for help in the form of paid work.
That’s why my latest compilation is for all, but especially all those folk who are keeping essential services going and extra especially the unpaid interns slaving away for their bosses who, no doubt, are nowhere to be seen today.
01. Randy Newman – Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man) 02. John Martyn – Willing To Work 03. Bo Diddley – Working Man 04. Oscar Brown Jr. – Work Song 05. Chris Spedding & Peter Frampton – Work 06. Sainkho Namtchylak – Worker Song (Nomads Dance Around the Fire) 07. Andy Partridge – Work 08. Korean People’s Army – The Workers Party Is The Peoples’ Army 09. Warren Zevon – Workin’ Man’s Pay 10. Marianne Faithfull – Working Class Hero 11. Man – Burn My Workin’ Clothes 12. Mike Oldfield – Worksite
Andy Summers Trio – Blues For Snake
Bob Bunting – Blues For Dominique
Chuck Berry – Blues For Hawaiians
Davy Graham – Blues for Betty
Georgie Fame – Blues For Ann-Marie
Incredible String Band – Blues For The Muse
John Lee Hooker – Blues For Big Town
John Lee Hooker – Blues for Jimi & Janice
Lalo Schifrin – The Blues For Johann Sebastian
Lynn Hope – Blues For Anna Bacoa
Michael Chapman – Blues for the Mother Road
Moraine – Blues For A Bruised Planet(Live)
Psychedelic Guitar Circus – Blues for Sun Ra
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee – Blues For Gamblers
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee – Blues For The Lowland
Wynder K. Frog – Blues For A Frog
+ a bonus track included in error, but …
The title refers to the fact that a lot of Indonesian culture, like fried rice, batik and music, is appropriated by non-Indonesians. There have been some, such as Debussy, Steve Reich, Colin McPhee, Neil Ardley and Daniel P. Quinn, who have absorbed the spiritual essence of the music. Others have exhibited little more than a nodding acquaintance, perhaps by having a word such as Bali or Java in the title.
What’s wrong with this? The non-fiction Book and drama-documentary Film.
My definition of Indonesiania music is that it isn’t really Indonesian even though the title may make you think it is.
For example, Bali Ha’i is a show tune from the 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, and the name refers to a mystical island, visible on the horizon but not reachable, The Portuguese Magellan expedition (1519-22) may have spotted Bali on the first circumnavigation of the world, but that’s of no relevance here.
Just one track, which was recorded at the Jugula Studio in Bandung, may seem to be Indonesian, but the song was written and is sung by a prominent English bass player.
The Les Baxter track Balinese Bongos is from an album called African Jazz (1959), while the Surfmen’s track sounds Hawaiian and comes from an album called The Sounds of Exotic Islands.
Surabaya Johnny was written by the German playwright-composers Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill and Elisabeth Hauptmann for the musical comedy Happy End (1929). Marianne Faithfull’s version was translated by the Irish Professor Frank McGuinness.
There’s a nice German prog-rock Canterbury-style track from 1975 to finish with..
Sumatran Ladies Wearing Hats as Outlawed by Govt. (1951) is an album I had long before I had an internet connection. That it is now available for a mere £4 on Bandcamp does not make it readily available for Indonesians because locally issued debit and credit cards are not trusted outside the country.
Nor inside, come to think of it.
So please buy it if you can, but email me with subject line ‘Ungo-Buntu’ if you can’t.
Recorded on the shores of Lake Toba, 1981, this is a 3 inch CD re-issue of an Indonesian album released on Cassette Tape only in 1982. The composers Obeng Ungu & Jalan Buntu chose as the subject and inspiration for the music, quite tragic and horrific events during the first few years of Indonesian independence. The theme of the album seems to be the tremendous struggle of enlightened and ‘OPEN’ culture, engaging and absorbing outside influences, whilst being viciously oppressed by the conservative and ‘closed’ culture that holds power and wishes to keep that control at any cost. The actual music is a scarily childish mix of nursery-rhyme gamelan, Indonesian style pop and early 80’s electronic processing and sampling. Somehow it treads a triangular path between 23 Skidoo, Val Doonican & Harry Partch.
Sample track: Maaf, Bukan Sulingsuling (“Sorry, not bamboo flutes”)
Seminal rock and jazz guitarist 6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017
Holdsworth has been cited as an influence by many renowned rock and jazz guitarists. Frank Zappa once lauded him as “one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet“, while Robben Ford has said: “I think Allan Holdsworth is the John Coltrane of the guitar. I don’t think anyone can do as much with the guitar as he can.”
Although he rarely remained a group member for long, his playing enhanced the music of many outstanding groups including Nucleus (1972), Tempest (1973), Soft Machine (1975) (Bill) Bruford (1979) …… discography
His restless soul, a quest for expressing himself through his talent means that for many he was a difficult man on a personal level, yet it is his playing in performance which marks his true eminence and how he should be remembered.
I am saddened by his passing, but his music will live on, with a short-term boost to album sales. For completists, you are welcome to download a live set from my archives. The recording date is unknown, but this was broadcast on BBC Radio 1, presumably Jazz Club, on 25th May 1980.
Pat Smythe Quintet
Pat Smythe: piano,
Ray Warleigh: alto sax, flute
Allan Holdsworth: guitar
Chris Laurence: bass
John Marshall: drums
1. Letters of Marque (Holdsworth) 2. Announcer (Peter Clayton) 3. Reflection (Smythe) 4. Announcer 5. Out From Under (Holdsworth) 6. Announcer 7. Steppes (Pat Smythe)
“Like all unfamiliar forms of music, making discoveries is 99% percent of the journey.”
These words by Gordon Skene, host of the Past Daily blog, encapsulate what my music collecting is about, and particularly what goes into my compilations. When I start, perhaps with just one word in mind, I usually have no idea what the end result will be. And that’s half the fun.
Today’s compilation chose itself because my criterium was simple: select tracks whose titles are incomprehensible to me, nor, bar a couple, can I even pronounce them. But that’s of no matter: with or without vocals, the tracks intrigue and capture my listening mode.
You’ll note, I hope, that they have sorted themselves automatically in alphabet order. I like their seeming randomness, of not having to group them according to subject matter, genre, mood or instrumentation. So it’s a lucky dip, partly inspired by Orang Lucky whose compilations have a spirit of the eclectic and esoteric. Thanks pal.
If you wake up in Jakarta with Subuh, the morning call to prayer, and there isn’t too much traffic noise, as the sky lightens you may hear a few tweets from those birds which aren’t in cages waiting for the householders to remove the covers. You are unlikely to actually see any birds in flight.
In other parts of the world, the dawn chorus from free birds is a reason to be cheerful.
This was recorded in London …
Mankind has long had a relationship with the bird world. Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace were able to extrapolate the theory of evolution from observation and comparison of variations within species. Twitchers travel the world seeking to capture rare sightings on film much as teenagers in the pre-TV era used to spend their weekends spotting trains and buses.
Earlier still, before photography, avianists were fine artists.
01. Ivor Cutler – A Berd 02. Billy Ward – Bird of Paradise 03. Gabriela Robin – Green Bird 04. Joni Mitchell – Sweet Bird 05. Gilberto Gil – Nightingale 06. Richard Thompson – Flee As A Bird 07. Brian Eno – The Dove 08. Michael Chapman – Lovin’ Dove 09. The Flame – Dove 10. John Luther Adams – Mourning Dove 11. Phyllis King – A Linnet 12. Marianne Faithfull – Sparrows Will Sing 13. Leyla McCalla – Little Sparrow 14. Moondog – Sparrow 15. Alexander Laszlo & Dr. Samuel J. Hoffman – Pigeon Serenade 16. Birdsong – Wood Pigeon 17. Tom Lehrer – Poisoning Pigeons in the Park 18. Bridget St.John – Ask Me No Questions (edit)
Gaze at this view while listening to the Bridget St. John track.